Newbie questions


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Posted by Jeremy on September 03, 1999 at 13:11:02:

Hello all,

Well...I am looking to get into a little casting. My only experience with it before was years ago in a high school shop class where we melted a little aluminum. Here's my current situation/questions.

I am looking to make a furnace for the lower melting point metals, such as aluminum, or copper etc. The thing that concerns me are what building materials to use? For such a furnace that will be coal based and isn't going to see anything above the temps needed to work such metals, will I still need special cement etc., and where do I get such a thing. (local would be the best) If this kind of project can get away with using standard old cement that would really simplify things.

Also, where can I get sand and other materials for casting? Again, is there usually a local source for good material? I am in the Harrisburg and Reading PA area, if that tells anyone anything. I am looking to start off with plain old sand casting for now, but I do want to get the best quality and detail that I can from it, so I'd like to get good materials to start learning what I can do with.

My last question....and it's a semi odd one. Back in shop class, we melted some old soda cans just for something cheap to cast with. Probably not the best thing to cast with, but it worked. Can anyone tell me anything (or where to look) about the exact chemical makeup of beverage cans? Kinda curious as to what alloy/grade etc. it is.

Thanks much,


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