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Casting Metal Parts
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  tommerr

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Posted: March 06 2009 at 8:13pm | IP Logged Quote tommerr

www.lindsaybks.com    I encourage everyone to get the Lindsay catalog. It is loaded with books on how do do stuff that will spin your mental wheels. I have already started a list for myself.

Enjoy.
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  dcorb

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Posted: March 07 2009 at 9:05am | IP Logged Quote dcorb

tommerr wrote:
www.lindsaybks.com    I encourage everyone to get the Lindsay catalog. It is loaded with books on how do do stuff that will spin your mental wheels. I have already started a list for myself.

Enjoy.

I have a few of these books. Going from memory: Charcoal Foundry, Mill, Gas Forge, Engraving Metals, Vacuum plastic molding, EDM, and a few others.

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  elmacgyver0

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Posted: March 07 2009 at 10:44am | IP Logged Quote elmacgyver0

I love their books!
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  midmichigun

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Posted: March 07 2009 at 11:48am | IP Logged Quote midmichigun

Guys,

I stopped off (finally) at my local lawnmower repair place. I asked for pistons/ engine blocks etc. The guy said a simple NO, its all Friday night pizza money, and didn't want to sell anything. However, he pointed me out to his neighbor. This guy is MACHINING GONE WRONG. He has stacks of used equipment inside and out... For the good stuff he charges ALOT (example: US made antique heavy cast iron everything, hydraulic, totally rebuilt horizontal bandsaw- $1500- guaranteed to last YOUR life).

Anyway, I asked him if he had some scrap ALuminum- he was very hesitant selling any. But I got 10lbs of AL. 6061 T6 fixtures that he was scrapping out.

This last guy didn't want to sell me anything either! He figures that scrap metal will be $$ in a few months and didn't want to loose any money. My last buddy at a tool shop was begging for me to take scraps from him!

Anyways... moving closer to casting some AL. Anyone with success getting materials for your projects?

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  blurrededge

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Posted: November 30 2011 at 9:06am | IP Logged Quote blurrededge

Anything more ever happen with this?

I have been saving the old bumper skeleton of aluminum square tubing from my fathers old nissan maxima just in case I ever find myself needing alot of aluminum to melt down... no idea what kind of AL it is though... probably better than soda cans though

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  Chris42

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Posted: December 04 2011 at 6:18pm | IP Logged Quote Chris42

I do some casting of aluminum on a regular basis. At least weekly for the past 15 weeks. Castings up to 20# on average.

I used to have luck at the local scrapyards. They pay a premium for CLEAN scrap aluminum - i.e., no steel, bearings, rubber, etc in the mix. I think they sell "mixed metal" cheaper. search the yards and find old gas lawnmower engines, old damaged aluminum wheels, etc. Then clean out the mix yourself. Heavy castings are the best (obviously) I have had very little luck with soda cans as they are too dirty and have so much surface area that much of it burns up as oxidation when melting them down.

Sorry if this has been covered earlier - I have jumped to the end of the post and don't know what has/hasn't been covered.

As a college professor that teaches metal work (including casting) I might be able to offer some ideas and suggestions if you are having some problems.

Chris
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  gundoctor

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Posted: December 06 2011 at 7:04am | IP Logged Quote gundoctor

Chris 42 thanks for chiming in. We need your expertise as many of of have not quite gotten to the point of "successful" casting. I see the aluminum wheels in great quantity at the salvage yards I visit. Likewise for pallets of pistons, piles of automatic transmission cases......

For the same price/lb as these they will also sell clean cut-offs and small stuff that comes from the local machine shops. The smaller solid pieces would definitely be more efficient at filling up the crucible.
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  Chris42

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Posted: December 06 2011 at 7:45pm | IP Logged Quote Chris42

Gundoctor - You are right on the mark if given the choice - the cutoffs from solid aluminum bar stock (round, square or whatever) is much easier to handle, store and use. And as you noted it is often much cleaner as well.

I would suggest everyone be careful around tube stock or anything that might be hollow. We had an explosion in the foundry at school, presumably because of a little moisture that got sealed in some hollow piece of aluminum. The full crucible, about 15-16 pounds of aluminum exploded, destroying the crucible and spraying molten aluminum around and up out of the furnace. We were fortunate that no one was nearby at the time.

The lesson learned: all metal that is going to go into a hot crucible gets pre-heated (dried out) on the furnace lid before getting gently put in the crucible.

That said, with some constant attention to being careful, the process is safe, interesting and quite productive.

I have done and seen several hundred pours and have never seen anyone burned by molten metal.
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  Critter

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Posted: December 19 2011 at 4:54am | IP Logged Quote Critter

I'm curious, Gundoctor mentioned aluminum wheels, Aren't some of them made from magnisum? Is there a way to tell the difference?

I'm only asking out of courisity, (And am most likly mistaken about the magnisum) But I'm new to this subject and am seriously considering looking into building a furnace,

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  Chris42

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Posted: December 22 2011 at 11:54am | IP Logged Quote Chris42

1) YES Magnesium (sp?) is a flammable metal and should be avoided at all costs if you want to cast something.

2) I don't know if they make or made car/truck wheels out of it. It is a little more brittle than aluminum, might break instead of bend on impact.

They do make push mower decks out of it. I think Toro is one of the manufacturers that do or did use it. A cast deck is pretty easy to recognize when you compare it to a stamped steel one. If you are really not sure check it with a magnet - stamped steel is obviously magnetic.

As for telling whether you have an aluminum casting or a magnesium one - here is a simple and relatively safe test.

Outside, on a non-flammabe surface (bricks, big flat stone, piece of steel plate on bricks, etc. NOT asphalt pavement) take some filings of the material to be tested. Make a small pile of them, maybe the size of a postage stamp. Take a propane torch and heat the filings, being careful that the torch doesn't blow them away.

If they are aluminum they will, after heating, melt into a shiny silver ball or balls. If it is magnesium it will light and burn brightly. It burns very hot and is not easily extinguished. It also takes some time and heat to get started. They used to use the same stuff in flashbulbs (remember those?)

You DO NOT want to have a crucible full of magnesium light up and burn in your furnace. Trying to put it out with a garden hose (for example) might cause the water to turn instantly to steam and result in a steam explosion with molten, burning magnesium flying everywhere.

If you happen on to some magnesium I would mark it as such and see if the local scrap yard would buy it. Get it AWAY from your aluminum supply.
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