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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
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    USA
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    Default Looking for a cheap beginning electric foundry a bit wider than normal

    I'm just getting into casting. I mostly plan to start melting scrap aluminum, such as cans and whatever I have lying around. I don't want to invest a bunch of money at the moment so I was looking at a small cheap electric foundry. They seem to be plentiful and around $200-$300. One of those cheap Chinese ones like this:
    814wrSqYTpL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

    But I'm guessing because they are cheap and electric, the crucible is tall and thin. They come in various sizes, with the largest being 5kg. But it seems the crucible even for the largest one is not wide enough for an aluminum can. I'm thinking any scrap I use is going to have to be cut and that's going to be a pain for some of the larger scrap. I've seen some foundries that have space for a wider crucible and still 5kg but more expensive and gas. I could build my own but that's time I don't really have so I was hoping to find one. Any recommendations would be appreciated. I'm US based.

  2. #2
    BobL is offline Member: Blue and white apron brigade
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Perth
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    You will have to get used to cutting scrap up anyway. If is solid Al scrap then a wood working table saw with a negative raked toothed blade will be the quickest way to do this but it does generate a lot of swarf - which you can put into the foundry.

    Not sure you should be putting whole cans inside such a small foundry anyway because off the have any liquid inside then KABOOM. That's also why crushing them down is not a good idea. I would at least cut them is half and make sure they were bone dry.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
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    USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    You will have to get used to cutting scrap up anyway. If is solid Al scrap then a wood working table saw with a negative raked toothed blade will be the quickest way to do this but it does generate a lot of swarf - which you can put into the foundry.

    Not sure you should be putting whole cans inside such a small foundry anyway because off the have any liquid inside then KABOOM. That's also why crushing them down is not a good idea. I would at least cut them is half and make sure they were bone dry.
    If it were just soda cans (good tip on the liquid) it wouldn't be as big an issue but I do have other scrap like old disassembled hard drives. I figured I'd probably have to do some cutting anyway but was hoping I could maybe lessen it. I have a habit of getting carried away with my hobbies so first it's getting a foundry, then something to cut, then making a dedicated space, then who knows what else, lol.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Alexandra Vic
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    604

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    Not sure exactly what material HD chassis are cast from, but it's fairly likely that there is a fair range of other materials in the metal. May not be an issue for your needs, but it should be something to be considered.

    I did a few small pours 40+ years ago recycling old scrap from castings etc with very crude gear and found typically about 40% by volume of the melt was semi liquid impurities floating on top of the melt. That's a lot of volume to loose. No doubt there are ways to do it with much better equipment than I was using, and producing better results, but if you don't know what goes into the pot, you probably don't know what will come out.

    Ali cans tend to have printed ink on the outside, sometimes protected by a lacquer, and some form of coating inside as well.
    I used to be an engineer, I'm not an engineer any more, but on the really good days I can remember when I was.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    232

    Default

    Possibly the best bet for decent scrap Al would be automotive engine pistons.
    These could be hacksawed or smashed with a hammer into small pieces.
    A lot of modern Al components out there are pot metal for diecasting and similarly a lot of extrusion isnít that flash either.
    H.
    Jimcracks for the rich and/or wealthy. (aka GKB '88)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Revesby - Sydney Australia
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    54
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    466

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    Quote Originally Posted by malb View Post
    Ali cans tend to have printed ink on the outside, sometimes protected by a lacquer, and some form of coating inside as well.

    For about a decade the inside has been a plastic coated. Not horribly nasty, but I wouldn't breathe near them if burning or smelting

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