The last time that I did any type of casting was 12 years ago in my high school shop class. Ever since then I have been trying to figure out on my own how to accomplish it at home. The wait has finally paid off.
In an attempt to try and make a useful casting, I figure that the first project should be a relatively easy one. With that in mind, I wanted to make a spacer to shorten the throw on my T-5 shifter. I know…I could have machined it out of billet, but what fun would that have been?
First step was to make a mold. I was originally going to make it out of one piece with a 3-4 degree draft angle on the sides. I was then going to face both sides and drill the holes. However, I could not come up with a good way to hold the final casting while I attempt to machine it. So, I made a two piece mold with the parting line in the middle. This allowed me to clamp on the widest part in both set-ups. Before cutting the halves to size, I drilled for dowel pins to align each half.
Since I did not have the recommend talcum power to use as a mold release, I used baby powder. The problem with baby power is that absorbs moisture and clumps up. I didn't really hurt anything in this particular case, but it didn't really seem to help either. Now I know....
i built the furnace several years ago. It is a cut down 55 gallon drum lined with fire brick. There is a 2.5" tube near the bottom that I can force air into using a modified furnace blower. It currently uses charcoal as fuel, Kingsford to be exact. I takes about an hour to melt about 5 pounds of aluminum scrap.
Unfortunaley, I did not get any good pictures of the actual pour. Here is the aftermath...
Ohh, just think of the possibilities!