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its funny cause I havent yet reached the point of mastering anything and I have begun to find myself very intrigued with metal working. Well i must say that i have always been intrigued with welding and i recently bought a lil flux core wire feed welder for shits and giggles. Im happy with what it can do with basic metals.


I stumbled across this guy on Youtube while cross checking a centrifugal casting arm I found on craigslist.




thinking of duplicating his furnace idea but instead of using fire cement which is expensive I was going to use ceramic fiber blanket in place. The same concept is used for making DIY Raku Kilns that can reach 2500 degrees which is MORE than enough for base metals. My aim was to use it for glass to play around with but if I could cast simple metal things....WHY NOT!

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Saw that chalk bored and I wasnt sure if I posted this. Did a quick bored for work. Nothing crazy but if paid for dinner lol




Im not a fan of those chalk markers at all, hate em. Some thought I shouldnt leave "cock" separated from "tail" but I found it necessary lol. First go around it was more bold...oh well


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Mentioned making a foundry furnace a few posts up. Well I did it today. Nothing from it yet, but I got progress shots. Been trying to document as best as I can lately with the intent of eventually dumping it all onto a blog or something to keep me busy and to keep my productivity flowing out.


So all these guys make these furnaces using refractory cement, but I didnt feel like doing mine that way. The cement you have to wait to dry of course, but then you have to take it easy at first so you dont crack it. Plus you have to build a mould for it as well. I figured why go through the hassel of all that. Ceramic fiber is just as effective as refractory cement and it has a higher temp rating, 2300 degrees. It doesnt need to dry and you can get the flames roaring immediately. Not to mention if you get it thick enough it holds itself up, no mould or pour. So I bought 25 sq feet for 75 bucks. DOnt know why I went so big considering I used maybe 4 sq feet. Oh well Extra for when I need a bigger furnace. I actually plan on doing another for glass soon enough.




i decapitated a propane tank for my furnace vessel



need a port hole for your burner. I should of done a bigger diameter because my burner pipe was having a hard time with the oxygen and back pressure etc. Those who weld dont critique my welding, im a beginner, and all I have is a 90 amp flux core wire feed guy. its messy but hey it gets the job done and thats all I care about.



the Kaowool. 2 inch thick 8# density 2300 degree tolerance. As you can see I used barely any.



break time. Time to lubricate the mind...



Finished product. I used some scrap to make the lid have a handle to swivel itself off the the side to get rid of having to pick it up and put it some where.



I guess I could of also made a crucible and what not but I went ahead and bough a small 40oz one with a pour handle etc. it didnt cost much.



This is the Reil Burner design. All hardware store stuff. Cheap. If anyone does this make sure you get black pipe, not galvanized. If galvanized get hot the coating burn off fumes are no bueno. If you cant find black steel parts you can always get the galv steel and drop it in some muratic acid, it will then eat off the zinc coating, then in baking soda water to neutralize the acid.



dark pic lol


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the setup



fired up to make sure all is good.



Making some greensand for moulding. Play sand and bentonite clay. Some guy uses basic cat litter and grinds it down....not a bad idea but since I work with clay I have plenty of bentonite to go around. Not to mention when i found out that was an ingredient I was stoked to have something that I use in 3 different hobbies. Next go around Im going to buy sand blasting sand because its more fine of a sand.



all mixed up. it compresses and holds shape with a clean break.



some mould boxes



turned something simple on the lathe for the test pour shape.



halved for the moulds



both sides of the mould with the channels cut out.


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first victims. Had a busted aluminum floor jack.



heated up slow



peeking in to see the slag at the top



scooped off the slag to see some shiny molten aluminum



poured into the mould. was curious why the riser channel didnt flow out...found out why later lol



not perfect but no big. Im just happy to know I can melt some shit.



found out why the riser channel didnt flow out.....stupid me put the mould on backwards hahaha. oh well the first time cant be perfect.


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Exquisite Corps




We are playing the same game. We just make jewelry.


Three smithy's/ Six finished pieces/ Two full rotations


Three metalsmiths are given a section of an article of jewelry to fabricate. One person make their part, then mail it to the second person where they add to it and then the third where it is finished. A price point on material is predetermined. The profit from the sale of jewelry is divided evenly. Recognition is given to all artists. Final composition of the piece is determined from a vote of the three.


A few examples:









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diggn that stuff.


So Ive been melting a lot. processing down aluminum into ingots for easier use. Did the green sand mould for a test experience. And now I wanted to try the "Lost Foam" technique.....basically a foam form is made and the molten metal destroys it and takes it place once poured.


polystyrene is needed ak Styrofoam



made a simple lil vessel. got the channels glued to it etc



submerged in sand



after the pour



yanked it out and dunked it in some water to cool off. Not bad for my first attempt on something simple. Kinda gives me an idea of my potential at the moment. Going to have to practice how to do the channels for the flow and all.



Also did a lil test to see if I could lock in a stone etc. nothing special. just wanted to see the damage the metal might do.


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Anger, those portraits are fresh as fuck.


SF, I'm excited to see your DIY casting. I need a kiln for my new shop. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go in the vein of yours. Thanks for all of your step-by-step. I've done a lot of lost wax casting. I've never tried the foam. Keep us updated. :) Here are two lockets I finished today for a commission.





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Thanks. Im familiar with lost wax process, basically same idea, but I know you can get so much better detail with wax. Although I dont think Im going to gravitate towards jewelry any time soon. Im going to experiment on what details I can and cant get with the foam. Really from the looks of it and what Ive seen others do the limitations are in the foam. Going to pick up some extra tools today to help with the foam shaping. Ill definitely keep everything posted. The process documentation and everything has really helped me be more productive and Im very very very happy for that.


Soon hopefully Ill incorporate some ceramic and wood aspects to tie the metal together.

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