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Edward Myers

Wood burning foundry

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Here is my idea. I have two big truck rims welded together on edge to make a large cavity for the wood. One end has door for loading the wood. The door has hole and pipe for air intake. Other end has pipe connected to foundry in a bucket type set up. Will this work?

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What type of metal are you trying to melt?

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Charcoal will melt nearly anything, wood is not as hot until converted to charcoal.

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I would be melting scrap aluminum. The idea is to fuel the foundry for free. Wood is cheaper.

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You can make your own charcoal out of the free wood.... I think if you have a heat shield and a smaller crucible then it might work for aluminum... but might take a while. Unless I am mistaken, campfires were used to melt lead but anything over 1000 degrees would be slow coming. The impurities and water in the wood-- steam released would be counter productive to attaining higher melting temps. There are stickies on this site and others on simple ways to make charcoal.

 

this being the most low tech

 

 

edit: heat shield as in some way to contain the heat inside of an area

 

Edited by Gabriel James

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Thanks a lot. I watched video on making charcoal. The wood I am using is extremely dry. I cut up old pallets that haven't gotten wet. I'll burn a couple batches to get a good base before melting. Thanks again.

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You're going to need to insulate the furnace with something. By the time you get it up to heat to melt aluminum you won't be able to get close enough to grab the crucible without getting flash burns. Plus insulation GREATLY increases efficiency. Otherwise you're throwing away heat instead of letting it work for you. Ceramic fiber blanket is best, but it has to be protected from impact and snagging by a coat of refractory cement. Not regular portland cement, by the way. That tends to explode when heated quickly, and turns to dust at the temperatures you want to reach.

 

Check out http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/ for some good advise and safety tips. Smithing is relatively safe and forgiving, casting can easily kill you or make you wish you were dead if you screw up just a teeny bit.

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I have melted about 10# of aluminum in open fire. Should I say large open fire. I had to use a 10' handle on the crucible. I have come to the conclusion that characole is the way to go. However I now know it can be done. Thank you so much for your help.

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I have have some ideas in the works. I'll look how to include pics. If it works and or I live to tell it. Thanks again.

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