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Thread: metal question

  1. #1
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    May 2004
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    Hampton,Ga.
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    Default metal question

    Hello I have a question that I hope someone can answer. While poking around local scrap yard today, noticed lot of cast aluminum ingots, said to be melted down trans. cases. the size is such that I could handle one on my hor. saw & milldrill. Anybody know if this would be suitable for milling/turning fixtures, parts for my use nothing to be sold? Thanks for any help. chiphead42

    chiphead42

  2. #2
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    Regina and Assiniboia, Saskatchewan
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    I'd take that stuff in a heartbeat...likely 356 alu. As long as the castings look relatively clean and there isn't too much porosity....
    Russ

  3. #3
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    Utah
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    chiphead42,

    Where I live the local scrap yard throws all "aluminum" into a truck and takes it to someone that melts it down into ingots for them. These ingots contain everything from beverage cans, to extrusions, to transmissions. For curiosity, I asked one of the workers there to band saw one in half for me - it had holes, bits of slag, and was generally not fit to make anything from it.

    You might have them cut one for you and see what you think but in my case it was far less expensive to get a piece of known aluminum in roughly the shape I needed.

    Something you might consider is making your own melting furnace. It can be made very easily to use charcoal as the fuel. That way the 'neighbors' will not complain about the smell - they'll just think you are having a BBQ. If you do your own casting, I found that the best 'raw material' to use is something that was cast in the first place. Melting things like extrusions and soda cans make casting a real pain!
    Last edited by Mike Burdick; 09-11-2006 at 05:22 PM.

  4. #4
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    Spokane, Wa
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    Someone I know bought a special furnace for reclaiming aluminum from scrap and junk. It was propane fired and did a very nice job of seperating it all. Had a rotating ingot casting thing in the front that worked really well.

    You then could, when cool, hold in your hand, clean scrap and junk.
    Gene

  5. #5
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    Ummm...yup..Mike brings up a good point. I was thinking they where made from tranny cases exclusively.

  6. #6
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    Cast aluminum has a lot of silicon in it, up to 10-15%. It will eat tools and blades.

  7. #7
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    Evan, even if you're just re-melting pistons or whatever? If you can re-melt pistons and get AL castings that machine well, where and why does all the SI come from? I've machined AL castings before and they were fine to work with??

  8. #8
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    It all depends on the type of casting alloy. Some are fairly low silicon but some are really high. The silicon makes the aluminum flow better and makes it less brittle at high temperature.

    Regardless, it may machine just fine but it will take the edge off the tools pretty quick. It also won't anodize well if at all.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Hampton,Ga.
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    Default metal question

    Thanks for the advice fellows. Being that I'm a curious sort I will go back tomorrow, get one & chop it up, see what it looks like. chiphead42

    chiphead42

  10. #10

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    If your interested in melting your ingots, you can build a simple furnace.
    Last edited by JPR; 09-11-2006 at 04:40 PM.
    John

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