Home Precious Metals

Backyard Metal Foundry - Melts & Pours

LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭
edited May 6, 2020 5:24PM in Precious Metals

Hey y'all,

I tried this last year with limited success but wanted to re-visit this to prove out the concept.

Take a look as I build a charcoal powered foundry / forge and melt some metal!

Spoiler alert we didn't melt any precious metals in this video, but I'm editing another where we get it hot enough to melt them so stay tuned and enjoy!

It's all about what the people want...

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Comments

  • ShadyDaveShadyDave Posts: 2,041 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great video, it had me laughing through the entire thing. Production quality was A+...and also informative.

    What causes the "slag"? Is that from impurities in the metal, is it part of the metal that is just not hot enough to be fully melted or is it something else like like borax?

  • Jinx86Jinx86 Posts: 3,636 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Looks like you had fun doing that. Quite a bit of editing work there too. I may at some point have to make videos of me melting random things, other than just gold and silver scrap.

  • KliaoKliao Posts: 3,429 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice video! Seems like you’ve had lots of fun doing it! Always loved how aluminum looks liquid.... just like it does solid! :):p

    Young Numismatist/collector
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  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭

    @ShadyDave

    The slag, from what I understand is liquid impurities that float to the top and non pure metal created through oxidation. There is also dross which is impure solids.

    Adding Borax to the melt will
    "Clean" the metal through an interesting process that would read like a novel here...

    Glad you enjoyed the video, & thanks for the compliments!

    It's all about what the people want...

  • BarndogBarndog Posts: 20,353 ✭✭✭✭✭

    excellent show! The liquid aluminum reminded me of the Terminator sequels.

  • BaleyBaley Posts: 22,201 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Coolest vid I've seen in a long time! Thanks for posting, very enjoyable

    Liberty: Parent of Science & Industry

  • 1630Boston1630Boston Posts: 8,893 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 24, 2020 5:18AM

    Great presentation @LukeMarshall
    I love the 'bloopers' at the end

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  • 1630Boston1630Boston Posts: 8,893 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Barndog said:
    excellent show! The liquid aluminum reminded me of the Terminator sequels.

    Successful transactions with : MICHAELDIXON, Manorcourtman, Bochiman, bolivarshagnasty, AUandAG, onlyroosies, chumley, Weiss, jdimmick, BAJJERFAN, gene1978, TJM965, Smittys, GRANDAM, JTHawaii, mainejoe

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  • rickoricko Posts: 78,995 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very interesting and informative.... Cheers, RickO

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭

    @Jinx86

    Yeah, would definitely take a look at you melting stuff... those double eagles were cool!

    It's all about what the people want...

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭

    Appreciate the likes Gentleman...

    @1630Boston

    I figured ide add what went wrong, and looking back it adds a touch of humor.

    In real time it was a little frustrating truth be told, but hey $/€%+* happens

    It's all about what the people want...

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 17,006 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Cool video!

  • philographerphilographer Posts: 1,096 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Looks like fun. However, next time wear some work boots. Looks like you’re wearing casual Merrill’s. Safety first!

    Comparison is the thief of all joy.

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭

    @philographer

    You got me, I had my regular sneakers on in the first vid... Well at least during the hot work.

    Steel toes in the second, although looking back the lighter fluid looks kinda close for comfort...

    I'm ditching the channel locks for pick/pour tools I fabricated for the next video as well...

    Appreciate the feedback and glad you liked the video. More to come!

    It's all about what the people want...

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 7, 2020 7:21PM

    After the last video I got a request to make some Pirate coins for a kids treasure hunt. I had fun today trying different pouring techniques to give the coins a bit more of a realistic look, and to avoid the "muffin top"

    While I'm working on another video, here's a sneak peek of the new pick & pour tools I made ( which work great BTW B) )

    It's all about what the people want...

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭

    Took some advice of a forumite and ditched the Chuck's for some steel toe Docs. ( Thanks @philographer )

    Also tossed out the channel locks (my least favorite tool) for some new tools of my own fabrication...

    For those stuck at home take a few minutes to enjoy the latest of my smithing adventures.

    It's all about what the people want...

  • KliaoKliao Posts: 3,429 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice videos. The most ‘fun’ way of removing copper from the other stuff.

    How much copper do you average per TV?

    I’ve herd that there’s mercury in those tubes so be careful with that stuff.

    Young Numismatist/collector
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  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 29, 2020 7:50PM

    @Kliao

    The small TV's have about 1/2 pound with some of the larger ones up to 3 pounds. They have a wire that runs around the tube, most are aluminum but some are copper...and heavy.

    Most E-waste is toxic in some form so gloves and a respirator are good precautions for this stuff... and a good local recycling program.

    Glad you liked the video, I've been having fun with these

    Edit to add: I didn't break all the tubes once I found out I could recycle it whole (and the weight of the steel was miniscule)

    It's all about what the people want...

  • MeltdownMeltdown Posts: 7,324 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for sharing with us all. Very interesting hobby.

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭

    @Kliao said:

    How much copper do you average per TV?

