View Full Version : moneymaking with casting.

06-24-2013, 05:18 PM

i have question for you people. i am a student of metallurgy and i enjoy working with metals. i am planning to build small furnace home to cast anything. and i would like to get some money from my hobby. i would like just to know have anyone of you made any money from this. and which items are best to cast

06-24-2013, 07:06 PM
Some of these ideas require extensive machining beyond just a cast part. Should spark some ideas however. :)













indiscriminate scavenger
06-24-2013, 07:23 PM
Welcome Andra,

This question has been asked numerous times and by my own self many times. Here is a link was much great discussion.


What I can boil it down to is this. Yes. You can.

BUT and it is big BUT.... It will take work. I have leared many new skills in my lifetime and casting metal has been the most challenging, frustrating, and rewarding experiences. It pales in comparision to remodeling a house or building a house from the ground up. It pales in comparison to the dedication to learning and earning a bachelors degree. It becomes a lifestyle.

Casting alone is not going to pay the bills. You have to finish machining your castings which takes machine tools. Not cheap to begin, then you have to learn to use the tools; yet another discipline which is not learned by reading a book or watching YouTube videos. At the very least you will need a grinder and the basic tools to build your foundry. You also need a place dedicated to the foundry. Storing everything in the garage and having to set it up everytime you want to melt takes time. Time=money.

What to cast? That is the question always on my mind. It has to be in demand and priced accordingly. I can turn out many of the cast iron stars you see in some fleamarkets, but at $3 a piece, I can not even begin to compete!

And PPE. If you do not know what that means, look it up and get familar with it. You will need it.

You have been warned! Have fun!


06-24-2013, 07:44 PM
BUT and it is big BUT.... It will take work

... and more work... and more work. Metal casting is definitely not an "easy button" or a "get rich quick" proposition. To make it manufacturing anything in today's global marketplace is tough, but if you can find a need (or want) and fill it, and you work your butt off, it can be done.

I have learned many new skills in my lifetime and casting metal has been the most challenging, frustrating, and rewarding experiences.


What to cast? That is the question always on my mind. It has to be in demand and priced accordingly. I can turn out many of the cast iron stars you see in some fleamarkets, but at $3 a piece, I can not even begin to compete!

+1 again :) Justin's right on the money here... In demand, priced accordingly, not made in China and found on the shelf in every big chain store...

06-24-2013, 10:34 PM
Look up the posts written on here by Bob S. He makes his living in his backyard foundry. He does gorgeous work. It is possible. He does have years of experience behind him and a machine shop as well.


06-25-2013, 05:06 AM
I was thinking of trying to make some money with this as well. I don't plan or intend to make enough to count on it for primary income by any means, just thinking of making small trinkets and ornamental type things to sell at a local farmers market, for supplemental income, or just a little extra spending money. I will read through the things you all posted, but i am just wondering if anyone has much experience along these lines?

Edit: After reading through the other topics posted, I think it may be possible, as long as I focus my marketing on the fact that they are home-made locally cast items, and selling them at the farmers market rather than trying through a craft store. If demand is not high here I may try sending them in bulk to a friend in hawaii to sell alongside her stuff at there farmers market, which has a very high volume of traffic from tourists who enjoy and are interested in home made things :) We'll see though lol, if nothing else it seems it will be a hobby I rather enjoy

06-25-2013, 10:57 AM
huh thanks people! yes i understand i can't make a lot of money for living, and i am not planing to get rich with this. and all the hard work: i enjoy doing this especially casting. i was my hobby since i was a child :D but at that time i was happy with like: huh i melted lead yeah!!! :D:D but now when i study metallurgy i am melting metals with high melting temperatures and i can understand what is happening with metals (microstructure and so on...). building furnace will be easy here because i have "huge" factory 5 min away from home and they gaved me fire resistance concrete and graphite for melter. and with making money i will need to find something uniqe to cast (this will be hardest part because i cant find anything and when someone else start with this i am like: huh how i couldn't rememberd this :D).

but it is easyer in slovenia to do something with this because here are almost no people whit hobby like this.

and for fuel i usally use just wood. with 2 fans (1600 l/min of air each) i can easily melt copper (i can reach around 1350C).

and sorry for my language, i don't speak english wery good ;)

06-25-2013, 11:47 AM
you have to make a pattern ,
so to make 1 is cool and rewarding , but once the patterns are made your 3/4 of the way there , make 5 every time and sell 4 , if you sell out make more :-)

Bob S
06-25-2013, 02:28 PM
Most about starting out to make a business out of a hobby has been said. In my case I never really intended to make a metal casting hobby into a business when starting out. I just bought this foundry furnace at a high school sales since they eliminated foundry from the school program. It sat in my outbuilding for a year before I even tried to cast with it. While I was restoring an old fire truck that had some missing pieces I got it out and started casting these items only to find several other restorers were looking to have missing parts from their trucks reproduced also.

Since I had a regular day job I only worked in the evenings and on weekends casting parts and selling to a small group that had found out about my casting work. The first two years I using any money that was made to purchase more equipment and commercial foundry supplies. I continued to do my casting as a sideline for close to six years or until I retired from my day job. Then I went at it whole hog which by that time I had a line up of people wanting small but unique items to be reproduced.

I say unique because makings items that are already available can make your pricing limited based on what others are selling theirs for. Not to go though the list of the items I have done here but rather you can look at my profile of my post to see some of them. Some might say my prices are outrageous but since I'm the only show in town and so if a person really want a one off item reproduced I'm their guy and yes I make my living doing this with an income almost twice what I had make at my former day job. But not to overstate this larger income I still have to pay higher income taxes plus my full social security taxes since I'm both employer and employee and I don't have the included benefits like I had at my regular job with paid sick leave, paid health care and a pension after I retired. Like any one man business there's a lot of extra work needed to keep it running smooth, no 40 hour weeks once you start. I now have a couple regular customers that I produce a couple hundred items for each month so I really don't need to go look for more work it finds me though word of mouth.

And finally to add to what was said above about selling finished pieces is in my situation it's a must. So I have a fair number of other pieces of machining equipment to complete an item plus polishing equipment and or powder coaters needed to totally finish the piece. Bob

07-04-2013, 11:17 PM
It's been said already but I'll add a couple lines too.

First of all welcome fellow European.

Second and last, I recently (as of 2-3 months) started selling castings I make. Simple stuff that a guy found me on another forum and asked me if I could make them. Fishing weight molds from aluminum. I just needed to get the wheel spinning by posting a "hey this is what I cast" thread and it just started, I'm making fishing weight molds now and cast at least twice a week, quantities I couldn't imagine I'd melt. It's not much to be called income money, still it's money made by my years casting and joining this forum for which I am graceful.