Last night was a lot of fun ... I mean, the potential for explosions, super hot gasses and molten metal, untried designs and mixes, how good can it get?
The little foundry-in-a-fruit-can came out pretty good. The central cavity was slightly off-centre, but I don't think it's much of an issue. The lid turned out perfectly:
I took the two pieces outside and rigged up my propane torch to point down into the opening I had made and let the torch run for a good 20 minutes. I guess the cement hadn't completely cured as there was a lot of steam coming out for the whole 20 minutes.
There wasn't a lot of propane left in the first bottle, so I had to switch to another one. You can see in this picture that the metal tube guiding the propane torch's flame was getting pretty hot at this point.
Then I decided to toss in some aluminum pieces I had lying around:
And in the end, voila! A small pool of aluminum:
If there was any doubt about how hot this stuff gets when running, here's a shot without the camera's flash:
All-in-all my little foundry-in-a-fruit-can worked well, but I was disappointed in how long it took to get a pool of aluminum, around 1/2 an hour before I could pour it. Even then a small lump of solid aluminum still remained in the container. The container remained 'tolerable' to the touch for the first 10 minutes, but after 1/2 hour, there was no way of touching it, even with gloves, without being burned. I assume the insulating properties of my mix aren't all that bad. Perhaps I just need a bigger torch (yeah, bigger, more flames, louder, that's it!)