First let me start off by stating that I am very new to aluminum metal casting and while this creation did not come out very good, it was still a learning experience for me.
Aluminum metal casting process
I started out by printing out the logo for my communications flight and then glued it to some scrap MDF board. Then all I had to do was relief carve the patch… This took much longer than expected. I chose MDF because, like aluminum metal casting, I am new to relief carving. This material is easy to carve for beginners because there is no grain to deal with. It also didn’t matter what the final product looked like, because it was only a pattern.
Where my failure started was in the process of making my green sand. Due to me living in Japan, I attempted to substitute fine sand that can be purchased with beach sand. I even double sifted it through a TEA STRAINER!!!! This process took ages to complete and I thought it would suffice. Then for my bentonite clay, I was using kitty litter. This substitute worked decently for me when I first attempted aluminum metal casting in Germany. The only problem was that this time, I accidentally bought non-clumping litter. After adding four pounds of powdered litter to the sand, I realized that it was not sticking together properly. So then I went to the store and got “super clumping” litter and added it to the mix until it was sticking together. I never was able to get the consistency that I wanted from the green sand, but at this point I had put too much time and effort into it that I had to see it through.
Therefore, I pounded out the mold and could not even get it to hold its own shape very well. At this point, I knew failure was inevitable. I decided to pour it as an open mold knowing that I would lose the crispness that I wanted on the edges.
I really enjoy the melting process and in the future (after I’m done moving around the world) I plan on making a good quality waste oil furnace. For now, I have to stick with cheap substitutes that are easy to dispose of. This furnace was fueled by charcoal and constructed out of an old office trashcan. The forced air was provided by my wife’s hair dryer. Finally, my crucible was just a stainless steel ice bucket that I picked up from a local store. By the time the aluminum was molten, everything was cherry red! It is amazing how hot charcoal can get when forced air is added to the equation.
Anyways, Here is how the final creation turned out. Like I said, I know it is crap… but I did learn from it and I kept it anyways. I attached old hard drive magnets to the back and now it sits above my desk at work. I will be trying to make a better version in the future and am thinking about getting some Petrobond shipped over here.
If you are interested in my other creations that I have made, check out my other articles. I also film a lot of them and post them to my YouTube Channel, so go on over and subscribe!