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/h/ - Homesteading, Prepping & Outdoors

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File: 1650322815605-0.jpg (4.14 MB, 4128x3096, 20220418_171702.jpg)

00e78 No.118

Hey anons, in this thread I'll go over my misadventures in the process of making my fifth metal casting foundry. The previous 4 all failed(I was using steel on accident cuz I'm retarded) so I have high hopes that this iteration will be the one. Picrel is a hole I dug to house it, more pics in subsequent post since apparently my phone takes super high res images for no reason

00e78 No.119

File: 1650323246771.jpg (4.82 MB, 4128x3096, 20220418_174644.jpg)

First layer of plaster is poured

5ef70 No.120

can it make pizza? (That means nice job in Yiddish)

00e78 No.121

I'll let you keep your kid'a foreskin once it's been chopped off(that means thank you in yiddish)

5ef70 No.122

Oy Vey mi pennies (Irish Yiddish mixture means nice job fren great work)

00e78 No.123

File: 1650327152260.jpg (2.75 MB, 4128x3096, 20220418_190646.jpg)

Second layer poured, the plaster-sand mixture isn't hardening up properly, not sure what the deal is there, and we're having leakage problems with the mold/shell. Still, I'm optimistic about the final result. However i probably won't be able to finish the plaster pouring portion of the project today like I had intended

5ef70 No.124

it's coming out great nice digits too. What do you plan to do with it?

00e78 No.125

Make some bronze and cast a spear. Beyond that, I have very few plans

5ef70 No.126

Hella based you will now be known as spear anon

ce894 No.127

Only if it works. The plaster isn't hardening up properly so I'm having doubts

00e78 No.136

All right, I came back today and things were looking good, the layers from yesterday were hardening up, not fully done but getting there. I figured they were enough to seal the leaks near the bottom so I poured on two more batches of mixture but i was wrong and now the leakage is worse than ever. I'm hoping these batches will dry up quicker(I opened a new bag of sand which for some reason was drier than the first) but if that isn't the case I'll just have to go home for the day. I'm thinking I might be able to accelerate the drying process by setting a fire around the hole, what do you guys think

00e78 No.137

It didn't harden up so I'm gonna be done for the day. Probably gonna wait several more days before coming back, maybe try to accelerate the process by building a fire or something, etc.

dcba4 No.138

File: 1650423544887.jpg (131.04 KB, 1170x780, casting.jpg)

>It didn't harden up so I'm gonna be done for the day. Probably gonna wait several more days before coming back, maybe try to accelerate the process by building a fire or something, etc.

Don't give up fren, foreskins is a tough racket. (That's yiddish for keep at it - sand plaster can take a long time to fully cure and the moisture in the soil may be screwing things up so maybe use a metal or plastic pail as your outer form next time, or maybe start above ground with a cardboard cylinder like one of those Sonatube concrete forms you see for sale at Home Depot, or DIY a sonatube using RamBoard also available at HomeDepot)


Checkout King of Random's mini metal foundry (RIP Grant). Figure out how much material you want to melt, buy a crucible about 2x that size, and design/build your forge around that size crucible. Mine uses a #6 - 8 KG clay graphite foundry crucible. So I designed my foundry around that size. I'll probably only melt around 4-5 Lbs at a time since most of my castings will be about 2-3 Lbs anyway.

You can use the sand/plaster mix Grant recommends but I've read for the lower temp stuff you can also use concrete with a thick layer of refractory cement for the inner surfaces of the combustion chamber. That's how I built mine anyway. It runs on propane. I have yet to use it but it's been sitting in my garage for several years so by now it's probably fully cured. (Time flies)

I'll gradually increase the temps to drive out whatever moisture may still be present before I attempt to melt anything.

What is your mold making material going to be?

ce894 No.139

>Checkout King of Random's mini metal foundry (RIP Grant).
yeah that's where I got started with all this
>Figure out how much material you want to melt, buy a crucible about 2x that size, and design/build your forge around that size crucible.
check, I bought a crucible already so the foundry is custom made to size
>What is your mold making material going to be?
I have a mold made of some air dry clay, which, now that I think about it, might not be a super great idea. perhaps I'll test it. if it fails I do have some proper clay that I purchased after I got the air dry clay and which I have already used to make some smaller molds

efce7 No.140

Never heard of using air dry clay for metal casting. But it might work. Google may have some preliminary results. I'm sure it's been thought of before.

For my molds, I have secured several different materials. I have 10lbs of jeweler's investment plaster, about 60lbs of petrobond / "green sand", and about 25lbs of fine mesh white zircon sand, a 25lb C02 canister, and 5 gallons of sodium silicate AKA "water glass". The investment plaster can be used for small stuff with fine details. The petrobond is good for larger, less detailed stuff with generous draft angles so it can be removed from the sand molds easily without breaking.

The white zircon sand + sodium silicate + CO2 is useful for making mold cores or for making molds themselves. You just mix the sand with sodium silicate and then spray it with CO2 gas. It hardens almost instantly. You do need to inject the gas every 1 to 2 inches in larger / thicker molds though. Also you have to cast immediately after hardening because in a day or two (or less) the hardened sand will disintegrate.

I've also got about 30lbs of hard microcrystalline wax for jewelry making, which I plan on using with the ceramic shell slush casting method (once I find a good recipe or vendor for that material, anyway). I'll have to build an attachment for the foundry to bake out and reclaim the wax first though. But the ceramic shell method has a lot of advantages.

Ideally, I'd like to be able to cast stainless steels but I'm afraid I'll need a better forge for that since mine is geared more toward aluminum. Also may need to add a blower motor to get higher temps needed for steels, and may need to use a kaowool foundry with a thicker coat of the refractory cement.

