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Intro to shell
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  • Build the shell for a foundry/forge
  • Fill with refractory (wait a week or so for aggregate to set)
  • Plumb the propane hosiery
  • Weld and construct foundry tools (Tongs, pouring ring etc.)
  • Fabricate flasks and make mold construction tools
  • Teach basic (sand) mold making. (We can get as complex as you want on this one, especially if we can use the Makerbot!)
  • Cast some things!

If you are interested join the google group!

TODO List for Casting 101

  • Get "Class" Approved
  • Get approval for Forge/Foundry
  • Round up parts for the refractory casting!
  • Scrounge list:
    • Aluminum! (Not cans, they are mostly plastic)
    • Dust-buster/small blower fan of some variety
    • 2-3 Empty 2-liter soda bottle
    • Old (steel) cupcake tins
  • Steel Bits:
    • ~20ft of 1/4 rod long segments
    • Some 1/4-1/2 inch tube/pipe
    • Large segments of L-channel (2-inch preferable)
    • Some small flat rectangular scraps



  • Day 2 and 3 could be merged
  • Day 4 needs to be at least 1 week after Day 1.

Day 1 - Refractory casting

Today we will assemble the foundry shell, and fill it with refractory mix.

Necessary tools:

  • Something largish to mix refractory in . . . (wheelbarrow?)
  • Hose + Shovel + Trowels
  • Trashbags + Cardboard
  • Misc. welding going on today

Things we will need to build the refractory shell:

  • Fireclay and Bentonite clay - pottery house probably (~20-30 bucks)
  • 1 bag Perlite - Airy Potting soil addative (Not Vulcanite) This will be huge and at least 10x more that we need. Anyone have a garden that needs the rest? (~$10)
  • 1 bag of portland cement (Not concrete!) (~$20)
  • One bag of regular sand (~$10)
  • One bag of fine grit "ashtray" sand (~$10)
  • 1 Small steel barrel/trash can to serve as the outer shell. This should be roughly the size of 4 gallon paint bucket or something slightly larger like a scrap water heater tank, scrap propane tank, medium steel trash can, or similar. Doesn't have to be heavy duty, we are going to fill it with cement and reinforce it significantly. (~$20 or scrap)
  • Burner hole tube - Already at the space.

We are roughly going to follow the directions found here, with several notable alterations to the size and wall-thickness: [1]

Day 2 - Propane Hoisery

This day we will plumb up the propane hosiery for the foundry's burner. All these parts together should be about <$60 bucks

Stuff we need:

  • 2 - Rolls Teflon Tape
  • 2 - #63 drill bit
  • 1 - 1/4inch-ntp "Tee"
  • 1 - 1/4inch-ntp Pressure gauge (0-40PSI or so.)
  • 1 - 1/4inch-ntp Needle valve
  • 5 - 1/4inch-ntp pipe nipples (misc sizes b/t 1/2 to 2inch long)
  • 1 - 1/4inch-ntp pipe nipples (>4in)
  • 1 - 1/4inch-ntp pipe end-cap (>4in)
  • 20ft of double walled, weave reinforced vinyl tubing. 1/4in ID
  • 2 pipe tighter thingys of matched size to tubing

Weird object:

  • 1 Propane nut/adapter thing - Prefereably with 1/4inch npt out, but we can connector it up as necessary. <- This is a bitch to find, and depends on the tank we have. (Prolly via the internet ~$15)

Day 3 - Tool Construction

Today we will make a miscellany of tools that we will need to handle hot metal and make sand molds.

  • ~20ft of 2x4 and 20 ft of 4-6in wide pine panels
  • Steel Bits:
    • ~20ft of 1/4 rod long segments
    • Some 1/4-1/2 inch tube/pipe
    • Large segments of L-channel (2-inch preferable)
    • Some small flat rectangular scraps

Day 4 - Mold Making and Melting!

Using all the tools above, we will learn the basics of green sand mold-making


  • Propane
  • Al scraps


  • Mix greensand
  • Pack Molds
  • Pour Castings