The Rocketlabs Foundry

A few years ago I made a small coffee can furnace that I melted small amounts of aluminum in tuna fish cans. I recently got back into metalcasting with the intent of making some niche market car parts. I cant just jump into making parts like that, I need practice first. I'm not going to cover much about my furnace because its just like every other furnace on every other foundry page - I tend to only document things out of the ordinary.

Just simple stuff: Charcoal fueled, fireclay/silica sand/ perlite refractory mix in a 5 gallon pail. Random blower w/ a variac to control power. I've been using Coffee cans as cruicibles but real ones are on my shopping list. First castings done in silica/fireclay greensand (sucks) then I bought some Bentonite clay on eBay, 100 times better...

So without further ado here are my current castings, I will try to update with new ones.

This is my cart rims make excellent bases/lids!

This was my first real casting- its a Lost Foam casting because I didnt have any greensand prepared yet.
It was super crude, I honestly expected it to be a failure. The next two shots are the same.

If I had known it would have worked this well I would have picked something better to make.

Around this time I started making some ingots in a greensand mold.

The resulting ingots, about 3/4 lb each. I've since moved on to a muffin tray for my ingot mold.

This is a Lost Foam heart I helped a friend make.

I made an attempt at casting my hand in some of my silica/fireclay greensand. (that mix is really terrible, bentonite is so much better)

I think it came out pretty decent for being more or less an open mold

Very coarse surface though.

I tried a sand casting in the fireclay greensand of a turbo compressor housing. It came out OK, the sand crumbled quite a bit though. The inlet came out remarkably well.

Despite the rough surface plenty of detail came through

I got ahold of some bentonite clay and made some real greensand. This is a rammer I cast. I later re-melted this one and cast a much better one which I am using now.

Cast this in greensand for my little brother. Didnt come out how I wanted but it worked nonetheless.

I had some help at work making a really nice flask, and this is how I tested it out...tremendous detail. A $2 plastic airsoft pistol was used for the pattern. I need to find much finer sand as that is my limiting factor right now.

There was a bit of flash and some shrinkage on the other side but a little cleaning will make it look nice.

This is a much better dagger I cast, as you can see the quality keeps getting better and better. The dagger is about 10" long. The handles are for my cope, as it weighs about 50lbs fully rammed with sand.

These are some wheel spacers I cast for a coworker's 4-wheeler. They came out very well!

The surface finish was actually pretty good.

More pics as I take them!


Contact Me
All Content Copyright © 2004 - 2006 Rocketman