Any practical home handyman can melt metal in the backyard hobby
foundry, all you need is a simple, well-designed melting furnace. A low cost melting furnace can be built form scrap metal and a few bits and pieces
If you’re just beginning your backyard metal casting journey, you will have questions to ask and if you follow the right advice, your learning time will be greatly reduced. The furnace is the most important piece of
equipment for your hobby foundry set up. To avoid any frustration &
disappointment make sure you build it right the first time.
You may have to spend a few dollars to buy high temperature resistant
refractory, which is used to line the furnace walls with, plus a few brass
connectors for the gas feed line, if you are handy with a welder you will
also be able to make your own gas burner. And if you have metal working skills, making many of your own tools and equipment to use in your hobby foundry will be a snap.
Once you have a furnace built, you will need to gather some sand so that you can pour the molten metal into. One of the most common moulding mediums used is green sand, this has long been one of the all time favourites because of its ease of use and predictable results. Green sand will also sit and keep moist for weeks in a plastic garbage bin waiting the next moulding session.
Green sand is the most efficient, low cost way for the backyard
metal caster to make moulds for metal casting. Green sand does
require maintenance and looking after to get the best results, but it
will last for many years for hobby use and can be used over and over
Another easy to use backyard moulding system to use is the silicate,
sand & Co2 Gas system. This really is an easy system for the backyard
worker to use; it is frequently used in trade schools and colleges for foundry practice instructions because of its ease of use, small batches of moulding sand can be quickly made up.
However there is one thing that can be detrimental to using the Co2
system and that is of excess moisture is in the sand, moisture levels above 0.5% will give poor moulding results. There is also a rental cost of the Co2 gas bottles, plus the purchase of gas cylinder regulators required for correct gassing of the sand moulds.
With the right kind of knowledge and know how the backyard
metal caster will soon begin to see some great results, many beginners are quite amazed at what they can achieve once they have learnt the right way to go about backyard metal casting.
Backyard metal casting can be a lot of fun, but you also need to be aware that injuries can easily happen if you are not careful, this is a serious engineering hobby, and you will be dealing with hot metals.