Carlson Skunk Works

February 10th, 2007

First Sand Casting

Posted by ben in Sandcasting

If you’ve been reading on my other site, I’ve been busy learning about casting aluminum at home. I built a burner which uses propane at high pressure to heat a crucible containing aluminum, and for my first pour, used plaster of paris for the mold. This did not work very well, so I proceeded to move on to sand casting. Today I did my first sand casting, and let me tell you, the results are WONDERFUL!! I am very happy, and excited about the quality of the latest casting. It is still not perfect, but the step forward in switching from plaster of paris to sand was a huge leap.

I’m including some photos here and a couple of videos for posterity.

Sand, drag, and mixing tray Silica sand I???m using for greensand Molding drag

Here you can see me after I’ve mixed up my green sand using approximately 10% bentonite clay and 90% silica sand. I’m starting to ram up the mold here.
Ramming up mold Drag rammed and standing up Mold ready to pour

After pouring, and letting the casting cool, I broke it out of the mold. In this photo it is still very VERY hot, far too hot to pick up, but I couldn’t wait any longer (I had waited about 45 minutes at this point).
First casting using sand

After letting it cool more, and cleaning off the sand, here are some close up photos showing some of the defects in the casting. I’ll be researching what happened, and trying to remedy the problems on the next casting. However, I’m very excited as this casting turned out FAR better than my first!
Close up of casting defects Close up of casting defects Close up of casting defects
Close up of casting defects Close up of casting defects