I finished welding the lid tonight... the next step is to start forming the mold for the refractory cement:
While I was doing this, the foundry-in-a-fruit-can was pounding out the ingots. I cast 6 ingots tonight from scrap aluminum I had lying around:
I also learned a valuable lesson about molten aluminum on damp concrete ... BOOM! While pouring out the last ingots, a little bit of aluminum dribbled over the side of the ingot mold and pooled on the concrete. I heard the sizzling and got the hell out of there. Sure enough, about 15 seconds later there was a sharp 'crack' and that puddle of aluminum was sprayed all over the place. There's two big chips in the concrete now:
On another note (and I know I've mentioned it before): this stuff is HOT! I brushed the back of my hand lightly against a freshly-poured ingot, for a split second and was instantly burned (yeah yeah I know, gloves ...). There is no 'oh, that's hot, I'd better pull my hand away', it's a right-now damage-is-done-instantly burn. So if you're messing with this stuff, be warned.