Thursday, May 22, 2008

Family Fun at the Forge

I suppose this post has no relevancy whatsoever to the Pastoral Ministry. Here is my $7 anvil. It's a chunk of railroad track secured to a stump-log.

It works.

It works well.

Here is the forge that J.C. gave me this past week. We hooked up the shop vac for a blower and it worked very well. I need to figure out a way to shroud the forge from the wind so that we don't loose so much heat.

Here's the set-up for another forge. Water, tools, spent ammo casings in a coffee can, a clay flowerpot in a 3 gallon popcorn tin filled with charcoal and a small steel crucible. The crucible is a toothbrush holder that I found on sale at Wal-Mart.

I put a hole in the popcorn tin and put a pipe in it into which I put the shop vac.

It gets pretty hot in there. This morning we melted Aluminum, that's about 1200 degrees F.

We had fun watching the metal slag out.

I did shut-in visits this afternoon in TR. After supper we went out and melted brass ammo casings. This took a bit more time. And I'm not sure about how toxic the fumes could be from the zinc in the brass, so I kept everyone up-wind.

But we melted the brass.

Here you can see the crucible in the forge, filled with liquid brass, thats about 1600 degrees F.

I think this is waaaayyy cool.

I've had a notion to make gifts for my confirmands by pouring brass in green sand molds. I've had this notion for several years. Now it starts to become a reality.

So here's our aluminum and brass next to the crucible.

I noticed some separation of metals in the brass cast. I think this will add some character to the molds that I might be able to make.

So, this is what you can do with a popcorn tin, a shop vac, a flower pot, a steel pot, some spare aluminum or brass, some charcoal, and a little caution.

Here's the aluminum cast next to the crucible in which it was formed. This is about 2 pounds of aluminum. It could make 3 or four Nativity set decorations for Christmas trees.

Next I'll try some green sand (wet sand) casting of simple forms.

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