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McShane Bell Foundry oil fired furnace

Posted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:54 am
by Loco112
Have you guys seen the "Dirty Jobs" episode #28 that featured the "McShane Bell Foundry" up in Maryland?

They had an oil fired furnace that melted a large quantity of Silicon Bronze to over 2100 degrees and did it quickly using "oil". The flame was really clean and clear with no visible smoke, only heat waves. They said that the temp in the furnace would get close to 3000 degrees in about an hour.

They used horse manure to bind the green sand together, the employee said that it was 3-parts fire sand from New Jersey and 1-part Horse manure. They used about a 1/8" screen to screen out the straw and it had a lot of that straw and grass stems in it so maybe it was just regular "run of the trail" horse manure.

HUM.... Horse manure, sand at about $12 per ton, waste oil... The process sounds really inexpensive to me!

It seemed to me that the temps were high enough to do iron just as well. What am I not seeing. If it was that simple it seems to me that everyone (of us anyway) would have one of these in a shed behind out shops and we'd all have inexpensive iron/brass/bronze casting laying all over the place.

Tell me about that furnace?

I figured the cost of their large 1250# bell at $25 per pound, yikes!

Re: McShane Bell Foundry oil fired furnace

Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:29 pm
by Doug_Edwards

Some foundry work can be done on a shoe string. One element that seems to be a constant however, is the time required. I enjoy casting bronze in sand, but doing your own foundry work can be a real time sponge, even though a delightful time sponge.



Re: McShane Bell Foundry oil fired furnace

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:19 pm
by Loco112
"time sponges" , yep everything in the metal hobbies (especially livesteam and diesels) are.

Time is also the one thing I have the least of right now (but that will change later) so I'm always looking for a simpler solutions and exploring ideas.

That furnace in the Dirty Jobs episode looked terrific, I just wonder about its iron capabilities. I'm going to contact McShane and ask them about their furnace when I get some time during the day.

I'm making contacts with the local home machinst group and the local do-it-yourself forundry guys, so maybe I can start a once a month meeting at my shop and get some help from those guys. That might help everyones individual projects.