Recycle Aluminum Cuttings?

Is it practical to melt & sand cast Aluminum cuttings from the lathe & milling machine into stock to be remachined?
I have a small shop that might produce 1 or 2 dog food bags of cuttings per week.
Material is all 6061 aluminum, little or no cutting fluid used..
I don't like throwing it out for land fill, and the volume is pretty small for industrial recycling.
I also understand that " Green sand " should be used
My attempts so far at finding Green sand have failed, I'm in the Toronto east area of Ontario Canada
Does any body do this sort of thing? or is it just another pipe dream.
any tips to help me accomplish this?
Trying to cast 4" OD pieces either 2" long or longer & cut to 2"
My dog does not eat that much, so my bags are in short supply ;-)
Peter
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Peter Kiproff wrote:

What I've been doing is running the stuff through an ancient hand powered meat grinder I got on eBay for $5.00 It breaks the lathe curls into small C-shaped fragments, and reduces a full grocery bag of them to a small handful. You can store a lot more of these chips in the compact form, which will also fill your crucible a lot better. We have a guy who has set up a great aluminum foundry, so I need to get my chips over there and melt them down sometime this summer.
Jon
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Do a Google on "home casting", you'll get lots of hits. One of the better ones would be:
http://www.dansworkshop.com/Aluminum%20Foundry.shtml
You'll mix up the Green sand yourself, plenty of directions on how to do it on the net as well as other alternatives such as K-Bond & Petrobond.
Not sure the economics are justifiable but you'll have lotsa fun doing it & sometimes being able to cast a part is invaluable.
Peter Kiproff ( snipped-for-privacy@nobelmed.com) wrote: : Is it practical to melt & sand cast Aluminum cuttings from the lathe & : milling machine : into stock to be remachined?
: I have a small shop that might produce 1 or 2 dog food bags of cuttings per : week.
: Material is all 6061 aluminum, little or no cutting fluid used..
: I don't like throwing it out for land fill, and the volume is pretty small : for industrial recycling.
: I also understand that " Green sand " should be used
: My attempts so far at finding Green sand have failed, I'm in the Toronto : east area of Ontario Canada
: Does any body do this sort of thing? or is it just another pipe dream.
: any tips to help me accomplish this?
: Trying to cast 4" OD pieces either 2" long or longer & cut to 2"
: My dog does not eat that much, so my bags are in short supply ;-)
: Peter
-- Howard Eisenhauer on ************************************** * * Chebucto Community Network * Can't think of anything cute * Halifax Nova Scotia * to put in here * * * snipped-for-privacy@chebucto.ns.ca **************************************
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6061 is not the greatest stuff to melt down for casting with. It has poor flowability, and the grain structure when its cast is pretty grainy. The smaller the pieces the more dross you acquire during the melting process, and to be frank, swarf, chips and such just don';t amount to much expect a lot of dross for a very small amount of return in useable materials. You may be better off selling your scrap and buying scrap castings (items that were originally cast) and break them down and use it to make what you want. I used to melt down all inds of aluminum, and used a lot of 6061, but soon found its better to use a known alloy which is suitable for cating for the best results. Now anymore any scraps or swaft of 75xx or 60xx alloys go to the recycler or landfill. The larger the piece you melt down the better off you'll be with producing less dross and more metal. It matters ot if there is paint, or cutting fluids etc on the material as it will all vaporize in the end. It just may produce more smoke during the process.
I am not saying 6061 is not useable, but its suitable to play with if you have nothing else, but it leaves a lot to be desired as a casting material.
You can use what is generally referred to as greensand, which can really be either water or oil bonded in property. Oil bonded is best, but more expensive, but comes out cheaper in the long run IMHO. You should be able to find a binder for greensand in that area as there seems to be quite a few back yard types doing foundry work in Canada.
On Sun, 27 Jul 2003 00:57:37 -0400, "Peter Kiproff"

-- Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Contents: foundry and general metal working and lots of related projects. Regards Roy aka Chipmaker // Foxeye Opinions are strictly those of my wife....I have had no input whatsoever. Remove capital A from chipmAkr for correct email address
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Yes, 6061 is a wrought alloy and has yukky machining properties when cast and then NOT extruded into bar. Also, the heat of casting can change the spec so it's no longer 6061, by vaporizing, IIRC, silicon.
So if you have a bar extruding press, it's great. If not, it needs to go somewhere where they can either rerefine it or add just what that particular melt needs to make a workable alloy, unless you're into casting sash weights, which is not really too bad a use. Any paperweight style ballast application would do.
We used to put handfuls of chips into our furnace at the college. It took forever. We'd even compress them into clumps and throw them in. Not only did they take a long time to melt, but the melt was dirty and had to be massively skimmed. That said, we did cast some plates and make our drill jig projects out of the recycled metal, but the guy facing all the plates said it was a drag....
He faced 'em, and I straddle milled them on a jig made from the same crappy metal.
Yours,
Doug Goncz, Replikon Research, Seven Corners, VA Unpublished work Copyright 2003 Doug Goncz Fair use and Usenet distribution without restriction or fee Civil and criminal penalties for circumvention of any embedded encryption
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<http://l.webring.com/hub?ring=hobbyfoundry&id &hub> This link is to a list of backyard foundry web pages. I agree with Roy, you can do it, but the right stuff is better. For more in depth discussion you might want to go here: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/castinghobby/
--
Ron Thompson
On the Beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast
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