View Full Version : Home forging
03-04-2016, 05:08 PM
Started looking at some small home forge projects for scrap aluminium stock to machine on the cheap/free. Anyone have any experience with this, &/or can point us in a good direction for tips etc?
Using the myfordboy from Youtube setup as a basis.
03-04-2016, 06:51 PM
Melting, Smelting, Casting perhaps?
Forging implies the use of hammer and/or press work to form a product.
Nothing wrong with having a play but unless you're getting your gas FOC what's cheap or free about it?
Ron Reill's site has better burner designs.
03-04-2016, 07:27 PM
Yes melt/smelt/cast is what I mean. Sorry for any confusion, everything I've been reading has referred to the whole process as forging so I thought thats the word for the job. We're actually going to have a go at the 'Oliver' burner, as it doesn't need a blower.
I'm quite surprised if no one does this, melting down scrap strikes me as quite the saving for a home workshop. Being an amateur mechanic I've already earmarked a bunch of dead parts that would have gone to the pikeys scrap run that I can now put to good use.
Gas may become a costing, but we have a semi free supply of patio gas, hopefully be fine for aluminium temps.
03-04-2016, 07:54 PM
You can cast parts that can't reasonably be machined, that's a great reason to melt aluminium and other metals, I have a propane fired furnace rated for 2gk of Iron, although it sees more lead/antimony than iron or aluminium.
If it's for parts you are machining you may be better with bought stock where that works for form of the parts, you will not match the tensile strength of commercially manufactured bar or plate stock with home cast and without testing facilities you will not know the exact composition of what you're throwing in the pot or pouring out of it.
You should only need a blower for mains natural gas, none of the burners on Ron Reill's site required blowers and some of the guys involved in propane burner development got furnaces running at temperatures where UV protection for users became necessary.
The main thing is to enjoy and learn but don't expect to end up spending less ;-)
03-04-2016, 09:54 PM
It may be worth thinking about the type of Aluminium you want to forge. As an ex-biker I know forged pistons are softer and expand more than cast pistons. There is less silicon (if any) in a forged piston whereas it is used in cast pistons to reduce expansion - 9-17% depending on application. If I were to reach for some scrap to heat I think I'd look for some rolled plate or extruded bar before I reach for an old casting. The silicon limits the plasticity/elasticity you need in a forging - I think you may be looking at cracking as a problem if there's too much Silicon. I don't know a way of reducing Silicon content in a smelt other than dilution.
There's nothing to stop you from casting some melted extrusions like 6082 to get the shape ingot you can control, and then hammering the heck out of it. I'd love to see what you decide to make though!
03-04-2016, 10:08 PM
NOOO not looking to make parts out of this stuff, just lumps to practice machining with...
I'll have another look at reils though, I thought all his propane systems wanted blowers.
04-04-2016, 01:30 PM
I have cast and machined later aluminum. Its such a crap to machine, compared to proper 6082 or similar that i gave up. Only viable for some super special shapes.
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