Welcome to my FlamingFurnace, backyard metal casting blog.

Hi everyone, I mainly focus on metal casting projects using recycled scrap aluminum and other accessories in the pattern creations.
Aluminum is a very versatile material and I would like to promote the awareness of aluminum recycling via different metal casting projects.

Feel free to check my YouTube channel where I provide detailed explanations, tips & tutorials for best backyard aluminum casting methods, homemade foundry equipment & of course the importance of safety when working with molten aluminum.

So remember recycle and Enjoy my blog ;-)

July 21, 2022

Photogrammetry into 3D Print => Into a Solid Aluminum Metal Casting

I have experimented the first time with lost PLA metal casting, I used as always recycled aluminum scrap for this project, I created in the past two 3D printings using photogrammetry method of two statues, since then I created various sizes of the statues 3d printings but always wanted to have them made from a more solid material such as metal.

You are welcome to view my YouTube video of the metal casting creation from start to finish ;-).

Using Photogrammetry Method Transforming Images into a 3D Printed Object

I started by using photogrammetry method taking around 80 images of each of the objects that I planned to turn into metal the main software I worked with was Autodesk ReCap Photo, once the stage of meshing and texturing was complete I did the final touches of removing additional backgrounds and cosmetic fixing's to the object surface. The next step was to upload the files to Ultimaker Cura 3d printing software and test some real 3d prints.

In the images you can see the stages of the Photogrammetry preparation, both for the owl statue and for the crying statue (AKA - The Legend of the Yogi Man - "Orang Malu").

Photogrammetry into 3D Print

Photogrammetry into 3D Print

3D Printing of the 2 Statues for the Lost PLA Metal Casting

I decided to make an experiment with four hollow 3d printed patterns, x2 in 2mm shell thickness and x2 in 1mm shell thickness. I wanted to experiment if there will be any difference in the aluminum casting details and my assumption was correct where the two 2mm aluminum casting failed while the other two in 1mm turned out much more successful, both not perfect but looking great for the first lost PLA test. I also learned that with lost PLA casting its important to extend the 3D printing and add an additional 1cm base to the object as the PLA rise up once the molten aluminum is poured and in my casting I lost 1cm in height vs the original 3D printing.

Photogrammetry into 3D Print

Photogrammetry into 3D Print

Testing x4 3D Printings for Aluminum Metal Casting

I was not sure if the 1mm thickness printing would have turned-out without inner filament support but to my surprise it turned out very well, I have changed the setting in Cura for the thickness of the external shell and 0% infill for all of the four printings.

3D Print

3D Print

Using Oil Bonded Sand for the 3D Print Metal Casting

I used my very old but still usable Petrobond (Oil bonded sand) and buried the four 3D printings in the sand, next I used my mini soldering torch to start the hole at the base where the molten aluminum was to be poured into, the idea was to try and remove some of the PLA hoping it would reduce some of the casting defects as the PLA floats up once the molten aluminum is poured into it.

The Aluminum Metal Casting Experiment - Success and Failure

I used my good old furnace and melted some recycled scarp aluminum, after degassing and removing the impurities I have poured the molten aluminium into the four sand mould cavities. After it cooled down a bit I removed the fresh aluminum castings from the sand and was surprised that my assumption was correct and the 1mm in thickness 3D printing's turned out well while the 2mm thickness failed. In the images you can see the difference before the final aluminum cleanup and light polish.
Aluminum metal casting

aluminum metal casting

 Aluminum Casting Clean Up and Light Polish

I use a saber saw to cut off the extra aluminum base and an angle grinder to clean and flat the base. After I gave the aluminum casting some light clean up and buffing.

The 3D Printing and the Final Aluminum Metal Casting

The final project result below, I will probably try at some point in the future to create a larger metal casting of a 3D printing Yogi Man ;-) and add additional base to fix/compensate of the couple of mm's missing at the bottom of the metal casting.

3D print and aluminum metal casting

3D print and aluminum metal casting

August 14, 2021

 Turning A Cheap Axe into a Viking Style Axe

I just posted a new video where I took an old axe and turned it into a cool looking Viking axe style, I have used first time metal etching in this project, and sand casting to create the new solid aluminum handle. As always all the aluminum used is from recycled old parts, Feel free to check my YouTube video below with all the steps and don't forget to tap on like, subscribe or just leave a comment ;-).

The first step was to create the new Viking axe design, I used basic material's to create the shape such as WD40 metal can, duct tape roll and T-Pex pen pen to mark the lines. I have also removed the old handle easily by drilling the axe head. 

Step 1: designing the Viking axe shape
Making a Viking axe style from a cheap axe/hatchet

Step 2: removing the old cheap handle

Step 3: using and angle grinder cutting the shape of the Viking axe

Once the shape was cut with an angle grinder I did some sanding with a flap disc and sand paper

Step 4: Oil heat treatment of the Viking axe head, for extra strength and durability

Step 5: creating the sand mold and casting the aluminum into a sand mould with the Viking axe head inside. The aluminum casting turned out very well just required some light cleanup ;-).

