Justin Cormier's Charcoal Foundry

With photographic quality pictures! Just click on any image on this page to see what I mean.

The complete foundry setup is pictured here with a crucible filled with scrap aluminum. The crucible consisted of a gallon paint can.

Here is my prized ingot mold. It is constructed of six pieces of angle iron that I welded together in the high school metal shop. Hey, I never did say I was a good welder!

The blower pictured here is a 1 HP electric leaf blower. Note the adjustable intake valve to control the amount of air. This blower can really put out! When opened all the way, we had to take cover! A hairdrier works much better.

A closeup shot of the crucible (paint can). It's filled with some scrap I had laying around. Soda cans, storm door facings, a couple of small ingots, and various other things.

The bottom of the furnace lined with charcoal. Note that there isn't any bottom on this furnace. A couple of boards (non-treated) made a good flat surface for the crucible to rest on.

The crucible in the furnace with some charcoal piled around it to provide some extra heat and stability.

The paint is starting to burn off the cans in this picture. I thought it would produce a some foul smelling smoke but to my suprise it burned very cleanly.

Here's a better shot of the impurities burning off of the scrap.

The furnace is really going at it now! Should have some nice molten aluminum anytime.

Check out the orange flame! Wish I would of took up this hobby a long time ago! Can't wait to have my finished double neck ten string pedal steel guitar with 8 pedals and 5 knee levers!

A nice crucible of shiny molten aluminum. I wonder what it tastes like? Notice anything different in this picture? The paint can crucible failed under the extreme heat and had a hole melted though it. I then constructed this crucible out of some black pipe and a flat plate welded on the bottom.

The two guys in this photo are crazy! I should have came up with a better pouring mechinism than this! The tongs were WAY TOO SMALL for this diameter crucible! I had very little control over the speed of the pour.

Here's Merlin (on the left) and yours truely manning the flat shovel leveling off my precious ingots. muwahahaha!

Here's a nice shot of the ingots after being poured. GET AWAY! THEY'RE MINE! ALL MINE! muwahahaha!
Notes section:
Fire is hot!
  1. The refractory for the furnace consisted of PURE Portland Cement. I did not use a castable refractory or mix one up with fireclay, perlite, etc.
  2. The furnace was constructed of two pieces of sheet metal that were rolled into 10" and 16" diameter circles. The 16" was about 12" tall and the 10" was about 10" tall.
  3. The white powdery substance on the ingot mold was cornstarch. I thought that the ingots would fuse themselves to the mold and sprinkled this on as insurance. All this did was make a murderous scene of the ingots. They looked hideous! I ended up re-melting them and pouring them again without the cornstarch.
  4. For any questions, comments, or remarks on this little project of mine, please send an e-mail with a self-addressed envelope to