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The Foundry

Operated as the HoTD Aluminum Can Recyclery Foundry at 2013 and 2014 Burning Man

The mission of the aluminum can recyclery foundry is to interrupt the aluminum can waste stream from the live music bar Burning Man theme camp “Hair of the Dog,” aka HoTD, and reduce the volume of aluminum cans taken from the playa back to the default world.

My goal here isn't to instruct you in the thousands-year-old art of sand casting metals; I'll refer you to Foundry101, which is where I learned to cast. My purpose here is to tell you about my designs (below), and Detailed Implementation Plan, for operating a small foundry at Black Rock City during the Burning Man Festival

The Commemorative HOTD Burning Man 2013 "Coin."

The two sides of the HOTD Commemorative Coin: This souvenir is 2 inches across and 1/8" thick and contains approximately a six-pack of cans. These coins in addition to plain, will also be made as pendant necklaces and keychains and will be presented to all HoTD camp members... and lucky others...

The 2013 "Cargo Cult" Winged Burning Man Casting

This rather large casting, made from about a case of cans and spanning over 9 inches, uniquely and dramatically commemorates the 2013 theme of "Cargo Cult." Other 'special reserve' versions of this casting have been made proclaiming Black Rock City Pilot, DMV Hottie, Playa Angel, and to the right, Burner One sported by Larry Harvey!

The Burning Man Logo Belt Buckle and Bumper Deco

I've designed a Burning Man Logo Belt Buckle - with the additional of a screw-on back plate available online. Each belt buckle is about 113 grams, or about 15 cans.

There is also a half-thickness version of the belt buckle, only about six cans of aluminum  and can be glued to your car to proclaim your dedication to our community and culture.

What's in a Casting Master !?!? 

Making the 2013 HoTD Burning Man Commemorative Plaque

I've designed a commemorative plaque for HoTD at BM2013. Through the miracle of ancient DYMO embossing label-making technology, I'm able to produce one-of's to thank camp organizers, volunteers, musicians, merkin contest winners, whatever. Creation of my casting masters has been a combination of gluing scrapbooking supplies and carving, both of which are represented in this plaque design. The 'man' is carved from plastic with band saw and files. The frame was build, well, like a frame. All the other items are scrap-booking items and were either purchased from Michael's craft store or online, and then glued together to create a master. The final touch is the antique embossing DYMO label maker, allowing me to create one-of awards. This shown casting maser is dedicated to perennial HoTD core member Lisa Doyle. This shown finished plaque commemorates perennial HoTD core member Mark Yee. This plaque is about 350 grams, or nearly 2 cases of cans, and is 5x7 inches.

Aluminum Buddha next to Mud Buddha Original

On the right is a Buddha figure cast of mud that I acquired a few years back during a trip to Tibet.

On the left is an aluminum copy of this mud Buddha. 'Nuff said.

Now it’s true, aluminum cans are actually a pretty poor source of aluminum for a foundry (see detailed plan), but a huge volume of aluminum cans is what will be available at HoTD, and that's what will be melted down.

Each can is about 14-15 grams before melting; about 8.5 grams/can, or just over 200 grams/case, is the yeild post melt following removal of slag and dross. I've been creating 'corn cob' ingots using a cast-iron corn muffin tin. Each corn ingot is about 150 grams, or 3/4 case. I've been using other aluminum sources, such as bicycle rims and screen doors, at home pre-playa.

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