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Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Melt aluminum over gas stove?
From: John De Armond
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 07:07:59 GMT (David Plumpe) writes:
>    I'd like to try casting small aluminum stuff, but my family comptroller
>isn't likely to be too happy about buying a furnace (maybe if I put
>it on the 5 year capitol improvement budget?!).  Is it possible to melt
>aluminum over a home gas stove burner?  I have a small cast iron ladle
>and enough sense to not spill molten aluminum on the imitation formica
>countertop, but my past casting experience is limited to lead and cerrobend.
I doubt a stove would have the uumph to do much aluminum but something
else cheap will.  Get one of those propane-fueled fish cookers.
Sold for >$50 around here on the off-season, they typically are 250,000
btu or better.  That will melt aluminum very rapidly and will give you
the added benefit of doing it outdoors where the fumes can dissipate.
You'll find this thing to be a multipurpose device, handy for heating
steel stock for forging and other such stuff.

Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Melting Aluminum and brass
From: John De Armond
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 93 05:02:40 GMT

Dave Larsen <> writes:

>I've heard that is possible to melt your own metals for small castings
>(in this case golf putter heads). I have some scrap brass (old faucets)
>and aluminum (pistons or pop cans). Someone said that you use charcoal
>and forced air. I was planning on investment casting that has been
>discussed recently.

>Has anyone tried this? 
>Is there an easy/cheap way to try it out? 
>What do you use for a crucible? 
>Are these scraps suitable  (is there something I should know that I

I picked up a wonderful little book called "Casting Aluminum" by C.W. Ammen.
Put out by TAB books.  ISBN 0-8306-1910-0.  Get this book.  It tells you
everything you need to know about casting aluminum including building 
your furnace and crucibles and molds.  He also has a companion book
on Brass/Bronze.

From what he says, I doubt charcoal would be practical.  He recommends 
smelter coke, natural gas or oil.  He shows how to built several suitable
gas burners and furnaces.

I have melted aluminum, a couple of pounds at a time, in our glass/ceramic
kiln.  Works well but is slower than a true metal furnace.  I made the 
crucible out of Lizella Clay (red pottery clay) but an iron pot should
work well, something like a Dutch Oven or something. I had the clay but
no iron pot.

I doubt pistons would work very well.  Too much silicon.  Aluminum blocks
and heads DO work well.  A source of green sand and refractories is
A.P. Green, a national distributor that has offices in most major cities.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Looking for a crucible
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 94 04:54:10 GMT (Rick Harrison) writes:

>Where would I buy a small crucible?  I need something big enough to melt
>aluminum cans in, for example (i.e. not "lab" size).  I have looked through 
>the Yellow pages for my area (Boulder/Denver Colorado) and I don't see 

An old fashioned cast iron Dutch Oven works for me.  If you need more
capacity, a cast iron canning pressure cooker works great.  I see
them at flea markets all the time for $10-30.  

>Also, what tool is used for lifting the crucible when it's hot?

The handle :-)  If you pay the big bux for a real (tm) crucible,
it can be lifted either by crucible tongs or a pouring shank - a 
ring with handles that the crucible sits in.

An excellent book on aluminum casting is "Casting Aluminum" by C.W. Ammen
from Tab books.  ISBN 0-8306-1910-0.  There is a very complete 
vendor list in the back, organized by state. Highly recommended.



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