Prometheus Unbound

Welcome to Prometheus Unbound.

So, what is this place?

It's a site detailing my related hobbies of melting and casting metal, machining, ceramics, and forging. Really, anything to do with fire and hot stuff (hence "Prometheus") is within the domain of this site. There are also pages detailing some of my other hobbies (possibly casting-related, possibly not).

As an aid to the hobby metalcasting community, I've written a book aimed at beginner and intermediate casters that provides instruction on how to cast, how to build the tools and apparatus needed, a fair amount of handy reference material, and some ancillary subjects (like ceramic chemistry) that are useful for casters to know. It's by no means a complete reference, but it should be good enough to get a hobbyist started (and in the process, completely hooked on the hobby--the more you learn, the more interesting it gets). That book is available online through the "Foundry Tutorial" link to the left, and in the future, it should also be available as a downloadable PDF and a hard-copy version.

Beginners to metalcasting should also take a look at my "Links" section. All those places are either valuable references or suppliers of hard-to-find casting-related materials. None of them pay me money to be listed--I list them because they're the best I've found so far.

The rest of the site isn't primarily intended to be instructional--it's just a log of the stuff I've done as a hobbyist, available for your viewing pleasure. One thing I will try to do is make a special mention of my mistakes, so they don't get repeated.

Also, one last thing--a disclaimer and safety warning. This may not be the most fun part of the site, but it's important.


A lot of the stuff on this site is very dangerous. I make an attempt to point out some specific safety precautions as they come up, but there is no way I can point out every conceivable danger. I'm not a professional foundryman, scientist, or engineer, just a hobbyist--so there may be dangers that I don't even know about. For that matter, any advice I give could be wrong or even dangerous in certain situations. I can't be held responsible for any harm that comes to person or property as a result of following my advice or using any of the information on this website. Remember, the extremely high temperatures that liquid metal can reach are more than enough to send you to the hospital or kill you, or to set fire to anything nearby (like your house). Other activities, like welding or machining, present their own dangers, again very serious.

This site was last updated 01-28-14.

Update Log

I think I finally tracked down the last of the WebRing redirects and removed them. I decided to remove the custom Google site search (and associated Google Analytics tracking information) at the same time, in order to make my site completely script-less.
It's been a while, hasn't it? I finally have a new host, and this time I own the URL, so the web address shouldn't change after this. It's also paid hosting (through Namecheap, if you wanted to know), so maybe it'll be a little more reliable than it has been in the past. I have a huge amount of content to post (the EV is finished, I've had a couple more sizeable projects in the meantime, I need to update the Tutorial section for the second edition), but it'll take me some time to get it all formatted and written up. Right now this site is basically the same as it was in 2009, just moved to a working host. (On that note, some things may be broken from the move. Sorry about that--I'll try to get it cleaned up as I update things.) I have added links to the current PDF versions of the tutorial book, and I'm removing the WebRing tag at the bottom of every page because it's doing an annoying script-redirect thing that's borderline malicious. Sorry, WebRing--don't redirect my site to your homepage if you want me to put your tag on my site.
Added quite a few pictures in the "Drivetrain" section. Most of them have to do with the motor adapter assembly, but there are a few progress pictures of further disassembly as I trace the electrical system.
Added pictures in the "Drivetrain" section detailing the removal of the engine from the EV.
This should be the end of the major changes to the site for a while. There is still a bit to do behind the scenes, but not much in the visible areas. I've added an entirely new section for my electric vehicle conversion in progress, done lots of reorganizing with the menu bar, and posted a notice about the upcoming second edition of my book, as well as updating a few other sections with minor changes.
Well, it's been a while. Lots of changes are happening now and (hopefully) in the next few days. I've removed the forum and the ads, though the custom search will stay up. Also, I'm broadening the site's scope to include more than just metalcasting. There will be a few changes in navigation to accompany that, hopefully all for the better.
Fixed a few odds and ends that the last update missed. I also figured out the ad issue: my ad blocker was keeping them from showing up. No wonder I couldn't see them. (That's right up there with "Is it plugged in?" in terms of silly mistakes.) Ads will probably go up on the rest of the main pages before too long, but they'll never get any more obtrusive than what you see on this page. The forum has been having problems, which I'll try to fix, but I currently have no clue what's going on with it.
Added a forum post on Portland cement to the reference section. I think the metalcasting search is working out fairly well, but conventional ads seem not to be. (It might be my fault, but I can't even get them to display. I suspect the problem is a lack of interested advertisers.) Thus, no ads for the moment. Since the search is actually part of the ad campaign, I may not be able to keep it up indefinitely. Also added a new section, titled "Miscellaneous," for all my non-casting-related things.
Added a custom 404 page and a customized metalcasting search bar. I'm not entirely satisfied with the search results so far, but it seems at least to be more hobby-casting specific than the standard Google search. I'll continue to refine it.
Lots of behind-the-scenes work going on, making sure search engines can correctly index the site. Some ads may go up in the next week or two. I know, nobody likes ads, but these will be pretty unobtrusive.
Updated foundry tutorial with more accurate density values for castable, and fixed numerous small formatting glitches in the PDF version. Fixed "Powered by WebRing" text to display in the same format as the rest of the site's text.
Added "On Separating Metal Alloys" to Reference section. Added Hobby Foundry webring.
Site is officially no longer 'under construction.'