Sunday, March 2, 2014

Charcoal Furnace

Yesterday I attempted to set up a charcoal furnace to melt aluminum. I have two brake drums from some huge trucks.  The brake drum is my furnace and I have a huge cast iron pot for my crucible.  I used my air compressor to feed air into the furnace.

 I set the brake drum on a 3 inch pipe cemented to the ground.  There is more pipe in the ground than what is showing.  This puts the top of the furnace about 29 inches high.

The brake drum is resting on a 3/8" steel plate.

In this photo you can see the crucible.  It is a cast iron pot I purchased at a junk shop.  It probably holds a gallon which is huge amount of hot metal.

I put a grill in the bottom hoping to get charcoal under the crucible as well as surrounding it.  I managed to burn 20 pounds of charcoal and melted a garbage bag full of cans.

I managed to dip out this 2.5 ounce blob of aluminum and pour it in my muffin pan mold.  There was quite a bit more metal still in the crucible but I was loosing my heat.

I learned a great deal from this first pass.  I manged this with no cover, no insulation and a poorly controlled air supply.  I am sure I can do better.

Also in my rush I dipped out good metal with the dross.  So I have to work on my techniques as well.

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