Aluminum Foundry

My furnace is based on the Gingery charcoal furnace with the exception that I use a propane burner of my own design rather than charcoal. The furnace lining is made from sand blast sand and fire clay. I use a piece of 3-1/4" diameter pipe with a plate welded to it as the bottom. I coat the inside of the pipe with high temperature kiln wash used in a pottery kiln to reduce the iron contamination. It takes about 25 minutes to melt 3 lbs. of aluminum and 2-1/2" lbs. of propane when the furnace is hot. I use automotive pistons as my aluminum source. Four pistons yield approximately 3 lbs. of aluminum. I heat and pour my molds and then melt and pig out more pistons while the molds are cooling.

From left to right, The furnace in operation with a pig of aluminum and a sprue being preheated before being added to the crucible. A 3-pig mold ready to receive the excess aluminum from the pour. Four molds ready to be poured.



Patterns used in making castings for my Climax locomotive.


Two switch frog molds and a coupler mold ready to be closed and poured. Note the sand core, which has been placed in the coupler mold. Cores are made from sand, linseed oil, and flour.


A completed switch frog and coupler.


Greg my son ramming up a coupler mold. The green sand is a mixture of 91% silica sand, 8% bentonite clay, and 1% wheat flour. This mixture is tempered with water.