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Oh, wow, what a bummer.

 

So weird...  I'd expect a slightly slow pour to maybe affect the casting, but not make the whole melt freeze in the crucible!  How slow were you pouring anyhow?  How much do you trust your pyrometer?  I'm wondering if maybe the melt just wasn't as hot as you thought it was.  I'm out of my depth when it comes to this small stuff though.

 

Might be worth posting about this one on the casting forum to see if the lost wax/vac assist casting gurus there have any insight.  Or maybe Julia will pop in here with some suggestions.

 

Kang

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7 minutes ago, Kang said:

Oh, wow, what a bummer.

 

So weird...  I'd expect a slightly slow pour to maybe affect the casting, but not make the whole melt freeze in the crucible!  How slow were you pouring anyhow?  How much do you trust your pyrometer?  I'm wondering if maybe the melt just wasn't as hot as you thought it was.  I'm out of my depth when it comes to this small stuff though.

 

Might be worth posting about this one on the casting forum to see if the lost wax/vac assist casting gurus there have any insight.  Or maybe Julia will pop in here with some suggestions.

 

Kang

 

The electromelt is new.  I have no way of testing the pyrometer in it, though the bronze melted exactly when it was supposed to.

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Hi,

 

Sorry to hear about the cast gone bad. Have little knowledge about the electromelts, except that I'd like to have one :)

 

Like you said yourself, It looks like the metal was too cold: we usually overheat it a little, because once you're ready to pour and especially with precious metals, at the beginning you tend to be more careful and try to pour slowly, which makes it to cool even more. (By the way, it will become easier as you'll get rid of the idea of pouring silver...it's just the mental image of pouring something expensive that gets on the way. I had that at the beginning and having silver dust at my clothes ended to this atom search and could spent quite some time gathering every little bit I found...now I just pretty much dust my clothes like it's wood dust. Same goes with the casts, now it's just like bronze, but the color is different :D

 

I also like to use long cylinders and long trees for all of the casts, even if there's not too many items to be cast. I'll lose some investment in the process, but the casts turn out better because the poured material gathers speed along the way and the fill rate is much better, because at the end of the tree the velocity forces the material into the small cavities better than anything else.

 

Was the crucible coated before you started to melt the silver? Was it a new one? I've had a cast go nasty, because the crucible had too much sediment from previous casts: the metal didn't melt at all, it remained in this weird gummy state.

 

Anyway, the pink stuff is copper, I normally don't do anything about it. It might look like it's a big portion of the copper content, but it's not. It usually comes off by scrubbing with a brass brush. It would only make a difference if you'd keep on melting the same item over and over again. The copper would eventually burn away.

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Julia said:

Hi,

 

Sorry to hear about the cast gone bad. Have little knowledge about the electromelts, except that I'd like to have one :)

 

Like you said yourself, It looks like the metal was too cold: we usually overheat it a little, because once you're ready to pour and especially with precious metals, at the beginning you tend to be more careful and try to pour slowly, which makes it to cool even more. (By the way, it will become easier as you'll get rid of the idea of pouring silver...it's just the mental image of pouring something expensive that gets on the way. I had that at the beginning and having silver dust at my clothes ended to this atom search and could spent quite some time gathering every little bit I found...now I just pretty much dust my clothes like it's wood dust. Same goes with the casts, now it's just like bronze, but the color is different :D

 

I also like to use long cylinders and long trees for all of the casts, even if there's not too many items to be cast. I'll lose some investment in the process, but the casts turn out better because the poured material gathers speed along the way and the fill rate is much better, because at the end of the tree the velocity forces the material into the small cavities better than anything else.

 

Was the crucible coated before you started to melt the silver? Was it a new one? I've had a cast go nasty, because the crucible had too much sediment from previous casts: the metal didn't melt at all, it remained in this weird gummy state.

 

Anyway, the pink stuff is copper, I normally don't do anything about it. It might look like it's a big portion of the copper content, but it's not. It usually comes off by scrubbing with a brass brush. It would only make a difference if you'd keep on melting the same item over and over again. The copper would eventually burn away.

 

 

 

Thanks Julia.  That's what I needed to hear.

 

Oh, and I misspoke when I called it an Electro-Melt. I couldn't afford the Kerr.  Mine is actually a QuikMelt Tabletop Deluxe (which was about 1/2 the price of the Kerr and got decent reviews):

 

quikmelt_chrome-300x300.jpg

 

My crucibles are new.  This one I reserve for silver and it was my first use of it. It is graphite and looks similar to this:

 

graphite-crucible-250x250.jpg

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Awesome! I can't afford to buy a Kerr either, can only dream and drool ^_^ I've been looking for a used electric melting furnace, but people tend to ask for a same price as what you'd get by ordering brand new from China...

 

Those graphite crucibles don't need to be seasoned, right? I've only heard about tempering to make them last longer.

Do you have something to swirl the melted metal around to make sure it has liquefied completely? Like a charcoal stick or something?

 

~Julia

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28 minutes ago, Julia said:

Awesome! I can't afford to buy a Kerr either, can only dream and drool ^_^ I've been looking for a used electric melting furnace, but people tend to ask for a same price as what you'd get by ordering brand new from China...

 

Those graphite crucibles don't need to be seasoned, right? I've only heard about tempering to make them last longer.

Do you have something to swirl the melted metal around to make sure it has liquefied completely? Like a charcoal stick or something?

 

~Julia

 

I've only heated it up a few times, but so far I really like the QuikMelt.  It have the bronze liquid in about 10 minutes.  I think the silver would have been too, but I think I just started out with too low a temp.

 

According the MFG, you just need to heat them once first, then you should be good.  I use a graphite rod for stirring and skimming; same material as the crucible.

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