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Melting Furnace

I am planning to purchase a melting furnace. For experts, which type do you prefer? Tilt and pour or the ones where you remove the graphite crucible to pour prior to casting.
I primarily do vacuum casting in sterling and plan to use it for this, although I have experience with torch melting and centrifugal casting machines as well.

I do vacuum casting with jewellery equipment and cast bronze. I use a custom ordered electric furnace from Mellen rated to 1250C. Bronze melts at a higher temperature than gold or silver. Unfortunately the Electromelts and other furnaces designed for jewellery are only rated at a maximum 1120C. My bronze melts at 1070C and this is just too close to rated maximum for most Electromelts.

Electric elements wear out at high temperatures. It’s not linear, the closer you get to the maximum rating the quicker the elements fail. At some point in time you will need a furnace rebuild. I have no experience with the Electromelt to know how long they last before they need a rebuild. Someone here might have more experience.

My furnace was designed to take the Rio 3kg graphite crucible. It is a reasonable cost. Be careful with your furnace selection as some graphite crucibles are quite expensive. Graphite burns every time you use the furnace. I get about 10 uses from this crucible before it is too thin to use.

I lift the crucible out to pour. It takes a bit of practice to learn how to lift the crucible straight up without tilting. In my case the Mellen furnace has the temperature probe just inside the wall and if the crucible is tilted when lifted it can touch the sides of the furnace and perhaps damage the probe.

Casting is fun. Enjoy yourself, but be safe. Use protective equipment.

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