- CONCRETE FIREBACKS FOR FIREPLACES
- FIRE CEMENT PUTTY
- FIREPLACE & STOVE CLEANERS
- FIREPROOF INSULATION BOARDS
- HIGH TEMPERATURE PAINTS
- HEAT RESISTANT RENDER & PLASTER SYSTEM
- HEAT RESISTANT TILE ADHESIVE & GROUT
- HIGH TEMPERATURE SEALANTS & ADHESIVES
- HEAT ACCUMULATION SYSTEM
- HOME FOUNDRY PROJECTS
- FORGES & HEAT TREATMENT FURNACES
- HERITAGE RAILWAYS & STEAM BOATS
- KILN LININGS
- INSULATING FIRE BRICKS
- REFRACTORY CASTABLES
- REFRACTORY MORTARS
- CERAMIC FIBRE BOARDS
- CERAMIC FIBRE PAPER
- CERAMIC FIBRE SEALING STRIP
- STOVE ROPE REPLACEMENT KITS
- HEAT RESISTANT ROPE SEAL ADHESIVES
- GLASS FIBRE LAGGING ROPES
- GLASS FIBRE MESH FABRICS
- HIGH TEMPERATURE TEXTILES
- HOSE & CABLE SLEEVING
- STOVE FIRE ROPES BLACK
- SQUARE GLASS FIBRE PACKING ROPE
- STOVE THERMAL TAPES
- BUILD YOUR OWN OUTDOOR OVEN
- WOOD FIRED OVEN ACCESSORIES
- FLUES & CHIMNEYS
- INSULATION MATERIALS FOR WOOD-FIRED OVEN
HOME FOUNDRY PROJECTS
If you like the idea of melting metal, you can build a home foundry or home furnace for this purpose. You can start with a small furnace that burns charcoal, which is very simple. However, many people who find great joy in melting things find that convenient fuels like propane are more to their liking. You can even build your own propane burner with a regulator that can be used for sandcasting metal.
Most people who want to get into metal casting start with something simple, like making aluminum ingots. Perhaps the simplest foundry you can make would be something like an old five gallon bucket with a hole cut in the side to accommodate an air tube, plus charcoal for heating. You can use the hose of an old vacuum cleaner set on reverse to blow air through the chamber.
You can make a slightly more complex foundry that is insulated with refractory cement, which will insulate your firing chamber. The most useful materials for these projects are Vitcas 1700 grade refractory castable and Vitcas Zircon Paint. One 25 kilo pack is usually enough to line a small beer barrel using some sort of former like using concrete. People have used plastic pipe sections very effectively for this.We can also supply fire bricks and mortar for making a home forge. In this case the arrangement of the materials is different but the principles are the same.
If required Vitcas refractory ceramic fibre blanket can be used for the sides coated with Vitcas Zircon Paint as a rigidiser.
Many backyard metal casters take odds and ends like a galvanized cylinder with a steel plate welded to the bottom with refractory material to line the inside of the furnace. Fired by charcoal, you get the coals going well, then move the air supply closer to the inlet to get the coals really going. It will take around 15 minutes, more or less, to melt aluminum in the crucible. Once you have your melted aluminum, you can put it in a mold made from green sand or even a muffin tin to make simple ingots.
If you're handy at welding, you can weld tabs to the outside of the crucible, then use a couple of metal hooks attached to long handles that you can place under the tabs for lifting. You shouldn't work with molten metal over any surface other than sand, for safety reasons. When you make your ingots or whatever it is you're casting, try to leave a little bit of metal in the crucible to help get your next melting session started.
Some DIY metal casters have even made their own mini furnaces from large cans, such as coffee cans with refractory mix inside. These mini furnaces can be heated with a blow torch and work best if you build a frame to hold them up off the ground. Flower pots and chimney pipes are other sources of homemade foundries for melting metals like aluminum and bronze.
Backyard metal casting is a fairly dangerous undertaking, so it's essential to have a sand base to work over, and take all safety precautions, particularly keeping curious kids and pets a safe distance away.