How not to Do Backyard Metal Casting

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GreenTwin

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Here is a great example of why you never want to pour molten metal into water, in spite of everything you may see others do on youtube.

You may get away with it, or you may blow yourself up.

At any rate, you are doing the backyard casting hobby a great disfavor by doing dangerous things like this, and showing others how to do equally unsafe things.

If you fall into this crowd, please grow some common sense.

This video is a case study of "don't do's".

1. Don't pick up a crucible with channel locks.
2. Don't wear open shoes that are flamable.
3. Wear long pants that go down over the top of leather boots.
4. Wear a full face shield, and if possible eye protection under the face shield.

Is it really worth blowing up yourself and perhaps others to get a few more youtube views and a few more subscriptions ?

Darwin at work for sure.
This guy came close to "Darwinning" himself.

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minh-thanh

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You may get away with it, or you may blow yourself up.

At any rate, you are doing the backyard casting hobby a great disfavor by doing dangerous things like this, and showing others how to do equally unsafe things.
One problem...he did it on purpose: pouring molten metal into cold water, it was not a mistake in the casting process and...many people "liked" and praised it.
There are many similar videos about electricity, perpetual engine , free electricity, .... and get a lot of "liked" and compliments.
Sometimes I wonder Or maybe I'm too serious ;);)
 
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One problem...he did it on purpose: pouring molten metal into cold water, it was not a mistake in the casting process and...many people "liked" and praised it.
There are many similar videos about electricity, perpetual engine , free electricity, .... and get a lot of "liked" and compliments.
Sometimes I wonder Or maybe I'm too serious ;);)
It did not look like he did it on purpose. The pouring metal part yes, but possibly not the explosion. I would say he was lucky and got away with it rel. unharmed.
This liquid metal, as fascinating as it is, requires caution and care.
This video is a case study of "don't do's".

1. Don't pick up a crucible with channel locks.
2. Don't wear open shoes that are flamable.
3. Wear long pants that go down over the top of leather boots.
4. Wear a full face shield, and if possible eye protection under the face shield.
A colleague was urged to wear full face shield and "Astronaut suit". Another incident some time earlier had made his older colleagues "special picky".
"Full armour" was ordered and so it was followed, making a little fun about it.
Short time (maybe 20min) later he was handling a spoon full of molten magnesium. It exploded in front of the colleagues face, covering him and the face shield.
This face shield became exhibit a) for the instructor to "convince" everybody to take the safety rules serious. "Special picky" became "normal".

Greetings Timo
 

minh-thanh

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It did not look like he did it on purpose.
Greetings Timo

He prepared the bucket, put ice and water in the bucket and he poured the molten metal into the bucket
Yes, he didn't do it on purpose 😂
But I agree with you: he's really lucky .
 

GreenTwin

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I think the guy in the first video was lulled into a false sense of security, since there are numerous videos of people pouring molten metal into water, and declairing "see, its perfectly safe".

It is safe if you are lucky and have never had an explosion.
This guy found out the hard way you should not copy stuff on youtube, just because the other guy did not get hurt.

I do pour iron over concrete. I know others who routinely do the same, without problems.
My flask does usually sit on a piece of plywood, or a sheet metal drip pan, but I have spilled a lot of iron, brass, aluminum, etc. unintentionally on my concrete, and it does not explode.
Apparently some concrete does have the right amount of moisture content and hardness to it to cause it to explode.

And one generally does not spill an entire crucible full of molten metal onto the ground, although I have done exactly that before I perfected my pouring shank crucible retainer mechanism.

Foundry equipment needs to be solidly built.
Your pouring shank should be able to lock the crucible in place in spite of the dimensional differences that are in all crucibles of the same size.
I can lock in my crucible (with my latest design) and turn any crucible of the same crucible number upside down and shake the pouring shank violently, and the crucible will not fall out.