 Step 6: To create extra support of the axe head to the new casted aluminum handle I used my bench drill, drilling two holes and welding x2 metal pins for extra strength, then cleaned the surface with angle grinder and you could never guess there are 2 pins welded
Making a Viking axe style from a cheap axe/hatchet and aluminum handle casting

After the metal pins welding and cleanup on both sides
Making a Viking axe style from a cheap axe/hatchet

Step 7: I used metal etching with a 12V car battery charger, salt and lemon to create two words in (ancient Paleo (1200BC) Wiki) - one words refers to "Good" and the other word "Evil", I thought its symbolic as an axe can be used as a weapon in times of war and other times just for survival/camping to chop wood. I used electrical tape and Tipp-ex pen to create the words and shapes across the Viking axe head.

Metal etching with basic materials

First look after short etching, this was just my first test next time I might do deeper metal etching

Step 8: After a bit of aluminum polish I used a Paracord to wrap around the axe handle (simple west country whipping) and lastly sharpened the axe blade a bit, and that's it turned out very cool ;-).

Ready to chop some wood

August 18, 2020

Electrolysis Rust Removal Tutorial

In this Electrolysis Rust Removal Tutorial I used an old rusty adjustable spanner just to demonstrate how efficient this method is, absolutely fantastic for home DIY use, work place or any restoration projects. The setting is very basic and takes 5 minutes at a very low cost once you have an old battery charger lying around or even a spare mobile charger. Most important is not to get confused with the Positive (+) and Negative (-) connections ;-). Feel free to check my YouTube channel, Like, Subscribe or drop me a comment below my video.

Feel free to check my other Rust Removal videos on my YouTube channel

Below you can see the before and after results after 1 night of electrolysis de-rusting, the duration depends on the level of rust, for light rust a few hours is more then enough, for heavy rust over night or more might be more suitable. After the electrolysis is done a bath of vinegar is recommended for the de-rusted part, makes it easier to clean all the electrolysis left over residue. The adjustable spanner below was covered with rust over 4 years.

After the de-rusting process is complete I would recommend to cover the part with some lubricating oil, alternatively spray paint it after the cleaning as it will oxidize very quickly if not treated.

December 31, 2019

3D Printing addition to this blog 💥

Wow its been over a year since I last posted on my blog, this year was super busy with my full time job, finishing my last year of psychology in collage and crazy busy family life, time just flies. So I didn't have much time for metal casting this year but I did find some extension to this hobby that I will probably incorporate into my future metal casting. Around Jan' this year I purchased my first 3D printing machine of Creality CR-10S,
 I did some printing this year and I would like to share with you some of the more interesting ones. Majority of my 3D printings I downloaded from Thingiverse web site, remixing some and  others I have created using the fantastic Tinkercad easy to use app for 3D design, electronics and coding. So long story short I am far from being an expert in relation to 3D Printing but I know more then what I knew last year ;-).

My most recent 3D Printing was of a Star Wars Rebel Escort ship (Remix) from the creator Colin 300zxcolin full credit goes to him for sharing the files. I felt ready to try a larger size print and it turned out awesome, I used white and grey filament and will probably spray paint it at some point in the future. On the left you can see the finished print. As a huge Star Wars and Star Trek fan I did some previous space ship prints but nothing compares to the scale of this one, I have replaced and added front swiveling cannons, swiveling missile launchers, turret tower guns (borrowed from the empire death star ㋡), Side missiles, round turrets, internal connections support and rebel alliance legs. The software that I use to scale/slice and prep all STL files is the amazing Cura software.

Another cool 3D print (credit to MakerBot for sharing the files) was a present for my father in law that is a huge fan of Jurassic park and is fighting cancer, the print of a T-Rex skull including the stand, I used a gold filament for the skull and grey for the stand and it turned out very well, the T-Rex looks very well decorating his sitting room now and most important made him happy ;-).

One thing I learned about this print is to make sure that there is a good infill % for small areas such as the T-Rex teeth that I had to super glue 2 of them after as I yanked them off with the support.

The print on the right is my pride and joy as this was the first experiment I did with Photogrammetry, I took 80 photos of a wooden statue - The Legend of the Yogi Man (Orang Malu) also known as “The Weeping Buddha” or “Shy Man Buddha". I had the wooden statue over 10 year in my sitting room and it was perfect opportunity to try the Photogrammetry with a nice round object. I used Autodesk ReCap Photo software to generate the 3D shape from the puzzle of images, when I saw it the first time it was like magic, taking something from the real world and replicating it into a 3D object that can be manipulated in size and other features.

 I experiment with a couple of prints and the best part there is no need for any support for this 3D printing and the final result is really cool, especially with high infill it makes the print feel heavy and chunky when holding it.

In the print below I tested Photogrammetry with another statue and it turned out ok but the details where not as good as the first single Yogi statue, I figure I had to take more images from more angles so the final 3D object is more complete.

I plan to try at some point next year to use some of the 3D plastic printings into metal casting, one of the main advantages of the 3D printing where before it took me hours to make for example a pattern of a sign now I can quickly design and print the pattern.