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Author Topic: Casting techniques  (Read 1857 times)
bowlerhatman
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« on: November 11, 2009, 07:51:49 am »

Is anyone familiar with microwave(oven) casting? I'm about to start experimenting, and I was wondering if anyone had any tips or tricks.
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JingleJoe
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2009, 04:24:37 pm »

This is severely lacking information, what are you casting? Metal? If so I don't think a microwave will do the trick it's likely to explode and break if you put metal in it.
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Narsil
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2009, 04:47:02 pm »


You can indeed use a microwave as a furnace for metal casting. I woudl say that the most importatnt thing is getting a suitable crucible.

I've never actually done it myself but the basic physics suggests that the most difficult past would be getting the melting process started since the heating efect of microwaves is much less efective on solids than liquids so the cruicble material needs to be something which is reasonably efficient at absorbing microwave energy. I've heard of a combination of magnetite and graphite being used, incorporated into a ceramic shell crucible.
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fciron
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 02:19:43 am »

In the article I read (in Metalsmith magazine maybe) the experimenters were using a crucible they had made themselves, so that it would absorb the microwaves, and had disabled the cooling fan on the microwave. It's not something you can take up on the kitchen counter, nor a way to save time and money.

Melting the metal is really the least of your troubles in casting. You'll still need to know how to make models and molds, so 90% of the casting information on the net will be useful no matter what your heat source is. Try here for a good start: http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/
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bowlerhatman
Deck Hand
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Australia Australia


« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 12:30:18 pm »

I understand the concepts involved in casting, so I do know that melting is the least of my worries, I was given a microwave for the purpose of experimenting with the method though, and from my very short experiments so far, I do need some sort of uber-crucible.
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chainmailleman
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United States United States


« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2009, 04:19:20 am »

http://www.foundry101.com is also a good place for ideas and a different perspective.
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KJ6GOT
bowlerhatman
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2009, 12:29:03 am »

Thanks Chainmailleman, that had some interesting links.
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RPGnerd
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2010, 07:44:28 am »

Why get overcomplicated, get some pewter and use an iron ladle or bullet casting ladle and a propane torch...thats what I use with casting and pewter can be chemically treated to look like silver, copper or brass.

If you need to use a microwave, I'd use a stone crucible but it seems really impractical.

When I cast I use the following
1. Heavy leather welding gloves when holding the mold
2. An iron bullet casting ladle
3. A propane torch
4. A cheap marble tile to put under the mold when pouring.
5. A soapstone two part mold (carve with woodcarving tools or a dremel, x-acto knives work too.
6. Some lead free Pewter (don't use cheap lead, it's really a bad idea), zinc is a poor choice but works for some, US pennies are pretty much zinc and melt easy but pour poorly.

Melt metal with propane torch in ladle and apply heat to mold as well to remove moisture, you will see the moisture leave the stone when the torch hits it. This will prevent "shotgunning" or the metal shooting up burning or killing you.

After the mold is hot, and metal is melted hold the mold together over the marble tile with a gloved hand. Pour metal and allow a minute or two to cool.

Make sure you study the process and be careful before you try.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 07:46:05 am by RPGnerd » Logged
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