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    Washington DC area
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    Metal casting, Metallurgy, Photography, Sculpture, Gadgets, Science, growing insane amounts of sunflowers, Artomatic --- if it's a project of any kind I love it.
  1. Also for this last run I increased the height by about 2-2&1/2 inches since it seems like the interior height was a bit too short In another thread people were discussing smelting at this scale and Skip mentioned pelletizing the ore & using 1/4” charcoal….I was thinking it might be fun to try running the ore through…..then crushing up whatever accumulates at the bottom and collecting everything that’s magnetic and running it through a second time Or maybe try a cupola experiment….I’ve heard a lot about very small cupolas but never found any details In any case the furnace is getting weak and crumbly….so I want to make the last run or two some kind of experiment. If it’s going to die, it’s going to die for science It’s a gorgeous day here…. Time to run off to the Chesapeake Bay and collect some bug iron
  2. Did another run today with the new small shopvac and all leaks sealed as well as possible….MUCH better….furnace was much hotter and just devoured the metal I fed it — 3 stainless rods that were sitting around from a couple flatbed scanners I dismantled
  3. Got a small 50 cfm shopvac and did another run Much improvement even though we discovered air leaks in the clay plug and where the air pipe attached to the furnace Total time still about an hour and I didn’t melt the entire intended load of metal…..but that’s because it took us so long to notice the air leaks Also seems like my charcoal should be a bit smaller so it’ll settle at a constant rate…. When I removed the metal there was plenty of molten slag in the furnace—- didn’t notice any on the first two attempts
  4. Yes I think that’s the problem…. I read that other people were using 100 grams of charcoal every minute or two and I was nowhere near that Thanks
  5. Second attempt was slightly better. I used smaller rods as Alan suggested and tweaked my blower setup to get a little more air. Total time melting was now 1 hour instead of 1 1/2 The tuyere seems to have clogged or something near end.
  6. There’s a lot of crazy chemistry out there….once when some magnesium snuck into my aluminum scrap I ended up with this bizarre growth on the slag I scooped off the top….it looked like mold growing on the metal ( video is sped up)
  7. Thanks….I was assuming my blower (320 watt 26cfm 1.6 psi air mattress inflator ) was the weak link. Since the instructions said not to run the blower continuously for more than 10-15 minutes I put it on a dimmer at about 70-80%….but the last 20 minutes or so it was at full blast and the blower didn’t seem to burn out or anything…. Only one load was rebar…the others were thinner steel rod wired together 1st load was 140g 2nd 151g 3rd 183g 4th 176g So next time I’ll try blower w/o dimmer and smaller amounts of metal Haven’t tried to consolidate the bloom yet. I’m going to wait until I have several since I like the way some blooms look and want to turn the coolest ones into sculpture
  8. I finally did my first Aristotle furnace run and it was a complete success even though it seemed to take much longer than usual. From loading the first piece of rebar to the end was about 90 minutes. To make a long story short I had kind of given up on trying any smelting or melting of ferrous metals since I don’t really have a good place to do it. But recently I got a cheap stick welder which got me thinking about iron and steel again ( I usually melt & cast aluminum) which then made me realize the Aristotle furnace is perfect for my situation. Since something like an Aristotle or the 7-brick hearth is so similar to what I use as a crucible furnace (except for where the tuyere goes ) I’m considering making a cylindrical bottomless furnace that I can rest on a bed of sand & use rightside up or upside down depending on whether I want the tuyere near the top or bottom … making it an Archimedes furnace
  9. well this is music to my ears! I live close by -- just across the river in Maryland I don't know if I have the type of ore you're looking for...but you're welcome to it...I have 1 or 2 five gallon buckets of magnetite sand, a bucket or two of magnetite chunks from the Mineral Hill area near Baltimore, and bog iron from the Calvert Cliffs area
  10. those bellows were interesting....very clever
  11. has anyone else made one of these?? I just inherited a 4" belt sander that might be perfect for a project like this
  12. does anyone know much about the process for making electrolytic iron? I did some googling and haven't learned anything useful yet I know some electrolytic processes are pretty simple...and others are complex....I recently did some anodizing of titanium which was very easy
  13. wonder if this will work... https://picasaweb.google.com/106800196895572422821/BloomPorn2013#5964712375813830914
  14. IMHO separating the copper & nickel would be an interesting chemistry experiment, but probably not real practical I was thinking....if you find people who use nickel welding rods...they might have little leftover scraps that are useless to them but might work just fine for tossing into a crucible
  15. will the crucible be on a plinth of some kind -- or rest on the floor of the furnace?
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