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Thread: Who do you think you are?

  1. #81
    Senior Member Bob S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Saginaw, Mi
    Name: Bob

    Age: 73

    Retired auto and machine shop instructor of 31 years. Have a BS degree as well a masters degree in vocational education. I was also a drivers education instructor taught after school and on weekends for 15 years. Still hold my state master mechanics certification in heavy equipment repair as well as my master mechanic certificate in Automotive repair. Served 22 years on our local fire department before retiring in 2007.

    Reason for casting:
    Started out as just something to do off and on in the evenings with something I loved to do and later after retiring from teaching I began to turn it into a business on a daily routine along with the required machining of the castings what then turned into an income better then I had gotten teaching.

    How long have you been casting:
    Going on 26 years. I had starting casting several years before retiring and was just doing it as a hobby on weekends and evenings, after retiring it became a small one man business in casting and machining and now includes electroplating.

    Metals used in casting:
    About 75% I cast with is aluminum and the remainder in brass.

    Favorite way of keeping up with what going on here:
    Just click on the site a couple times a week to see if any new things have come up. Also belong to these foundry associations.

    The best thing you have cast.
    Maybe not the best piece but one of the more involved ones I have done. Over the years I have reproduced thousand of castings along with the machining required to complete the item. This took me to an areas I have never been to which can be the best part of learning. Not that this hasn't been written about just for me it was new.

    I only cast 14 of these legs with two having flaws from core shifts. A fire museum supplied me with original pattern and then purchased the first 6 and with the understanding of my making a master pattern for use in the future to cast more if it were to develop. I later sold 4 more to other fire museums and 2 to an equine stable.

    Their early use was as a K barrier at the door exit in a fire station to keep a horse drawn wagon's wheel hub from hitting the door jamb if the wagon got too far over leaving the station. By having the wheel slid back over by the angle of the leg. Today it would just be two steel poles on each side of the door opening.

    POP casting of the original pattern. I then remove 1/4"to 3/8" of plaster from the outside to make my master core pattern.

    Once completed I used it to make my core box also made with POP.

    Core made up with steel rod for support in the mold.

    One of the two flawed castings. They can be TIG welded to save them.

    As a final note I started out like many of you as just something to do as a hobby but as time went on I saw it as a real potential of being able to make it into a very profitable business. Many of you may be in the same boat to do the same having shown your skills since vocational skills in this country have been deemed unnecessary and now very few people are available to do these hands on skills that were at one time very common. Now due to many of today's educational systems vocational education has been removed from the high school programs. Back at the time I graduated I left my high school with the ability to operate almost all the wood shop pieces of equipment as well as in the metal shop being to operate an O/A welding/cutting torch, an AC/DC welder as well as several other machining skills offered in my high school. I am somewhat lucky that I have the opportunity to advance into some of the areas early on that made it much easier for me to get into casting and the machining as a profitable business after retiring from teaching. For several years now I have been fortunate enough to gross over a six figure income in this one man operation that I have established at my home. Bob
    I used to spend my time to save money but now I'm willing to spend my money to save time.

  2. #82
    Name : Charles
    Age : 32
    Profession : Which one? I've had many. Currently glorified OTR Driver. Jack of all trades, master of none.
    Reason for casting : Well, Want to make my own things ya know?
    How long have you been casting: Off and on since high school 14 years ago.
    The main metal you cast : Aluminum
    Mold Material : Investment, havent messed with green sand yet.
    CAD or Paper : Both?
    Interesting note : Always overbuy and over-engineer. Sometimes it pays off.
    Favorite way of keeping up with whats going on at Alloyavenue : Searches.
    The best thing you have ever *cast : I made a small snowman in high school out of aluminum and used lost wax casting. First casting, and the only one that turned out so far.

  3. #83
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Elkhart Indiana
    Name : Aric
    Age : Born 1978 It's the passing years I refuse to acknowledge.
    Profession : Demolition Operative for restoration services.
    Reason for casting : Never just one.
    How long have you been casting: Did it one time almost two years ago.
    The main metal you cast : Bronze
    Mold Material : Green sand
    CAD or Paper : Paper
    Interesting note : My grandfather told me to pursue a career in metal when I was very young. I was 37 when I finally remembered what he said.
    Favorite way of keeping up with whats going on at Alloyavenue : Who's Online
    The best thing you have ever *cast : The 3 Bronze swords I haven't completed. I used primitive tech to cast. Then buried them till I finish building a proper furnace. Once I finish my build I will dig them up and complete them each with their own distinctive finishes.

  4. #84
    Senior Member Tobho Mott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Welcome to the Ave., Aric.

    I would like to know more about those swords - how you molded them, the primitive tech used, why they are now buried, etc. Swords are supposed to be tricky to cast well in sand molds; sounds like a project worthy of its own (pic-heavy) thread!

    Tobho had learned to work Valyrian steel at the forges of Qohor as a boy. Only a man who knew the spells could take old weapons and forge them anew.

    How I built my oil furnace | My Photo Album | My Videos | TheHomeFoundry Forums

  5. #85
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Elkhart Indiana
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobho Mott View Post
    Welcome to the Ave., Aric.

    I would like to know more about those swords - how you molded them, the primitive tech used, why they are now buried, etc. Swords are supposed to be tricky to cast well in sand molds; sounds like a project worthy of its own (pic-heavy) thread!

