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View Full Version : cupolas,cupolettes,batchmelters ect?



thistle
12-23-2006, 12:54 PM
Has any body built them selves a cupola or a small batch melter?
I am reading CW ammens book casing iron and the cupolette,or batch melter
is looking appealing to me.
I have acouple of projects that i want to cast in iron .

Ian B
12-23-2006, 01:17 PM
Thistle,

I haven't done it, but also look up the books by Steve Chastains on cupola furnaces; lots of practical advice in there.

Ian

Dawai
12-23-2006, 01:51 PM
Most the guys building these things are really inept.. They blow cinders and crap out over the whole area around them. Using 1900's technology.

A better plan would be a dp cell feeding back to a dc or inverter blower drive.

I got one about half scrounged up parts for. Found a local place to buy refractory. That is really important since shipping is more than the purchase price. I'll probably buy the tipping cupola plans since I don't like the idea of pulling bung or using a oxygen lance to burn the pour hole clear. Working by myself, I need to automate it also so I can be clear of all hazards.

thistle
12-23-2006, 02:55 PM
David ,

I was actually thinking of a oversize 3 phase motor and a vfd for the blower,motor could be had for free, and buy the vfd.



I dont mind plugging tap holes bots ect.

I like the batch melter idea , which is a sawn off sawn off cupola with a cover to provide back pressure.

melt 200 pounds of iron and shut down till ready for the next pour.

I could easily run the exhaust to a fan and chimney, I have to be carefull not to draw to much attention as i might get the clean air nazis after me .

thistle
12-23-2006, 06:14 PM
and after a rather boring google search - does any one know of a supplier of refractory near NJ?

PTSideshow
12-23-2006, 06:28 PM
http://www.budgetcastingsupply.com/ casting suppies small amount type
http://ronreil.abana.org/design1.shtml forge/furance pages
http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/forums/index.php IsThe place to locate suppiers in you neighborhood. http://www.sculpture.net/community/index.php
Also this site has a vast knowledge base of casting ect in addition of the sculpture.hese also may be of help http://www.abana.org/ http://www.anvilfire.com/ hope one of these helps :D

wierdscience
12-24-2006, 07:57 PM
As a matter or fact,yes,I and a buddy are building one of Steve's cupola's right now.We started it over two years ago,but got delayed by Katrina.We are at the lining stage as I type.

The refractory had us stumped too,until it dawned on me that a boiler company might have the answer.I called the one here in town and was told come get all the used firebrick I want free(the 3900*) variety.

We have also been fortunate enough to talk to and watch a few pro's in action.

We have learned from them so far three things-

Cut and stacked firebrick lined with refractory mortar is far better than cast refractory as it is repairable by unstacking and restacking replacing the damaged area with new bricks.

You don't need a very large blower,just one that produces a fairly high pressure.Radial fin types are prefered,but an electric leaf blower can be used,so long as you can stand the noise.

Resin bonded sand is the only way to mould,forget green sand and forget oil bonded sand,once you use resin you will never go back.

Hope this helps.

dewat
12-24-2006, 09:28 PM
You might get some good info from this site, I only cast AL for now.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cupolacasting/?yguid=185316854

thistle
12-24-2006, 10:20 PM
As a matter or fact,yes,I and a buddy are building one of Steve's cupola's right now.We started it over two years ago,but got delayed by Katrina.We are at the lining stage as I type.

The refractory had us stumped too,until it dawned on me that a boiler company might have the answer.I called the one here in town and was told come get all the used firebrick I want free(the 3900*) variety.

We have also been fortunate enough to talk to and watch a few pro's in action.

We have learned from them so far three things-

Cut and stacked firebrick lined with refractory mortar is far better than cast refractory as it is repairable by unstacking and restacking replacing the damaged area with new bricks.

You don't need a very large blower,just one that produces a fairly high pressure.Radial fin types are prefered,but an electric leaf blower can be used,so long as you can stand the noise.

Resin bonded sand is the only way to mould,forget green sand and forget oil bonded sand,once you use resin you will never go back.

Hope this helps.


Now,i have built a couple of things using the fire brick from a pottery kiln- this is the light wieght alumina bricks - not i believe what you are using
brick is good- any idea on the type of brick you got manufacturer ect
what lining mortar aswell?

I have a bit of resin bonded sand ,some it is so fine you leave finger printsin the sand , i have good luck with it.

I was actually thinking of investment casting the iron parts i needed to do , with a sand/ cement mix, can be done apparently.

the parts ar quite complicated

what inside diameter is the frnace you are making?

the diagram in CW Ammens book is for a 24inch ID

wierdscience
12-25-2006, 12:24 PM
The firebricks we have I will have to look and see what make they are.They are hard and heavy though.
The mortar I got some from McMaster-Carr and some from the boiler guys,both are rated at 5100*f and are made to bond and skim coat the bricks.I'll see if I can find some info on the stuff I have.

Hopefully we will be cutting and stacking bricks in the furnace next week barring rain.

We are starting "small" and building a 10" bore furnace,Steve claims it will melt 250lbs an hour/75lbs at a tap.Rule of thumb I heard was you need 1,000lbs of sand to pour 250lbs of CI before the bed coke burns down.

We watched a pour on a 10" bore and it took three people working together to pull it off.One to stoke and watch the tryres,one to tap and one to pour all while things like cruciblies were being heated via propane burners.

Ingots may be our first attempt to get the hang of everything before attempting the money shot.

That's our next hurdle,getting a supply of coke.Birmingham,AL is about 250 miles from here,got to find a place to get some and then drive up and get it.

dewat
12-25-2006, 02:54 PM
wierdscience, are you familiar with these folks ? I've heard they are good people to deal with, no direct experience though.

http://www.perrysupply.com/

SJorgensen
12-26-2006, 04:36 AM
There is no way that you can say "get a supply of coke" and NOT end up on some watch list. Please let us know how that trip goes.

Peter S
12-26-2006, 07:00 AM
I just bought a new (2006) book about casting, it seems pretty good:

"The Artful Bodger's Iron Casting Waste Oil Furnace" by Colin Peck. I haven't read it yet, but I think he uses a fan and a simple oil system, no nozzles or air supply needed, smallest part of the oil system is 10mm diameter.

I got my copy from Camden Books.

HTRN
12-26-2006, 07:41 AM
and after a rather boring google search - does any one know of a supplier of refractory near NJ?

McMaster Carr has a place in New Brunswick.


HTRN

thistle
12-26-2006, 08:14 AM
ahh yes coke is going to be a problem,we dont exactly live in an age of innocence.
i can just see some beurocrat somewhere haviing a heart attack when he hears of a shipment of
a ton of coke..........

thistle
12-27-2006, 02:56 PM
further searching on batchmelters gets a lot of nuclear related results - whats that i think i see a black helicopter hovering......

I am over ly worrying , looking at old texts, fire brick is used ,ie slicon sand and fireclay, with a wash of fireclay over the brick, even a ecomendation of fire clay and salt to lightly glaze the brick for the first heats (to cure brick)

after every heat the brick is goin go get eaten up any way, and reapirs needed.
fire clay and sand seem agood way to go.

i doubt i would find a brick to fit whatever steel cylinder i scrounge so i might have to make a moould and make brick sections to fit the shell.

not much info on batch melters.
this is what one would looklike , not really to scale , but alsmost. did some cutting and pasting.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/mudskipper/cupolette.jpg



it is very short in the coke bed dept , the cover provides the back pressure , that would be supplied by the coke and chrge
this would produce a charge of 200 pounds of iron