Any blast furnaces in Silicon Valley?

Im looking to try my hand at casting some iron pulleys and flywheels, however i cant build a small iron foundry at my residence. Neighbors
just would not take kindly to a Cupola furnace in my back yard, and the officials of The Peoples Republic of Santa Cruz would probably require a six month permit process with full environmental study. : ) Does anyone in this newsgroup know of someone within about 100 miles of Silicon Valley, (San Jose, CA), that has one? I would be willing to help with the operating cost, and do some of the grunt labor. None of the parts I would like to make would weigh more than five or six pounds each.
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Mike

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    --FWIW they've got first rate facilities just up the road at the Crucible in Alameda. www.thecrucible.org
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Hacking the Trailing Edge! : the candidates are jerks?
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Thanks Ed. I looked at them, but their casting facilities description is for aluminum and brass and bronze only. No mention of iron melting capabilities.
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Mike

Mike Swift
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Don't limit your search to folks with a cupola. They're not environmentally friendly, as you mentioned, so foundries have switched to melting with induction furnaces. They make no noise, and melt without smoke, assuming the feed is clean. While an induction furnace isn't exactly home type equipment, that doesn't limit some of us from having such a critter. I have a 50 kw motor generator furnace capable of melting 100 pounds of steel or iron--------and there are smaller units out there..
Luck!
Harold
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At this point I would take anything that will melt grey cast iron, however I think PG&E would think dimly of me trying to pull a full 200 amps from my electric panel for a couple of hours. :) I will look for any electric furnaces, although most small stuff I have seen are for aluminum or brass only.
Thanks
Mike Swift
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Mike

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How long a run time does it take to get that 100 lbs of steel to pouring temperature?
Wes
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wrote:

Because I'm living in the shop while building our new house, I don't have the induction furnace operational. It was purchased in two different lots, although they came from the maker as a unit. It's a long story, involving disposal of PCB filled caps, buying new ones, and having all the meters rebuilt because the power unit was stored out of doors in the elements. We can thank our wise government for that, for the unit was surplused by the bureau of mines, and in almost perfect condition.
I have all the necessary components to fire up the furnace. All that remains is to assemble and power it up. I have never operated the unit, but it has the capacity to melt 200 pounds, assuming one has the larger furnace. The box and coil determine volume. Needless to say, as the volume increases, it takes longer to achieve melting temperature.
Assuming I get the house from hell finished in my life time, I'll probably post something more on the induction furnace when I get it operational. It's a project that began more than ten years ago, and involves a move from Utah to Washington, plus a big building project. You might understand that I'm anxious to see it run, and would likely have plenty to say when that day finally arrives.
Harold
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To me, a "blast furnace" is the device that makes iron from ore, coke, and limestone. You don't need one of those. You don't need anything very sophisticated at all. Roy Hauer (who used to post here as "Chpmkr") used a propane fired crucible furnace for casting iron. Very cheaply built and run. Lots of stuff on the web.
Bob
Oh - these propane furnaces usually use a blower, is that what you mean by "blast furnace"?
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Mike Swift wrote:

If the stuff is small, thermite might be the way to go. Easy to use and fast.
John
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Thanks John, but the cost if doing more than a few parts gets prohibitive. In these days of Big Brother it seems that anyone buying any significant quantities of metal powders raises a flag with the Department of Homeland Security. A friend of mine got a call from the FBI last year after he bought 20 pounds of 100 mesh aluminum powder. Seems it can be used in some way that the government does not like.
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Mike

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that
their
The air quality rules pretty much preclude running a cupola anywhere in the Bay Area. For years, they've been talking about re-starting the Knight Foundry in Sutter Creek as a combination historic display and short-run casting operation. But nothing much has happened yet.
I know of someone who sent some work to an outfit in, I believe, Oregon. Their workmanship was excellent and prices were very attractive. I don't have the contact information, but I can get it, if you are interested.
Jerry
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You could talk to these folks: http://www.abifoundry.com/tourindex.htm
They are in Oakland and if you can make the pattern to their specs then can probably give you the castings.
For a very talented pattern maker talk to Mike at Mid Peninsula Pattern in San Carlos. 1615 Old County Road (650) 595-0448.
--
Roger Shoaf
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