This is our second try to melt aluminum cans in our (unfinished) home foundry (the making of which will be in a different post). This run was semi-successful as compared to the first one. In our first try, we had a hard time getting our coals burning as we used a really cheap brand and we did not yet have a propane torch.
As mentioned, we haven’t finished our mini-foundry yet. We still have to cut our crucible to a smaller size and mold a cover lid to keep the heat in. Our design was inspired by The King of Random. We used a galvanized steel pail lined with a bucket mold mix of plaster of paris and play sand. Even without a lid and with a huge crucible, we managed to get the coals burning good enough to melt the beer cans (which we stole by the way from a recycling facility). However, we were unable to mold the ingots properly as the metal cooled quickly while pouring (because the crucible was huge, it cooled quickly because of the big surface area).
TOTAL PROJECT COST: Getting the foundry running to melt the cans cost a total of $89.89 and that included the propane blow torch kit for $53.94, 2 packs of charcoal briquettes for $6.00, the hair blower/dryer for $19.95, and the thongs and metal cupcake pans for $10.00.
MATERIALS: We used an old upcycled fire extinguisher as crucible for the foundry. We got our coals burning using a propane blow torch while using a hair blower to feed the fire. The cans we melted were stolen from a recycling facility (the fun bit of the project). All the other materials used to handle the crucible and to mold the ingots (thongs, metal molds) were all thrifted from Vinnie’s.
We are pretty much excited to perfect the whole process and finally mold a huge batch of ingots and move on to metal casting. Woo woo!