October 30, 2007


The tools I came up with...

My grandfather was a plumber. Back then, sewer pipe joints were stuffed with oakum and then melted lead was poured into the oakum to make a seal.

This old cast iron crucible was used for melting lead until I put it to use melting aluminum.

In a former life, this blower assembly was part of a Hoover Steam Vac carpet cleaner. It had sat out in the weather for quite a while before I got to it and the motor and impeller was quite rusty. I had to make new motor brush springs because they had crumbled to rust. Once cleaned up, it literally screams and the air output is similar to a leaf blower.

A lot of plastic had to be cut out of the way for the hose and then I just screwed the motor housing down onto the hose end. Holes were filled up with hot glue and the hose is further retained by baleing wire. What's a backyard project without duct tape and baleing wire?



My father was a golfer.... sort of. I'm not sure he really enjoyed the game, but he was a white collar worker for a large corporation and I think it was more or less a requirement to socialize with the "team."

Anyway, I'm sure he would not mind my finding a new use for his old golf clubs, two of which are now nifty, light weight handles for my crucible hook and skimmer.

The skimmer has a stainless steel plate welded on with lots of 1/8" holes drilled in it.

The hook is just a 16 penny nail welded on, heated red hot and bent to shape with pliers.

The crude crucible tongs will no doubt be improved upon, but they serve for now. Made from slotted channel steel meant to hold shelf brackets, they pivot on a home-made rivet made from a cut off 16 penny nail. The nail head is one flat, and once inserted through the hole, I heated it up and pounded the other end flat.

The tong ends are just mild steel brazed onto the handles and bent around the crucible. The hook at the top just makes it easy to hang up out of the way.


Not great, but they work. Even /I/ am smart enough to wear safety gear when casting metal. The pivot point was chosen to give lots of leverage to hold the not-so-light cast iron crucible full of ferociously hot liquid metal.

You can see here that my ingots made with an angle iron mold are far too long for this small crucible. I have since switched to a cast iron cornbread skillet which makes more friendly shaped ingots.



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