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 ;-)

May 17, 2011

Sand Casting Ray Phaser, Solid Aluminum

In this aluminum casting I made a replica of two different water guns. The problem that I had here was that if I tried to open the plastic casting of the water gun I would probably break it. Casting a two half pattern is a very easy process and the finishing is better then using a one piece pattern. My decision was to try creating the sand mould using the gun as one part. The only difference in using a full part is it's more time consuming by carving the sand around pattern half way without braking the sand mould.

Making the pattern without breaking the mould worked well.
This is another tip how to locate the point of sprue and riser in the cope part. There are a few methods such as marking the sand or just measuring the center point. I used two small aluminum tubes placing them into the sprue and riser well and then carefully placing the cope part on top only to create the mark on the cope for the sprue and riser.

After the sand mould was ready I turned on my furnace and in 50 minutes my crucible was full of molten aluminum alloy ready to be poured. I really wanted this casting to turn out well and it did.
I opened the flask after it cooled down and there it was....my first aluminum alloy ray gun.
The ray gun casting had a bit of shrinkage on one side of the handle and that is a result of the runner being too narrow. When casting a chunky part of aluminum it is really recommended to leave a sufficient sized runner and a large sprue and riser to feed the cooling aluminum in the mould cavity. Another tip is to always use a bit extra aluminum, better to much then to little resulting in a ruined casting.

In the image you can see the left over aluminum in both castings turned back into ingots.

I was very happy with the first ray gun casting and I gave it a bit of a cleaning and a light polishing on the buffing wheel.
Another tip: when using a buffing wheel always wear a face shield and hold the aluminum object firmly as I recently discovered how quickly it can fly out of your hands :-)

The next casting I made was of a different ray gun replica. I made this sand casting quickly, something that is not good practice. I also didn't create a well and runner system for the riser so the casting has a few appearance defects but no issue of shrinkage this time.

This time I decided too add a bit of copper color to the ray gun using paint. I think it looks really cool now. ........Time to vaporize someone with my new ray gun.. :-)

May 08, 2011

Sand Casting Aluminum ashtray / bowl

This is a casting I made of a glass ashtray (pattern). In this post I refer to it as a bowl because I am not a smoker. The only small problem was that the inside part of the glass bowl was curved in, so if I would sand mould the glass bowl the way it is the sand mould would break while lifting the cope part, so my solution was to use filler inside the ashtray and smooth the curve the other direction. After the filler was dry I used fine grade sand paper and two coats of clear varnish over it to prevent the sand from sticking. Using glass as a pattern is great because it is very easy to remove it from the sand and the finishing is superb quality. The only thing is while ramming it have to be careful not to break the glass with the rammer.

Here is another small tip: As I've mentioned before always preheat your ingot tray and foundry tools that come into contact with the molten aluminum. Another thing that won't do any harm is to preheat the aluminum scarp or ingots before adding them into the crucible. Molten aluminum is 660C° and higher. Two things can happen if parts are not preheated , one is the safety aspect regarding molten metal splashing out of the crucible and the other is thermal shock or "aluminum freeze". The aluminum in the crucible just turns rock hard and back into a molten state after a few minutes.

The aluminum bowl turned out very well now I just have to think of where to put it : -)