    >

    Just wanted to follow up with my best yeild to date... I found this Sony Wega a block away on the curb this weekend, it was ridiculously heavy. I'm sure it's partly because it had over 6 pounds of copper in it...

    Penny for reference on the thick wire (there was two)

    This is completely stripped down to the Nth degree, something to do whilst social distancing.

    It's all about what the people want...

  • KliaoKliao Posts: 3,429 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow nice. ‘Free’ copper!
    My parents have an old TV that they don’t want. I’m kinda scared on scrapping out the copper because of the toxic stuff inside so it’s just sitting there. I might just have a look at the electronics inside and then toss it...

    Young Numismatist/collector
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  • rickoricko Posts: 78,995 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very interesting videos... Quite the process. I have never tried it...and probably will not. Thanks for showing us, I will continue to follow this thread. Cheers, RickO

  • CoinshowmanCoinshowman Posts: 146 ✭✭✭

    Fun videos, thanks. Why did you mix sand and plaster into the concrete? Would the lid have held up better if you coated the underside with the fireplace coating you used inside the firebox?

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  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2, 2020 11:49AM

    @Coinshowman

    That's just the recipe I followed from what I've seen on the internet, I've seen people use straight concrete, or straight plaster as well, but the end result is usually the same - deterioration.

    I actually did coat the refractory mortar on the underside of the first top but it flaked off quickly making a mess (you can actually see some laying on top the crucible in the opening of the first video)

    I decided to just rebuild the tops untill the concept is completely played out, and then I will move on to the next one...

    It's all about what the people want...

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks @Ricko, stay tuned.. I have a few more ideas in the works not to mention the whole charcoal foundry is just an appetizer to the next course,, hint hint.

    It's all about what the people want...

  • HigashiyamaHigashiyama Posts: 1,478 ✭✭✭

    That’s an amazing video! Informative, fun, great editing, music ... thanks!

    Higashiyama
  • KliaoKliao Posts: 3,429 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice! Now just imagine that the aluminum is silver and the brass is gold >:)

    Young Numismatist/collector
    Visit my eBay store kliao-69
    32 Positive BST transactions with 22 members and counting!

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭

    @Kliao said:
    Nice! Now just imagine that the aluminum is silver and the brass is gold >:)

    Yep, a boy can dream... but I gotta start somewhere, ya know

    I still need to melt all my scrap Sterling, Hmmm I'm already scheming on my next pour, lol.

    It's all about what the people want...

  • KliaoKliao Posts: 3,429 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LukeMarshall said:

    @Kliao said:
    Nice! Now just imagine that the aluminum is silver and the brass is gold >:)

    Yep, a boy can dream... but I gotta start somewhere, ya know

    I still need to melt all my scrap Sterling, Hmmm I'm already scheming on my next pour, lol.

    Did you figure out the math for Britannia silver?

    Young Numismatist/collector
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  • rickoricko Posts: 78,995 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very interesting... That is something I have never done...Though often thought about it. Well, not quite true...back when I was a high school student, they had wood and metal shop classes...and in metals class, we did do a sand casting and aluminum pour.... That was fun. Cheers, RickO

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭

    @Kliao said:

    @LukeMarshall said:

    @Kliao said:
    Nice! Now just imagine that the aluminum is silver and the brass is gold >:)

    Yep, a boy can dream... but I gotta start somewhere, ya know

    I still need to melt all my scrap Sterling, Hmmm I'm already scheming on my next pour, lol.

    Did you figure out the math for Britannia silver?

    (M(R-H))/(1000-R)
    where
    M = The weight of metal on hand (in grams)
    H = The precious metal content of the metal on hand in parts per
    thousand
    R = The precious metal content of the required metal

    I'll admit I had to look up the formula of how much pure .999 to add to Sterling (.925) to bring it to Brittania quality (.958)
    This formula can also be used to raise fineness of coin silver to Sterling, and more...

    I do think it would be cool to make something shaped like the hallmark in .958 fine... ideas ideas

    It's all about what the people want...

  • PedzolaPedzola Posts: 480 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't know if this is practical, but it might be fun to partially melt some silverware into another object, so for example you have a fork sticking out of a silver "loaf" etc.

  • Klif50Klif50 Posts: 370 ✭✭✭

    Back in the old days, when I was much younger, as a HAM radio operator, I used to pick up TVs and radios and other electronics to get parts and tubes and such out of for radio projects. I remember that the old tube TVs packed a whallop if you didn't discharge the stored charge around the tube. From watching you take apart the TVs it appears that there is no stored charge around the tube of the new TVs. Like I said it was a long time ago. I had a big garbage can that I would put the picture tubes in after I robbed everything I needed off of it. The can had a hole that I could stick a steel rod through to pierce the picture tube which would them inplode into much smaller pieces.

    Just sharing the breaking down of old TV sets and while it has little to nothing to do with the great work you are doing converting scrap into really interesting objects, I thought I'd share from the 50s and 60s.

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 22, 2020 1:01PM

    Thanks for Sharing @Klif50

    My earliest memory of electrical shock involved a disposable camera. I was attempting to remove the film after it stopped working but I didn't realize the flash was holding it's charge. Next thing I remember I reeled back and the camera was on the other side of the room!

