Ingot trays

Discussion in 'Foundry tools and flasks' started by OMM, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    I’ve seen way too many people using muffin pans. I’ve even seen somebody using a drywall mud pan(for aluminum).

    How do you dump your excessive material?

    A recent post here, got me thinking with cast iron muffin trays. My thinking is there not very stackable and they go back into a bucket.

    So..., Tonight I built some small ingot trays, just out of some leftover U channel. They only have about 21”³ ea. (1 1/4”x 2 1/2” x 7 1/4”). I cut the ends at 5°. And the U-channel walls, have about 20°.

    These might be great for aluminum and copper… but would they be OK for cast-iron too?

    (I only got one of them welded up before I ran out of gas) I hate paying the argon man!:(
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    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
    Jason likes this.
  2. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    You'd be better off to leave the pickling/oxide layer on the interior surfaces. Won't be a problem for aluminum but clean steel increases the chances of copper alloys brazing itself to your ingot tray. Wont be suitable for iron.

    Petee716 likes this.
  3. Petee716

    Petee716 Silver Banner Member

    Right on, especially in the corners or other potential crevice. Aluminum will sneak in there. Interior fillets would be helpful if you're good enough with a welder to pull it off. I'm certainly not. Even with a coating of red rust in them I had to peel the steel muffin pan cups off the bronze. I use petrobond for bronze ingots now.

  4. I've cast a single iron ingot with a rusty mild steel mould: the surface of the iron in contact with the steel was all bubbled as if there was outgassing. The mould had been cooked over the furnace exhaust until it was red hot and the red rust was converted to black oxide beforehand.
  5. Tobho Mott

    Tobho Mott Silver Banner Member

    I turn my baking pans upside down and use them like an ingot mold match plate, and use them to ram up greensand molds for ingots. This one is from my newest thrift store mini loaf pan find:


    No worries about copper ingots brazing themselves into these ingot molds, unless I get lazy and try to pour bronze (or copper as the case may be) in the pans directly...


    Sometimes I'll pour aluminum in them too, seems like there's a lot less getting stuck to the pan with Al... Somewhat rare, but not unheard of. I only do that when I'm out of sand, or too lazy to mull enough more to ram up an ingot mold. When I do that, I use the old one with the big copper ingot still stuck in it, there are 3 empty loaf-holes left in that otherwise pretty useless pan (it got beat up pretty bad trying to get that copper ingot out), and sometimes it's nice to have a few larger (4 to a pan instead of 8) aluminum ingots available...

    If I were a better welder, I have some (I think it's called) C-channel that I might make some ingot molds out of, just to have around for times when pouring into my baking pans seems tempting. I would probably put some draft on the ends of the molds, as a little bit of extra ingot removal insurance.

  6. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    That's a good one Jeff.

  7. Jason

    Jason Gold Banner Member

    Gold Star for a bad ass welding helmet! What ingot trays? :D
    Fasted58 and OMM like this.
  8. rocco

    rocco Silver

    LOL, I didn't even notice that, I think it might be time for me to look into getting a testosterone shot.:rolleyes:
    Jason likes this.
  9. garyhlucas

    garyhlucas Silver

    I did angle iron trays as Kelly suggested, except I used stainless angle. 2” angle 8” long and angled end plates hold 6 of them together and they fit the crucible nicely.
  10. Jason

    Jason Gold Banner Member

    Matt, I was looking at some of my ingots last night and I got to head scratching.... How the hell would I ever clamp these in the vice to stick on the mill?
    Looks like I have to follow your lead now and build some new trays for myself. Now to find some U channel. Off to the scrapper I go, Hope to hell he doesn't have
    any more tools I can't live without.:(

  11. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    I just stop in at my steel supplier now and then and pick things up out of their scrap off cut rack. Just last week I picked up this piece that is 43” long x 1 1/2 × 3 outer dimensions(paid $5).
    I want to be able to stack them perpendicular to each other so the length is very important. The first trays I made, could be stacked three and then three perpendicular on top of. I was thinking stocking them 4 x 4. This would require the length to be 9 1/2”. This would rid of a bigger pour, but would be tougher remelting as there could be 2 inches hanging out of the top of the crucible. So I might stick with the 7 1/8” long and cut up another five. With eight total, it should probably handle any leftover pour. By my estimate, if filled to the brim, each tray should hold almost 21 in.³. About 2 pounds of aluminum, or 85% of my stainless steel crucible.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
  12. Petee716

    Petee716 Silver Banner Member

    I'd go with the shorter option or else weld in a partition so you can snap them in half with a maul as needed. It's hard enough to keep stock that actually fits inside the crucible down below the rim once you start adding it mid-melt. Picture your 9.5" ingot sticking out of the crucible, then add another 2" and then try to get your lid closed. Aside from the softening metals exposure to the cumbustion gases you'll find yourself strapped to the furnace tending your over length ingot and your floor will ultimately suffer, probably sooner than later. As long as you're still in the design stage, I'd keep them shorter.

    OMM and Jason like this.
  13. Jason

    Jason Gold Banner Member

    Pete is right... My furnace is decorated from flying blobs of bronze.
    Remember, "Long and thin may get you, but short and thick does the trick!"
    OMM likes this.
  14. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    Thanks Petee and Jason. On that note, I think I'm going 7 1/8",and make 5 more.
  15. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

    You might consider making a little 2" one for a small ingot to top off the crucible when it's near full.

    I really like having the corncob ingots for my heel starter. I put 5 of them in the bottom of the crucible and the muffins on top. The corncobs melt quick because they're thin.
  16. Jason

    Jason Gold Banner Member

    Not unless you dont mind cutting your ingots in half or thirds. Those breadstick thingamajiggers are long.
  17. Petee716

    Petee716 Silver Banner Member

    If I buy or acquire any more ingot trays for aluminum they'll be the ones Bonz posted in his made some ingots today thread. He said he bought them from cabelas.

  18. rocco

    rocco Silver

    Hey Pete, last week I was at BassPro in NOTL, they had them there in various shapes and sizes, I didn't make note of the prices.
  19. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

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