Melting aluminum is actually very easy to do, which is why it is such a popular metal for beginners in metal casting. Building a foundry that can safely melt aluminum is another matter entirely, thanks to some deliberate contact. [Andy] Built in His new propane furnace.
The safety concerns are not excessive at all, because although aluminum melts at a reasonable temperature in a home store, it is still a liquid metal, and if you give it half the chance, it will find a way to hurt you. [Andy]The design of the lid mainly minimizes this risk through the hands-free design of the lid. Although most furnaces have a lid that requires the user to bring his or her hand close to the turbulent hell inside, or dangerously change the center of mass of the whole thing when opened, this one has a wonderful pedal-operated lid that both lifts and distortion. Freeing your hands to handle the pliers is also a good benefit of the design.
The furnace follows many of the design cues we have seen before, starting with an empty party balloon helium tank. The inner lining is a hydride of ceramic blanket material and refractory cement; another good safety feature is the drainage channel cast to the bottom of the furnace to prevent the crucible from cracking.The stove is also quite big, at least compared to [Andy]The previous DIY device, and has a strong base that contributes to stability-another advantage of the safety fence.
Every time we see a new furnace design, we are eager to start entering the field of metal casting. The barriers to entry are as low as KFC barrels or old fire extinguishers, why not give it a try? Although it is certainly worthwhile to understand the problems that may arise before diving in.