Re: Cupola Furnace Construction

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Posted by Rob Frink on April 02, 1999 at 21:18:01:

In Reply to: Cupola Furnace Construction posted by Paul on March 15, 1999 at 08:41:47:

Paul,

I've recently setup a small "backyard foundry" and had to make some of the decisions that you're talking about. If I may, I'll share some thoughts with you.

John Dach's note about the Marshall page is a good one, I bought the book and I must say that it has plenty of info even if you're not going to build a cupola.

For me....I bailed out of the cupola idea untill I gained some experience with aluminum and brass. The cupola is predominately an iron melting furnace.

I designed and built a natural gas fired crucible furnace for a #8 crucible (8 lbs Al=24 Lbs brass). It'll melt a full crucible of alum in about 30-40 min. This gives me some time to ram up some molds. The best part about the crucible furnace is that it is clean burning..... no smoke or ash.

Also, aluminum melts much lower than brass which is lower than iron. A 24 lb crucible of 2200 F brass is a handful! I can't imagine the same amount of white hot iron. I was told once that: " nobody gets hurt just a little in a foundry"...meaning that accidents can be very severe. I thinks its best to learn founding at lower temps (aluminum) before moving up to brass then iron. That's my opinion.

Next... I found some books in at the library written bt C.W. Ammen that are fantastic resources. He has several titles covering, aluminum, brass, iron, precious metals, and sand casting (moulding).

Well, I hope I've helped.....good luck and stay in touch.

-Rob


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