This partially completed Cupola was listed on Ebay
a couple of years ago.  I copied the pictures and text because
I thought it looked like a good design.
 

Click on picture for large view

Here is the wooden form used to make the fireing chamber.

Another view of the form.

Wheels and base to move cupola arround.

Wooden form inside the shell with refractory material being poured arround form.

Here is the wind belt.

Almost completed cupola about ready to burn out the wooden form.

 

Here is the description that the seller had written about the cupola:


10" Cupola Iron Melting Foundry Furnace

"I've been casting non ferrous metals in my home work shop for several years but my real desire was to make iron machine parts so I set off to build this 10" coke fired cupola for pouring iron castings up to about 60 lbs. I was nearly finished around the July 4th weekend when it came time to fire the lining. On this weekend, I became aware of what I had created! You see, I live in a quite neighborhood and the flames and smoke are much to objectionable for this area. The neighbors mingled out into the street and peeked around the corners of houses to see what was happening. Discouraged and dejected, I capped off the stack and rolled the cupola under the car port were it sat all winter making homes for birds. I never finished it and with spring around the corner, I'm cleaning shop and making room for more machinery. My hopes and dreams of machining my own iron castings has been put aside for another time.

This cupola was designed from info out of old foundry books and internet sources on backyard foundries. I expected it to melt as much as 40-60 lbs of hot iron every 5-10 minutes or so.

For those that are not familiar with this type of furnace, they are the most efficient methods for melting iron. They are continuous melters where you stack layers of coke and iron in the bore.... as a layer of coke burns under blast, the iron melts and drops into the bottom were it is tapped off every 5-10 minutes. As long as you supply blast, fuel (coke) and iron scrap, you'll have a continuous flow of molten iron at the spout. These have been around for a few thousand years and this is nothing new. I've over simplified the description but that's the basic background. They are even more efficient at melting bronze.

I took photos when I was building it last summer, and here are some photos 8 months later after sitting under the carport.

I used a graphite refractory specifically designed for molten iron contact. I think the temp range is 3300 F. It was a plastic mix made by Allied Mineral Products. They are located here in Columbus, Ohio and supply the foundry industry with refractories. They recommended this product for cupola linings.

To complete this furnace, the wooden forms need to be burned out and the spout needs to be made. I'm sure there is more work to do as well. It is a front fettling door design with the traditional drop bottom. There are two tuyeres on the sides located about 10-12 inches from the drop bottom. The wind belt was fabricated from 14 ga steel and has openings for the tuyere access.

It has never been under blast and still has the wooden forms in place.

 

I don't think I'll ever be able to use this unless I move out into the country with no one around. And speaking of moving...this baby is heavy! I think I calculated about 700 lbs. My problem now is that I can't even dispose of this think due to the size and weight. So here it is on Ebay looking for a new home. I'll gladly give it away to the willing person that will come over and get it. Hopefully, you'll live close enough that I can visit on the weekends to pour some iron (hee hee). Hence the opening bid is $0.25, the cost to list it. "

 

 

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