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Thread: what did you do in your foundry today?

  1. #4801
    Senior Member Tobho Mott's Avatar
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    So, I was bored and wanting to melt something, but not quite bored enough to want to mess with my sand and get the moisture level adjusted. So I took some inspiration from OCD's recent anthill casting adventure and melted a crucible full of little aluminum lumps from my last wheel-breakdown session to pour an anthill, and some ingots with whatever was left.

    It is the smallest anthil casting of the three I have poured (so I got a couple good sized ingots too), but IMO it looks pretty interesting...



    Jeff
    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

  2. #4802
    Senior Member Tobho Mott's Avatar
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    My greensand needs refreshing (ie. it is a little too dry) but it was way too hot and humid to think about doing that over the weekend, so to keep myself from going insane from boredom, I worked on finishing up a couple of other castings instead - one poured just recently, and another from last October.

    Made a nice base for that small anthill casting shown in the previous post. I made it out of a piece of an ash tree that lived in a friend's front yard for 80+ years until the emerald ash borer betle got to it. Once the bug killed it, my friend had it milled into lumber since the bugs only kill the roots and make the bark fall off, but don't actually damage the wood. He's gotten into a bit of a woodworking hobby ever since, and has made some nice ash table- and coutertops. And showed me that a big thickness planer is a fun machine to play with (certainly more fun than a hand plane, at least for me, and at least on wood that's this hard)! I ended up with a lot of the edge cuts, used for small projects like this and to fuel my bulk scrap melter when I'm turning aluminum alloy car wheels into small blobs that can fit into a crucible. I think the beetle tracks that are visible on the live edge of the ash slab add a nice burrowing bug themed touch to the whole piece... I attached it to the slab by making a hole in the bottom of the aluminum base an tapping it for a standard 1/4" bolt, drilling a 1/4" hole in the slab and drilling out the underside wider to hold a washer and the head of the bolt, then simply bolting the casting to the slab. I glued a piece of red felt to the underside of the slab, partly just because I thought it made it look nicer, and partly because I sanded a tiny bit of wobble onto the underside and this was the easiest way to make it sit flat. I'm not sure I'm all that crazy about the soup can textured base, but my wife says she thinks it "works", and smoothing it out more sounds like "work" to me... <shrug>



    And I also finally got around to electrifying my lost foam cast Jack O'Lantern lamp. The tricky part was tapping threads inside the lid's "stem" for the externally threaded lamp tube that the cord passes through and that the light socket had to screw onto on the underside of the lid - I did not have the required 27tpi tap of the correct diameter (though I do have the gauge needed to figure out how many teeth per inch I needed!) So I drilled the hole a tiny bit bigger, chucked up the tube itself in my drill, and what do you know, I actually got it to tap its own threads, just tight enough not to slip but still loose enough that I could install and remove the tube by hand if needed. So that worked out great!

    A small CFL bulb just fits without touching the bottom of the inside, as does an old-timey incandescent bulb (which did not take long to cook itself dead inside the metal lampshade) but eventually I want to find a small (hopefully cooler) LED bulb for it, ideally in orange or red. The red CFL I tried was bigger than the white one in the pic, so it would not fit. Some FL's are more C than others, I guess... This one will get the orange felt you might be able to see underneath it glued on the bottom to save whatever furniture it ends up sitting on from getting scratched up.



    I'm going to try and figure out a way to bring my sand inside where it's cool and not so humid to moisten it back up, without making a sandy mess of the entire place and pissing off the wife. A big rubbermaid bin and a couple 5 gallon buckets, plus my drill with an old mix-master beater in it (stole that idea from youtuber "Makin Sumthin From Nuthin"), since even I can't think of a way to get away with dragging my muller-in-progress inside and setting it up in the dining room...


    Jeff
    Last edited by Tobho Mott; 06-19-2017 at 03:49 PM.
    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

  3. #4803
    I finally bought 200lbs of proper 100 mesh olivine sand from a local foundry supply. I made 3kg @ 10% bentonite to test it. This stuff is awesome, nearly as nice as my small quantity of premixed petrobond. It feels fluffy like brown sugar, it packs hard and it picks up all the lines in my palm.

    I made another 9kg to test how it casts.

    For a pattern, I 3D printed a dragon bone dagger from the video game skyrim. My wife modeled it in blender.
    IMG_20170621_221302542_HDR.jpg

    I am really happy with the result. It picked up all of the 0.1mm layer lines. Now that I know the sand works so well, I'll put the time in to fill and sand the pattern.

    Super stoked to have that much high quality sand on hand. Previously I could only get play sand and quickrete "fine" sand which in my location seems to be 6-60 mesh, >30% retained on a window screen, just crap.


    -Corey

  4. #4804
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    I'm rehabbing a 4jaw chuck to mount in my 3jaw chuck so i can accurately turn some 3" round stock to construct my slip roll, so I can finish my muller project and get on casting.
    FLAME ON...!!!!

  5. #4805
    I was casting out more steam engine parts again today, had to break out the really massive crucible to pour that thing, and man did it use alot more metal than I thought it would, lol. I got the top half of the body, the steam chest and cover.

    DSC05557.jpg

  6. #4806

    Connecting rod Bottle openers

    I did a live casting demo at an engine show in Orange MA this past weekend.


    I wanted to make a connecting rod bottle opener.

    I modeled it in OnShape Thursday night.
    con rod cad.PNG

    3D Printed and finished the pattern Friday morning.
    Con Rod Prints.jpg

    Did a molding trial Friday night.
    Conrod Mold test.jpg

    Packed up and successfully cast two pieces at the show on Saturday
    Conrod castings.jpg

    conrod casting close.jpg

    Later that night, I preformed the functional test and celebration in one fell swoop.


    I am very happy with my new sand, and how these castings turned out. You can even see the diagonal hatching from the individual printer threads in the recess where I could not file.


    -Corey

  7. #4807
    nice bottle openers, I thought your flasks were altoids tins at first, at least by the shape of them, lol. It is crazy how much detail that good greensand can pick up. I used to try using 3d printed patterns, but got tired of having the extra work of trying to clean the layers and crosshatch pattern from the 3d printer off of the castings afterwards, lol.

  8. #4808
    Senior Member Tobho Mott's Avatar
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    Hey Chirpy, do you ever worry about hot sand melting your half-barrel sand bin when you shake out castings over your molding bench? I found out a guy just down the road from me is selling barrels (plastic and steel both, all spotless inside and a reasonable price from what I've seen before), so remembering seeing your bench from your videos (and maybe an old post I was unable to find again?), I picked some up and spent some of the weekend building a similar bench using a plastic barrel. (Mine is a white plastic barrel though - completely original idea!)

    Still needs the lid attached, but it's just about finished. I'll make sure to post pictures once it's all together...

    Jeff
    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

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