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How to make an alloy and pour an ingot

If you’re making casting grains, follow these instructions until the alloy is ready to pour
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Step 1a
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Step 1b

Select an ingot mold. You can use a number of different types of ingot molds depending on what kind of ingot you’d like to make: sheet or wire. Shown here are two versatile double-sided models; one side of each ingot makes sheet [1a], and the other side makes wire [1b]. 

Prepare the ingot mold. Lightly apply a bit of liquid bur lubricant or beeswax to lubricate the inside walls of your mold. (You don’t need to lubricate a charcoal block, if that’s what you’re using.) 

Alternatively, if your torch uses a gas that creates soot (such as acetylene), direct the flame at the mold to lightly coat it with soot; like flour on a cake pan, soot can help your ingot to pop out. 

Tip!
TIP: Don’t have an ingot mold? Carve a channel in a charcoal block [1b]. The channel must be wider at the top than at the bottom, or your cooled ingot won’t come out easily.
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Step 2a
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Step 2b

Determine the alloy and weigh the metal(s). Refer to the “Alloy Recipes” chart, to choose the alloy you’ll create. Note the percentage of each metal you’ll need and its melting temperature. The amount of alloy you make is up to you; you don’t need to fill your ingot mold. Using a scale, weigh each metal (in scrap or casting grain form), keeping the metals separate [2].

Tip!
If you’re not sure that your metal is fully melted, carefully jiggle the handle of the pouring crucible. Don’t move the handle too much, or the molten metal could splash you. When all the metal moves easily (like mercury) without any lumps, it’s fully melted.
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Step 3
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Step 4

Melt the first metal. Wear green #5 tinted safety glasses to protect your eyes from the torch’s bright flame. Place the bowl of your pouring crucible on a solid, heat-resistant surface. 
Place the metal with the highest melting temperature in your pouring crucible [3]. Sprinkle a pinch of powdered casting flux on the metal to help keep it clean.

Adjust your torch’s flame to a large, bushy, reducing flame, and bathe the metal in the pouring crucible in flame. Position your torch so the end of the flame’s inner cone just touches the metal; the rest of the flame will curve up along the walls of the crucible’s bowl, heating both the crucible and the metal. 

Keep the flame moving continuously over the metal until the metal fully melts into a liquid. Carefully sprinkle a small amount of flux onto the molten metal.

Add the remaining metals. Once the first metal is fully melted, pull the torch back briefly and add the metal with the second-highest melting temperature to the crucible. Using the torch, melt these two metals together. Once they’ve melted together, repeat with your next metal, if necessary. 

Sprinkle a bit more flux on your metal, and stir the fully molten metal with a carbon stirring rod [4]. (A carbon rod is best, because the molten metal won’t stick to it.) Although carbon is a poor conductor, it will get hot as it contacts the metal; to avoid burns, work quickly and wear heat-protective gloves when stirring.

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Step 5
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Step 6
Warm the ingot mold. Warming the mold will prevent bubbles from forming in the ingot. Pass your torch over the mold, then immediately move the torch back to the crucible to keep the metal molten. (The lubricant in the mold may give off smoke; don’t be alarmed!) Repeat several times in quick succession until the mold is warmed; the metal in the crucible should still be molten. 

Pour the metal into the ingot mold. Lift the crucible and position it over the mouth of the mold. Keep the torch flame trained on the molten metal; unless the metal remains fully heated, it could solidify mid-pour and you won’t achieve a complete ingot. Pour the metal into the ingot mold in one smooth motion [5].

NOTE: I like to sprinkle a little bit of powdered flux on the freshly poured ingot to help prevent oxidation; I use a small copper spoon [6] that I made for this purpose.

Remove and clean the ingot. Allow the ingot and the mold to cool completely, then remove the ingot. Pickle the ingot to remove any leftover flux, and then thoroughly rinse it.
 
Tip!
If the ingot doesn’t come out easily, place the ingot mold in the freezer. A quick cooldown may help contract the metal enough that you can pop out the ingot.
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