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Back before we moved to the Quackenbush building, I started working on a small forge with my boys that would melt aluminum cans, based on a design from a Youtube video and feedback from other sources. This evening we finally set it up in the back alley behind the TVCOG. Here are some photos to share the fun:IMG_8108

The forge, a galvanized pail with plaster of paris for the insulation, and a lid made from the same material with 2 U-bolts for handles.

 

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The crucible is placed in the forge, and charcoal surrounds it. Wrapping a few pieces of charcoal with cardboard and lighting that turns out to be an excellent way to get things started.

 

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The first can to be melted in the fires of the forge!

 

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The forge has a nice glow once the charcoal is burning hot. The blow dryer pushing air into the bottom of the forge makes the coals GLOW. The bottom of the crucible shows some of the melted aluminum.

 

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The forge crew wait for the latest additions to melt.

 

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Adding more charcoal to the forge, it goes through fuel quickly!

 

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Once we ran out of cans, we used up small scraps of aluminum from the metal shop!

 

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It’s dark by the time we pour the aluminum into the muffin tin to make ingots.

 

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And now we have aluminum pucks!

Now that we’ve gone through the process once, we’ll likely do it again in the future with some improvements… maybe during a social night!

 

–Tom Tongue, with Bob, Bridget, Ian, Calvin & Erica’s son (whose name escapes me at the moment).