Bastard Metals

What I do, I'm a machinist who who also likes old VW Bugs, I can cast parts, ornamental flowers, one of a kind knives, plus a lot more

                                                                                                   Foundry Stuff                              



This is my foundry and some stuff I have made, well, actually I have made all my foundry equipment.

The first picture below are my 2 crucible furnaces, the large one is made out of the Zep barrel as you can see,  the propane burner is sticking out of it, I use it in the small crucible furnace as well, and the lid on the smaller furnace is also used on the big furnace as well, On the floor between the 2 furnaces you can see one of my small crucibles, I just use 4" steel tube with a piece of 1/4" thick plate welded to the bottom. I also weld some lugs on the top for lifting, I also have a large crucible that holds close to 22 lbs of aluminum. I have made one clay crucible that lasted a while, more on that later.


 This next picture is my Reverb furnace, it is an old propane tank cut down, it is filled with refractory, it is suppose to withstand temps of 2800 degrees, as you can see the lid is open and when closed the burner points directly at whatever metal is being melted, it is a fast melter. I mainly use it to melt aluminum pop cans because of all thin surfaces on them, paint and coatings it leaves a lot of slag which if proccessed right can leave a lot of alumina which I would like to save for making crucibles.


  This is my propane burner, as you can see I went all out on this, may have cost me $15 to make it, the far left is where the gas line attaches to, it comes thru the middle of a pipe fitting that is attached to a 6" long 2" pipe nipple, I cut 4 slots into it about 2-1/2" long and 1" wide, at the opening of the 2" pipe you can see the fitting that holds the mig welding tip, I use a .046" on this burner it seemed to work best, I bought 1 of each size they had so I could adjust it just right, I then use the 1" pipe in the middle and screw the pipe reducer onto the 2" pipe then stick it into the furnaces and your ready to fire them up. There is a piece of sheet metal wrapped around the 2" pipe it slides back and forth to cover the slots so I can use it as a choke to slow down the air it sucks in when the gas is turned on. 


    This below is my large blown burner, the long burner pipe and the tee fitting are all 1-1/2" it has a plug into the side port of the tee with a gas line going into it, i drilled an 1/8" hole into a cap and that's what makes the gas jet on this, the reducer goes to a blower which I can adjust the speed of the burner as well. I have used it and the large furnace to cast a piece of iron 1 time so far, that my need for more clay crucibles, because you cant melt cast iron in a steel pot like you can aluminum


   I built this as my sand molding bench and sand hopper, the inside measures 60" by 22" by 12" deep, its lined with teflon sheet, After I finished it, it has a lid which was a bad idea because it only get cover with junk and you hafta clean it off each time to use it.


   Below is the 1 crucible I made myself, I built a mold using concrete and a piece of wood I turned down for the inside shape, then mix up some clay and grog which i just crush up some firebricks to make, then mix it together with water, let it sit over night then pack it into the mold, let it sit a day od so, then remover it from the mold, let is sit wrapped in a plastic bag and dray very slowly. When it has dried then stick it into an oven for a few hours at 350 degrees. Then I brought it out to my furnace and fired it in my large furnace, starting of with a slow burn and slowly turning up the heat until it has been as hot as i can possibly get my furnace for a few hours, then cut off the gas and slowly let it cool.


   Side by side pictures, one taken with a flash the other without the flash, I just thought it was a cool picture.


   My very first casting project, a small bench lathe I built from a book written by a man named Dave Gingery. Anyhow I made all the wooden patterns of each casting you see there, the ways are made from 3" wide by 1/4" CRS to whatever length I neded, then the cross feed and compound use 2" wide by 1/4" CRS as ways, The one thing I changes on my lathe was i used some old wheel bearings from a VW Bug as spindle bearings instead of bronze bushings.


   This is the tailstock for the above lathe, i never did finish it yet, I hope to someday soon, but ever since i got a real lathe i havent used this, you can even make a set of gear for this lathe and cut threads, thats something else i may do, again- someday.


    These are some VW hood emblems i cast using the original as a pattern, the one on the far right i was trying to see how thin i could cast it, it didnt turn out so well, if i ever try it again i will use 3 more gates to feed it, instead of 3 I will use 6, I think the thickest this is is .137", I have just thought it was neat the way it is.


   Here is a fish i cast, thats the pattern on the top, i made it out of a piece of 3/4" outdoor plywood and an angle grinder and grinding wheel, some sand paper and clear spray.


    This is the one piece of cast iron i melted, i used a can and pushed it down in some sand, when it was melted i poured it into the hole in the sand. I wasnt sure if i could get my furnace that hot, but it looks like i can.


   Below is a bracket i cast next to the wood pattern, it is for my gear box i am going to convert into a dividinf head/rotary table.


   This is the gear box sitting on the bracket pattern, i need to make a bunch of other parts yet, but i will add a projects page to follow things like this along.


   Bracket being faced off on the lathe.


    More to come soon.