PLA Lost “Wax” Casting

TL;DR: It works, try it.

I finished off the furnace with another couple of pounds of refractory cement, and let it dry for a couple of days, then fired it slowly over a few hours to burn out the rest of the water. Things looked solid, so the next step was to try and cast something. Of course, my first thought was to “forge” some currency, and the results are below:

BTC: Meatspace Edition

It looks like I needed to burn out the PLA for a bit longer, as things bubbled and hissed a bit when I poured in the Metal. The plaster definitely needed more burnout too, since it cracked and released some steam, but overall, the process works. Just be patient with the burnout, and run it for a really long time to make sure you get all the water out (and/or keep your investments thin as you safely can).

Overall: Success! I’ll be doing Aluminum next, casting some 80/20 compatible parts for my new 3d printer design.

Building a Metalcasting Furnace

Yet another busy afternoon; I mixed up some perlite/refractory and started building out a furnace for aluminum casting. Things are going pretty well so far. The 4:1 perlite to refractory mix seems to work OK, although I am sticking closer to 3:1 right now. My refractory cement already has some aggregate in it, so it’s a bit intolerant of the big chunks of perlite. I wish I could add some soap to the mix to make the perlite wet out better.

I also picked up a propane adaptor for a barbecue which just happens to match the size of a cheapass propane torch. This means I can use my cheap propane nozzle to heat the assembly. Turns out that there are standards for these kinds of things. Who knew!

Next up, drilling holes for handles in my cast iron skillet/crucible, then burnout for both the furnace and my 3d printed investment, then finally a test casting in Aluminum. Gonna be a busy week.

Beermaking again!

Finally started to brew again after a hiatus of several years (due to time constraints, not by choice).

This time around I am brewing a 7-ish percent IPA, using ESB and Caravienne malts, and a ludicrous amount of hops. I hope the 1.120 starting gravity will balance out the massive IBU.