Handy Howie
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I have been doing some experimenting with the aim of being able to cast some metal components.  I have cut up some old gas cylinders to use as a furnace as shown in the photo.   Air is being blown into the furnace using a hair dryer via the pipe on the side to the cylinder.  Charcoal is being used as fuel.

I have been given a number of handles off some old uPVC windows for my first experiment.  After about 20 minutes of heating, the handles had become a large pool of molten metal.

After removing the slag from the top of the molten metal I poured the metal into a yorkshire pudding tray leaving me with some ingots of clean metal for future use.

I have purchased some sand for casting and now plan to build a frame for making a mould.  I also want to try melting some scrap brass.  I will add some photos and text as progress is made.

I had a small amount of scrap copper wire, so I thought I would have a go at making some brass by adding some zinc from my first experiment above.  The furnace was struggling to melt the copper - I think I may need a larger air flow.  The copper wire went soft, but did not melt.  I added some zinc and was surprised to find that the copper then began to melt.  This video shows the brass being poured.

My first attempt at melting brass.

The molten brass ready to pour.

This video shows the scrap brass just after placing it into the glowing crucible.

This video shows the molten brass read to pour.

One of my home made brass ingots from the yorkshire pudding tray and another after being machined on my lathe.

I have been playing some more with my furnace.  I have used a spare bag of browning plaster to make a insulating liner for the furnace.  I didn’t really expect it to work very well, but I was surprised.   It has survived several burnings so far and keeps the furnace case cool to the touch.

I have also used a spare car heater fan to replace the hair dryer.