Anyway, my advice is try petrobond for your mold. It's mostly reusable and you can get it cheap on ebay. Do post pics when you get back to the lab, I'm eager to see how it turns out. Mazel tov.

ce894 No.145

stainless steel is gonna be tough, I think I mentioned earlier in the thread that all my previous foundries failed to work because I was accidentally using steel instead of copper and some of em were pretty beefy. then again idk the exact melting temps of stainless steel vs whatever composition I had

f4734 No.152

How exactly did it fail? What was your fuel, and did you use forced air to get higher temps?

ce894 No.153

just didn't melt. my fuel was charcoal(actual pure charcoal, not diluted grilling charcoal) and I did use a significant amount of forced air

ce894 No.154

then again my first foundry, which was the smallest of them and presumably the weakest, did manage to create a hole in a (presumably) stainless steel cup, so maybe stainless has a lower melting temp than the type of steel i was inadvertently trying to melt

f4734 No.178

You probably will get better results using propane + blower motor instead of charcoal.

f4734 No.213

Any updates on this, Fren?

ce894 No.254

Yeah I went back today to check it out after a few days leaving it alone. We've had a couple rainstorms since then and i wanted to see how it's holding up. I was going to cast the lid and the bottom of the chamber today but when I went over i found out the whole thing was covered in a layer of mud. In addition, the plaster that's leaked into the bottom of the chamber so far has become very hard and proved impossible to dig out with the tools I brought. I decided to try and remove the cardboard to make things easier but it is firmly stuck. Right now my plan is this, wait a week(at my location there are storms predicted for every day of the next 6 or so days), go back, use fire to get rid of the cardboard and a chisel to clear out the bottom of the chamber. I'll then cast the floor and the lid. If I have any plaster left after that(which I'm not sure if I will) I can make a new cardboard wall to allow me to add a little bit more to the walls

18918 No.262

>The previous 4 all failed(I was using steel on accident cuz I'm retarded)
The problem is the solution. If you use the combustion oxygen to cool the steel, you don't melt steel, and you retain the heat.

f990a No.312

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This is one of the coolest diy projects one can do. When I was about 18 or 17 I made a successful foundry in my backyard using king of random's tutorial and cast a few things out of aluminum, used some foam insulation as the mold so it would melt through it and fill in the shape. It was basically a copy of the one on the video, I wish I'd saved pics. Good luck anon, it's worth the effort and time. Hair dryer + pvc pipe works fantastic as a bellows btw.

f4734 No.340



This guy has a really cool "Lost PLA" technique. He 3D prints hollow PLA parts (he might be using "vase mode"), coats them with ordinary joint compound, and then once its dry he buries the part in a mix of play sand + sodium silicate. He doesn't burn out the PLA part before casting, he just dumps molten aluminum right down the sprue and the PLA vaporizes out quite cleanly. Very interesting!

He uses Rutland brand Cement Floor Sealer for the sodium silicate. I am blown away how much detail he gets with this technique.

Would love to know how much shrinkage he gets.

18918 No.352

>He doesn't burn out the PLA part before casting, he just dumps molten aluminum right down the sprue and the PLA vaporizes out quite cleanly.
Fortunately, he's not casting anything structural.

f4734 No.362

>Fortunately, he's not casting anything structural.
Please do elaborate on this. What's the concern here?

18918 No.363

Hydrogen gas porosity

ce894 No.375

Alright frens OP here, I went out today and unfortunately the hole is still full of rain from last week's storms so I couldn't really do anything there. I wanted to cast the lid anyways but unfortunately my plaster got caught in some rain and has all hardened into chunks. I've read it's fine to grind it back up and reuse it but the chunks are quite hard and I'm not quite sure how I'm going to grind them up.

ce894 No.405

Went again today and burned out the cardboard bit, i tried using the same fire to heat up the plaster but no luck. I'm gonna try the oven method next and if that doesn't work I'll buy more plaster

ce894 No.447

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File: 1652846663453-1.jpg (1.34 MB, 2141x2023, 20220517_180624.jpg)

Went out today and cleared out the hole and poured the floor, and the lid. Tomorrow I'll make a new cardboard mold go and pour the rest of the wall

ce894 No.464

I went out yesterday to pour the wall but the conditions were worse than I thought and I didn't want to try something forced and screw up, so I'm going back out today and going all-out on preparation. if everything goes well, I'll fire it up tomorrow, and if I screw up, the project is done for since I'm leaving town next week. wish me luck boys

00e78 No.471

Alright, cardboard mold installation went well enough. I added some caulking to seal up the edges and I'm waiting for it to dry, if this works the whole thing should be done today

ce894 No.472

File: 1652998226332.jpg (3.58 MB, 4128x3096, 20220519_152709.jpg)

Here's a picture of the new installation. Unfortunately, it caved in much like the last one and now I'm more or less back to square one. Since I have no time or ideas on how to continue this line of ideas further, I will simply try to use only the structure that already exists instead of trying to bring it up to the size I had originally planned. Hopefully with sufficient ventilation and fuel quality it will be sufficient. Tomorrow's the big day, succeed or fail. Hopefully that goes better

00e78 No.474

Alr, I'm out at the site. Things aren't going quite how I planned but I think it might work out anyways. Will post pics when done

f4734 No.475



Never give up

ce894 No.476

It didn't work lol
Due to living situation things I'm not gonna get a chance to do this again for a long while, so I'm pretty much done for the next several years. I did make a tin casting, just to do something, but my real goal of bronze has evaded me.

f4734 No.484

Why not just make a portable foundry like the King of Random (PBUH) one?

9e152 No.592

When I hear the phrase "jewish American," I picture an obese jew putting foreskins on pizza.

a3115 No.1026

Has anyone here ever used an induction foundry? I've heard good things about them.

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