    As a safe practice I will press the on button while the electronic is not plugged in the release any stored energy.

    I appreciate your support , stay tuned I've got a few more ideas I'm working on, and a whole lotta scrap to do it with!

    It's all about what the people want...

  • Klif50Klif50 Posts: 370 ✭✭✭

    Thanks @LukeMarshall I really like seeing people keep stuff out of the landfill and if they make something neat out of it then so much the better. I can't wait to see your next project. Are you on youtube?

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 23, 2020 12:02AM

    @Klif50 Yeah, I've been posting my scrap and melt journey on a channel I started up recently... You can find me here -

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPTqhdT4-GRU4xdZdaB0T_w

    Originally called LukeSmith for a journey into smithing, I changed the name because there is already a Luke Smith with a ton of videos and I'm not trying to compete with that 😅

    I do have a few more projects I'm working on and will hopefully get something new up soon, feel free to subscribe to get a notification when a new video comes out.

    Cheers

    It's all about what the people want...

  • Klif50Klif50 Posts: 370 ✭✭✭

    @LukeMarshall Thanks for the link. I'm subscribed and will be doing a marathon viewing later this evening. Keep up the great work!
    Have a super Memorial Day (although probably rainy here in Georgia) weekend.

  • Klif50Klif50 Posts: 370 ✭✭✭

    @LukeMarshall Hey, just checking back in to see if you are melting and pouring again. Really enjoyed the conversations here and the videos on youtube. Check you daily there but nothing in a while.

    I hope you are staying safe and healthy and preparing the molds for more pirate bounty.

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭

    @Klif50

    Thanks for that, I appreciate the conversations also. I did post another video turning some of my failed attempt at copper pouring into large successes (literally)

    You might have seen it already though, it's been about a month...

    It's been very rainy here 😣 and I haven't fired up the furnace unfortunately but in the meantime I have been working on another scrapping video where I scrap a bunch of light fixtures - which I'll hopefully complete soon.

    I can't wait to get melting again and have some great ideas I want to explore. Soon.

    It's all about what the people want...

  • Klif50Klif50 Posts: 370 ✭✭✭

    I watched this video on youtube when you first posted it. I watched it again and you did a great job. Can't wait for your next metal sourcing video.

    Take care and stay safe and healthy.

  • AUandAGAUandAG Posts: 22,545 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 1, 2020 9:40PM

    6 x $1.83 = $10.98 worth of copper. Fun but certainly not worth the effort and expense is processing/melting/pouring and such.
    Let's see the scrap gold and sterling melts!!!!!!!!!!
    bob :)

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  • SurfinxHISurfinxHI Posts: 1,754 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hey Luke,

    Cool stuff! I liked the TV video! How long does it take to break one down? Can’t tell in the videos!

    Cheers,
    Surf

    Dead people tell interesting tales.
  • rickoricko Posts: 78,995 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LukeMarshall ....Nice video.... I enjoy watching this and seeing the results. Something I wish I had tried...not likely now though...Keep them coming, I can vicariously experience the process and results... :D Cheers, RickO

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 3, 2020 3:05PM

    @SurfinxHI said:
    Hey Luke,

    Cool stuff! I liked the TV video! How long does it take to break one down? Can’t tell in the videos!

    Cheers,
    Surf

    Thanks @SurfinxHI

    I think I have it down to a science after a few dozen of these things lol!

    I broke them down completely in the beginning (in the video) which would take longer, but have since streamlined the process.

    I guess it takes about 20 minutes start to finish now that I'm not breaking any glass and all the small wires go to the scrap yard as 40% insulated copper. I've got an adjustable wire stripper for the big wire so the most time is consumed on the small 'microscrap' coils which is a lot of smashing and unwinding.

    Recently I've be tossing them in a bucket for later processing (separate microscrap video?)

    Cheers, and thanks for watching
    -Luke

    It's all about what the people want...

  • LongarmLongarm Posts: 89 ✭✭

    Cool thread, I make my own bars too mostly from all the free copper I get. Last year I melted just over 500 lbs. that I sold on Ebay to help a friend for $3500. Here's one of my videos.
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=iKfTBkRiHYg&list=LL5EF9YTM5K4ZRR-ho4-0_6w&index=5&t=91s

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,022 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 10, 2020 1:15PM

    Thanks @Longarm

    How much does one of those bars weigh in your video, about 15lbs? Definitely Some bricks...

    I see you have the Devil Forge propane furnace... I really like the consistency of those... I’ve been playing around with a primitive charcoal furnace, but enjoying the process until I upgrade to LP gas.

    In my opinion, Free Copper is the best Copper, I just finished another video where I get some by scrapping some lights... check it out here...

    Keep melting, and preheat those molds!

    Edit: I had to re-upload the video to youtube cause technical issues (on their end)

    It's all about what the people want...

  • LongarmLongarm Posts: 89 ✭✭

    Haha, nice to meet another scrapper. Since I got my HVAC certification a few years back all I've been scrapping is AC's and I've still got a pile of compressors to clean. That's a nice stripper you have, never seen one like that, I usually just sell the smaller wire.

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