Casting some ingots

I've finally cleared out the scrap aluminum I've been stockpiling in the basement and melted it down (There was a big garbage can full of lawnchair tubing taking up space). Now I have a spot for my soon to be complete homemade lathe!--Feb./28/2002

Here is a bucket of some pieces of scrap I have. Mainly old sprues and pieces of metal I‘ve broken up after heating it to the point of "hot shortness." This picture was taken about halfway through the melting. It used to be a full bucket.

Here’s a bunch of junk in the crucible ready to be reborn as something better.

There wasn‘t much skimming to do since I was melting rather clean pieces. The other metal that I melted was a bunch of lawn chair tubes and they were pretty clean also.

Here’s a nice hot crucible of clean molten aluminum waiting to be poured!

Look at that lovely metal. I think this is a pretty decent action photo.

Look at that aluminum slosh into the mold. This mold has the perfect amount of rust on it for a rather non-stick surface. I pretty much only tack welded it together. I need to put some bigger welds on it because the heat warps the mold and I need to hammer it back to shape every once in awhile.

Here are the nice hot ingots cooling. These are so much nicer than that old scrap... Building this ingot mold was well worth the effort. All it cost was the time it took to cut the pieces and weld them together. I found the angle iron sticking out of a dumpster in the Bronx (NY).

Here’s another look for good measure... Each ingot weighs 2lbs (+/- a couple ounces). They're 9 inches long and I can fill all 3 compartments with a full crucible.

By the way, the angle iron is 2" X 2"

Oh, come on! For pete's sake, my propane is running out. I had to tilt it like this to get the last scrap of gas out the bottle. It costs me about $17.00 to get a refill (what a rip-off!). I gotta get to work on a small oil burner...

Here is a couple hours worth of work, about 24 pounds (10.9 kilos) of ingots.

Here is my latest pile of ingots. About 76 pounds (34.5 kilos) worth. They stack together nicely. I write on all of them so I know what alloy they’re composed of. Either 100% lawn chair tubing, 100% machine alloy, 100% storm doors etc.

I have to be honest... These ingots look so nice to me that I don't want to remelt them! I think I'll make my castings from directly melted scrap and keep the ingot pile as abstract art.

Ingot molds are now available for sale here!


Page contents are copyright © 2002 by Lionel Oliver II
All Rights Reserved.