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GreenTwin

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Here is a screencap of the explosion.
You can see what looks like a piece of the tin bucket flying out towards the right.

If a piece of that bucket had hit him in the jugular, it would probably have been all over for him in a few seconds.

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Image174.jpg
 

GreenTwin

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Another thing you should avoid doing is operating a propane or oil-fired furnace inside of a shop.
This guy must have some sort of death wish.
It is a miracle he has not taken himself out with his foundry blunders.
This reminds me of the Ralph Nader line about the Corvair automobile, "Unsafe at any speed".
This guy should not be allowed anywhere near foundry equipment, but unfortunately this is pretty much the norm these days on youtube foundry ingot melting guys, ie: anything goes, and no serious considerations regarding safety to yourself or others nearby.

I have seen one person spill a large crucible of brass right inside their garage.
Talk about a massive fire all of a sudden.

The bigger problem is carbon monoxide.

One guy on a foundry forum describes running his propane furnace in his shed, but he said he had the door wide open in order to make sure he got "plenty of ventilation".
He got a carbon monoxide buildup, and next thing he knew he was dizzy.
He stumbled outside and collapsed in the snow, and laid there for perhaps 30 minutes.
When they got him to the hospital, the doctor said he was the first patient that he had ever seen that had survived an oxygen level that was measured that low.

Be safe.
Think safety in everything you do with a foundry.
Anticipate what may go wrong, and wear lots of safety gear.

This guy is also using an uncoated ceramic blanket furnace lining, so he is also destroying his lungs, in addition to the other stuff he is doing.

.
 
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The bigger problem is carbon monoxide.

One guy on a foundry forum describes running his propane furnace in his shed, but he said he had the door wide open in order to make sure he got "plenty of ventilation".
He got a carbon monoxide buildup, and next thing he knew he was dizzy.
He stumbled outside and collapsed in the snow, and laid there for perhaps 30 minutes.
When they got him to the hospital, the doctor said he was the first patient that he had ever seen that had survived an oxygen level that was measured that low.
GreenTwin is right- carbon monoxide is MUCH more dangerous than most people think. Hemoglobin (the oxygen carrier in our blood) has a much greater affinity to carbon monoxide than it does to oxygen. Once CO binds to hemoglobin it's very difficult to shift it- even with the best medical care you don't always survive carbon monoxide poisoning. Another equally serious aspect- carbon monoxide does not trigger our bodies breathing alarm- only excess carbon dioxide does that. The result is you peacefully slide into unconsciousness without even knowing it.
 
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And I have experienced criticism on this site about being overly cautious in my advice... But perhaps those that are overly cautious would not ride motorcycles where there are other road users, climb mountains, jump off high places with a parachute or hang glider, use guns, etc...?
Hmmm. I ride a motorcycle... Nothing more dangerous according to the (secret unpublished) statistics by the "Office of Safe Standards" (Name adjusted for confidentiality).
Did you know there is a higher percentage of people survive a suicide attempt than motorcyclists who die of non-motorcycle incidents? - Crazy? - Except the motorcyclists are usually enjoying themselves almost all the way to the final few moments.
Foundry accidents are very painful (so I am told!), quite a high incidence, and seem dramatic. Because they are! Nearly all can be avoided, and a large percentage are due to Human error, including a lack of training, or ignoring training. - Just like Motorcycle accidents.
Yet we carry on regardless.
Thanks for advising of the "better" safer way to do foundry work. I find it very useful. Just like my introduction to the "continuously cast copper bar" process in the 1970s... I shook hands with a guy with some horrible scars - he became the safety officer after he recovered from a steam explosion at this plant. His safety glasses saved his eyes, but the skin of his face was badly burned with the molten copper splashes - I saw the scars, and the safety glasses with a thin copper film welded to the glass... One of the best safety lessons I experienced!
K2
 
