How to make a crucible

Written by danny donahue
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Recycling is the watchword of the day. There are many auction Websites that are readily available, and a lot of people are melting down and selling their scrap metals. If you can gather a few simple tools you can build your own crucible and begin melting down your broken jewellery, mismatched silverware and scrap metal. You can "cut out the middle man" and profit from your own metal while investing in your family's future and helping the environment by recycling on your own.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Work gloves
  • Bag of heat resistant cement
  • Metal 5-gallon bucket
  • 1 quart Ceramic flower pot
  • Metal fireplace tongs
  • Iron muffin pans
  • 4 bricks
  • 1 gallon of sand
  • Bag of charcoal
  • Wheel barrow
  • Shovel

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  1. 1

    Find the directions on your bag of cement. Pour 3/4 of the recommended amount of water into your wheel barrow. Slowly add the entire bag of cement a little at a time. Stir in each bit with your shovel as you go. Be careful not to pour the cement too fast as this will cause a hazardous dust to rise from the mix. You will want to continue mixing your cement and water until it reaches a toothpaste-like consistency. If it gets too thick, add more water.

  2. 2

    Dip your metal bucket and flower pot into the cement. Roll them both around. Coat them well inside and out. Set them both aside onto a piece of wood or metal. You will want the containers to sit in a place that is warm and dry, preferably in the sun.

  3. 3

    Dump the remainder of your cement on the ground in the spot where you want to use your crucible. Smooth out the cement with your shovel. The size and shape are unimportant, but you can control the shape of your pad by building a form out of 2-inch x 4-inch boards if you wish. Place your 4 bricks in a square small enough to sit in the 5-gallon bucket. It should be large enough for it to remain stable. Let your cement base and your containers sit at least 24 hours to harden. Remember to keep your cement warm and dry as it sets up.

  4. 4

    Place your large container onto the brick and cement base. Add the gallon of sand. Sit your small container in the middle of the sand and surround it with charcoal. Place your charcoal briquettes all around the small container, but don't place them on top (this will dilute the purity of your molten metal) or beneath (this will cause your metal to spill out as the charcoal underneath burns away). Place the metal to be melted into the small container. Light your charcoal.

  5. 5

    Keep an eye on your crucible. Your metal will melt in 15 minutes to an hour. When it is molten, use your tongs to lift out the small container. Pour the molten metal into the muffin pan.

Tips and warnings

  • Working with fire can be hazardous. Please take precautions in choosing where and when to use your crucible.
  • Working with molten metal can present burn and fume hazards. Please familiarise yourself with proper smelting safety.

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