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Project Foundry
Status In progress
Contact [[Project Contact::Semafoor, Gori]]
Last Update 2014-11-26


To make a foundry capable of melting reasonably large amounts of metal, more specifically aluminium, brass and bronze. In my wildest dreams also cast iron, but that may not be realistic

Initial design

Gori made a small foundry out of a soup can, a propane blowtorch and some refractory. This works reasonably well and never fails to gather a crowd. It only melts approximately 0.2 l of aluminium, and this is clearly not enough to do any real work.

Second incarnation

First Sketch

Semafoor is gathering materials to build a second, much larger furnace out of a 60 l oil drum. Should look something like this >.

Key points are:

  • Movable on its own wheels because it will be heavy
  • A lid to reduce the heat loss at the top (big problem in the soup can furnace
  • Incorporated device to lift the lid up and to swing it to the side
    • Lid will be mounted on a tube that will slide into a larger tube of the frame
    • Lever + Cam to lift the lid a couple of cm, to be clear of the bottom part of the furnace
    • Same lever will be used to swing the lid sideways
  • about 5 cm of refractory all around. Probably a bit more on the lid for rigidity
  • Electric blower to provide more air for combustion > more fuel > more heat
  • Fuel: Not sure yet. Possiblities are:
    • Coal: Low initial investment. Needs a specific design to get the air at the right places. Dirty operation
    • Propane: moderate initial investment. Relatively expensive to run. Easy to run. Cleanest fuel.
    • Waste oil: Motor oil or vegetable oil. (nearly) free to run. easy to run, quite clean when running. Vegetable oil would be CO2-neutral as well. Most hackable fuel (dedicated fuel system and all)

Literature and references