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Clint h.

homemade crucible?

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Is it possible? could someone make a crucible out of bentonite clay or a mixture of that and satanite or something simple?

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Is it possible? could someone make a crucible out of bentonite clay or a mixture of that and satanite or something simple?

 

Lots of posts about this in the forums at backyardmetalcasting.com. There's also a book about it. http://www.lindsaybks.com/dgjp/djgbk/cruc/index.html It's possible. (Not with bentonite, though. Bentonite doesn't stand up to heat well enough. I believe Gingery recommends kaolin. I have the book, but it's slipped my mind at the moment.) This is potentially very dangerous stuff. As someone once told me, hot metal will burn you; molten metal will chase you down the hall and burn everything. Best know exactly what you're doing, and realize that without a proper kiln you can expect to lose plenty of crucibles during firing.

 

I know you're probably thinking along these lines in the hope of saving money. Unless you want to make a lot of crucibles, and have a proper kiln, once you factor in the costs of fuel (for firing your homemade crucibles) I doubt you'll come out much ahead. Factor in the value of your labor and you're probably well behind.

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thought that might be the case. oh well thanks for clearing up that issue. anywhere i can buy small crucibles for good prices? or are there any improvised crucible ideas?

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I've seen graphite on ebay.

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I'm going through the same thoughts at the moment, I have a simple recipe used in the gingery book, it's just fire clay, grog, and potash feldspar as a flux, the problem comes with firing them properly, I was talking to a guy whose played around and with a home made rig he has a 50%/50% success rate, he also tried the refractory he had left over and that was too insulating so his cast iron didn't fully melt, I'm thinking of teasing out some kaowool and mixing that in in the clay to help. The advantage of home made crucibles is that you can shape the how you want so you'd end up with a more forgable shape

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I have a recipe that includes paper pulp ; It creates small voids that seem to prevent cracking. I saw some graphite crucibles for sale by RioGrande but they were rated for too low a temp.

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mixing in paper pulp will keep themm from cracking while drying. If you have a ceramics supplier near you sometimes they have damaged boxes or will give away small amounts as samples. Any clay body that will fire to cone ten should work as a crucible, I would try imported porcelains they cost more but will get much hotter, even though I'm not sure thats needed.

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