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Thread: Another Gingery Metal Lathe

  1. #1

    Another Gingery Metal Lathe

    I was recently asked to post my D. Gingery metal lathe project. Now that my foundry is back up and running
    and It's beginning to feel like it will be a lathe, here goes. I had this project in mind and a very limited amount
    of available resources. Also a complete newb. First I needed to build a furnace and set up my foundry.

    Last week I was able to get 2 more castings finished and should be able to start assembly soon.

    In the beginning there was a saw, not really, just kidding. There was an idea for a table saw but it needed an arbor.
    In China where I live I cannot find anyone who can or will make an arbor and I cannot buy one, so the only thing left
    is to make one. So this is where it really began... and I feel like I might ramble on for hours without actually getting to
    the point.

    The first couple of pours were disastrous, using home made green sand. Sorry that I didn't save any of those pictures.
    I started this last winter. So I will just post pictures as i find them. After finally breaking the bank to buy sand I got the mold
    holding together.


    I think the second pour turned out ok.


    I think I tend to get the aluminum too hot.

    Hand scraping with poor quality chisels and not the proper "Prussian Blue" I used oil paint and it was very messy.


    Finally after weeks ( cuz I'm amateur ) I have the bed scraped and the ways sits on it with no wobble.
    The only thing I could find for a reference was a piece of plate glass.


    And so messy, took me a long time to get this paint off.

  2. #2
    I ordered 304 stainless steel for the ways and clamps. Cold rolled steel is recommended but I could not get
    cold rolled in less than a full sheet. ( 1.22 meters by 2.44 ). I wouldn't be able to lift it. I was able to get this
    304 precision cut and am very happy with it. I didn't get enough. Still need clamps and another piece for the
    set over ways on the tail stock.


    Next I cast the carriage saddle and the bases for the bed. As rough as these pieces are I was able to trim them down
    and correct the errors.




    I'm not a big fan of hand scraping and don't think I will ever be good at it. These pieces and the bed are all hand scraped.
    I think the bed is good but not 100 percent surface. The base and the saddle are fractions of a millimeter from true.
    I am seriously contemplating re casting some of the pieces when I can use the lathe to face them.

  3. #3
    So now summer is over, rain has stopped, sand has been reconditioned and I'm back at it. Some of the patterns I made over the summer.


    Last week I cast and finished the compound swivel and the cross slide. Even with the patterns which were better than what I had for the
    bed saddle and bases they really didn't look as nice after removing them from the molds.



    I think the compound swivel finished up well. The cross slide although finished doesn't look so good cosmetically.

    Attachment 22757

    I used Dykem Steel Blue layout fluid to scrape these pieces. Oil paint was just too messy. I am going to Canada tomorrow so
    I will try very hard to get Prussian Blue. Also still thinking CNC. I'm making a CNC inspired router, and if it is rigid enough I will use
    it to machine the aluminum. I also need more steel plate.

  4. #4
    looks like a decent start, Ive seen some people using cheap lipstick for finding high spots when scraping when they couldnt get the prussian blue. I just ordered mine off of amazon tho.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tobho Mott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    I love watching a Gingery machine get built! Great job so far, not bad at all for first castings. Last photo is not working for me, but in the second last one, your pattern looks like the sand really wanted to stick to it. Any idea what happened there?

    Anyhow, keep it up! The bed casting and the scraping seem to be the parts that drive people craziest, so maybe you are through the worst of it already...

    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

  6. #6
    it looked like he poured the metal a little too hot, the sand will do that when it's poured too hot, that or just some minor sand wash, but due to the texture, it looks too hot.

  7. #7
    Great work! You put a lot of "elbow grease" into the lathe project. Your castings look a little rough, but better than mine. I'm eager to see the finished lathe, keep sending pictures!
    Do I have to concede to being an adult if it means that I can play with fire?

  8. #8
    I think I'm pouring too hot. I'm trying to stay around 750 but a little hard to control when it gets up there. My pyrometer shows up to 800 during the melt. Pouring perhaps too slow. I pour as quickly as I can yet it starts to freeze. The bed, bases and saddle had the melt poured directly into the casting and the aluminum seems to have filled the mold faster. Something to be said for that. I tried to incorporate sandrammer's lessons into these last castings.The gates end up being really small.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Webster View Post
    I think I'm pouring too hot.
    What is your source of metal. Is it castings or wrought stock?

    My furnace build ----- I toil and fettle then foam turns to metal!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tobho Mott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    A pyrometer is the best way to avoid pouring too hot or too cold. There is a thread or two showing how to build one pretty cheap, but I know a trick that works ok for me...

    Once everything is melted, I push the dross aside enough to dip a preheated steel rod (I poke at the melt with it to push small bits under the surface of the melt and feel for submerged still-solid lumps etc., so it's always hot enough by the time this happens) into a clean spot on top of the melt. When I pull it back out, if it comes out more or less clean, I know it is time to pour. If it pulls out covered in frozen metal, I give it another minute and dip again. It's not foolproof and it's not as accurate as a pyrometer, but it might keep you going with a little more control over pouring temperature. I've used this trick with aluminum bronze a couple times too, and so far it has worked well.

    PS. I bought my greensand too, from a foundry products supplier here in Ontario called Smelko Foundry Products Ltd., and I love it. Not what I'd call cheap but still, it is great stuff, and beats hand-mulling all to heck. No regrets there. How are you reconditioning yours? I have a partially-built muller but instead of working on it more I've been using a trick I borrowed from youtube's 'Makin Sumthin From Nuthin' - a spray bottle and a kitchen mixer beater chucked up in a drill. First I put it all through my riddle to break up the chunks from the last mold I shook out. Then spray, drill-mix, squeeze test, repeat as necessary. Only takes a couple minutes but it seems to work well enough to get the sand back into decent shape. I may get back to tweaking the muller to get it working better once it gets too cold to want to be out casting stuff anymore.

    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

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