One more try with the old furnace

My furnace is almost completely shot but I figured that I might as well make one more ironcasting attempt with it. I'm not expecting much but if the iron melts and I can pour it then I'll be happy for now. - Aug./10/2007

crucible of cast iron

Here we go again with a new crucible load of iron. These are some chunks from the metal lathe I destroyed. This crucible is the same crucible I used back in 2005 for the brass casting. It's the only ceramic crucible I've ever owned.

The hot furnace interior

Here is inside the furnace after about an hour. I let it go longer than usual to compensate for the poor furnace condition hoping to get some extra heat in the metal. The crucible is hard to see but it's outline is visible in the right side of the interior.

The furnace chamber is so distorted that the crucible won't even stay upright anymore.

skimming the iron

Here I'm using the lawnmower blade to skim the iron. The surface was bubbling like thick caramel. I'm guessing this was the slag. The skimmer revealed nice molten iron beneath it.

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Pouring iron

To the uninitiated this probably looks like a good iron poor, but looks can definitely be deceiving. The iron poured rather thickly and some pieces of slag flowed into the mold with it. Either way it makes for a good photo.

short pour casting

Here is the mini anvil pattern I was trying to cast and the result. Clearly the iron didn't fill the mold. A big part of the problem was that I took so long to pour it since I spent so much time taking photos of the skimming.

cooled furnace interior

Here's the interior of the furnace after things have cooled down. The refractory melted and slumped downward so badly that the furnace chamber is only about 7" diameter in some spots. It is supposed to be 10". The chamber is also 3" shallower than it's supposed to be.

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The damaged lid

The lid is in such poor condition I almost might as well just discard it now. The refractory has burned, dripped and fallen away so severely that the internal (formerly internal) steel support rods are visible almost all the way around! Basically there is only half a lid remaining!

So once again the lesson here is if you want to melt iron build your furnace with refractory rated to 3,000 degrees F.

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Copyright © 2007 by Lionel Oliver II All Rights Reserved.
This site was created Sept. 28, 2000