So the title may be a little misleading, as this is my Foundry build-log. But it does double as a forge if/when I need it to. Anyways, here's the plan, Originally written on May 11th, 2018
May 11, 2018
I've had loads of fun with my Mini Metal Foundry, the system designed by Grant Thompson is amazing, and genuinely a useful tool to have, but there comes a time where things become too hacked and beaten to be useful, and I'm sad to say that's where my foundry is currently at.
For fairly obvious reasons, my foundry has lived and breathed outside, and two winters and countless rains have finally taken it's toll on the beast. Having the second bucket as a lid has been very useful. It's allowed me to keep larger objects still surrounded by heat, for example:
This used to be a water pump off of a ford IIRC. Giant thing, but the btus beat it into submission eventually. I just kept the burner mostly backed out and it melted into this steel pan I'm keeping for this purpose.
So what now? Where do we go from here? Well, for many of my projects, having the ability to cast and clean my own metal parts will be extremely useful. Johnny-115, The Big X-wing Project, Vera. All of these will be utilizing many metal parts that will be astronomically cheaper if I make them myself. So here's the gig I've been working on for a little bit:
That's right! It's a rusty barrel! Thanks for your time everybody!
I kid, I picked two of these up back when I worked at O'Reilly's. They're 16 gallon steel drums (all of the basic specs can be found here); the plan is to section them every 11.875" and make the bottom 2" removable, unless it's the pictured barrel, in which case the bottom's already mostly missing. My intention is to make the cleaning process easier. Also, I can stack individual sections if I need overhead clearance. I'm going to ditch the plaster and sand mix in favor of a firebrick and ceramic blanket option. so here's the overview:
Four sections per complete unit, as I doubt I will ever need anything larger. I'd like to line the bottom with fire brick, to keep things properly stable, but push come to shove I'll just make a shallow cradle out of ceramic blanket scraps. The cart is actually a section of frame from the power wheelchair I bought for Johnny, along with some sections of an old lawn mower I grabbed to play around with the engine. I've got upgrades for the current wheels coming as soon as I get access to a lathe.
I've got the propane riding there for storage, but ultimately it will not sit there during operation, unless I can make a heat-shield I feel confident about. I'm still ordering materials and trying to keep this kinda budget friendly (Ceramic insulation is not cheap, unless you're Elon Musk.) so this design is subject to some change. The barrel and cart won't, but the burner assembly, along with some of the smaller parts have their design up for review and upgrade.
I still have some old Chop Saw parts to melt down, as well as some misc car parts, and that giant block of water pump. I could probably split the water pump block into pieces, but at the end of the day, It's all going to be cast into plugs. So yeah! fun times! Can't wait to get this puppy up and running! I've already set aside a 12kg crucible for some of these pieces.
I do need to buy some more sand.