Whether you believe it or not, there have been some problems along my journey. Here are a few parts as examples.
The piece on the left is the total amount of aluminum that I was able to melt the first time. I spent almost an hour trying to get more. The problem was that I didn't have enough air going into the furnace. that's when I put the PVC wye fitting in and added the hair dryer. It might not look good, but it works.
The pieces in the middle are trivets that I tried to make. The sand seemed to be fine, but was too wet for these thin parts. On the right are the trivets that my grandfather made in his foundry at home. (His foundry was a commercial one called Walt's Foundry.) Eventually I want to change over to an oil-based molding sand and maybe I can make them then.
Here's an odd one. My sand was too wet when I cast this part. When I shook out the piece I saw that the bottom couldn't be salvaged, so I started cutting it up to use for melting again. When I broke the sprue off I saw the hole inside. I cut it in half and checked out the hole. The steam was rising until it was stopped by the metal that froze at the top. The hole is nice and smooth inside.