When He Melted Old Soda Cans I Thought He Was Crazy. But What He Makes Is SO Cool!


This is Grant Thompson’s creation of a home foundry that can melt soda cans into molten aluminum that you can make anything out of. This is dangerous and you need to follow the directions exactly so that you do not get hurt or burn down your garage. You need the metal foundry, charcoal briquettes, heat proof gloves, and steel pans to pour the melted cans into. Steel will work or any other metal that melts at a higher temperature than aluminum. Muffin tins make good molds that make the right sized ingots. The idea here is that you can make a form that only needs polishing if you have a pan or plate that has the right form. The alternative is to make slugs of aluminum that you can then melt, pour, and form into just about anything you want. The foundry is designed to handle one soda can at a time. Place the charcoal evenly at the bottom of the foundry. Use a crucible to hold the cans. You can make a crucible you can use again and again from the bottom of a fire extinguisher cylinder. The crucible needs to be a little longer than a soda can.

Surround the crucible with charcoal. Connect a one inch steel pipe to the foundry for air supply. You need air to make enough heat to melt the cans. Use a hair dryer to blow air into the forge so that you get as high a temperature as possible. Tape the hair dryer to the end of a PVC tube that is connected to the steel tube. You need to be sure the air tube stays at the right angle to prevent the foundry from splitting. Use a propane torch to light the charcoal and make sure all of the charcoal is lit. Turn the hair dryer on low. Place the cover on the forge to concentrate the heat. The cover has a hole in the center that exactly fits a soda can. Use tongs to remove the top of the forge. Wear gloves. The orange color of the crucible tells you that the temperature is right to melt the cans.

Thompson made a small decorated sword that is very shiny and only needs a little dressing up to be ready for display.

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