Does anyone have an easy way to cut or break up something like aluminum intakes for the melting pot?

A friend brought me 25 aluminum intakes from a few different V8's he scrapped. The aluminum looks nice and is pretty dang hefty. I managed
to break some of this down with a sledge for my 3 inch crucible but not the thicker areas. I tried a sawvall with metal blades then wood blades, this takes way too long.
I think I'm going to try using my 26 ton log splitter to break some of it in to smaller pieces.
Does anyone have ideas?
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Modat22 wrote: ...

That would probably work pretty well. I think Chipmaker uses one.
I don't have a log splitter, so when I need to reduce aluminum wheels to crucible size I use my table saw with a carbide blade (the cheapest, ugliest utility blade I have). Pretty fast. Way faster than a sawzall.
Bob
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Aluminum exhibits hot-shortness, much like cast iron does. That means that, at some temperature short of melting, it becomes very fragile and brittle. Heat it to that temperature and it breaks up easily with a hammer.
That's the way cast-iron engine blocks were broken up for re-melting, for decades, until people realized that old engine blocks had absorbed a lot of tetraethyl lead from gasoline. Maybe now, after a few decades without lead in our gas, they're using that method again. <g>
Aluminum re-melters, likewise, have taken advantage of hot-shortness to break up aluminum pieces. The temperature is somewhere around 800 deg. or 900 deg. F, if I recall correctly, but you might have to experiment. Look up hot-short or hot-shortness and aluminum on Google. There is some info there.
Heat-treatable alloys exhibit the most hot-shortness, but you should see it in most casting alloys, regardless.
BTW, your intake manifolds may or may not sand-cast well. Diecasting alloys aren't always good ones for other casting methods; they rely on quick-chilling and pressure to get some of their properties, and that can make them problematic for sand casting. It depends on the alloy, of course. Some alloys are used successfully for many types of casting.
Good luck!
Ed Huntress
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Put up a steel plate... although Chipmaker reported successful use of this method, it often sends high speed fragments *anywhere*...
Tim
-- "I've got more trophies than Wayne Gretsky and the Pope combined!" - Homer Simpson Website @ http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms
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Its already been stated I have used a log splitter with sucess, as it does work, and it works fine, but its still (IMNSHO) an accident waiting to happen, no matter what safeguards you have in place. I have had piece fly through triple layered canvas tarps, bust holes in plywood, and my metal roof in th shed ovewr my log splitter looks like it had a bomb go off under it, with all the dents in it. Pieces can and will fly in all directions, as your crushing things against may stress points in a casting there is o telling which way pieces will fly, although most times it just cracks and goes forward.....with the travel of the ram.........but more times than not it don;t give a hint of cracking until you hear it pop and fly allin a spit second much to quick for reflexes to back off pressure to ram.......
Probably the b est way I have used a splitter to bust up aluminum and keep the shrapnel down is placing a piece of heavy carpeting directly on the ram and piece your busting, and also have a piece of heavy plywood or metal between you and the splitter, wear glloves, and heavy jacket as those pieces if they hit hurt like hell......and a face shield.........and also a piece of plywood or metal at the forward end.........still beats a sledge hammer, but not anyways as efficient as a batch melter for those large items like wheels, blocks and manifolds,. heads etc. Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wife, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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How much moeny do you want to spend? The shop next door makes industrial shreaders that will do it.
--


Regards,
Joe Agro, Jr.
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Modat22 writes:

I've cut 4" thick aluminum slabs on a 12" radial arm saw with an 80-tooth carbide wood-cutting blade. Just clamp it well and stand clear.
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<< Does anyone have an easy way to cut or break up something like aluminum intakes for the melting pot? >>
I use a long handled bolt cutter for cutting up large aluminum castings. Sometimes you have to make a few cuts and employ a hammer to get things going, but if you can get a bite on it, the heavy duty bolt cutter works. Mine is one of those relativly cheap ones, with three foot long handles, made in china I think. I got mine at an Odd Lots store in their tool section a number of years ago, but if your will to spend a little more, I think better made ones can be had at any good tool supply store.
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Why not build a larger melting pot? Assuming you have a safe place to do this. Build an enclosure of fire brick with the heat source of choice. Place the manifolds on a steel grill with a channel for the molten aluminum to run into the appropriate sized molds. Probably cheaper than messing around with Saws etc. DL
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Better yet, set the furnace up on a few bricks (so the tuyere is up in the air) and melt right in the furnace. Should be able to hold up to 30 pounds or so in a good #6 size furnace, although it might take you an hour or two to melt it all. You'll want a good mount to pour though...
Tim
-- "I've got more trophies than Wayne Gretsky and the Pope combined!" - Homer Simpson Website @ http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms
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Modat22 wrote:

I have it on good intel that if you heat the Al, it will fracture better.
Martin
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proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
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move down the page a way. DL the movie. Worth a watch! Don't stand too close to the screen! <G>

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