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GreenTwin is right- carbon monoxide is MUCH more dangerous than most people think. Hemoglobin (the oxygen carrier in our blood) has a much greater affinity to carbon monoxide than it does to oxygen. Once CO binds to hemoglobin it's very difficult to shift it- even with the best medical care you don't always survive carbon monoxide poisoning. Another equally serious aspect- carbon monoxide does not trigger our bodies breathing alarm- only excess carbon dioxide does that. The result is you peacefully slide into unconsciousness without even knowing it.
Yes, nasty. Carbon monoxide poisoning - Wikipedia
If you are in a dangerous concentration all you notice is your CO-Monitor flashing and making "the noise" (provided you have one).
If anyone tells you, that he is able to "sense" it, it is whishful thinking at best.
Just ordered a cheap device, see if it does any alarming :)
CO_Monitor.jpg
 
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minh-thanh

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And I have experienced criticism on this site about being overly cautious in my advice...
K2
Hi K2 !
Each person has a different way of accessing information !!!
I read a lot of your comments about boilers, pressure..
I did not comment because I don't know much about it and haven't built small boilers seriously, but I Thank you for the informations.
 

DaleW

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It's more fun in a 2.5 ton furnace. The copper coils that surround the furnace are water cooled under pressure. When things go wrong the molten metal will penetrate those coils. On a side note water expands approx 1700 times to form steam.
1695207381824.jpeg
 

GreenTwin

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Note to self: Never use water-cooled coils for a furnace.

And I forgot to mention a guy on a casting forum who was trying to figure out how to tune his new siphon-nozzle oil burner.

He was extremely impatient with it, and was basically jerking the controls around.

He ended up launching his furnace lid over the top of his house.
All he could do was criticize siphon-nozzle burners and how terrible they were.
He had no concept of learning how to use his burner, even after we attempted to teach him.

Any powerful tool is dangerous if you have no concept of how it works, or if you are too impatient to learn.

And never play around with an oil burner with your furnace lid closed, especially if you are not up to speed on how to operate an oil burner.

.
 
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ddmckee54

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It's amazing how many people seem to have a death wish and are willing to court disaster in an attempt to get their 15 minutes of fame - and/or a Darwin Award. This guy should rate at least an Honorable Mention in the Darwin awards. He did at least have a leather apron and leather gloves on, not gonna mention his choice of pants, foot-gear, or face protection. I have done absolutely NO metal casting in my life, (Yet) and even I know better that to try it in shorts, tennis shoes, and no face shield.
 
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Foundry men wear special shoes, with the tongue designed so there are NO holes penetration that could permit molten metal splashes to get into the boot to hurt flesh. Welders often say they have had foot burns from a bit of molten slag dropping down into a boot. But foundrymens boots avoid that as well.
Not got any. Wish I had...
K2
 
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Foundry men wear special shoes, with the tongue designed so there are NO holes penetration that could permit molten metal splashes to get into the boot to hurt flesh. Welders often say they have had foot burns from a bit of molten slag dropping down into a boot. But foundrymens boots avoid that as well.
Not got any. Wish I had...
K2
A good number of foundry men, wear "safety flipflops".
I am lucky that I do not have to work under conditions like this.


In contrast:

.... self exploitation in the spare time ... a common practice by many of us ( I try to remind myself to treat myself, as I want to be treated by others )

(nothing I do makes any sense :cool: )
 

GreenTwin

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Contact with molten metal for a few milliseconds is not usually a problem.

Getting molten metal in your shoe or glove is a problem because the contact lasts seconds, and so the damage is done before you can get off your glove or shoe.

I got slag from a cutting torch down my lace-up boots, and that was a deep burn (back in the days before I understood safety).

I also got molten iron splashed down my gloves, and that caused some 3rd degree burns.
I poured molten iron into an ingot mold that I had preheated, but I did not get the mold hot enough, and so the mold did the "POP" thing, and tossed the iron out on my leather jacket, and a bit rolled down into the gloves.



 

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