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Backyard Iron Casting

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PatJ11/01/2021 08:44:40
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132 forum posts
104 photos

I tried casting 356 aluminum, brass, boat shaft bronze, and gray iron to make steam engines.

The aluminum was ok if tempered to an approximate T6 level, but lacked much mass.

The brass and bronze generated a lot of zinc fumes, and I had to wear a powered respirator. The castings did not turn out well.

I finally tried casting gray iron, and after some experimentation, I got that figured out.

This was my first iron pour.

I had no idea what I was doing at the time, and safety was a bit lax with the laced shoes and such.

I have come a long way with safety and casting techniques since then.

I recently switched my videos to Vimeo, and so I am not positive the link will work.
 
This was a number of years ago (2012 to be exact), and my driveway no longer looks quite like that junkyard in the video.
 
 
 
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Edited By PatJ on 11/01/2021 08:46:37

Edited By PatJ on 11/01/2021 08:47:03

Edited By PatJ on 11/01/2021 08:48:38

Edited By PatJ on 11/01/2021 08:49:48

Edited By PatJ on 11/01/2021 08:51:14

Ady111/01/2021 09:46:19
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4285 forum posts
641 photos

Your iron casting looks pretty darned good

Don't forget, this is alchemy and there are a lot of secrets

Dan Calkin took his aluminium casting techniques to the grave

China tried to do backyard metal in the 60s cultural revolution and wound up with forest decimation and millions of tons of poor quality pig iron, base metal is usually best done on a large scale with very quantifiable ingredients

foundrywork is a highly skilled subject

GL

Edited By Ady1 on 11/01/2021 09:55:17

PatJ11/01/2021 17:11:35
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132 forum posts
104 photos

Thanks, I appreciate the kind words.

I contemplated making iron castings for many years, but never considered it achievable in a hobby setting.

In 2012 I discovered that gray iron can be cast on a hobby level.

It took me a few years to perfect the method, but I now get consistent results in gray iron without hard spots, inclusions, or other defects.

Good information about how to cast gray iron is very difficult to find anywhere, especially how to do it with an oil burner. I could never find the coke that is required to run a cupola.

So I have tried to leave a paper trail about how to cast gray iron and get good results every time.

Gray iron makes for some really nice model engine parts, and I can control the quality of the castings and the patterns, so if they are not right, I have nobody but myself to blame.

I think I posted these photos previously.

r2-img_5030.jpg

rimg_5050.jpg

rimg_5088.jpg

rimg_7826.jpg

noel shelley11/01/2021 17:39:23
483 forum posts
14 photos

Well done ! That flywheel looks really good. If you want some info on doing brass PM me. Noel.

PatJ11/01/2021 18:42:09
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132 forum posts
104 photos
Posted by noel shelley on 11/01/2021 17:39:23:

Well done ! That flywheel looks really good. If you want some info on doing brass PM me. Noel.

Thanks. Yes I would like some info on casting brass. It would be nice to be able to cast that material, but there are some tricks to use, and I don't know what those tricks are.

.

Martyn Edwards 111/01/2021 18:48:00
24 forum posts
59 photos

In a past life I used to do a fair amount of Aluminum casting and found that car pistons from the scrap yard often produced the best results.

DMB11/01/2021 19:03:42
1082 forum posts

Cover the surface of molten alloys with charcoal to prevent evaporation of the zinc. Scraper to get rid of it just b4 pouring. Lid on crucible. I think there is a least one alternative to charcoal, could be limestone.

HTH

PatJ11/01/2021 19:38:57
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132 forum posts
104 photos
Posted by DMB on 11/01/2021 19:03:42:

Cover the surface of molten alloys with charcoal to prevent evaporation of the zinc. Scraper to get rid of it just b4 pouring. Lid on crucible. I think there is a least one alternative to charcoal, could be limestone.

HTH

Great information.

Thanks much.

.

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