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How to Build a DIY Crucible for Metal Casting


DIY Crucible
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If I am going to melt metal I am going to need a pot to melt it in.  While I wanted to buy a commercial crucible I did not want to spend the money on it and the tools to fit it.  At least until I decided if this was something I was going to keep doing.  Until I decide to invest in good tools I needed a cheap solution.  I decided to make a cheap DIY crucible to last one or two casting sessions.  This is just to see if I like casting metal.

Due to some of my experiments in filling 1lb propane tanks, I have some empty tanks. While cutting into them is dangerous, I decided to do just that. To mitigate the danger, I pulled out the safety valve, and dumped it in a bucket of water to try to displace any propane still in the tank.

I then very slowly drilled a couple holes in the top of the tank. No propane smell came out of the holes, but I still filled it with water and let it sit for 24 hours submerged in a bucket of water.

I then cut the top off of the tank, drilled two holes for eye hooks, and then heated the lip of the tank up to red hot and then wacked it with my hammer until I formed a pouring spout.

Simple but it Works

This is a very simple and rudimentary crucible.  Due to the thin metal of the tank, I don’t expect it to last long. However, if I succeed in making something cool the first couple times, I bet the wife will sign off on me upgrading my equipment.

My main concern with using the propane tank is that the tank was brazed from two separate parts.  I worry that when brought up to temperature, the brazing line will be the point of failure. Oh well I guess if that happens you will get another FAIL video…


Published inDIY Prepper Projects


  1. Jacob Jacob

    I used a propane cylinder in much the same way. Didn’t even get onenough full pour from it. Right before I was about to pick it up with the tones I noticed it was empty! Damn thing got a hole right in the bottom.

  2. Koma Koma

    The tank halves aren’t “brazed” together, they are welded with steel, not brass and it’s the thickest and strongest part of the tank.

    If they were brazed they would come apart when heated for use as a crucible.

  3. buckshot buckshot

    Watch that sucker! We were working in the aluminum foundry in our high school shop years ago (before there was a vocational school for my district) and had a crucible break on us.

    Had picked the crucible up out of the furnace with the shaped tongs and set it into the tool used to pour from it. Two rings to hold the crucible, a straight pipe on one end so that that person can help lift it and let it turn to pour and a set of “handlebars” on the other end so that that person can actually control the pouring.

    Anyway, we got it in the pouring thing, picked it up, took a couple of steps and the bottom let go with the whole melt of aluminum. Since this was a school shop, the cement floor was kind of slicked up and waxed. That hot aluminum not only ran across that floor, it seemed to spit and sputter (I think due to the coolness of the floor in late fall/early winter) and seemed to actually chase the two of us doing the work as it rolled over the floor.

    Though I am an avid handgunner and reloader, I have NEVER cast bullets, that event with the aluminum having taught me that if God wanted metal to be runny, it would come that way, like mercury does!

    Good luck and stay safe.


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