Foundry Furnace – Part 2

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I wasn't quite ready to start in with the grinding and welding this past Monday so I thought I'd ease into the day by adapting these photo-copy station lights I found at the dump to my drill press.  They sure do make hitting that little automatic punch dimple a lot easier!


As I mentioned in the previous post I am using an interpretation of Dave Gingery's Crucible furnace design which has a lift mechanism that elevatates the body of the furnace to provide access to the crucible. This mechanism uses steel screen door rollers running on a track of  angle iron.

A pair of angled links connects the lifting handle to the furnace body guide supports.  I made these links out of components of an old stair-master machine. 

Discarded exercise machines are a wonderful source of steel stock, along with bed frames they are the source of raw material for most of my projects.

You'll note the speaker magnets I sometimes use to hold steel in place while I weld or braze it.  This method works really well for oxy-acetylene welding but the strong magnetic fields totally disrupt the arc on my 120 Amp MIG welder.  This was a rather surprizing discovery for me!  Who knew?

Here's the lifting mechanism in action – next steps are the lid and cement forms and then pouring the refractory!

As you can see below my friend Doc is a step ahead of me with his furnace projetc!  Doc opted to purchase a kit from the fine folks at Lionel Labs whose web site is a great source of backyard metal casting information and lore.  I can't wait to see what Doc does with his!  I know I will be spending most of my time, at least initially, making ingots out of an old RV I skinned so I can recover some of my storage space!


Datamancer's foundry.