Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Making Ingots and Stinking at It
I just got this nifty graphite ingot mold. Each compartment will hold 5 ounces (or was it 10?) of silver. So after a few trial runs and many more needed, I produced one somewhat useable ingot. I think I need more practice. And oxygen for my torch.
Here's what I learned:
2. Make darn sure that there are not any foreign objects in your scrap before you melt. When I say foreign, I mostly mean steel or iron. Check out the image above. I circled what appears to be a chain popping out of the surface. I actually saw the chain floating around in the molten silver and honestly tried to fish it out with a pick. I'll have to melt this down and try again.
3. Be set up (that is, have enough scrap on hand) to pour more than once. Nothing gets a mold nice and hot than a fresh pour. Use this to your advantage.
4. Weigh out your metal as to have enough to pour a decent sized ingot. I did not do this. The image above shows a so-so pour. If I had more metal rolling around in the crucible, the ingot would have filled nicely to the sides of the mold.
5. Lastly, make sure that your studio is properly exhausted or get a big fan going and open a window. And be warned, your smoke detector will go off. And warn your family that the detector just may go off. Warn them especially if they are all in bed because it's an ugly scene otherwise.