It never smelt so right :)

So I finally did it… I got around to melting down those soft drink cans I’ve been collecting for years. I was going to make my own furnace, per these plans, a modification of the David Gingery Crucible Furnace. But something wonderful happened…

Geared up for a ‘melt’

My son bought a kiln and we installed it in the garage. It is supposed to reach slightly over 2000 degrees and that is plenty for aluminum. I began by adding cans one at a time with 18″ needle nose pliars. This causes the gloves to start smoking so I came up with a method where I ram a hole through the crushed can, slide them onto a metal rod like shish kebab, and then they will slide off rapidly when I’m ready to charge the crucible.

Nicole helping me charge the ‘furnace’.

Aluminum cans are supposed to be 95-98% pure, but they sure produce a lot of trash when you melt them.

Skimming the dross

Pouring an ingot

I have upgraded to actual firebrick for the two places where I need to set the crucible dawn, and I have some leather top boots to wear instead of the running shoes. I would also like to get much heavier shirt and pants, maybe leather or canvas.

Two half pound ingots

Once I get enough I will start experimenting with ‘lost foam’ and ‘greensand’ mold casting.

This is a link to my metal pouring images page (it’s just the rest of the smelting photos like what I’ve posted here)

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