Sunday, November 11, 2007

Foundry Work

I built my foundry today. I started with a large metal can, the kind of gift tin that popcorn comes in. I spent about an hour cutting the tuyere hole (the vent that the blower goes in), the vent hole in the lid, and adding additional sheet metal, handles, and support stringers to the lid as well. I then filled the body of the foundry and the lid with a mixture of sand and morter as a simple refractory, then sank a large flower pot into the top as the firing chamber. Everything needs to dry for a week or so. I'm planning to do my first melt on Thanksgiving weekend.

I'll use charcoal and a blow dryer to heat a metal crucible to melt aluminum and brass. I have lots of scrap brass; the bases of the candlesticks that I use for my rayguns. I want to cast the little fiddly bit of brass that forms the tip of the rayguns (I've never found a good source for the raygun tips, always having to rely on found objects) within the bell of the muzzle. I also want to make some rocket belt buckles.