    Thank you for the welcome Jeff, The project wasn't documented so I have no pictures. I used wooden patterns more then 3/8 of a inch thick so that would explain the success. I think for my first pour. I continued that with the other swords. I have given the patterns away to relatives made of hickory they are durable heavily lacquered a way to please them stopping them from asking me for one of my blades. The firing process was very simple "primitive". I made charcoal in a pop corn "tin" mild steel with a hole in the top. Had a cast iron lamp base that coverd the lid effective as a nozzle since it was coned with about a half inch hole in the center. The released methane, while exposed gas to open flame creates a torch. 1950 °C 3542 °F very capable and awesome flames reached 15 feet high at times. Contained the fire around that inside a cylinder scrapped from a old dryer. Used a huge piece of cardboard to blow the flame off the gas when I needed to approach the crucible and made use of paper with shredded cardboard to subside the flames or bring them back up to the exhaust. Simple but time consuming took more then 3 months to gather the wood, paper, cardboard fuel. I think it was around 21 hours working continuously during the melt. But I've been rewarded with a contractors trash bag full of charcoal. Like many here at some time or another. I used a small propane bottle as a crucible..the crucible was wired to a small cast iron fireplace grate. I had to lift the entire grate to pour, used a garden rake and a fire poker. The reason why I buried them? I intend to put my accumulative knowledge gained from researching differing aspects of metal craft into the blades through out my life and until I'm no longer capable of doing any foundry work. My first impressions of the art my understandings as time passes and last perspectives combined. I didn't give a description of the swords because I want those who see them to give me their take on what era or region they think the construction came from. Also being buried ensures I won't go tinkering on them until I advance my skill's. Sincerely Aric
    Last edited by AricMettle; 02-23-2017 at 05:29 PM. Reason: Trying to save space and remembered more details about the project.

  6. #86
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Ontario, Canada

    Not Sure

    Name: Joe C aka FoundryJoe

    Age: Born in 1959

    Profession: Foundry Engineer/Manager

    Reason for casting: Got into the foundry business with my dad, if you ever saw American Chopper you know how that ended up.

    Casting got in my blood and I've been lucky to have made a career out of it.

    The trade has treated me better than OK, I am now managing a small foundry and have never been out of work.

    Once I retire I plan to make bronze plaques for fun (and maybe some profit). That is why I got involved in this group, I am collecting the equipment so I have everything ready when I get the time, the day job has me shackled with golden handcuffs, about 10 more years and I get to play…

    How long have you been casting:
    Full time career since 1983

    The main metal you cast: Currently Aluminum, but have cast steel and ductile iron commercially

    Mold Material: Most of my career has been Aluminum low pressure permanent mold or high pressure die cast, so a lot of my experience has been with metal molds.

    Have also done steel and ductile iron in v-process (unbonded sand).

    My present job is casting Aluminum in chemically bonded sand, the first time I have really worked in sand. Amazingly I have never worked in green sand!

    CAD or Paper: Funny, I have essentially no CAD skill, I tapped out on AutoCAD at about version 2 and never kept up CAD skills, in the foundry business people specialize in CAD mold design, fluid flow and solidification modelling, but I stayed on the foundry process side (setting up and running the process and machines)

    Interesting note: I have been involved with both the high end multi million dollar engineered approach and the low end McGuyer git er done way. Both approaches can make some awesome castings. And both ways can make some awful parts, money doesn’t mean success. Skill counts big time.

    Favorite way of keeping up with whats going on at Alloyavenue:
    Whats new > new posts

    The best thing you have ever cast: I liked every casting project I was involved in, but my first bronze plaque was likely the most satisfying.

    Had lots of help, these were all team efforts

    Rear transmission case for Caterpillar D9 tractor > Steel > V process
    Fun to see this oil quenched after heat treat - flames to the roof

    Wheels > Aluminum > squeeze cast
    almost a decade making millions of wheels - still see them in my sleep

    Charge air cooler tank castings > Aluminum > low pressure semi perm mold
    thin walled pressure tight, tricky castings

    Parking meters > ductile iron > V process
    you can pound these flat with a sledge and they won't break open, I know cause I've done it

    Body nodes > Aluminum heat treated > vacuum high pressure die castings
    weldable heat treated die castings - rocket science

    Blockzilla Briggs and Stratton racing block for junior dragster Aluminum low pressure semi permanent mold
    This was a fun project, a heavy duty version of the stock block to allow machining, it never really sold, cool hobby
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #87
    Name : Richard
    Age : 69
    Profession : Retired electrical engineer
    Reason for casting : Always looking for a new activity - Have made jet engine, boats, flutes, rockets, model railways, cheese, bread, robots, violins, synthesisers..... now it's casting metal.
    How long have you been casting: 0ne year properly........ a few odd occasions before that.
    The main metal you cast : aluminium, lead, zinc, copper, bronze, brass, pewter.
    Mold Material : plaster of paris with sand, occasionally greensand.
    CAD or Paper : paper.
    Interesting note : Always trying new methods - building new equipment.
    Favorite way of keeping up with whats going on at Alloyavenue : This forum, youtube and books.
    The best thing you have ever *cast : Head of George Gurdjieff in solid bronze.

  8. #88
    Name : Stoli
    Age : 17
    Profession : Looking into metallurgy or something in that field
    Reason for casting : Its fun. I get to make big fire and hit things.
    How long have you been casting: A little over a year
    The main metal you cast : Aluminium, might graduate into copper or brass if I ever find a cheap source of scrap
    Mold Material : Tried lost wax, i like lost foam the most
    CAD or Paper : Probably paper
    Interesting note : Almost burnt my house down because i forgot wax was and learn i guess heh heh
    Favorite way of keeping up with whats going on at Alloyavenue : Whats new or general foundry talk
    The best thing you have ever *cast : Probably a clinging cross. I made the millenium falcon but that needs a whole lot of grinding and polishing. I also made my fist, but it ended up with voids.

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