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October 30, 2007


Here are a couple of pictures of the furnace operation.


Yep, just wood scraps... are plenty hot enough for this furnace as long as plenty of air is supplied.

The blower I'm using is way more than adequate. Notice that the air supply pipe is not even connected... it is just pointed at the furnace air intake, and yet there is obviously plenty of oxygen getting in there for a clean, hot burn.

I found that I didn't need to build a planned air diverter valve, since I could just control the air by slightly altering the position of the supply hose.

Using wood stacked around the crucible is crude but effective. I end up having to skim a fair amount of ash off the top of the melt, and purists might have something to say about that but it works for me.

I have to add more wood twice before the metal is up to pouring temperature when I'm fireing from a cold furnace.

The product of the above melt. A couple of extruded aluminum window frames and some other small scrap.

I used the angle iron mold at first, but it produces long thin ingots that are a lot taller than my crucible and are difficult to keep them from tipping out of the crucible when re-melting.

These cornbread ingots work better.

Now I regret the amount of acetylene I used to seal up all the joints in the angle iron mold.

This stack was thrown together from stuff in the junk pile. It creates a nice draft when I first light the fire without turning on the blower (which, at that point would just blow the fire out). Once the fire has produced a few coals, the stack is set aside and I turn the blower on.

In the background, down the hill, there is a city park for little league baseball. There is one house between me and the park, so I have to be careful about how much smoke I generate. So far, as long as the fire is well supplied with oxygen, it burns pretty cleanly and I have very little smoke.

About all I have to contend with is the city Yard Nazi who may come around to ensure that my property is "presentable" to the community's taste. He stopped one day because I had firewood "stacked too close to my house". He claimed it was a fire hazard and would attract termites. Idiot. He also ticketed me for not having a license tag on the trailer in the picture, which has not left my yard for over eight years! I can't wait to sell my property and get out of this town.


More to come....