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The Backyard Foundry (Workshop Practice Series, No. 25)
A foundry is used to produce castings of metal. You can melt, pour or cast metals both ferrous and non-ferrous. The most common material used is iron, but other metals can include aluminum, copper, tin and zinc.
The main part of a foundry is the furnace. The metal is melted so that it can be poured into molds. The molds are usually made of sand, metal, ceramic or refractory metals. When the metal becomes solid it is then cast into shape. That is why it is called metal casting.
Metal castings are produced in a foundry where metals are cast into shapes by melting them in a furnace. The furnace has to be specialized to handle the hot metals. A refractory metal that can handle the extreme heat usually lines the furnace.
When using an aluminum alloy a degassing procedure is needed to reduce the hydrogen in the metal. Without this degassing the cast will deteriorate from the hydrogen gas.
The mold is usually made of a material that can withstand the metal to be poured. In sand casting a green or resin sand mold is used. A mixture of ceramic and sand is used for the mold for Lost foam casting. While Investment casting uses a mixture of ceramic and sand for a mold. Plaster molds are used for Plaster casting and metal molds for Die-casting. In V process casting a vacuum is used with plastic to form sand molds.
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Metal Casting has two primary divisions. They are Expendable and non-expendable. Expendable is when the mold is non reusable and has to be broken to remove the metal. Non Expendable is when the mold does not need to be broken to remove the metal material and can be used repeatedly.
A Tall Tale:
I have a friend who is into metal casting. One day while visiting I noticed a metal cast lounge chair sitting in his office room. Asking if I could sit in it I got permission and tried it out. It felt pretty smooth but a little hard. It wasn't a chair that could be sat in for long periods of time.
I asked my friend why he made it, and he laughed and said he wanted to just for kicks. My friend was quite the artist and planned to donate it to a metal casting museum. It was amazing the work he put in to it just for kicks.
I would enjoy using this lounge chair for a joke on someone. Maybe bring it to a barbecue or something and see who would try to sit in it. However it would be quite heavy and my friend would probably not go with the joke. The chair could get scratched or something and not be fit for the museum. But it was fun thinking about the possibilities.
On this page you will find all the materials books and supplies you need for doing these projects at home, your backyard or elsewhere. Information, Books and Supplies. English gold metals and more.
Do you need supplies for your metal casting hobby? If so this is a great place to start. My husband cast his own lead pullets by melting the lead on a camp stove and then he poured the hot metal into some bullet casings for his black powder revolver. He would take the revolver out and shoot cans and loved these old firearms.
The photo here shows a metal Rubikís Cube that someone made for fun. It really turns like the famous toy and all it needs is different colors to make it a real puzzle.
The material used is white bronze and it was buried for a year inside a wood box. The box was filled with dirt, salts and some acids. To get the recipe you can click through this link and see all the steps taken.
This photo shows a couple of guys making something in their own backyard. Notice the tools from cat litter to wooden molds. You donít need a lot of fancy equipment to make something special and can because quite good at it.
Once you are skillful at this craft you can make a lot of useful items for your own self or for others. This can also be something that could give you a little added change from time to time.
There are two divisions of metal casting. Expendable is one and means that the mold you use can not be used again. You have to break the mold to get the product out. Now you can understand the saying when someone tells you that you broke the mold. This mean there is only one of you and no one is like you.
The other division is non expendable. And you probably have already guessed what this means and you are right. This describes a mold that can be used over again many times.
I thought this photo (photo of a metal lawn chair) was pretty funny. Imagine taking on nap on this hard lounge chair. Someone spent a lot of time making this and was quite an artist. The metal is shaped giving it the appearance of being soft. You would never want to sit down hard on it or else you might get a unpleasant surprise.
It would be fun to put this out in a public lobby and see the surprised looks when someone tried to sit on it. I would love to see a video of that.
On this page a person can find equipment and supplies for Metal Casting. If you don't see what you are looking for just click through on one of the ads and you will find more choices.
Dear Metal Casting Fans,
I am writing to you in behalf of your Heavenly Father. He is seeking you like a lost sheep. You remember the Bible story? It is about a shepherd who has 100 sheep. But when he brings the sheep home one night, one is missing. He then leaves the 99 sheep and goes out into the wilderness until he finds that lost sheep.
In this parable the shepherd goes out to search for the one lost sheep-the very least that can be numbered. So if there had been but one lost soul, Christ would have died for that one. To read more click Lost Sheep