Aluminum Casting
This is my first attempt at casting aluminum.  Thought I would give "lost foam" casting a try.
To the left you can see the blanks I made out
of white styrofoam.  I cut the foam with a
knife and glues them together with hot melt
glue.  I made two of each just in case one did
not turn out during casting.  The castings will
be a hand wheel and bearing block for a
rotary table I designed.
Here are two of the foam blanks placed in coffee
cans and covered with sand with only the riser
breaking the surface.  The muffin pan is there to
make igots if there is any molten aluminum left after
the pour.  I placed everything in sand to help
contain any spillage.
Close up of the liquified metal
and hot coals.  I used
Bar-B-Q brickets for the fuel
and an old vacuum cleaner for
the blower.  I found on the
first melt that I had too much
air and the charcoal was not
getting very hot.  After I cut
back on the air, the furnace
got much hotter and flames
shot out the top.  I plan to cut
the air back a little more on
the next firing to see if I am
still using to much air.
Once the aluminum looked to be good and hot by
the color of the crucible, I skimmed off the top to
remove the dross and  got ready to pour.
Here was the pour!  The crucible cooled down very
quickly and lost its orange color during the pour.
Here are the two good castings.  I tried to pour all four pieces, but only one of each turned out good.  Good
thing I made two of each.  I think I need to get the metal hotter by further reducing the air flow. You can see
more castings on my
Rotary Table page.
Here is a casting I made for a blower fan.
This is my first zinc alloy casting.  It is actually
two castings.  An adaptor plate and a lathe
knob poured together from lost foam.