Well, i got my mini foundry going, and i successfully cast aluminum from cans. Though it didn’t quite take shape of the mold, i believe this is because the aluminum wasn’t hot enough to stay molten. However i got a big fat ingot of aluminum, which i am very proud of!
This solid block of aluminum used to be soda cans (And a little bit of aluminum foil to get the melt started). I can melt it again when i need to use it. The good thing about melting cans into ingots, is that when i melt it again i don’t have to deal with as much slag, the caster’s worst enemy. There’s always gonna be a little slag, but not too much. I forgot to take a picture of my furnace in action, but i’ll do it the next time i melt aluminum. The furnace was hot enough, and actually too hot. I used a tin can for food as a crucible, which are usually made from iron (Despite the fact that they’re called tin cans). I use charcoal and air to fire it, and when i run it on full blow the crucible gets red hot very quickly. In fact if i run it on full blow for too long, the bottom of the tin can basically exploded and molten iron splattered inside my furnace. Not very nice. So i just got another can and tried keeping the heat down, and a few tin cans later, i was able to maintain good heat by turning on the blow until it got red hot and then turning it off again. I just have to be very careful. I might make a better multi-use crucible later. Anyway, i wasn’t able to cast the gear, so i need to look into what went wrong.