Friday, May 17, 2013

My first Thin Ceramic Shell Lost Wax

It turned out pretty well for a first attempt.

There was some charcoal in the pour. And I have what looks like bubbling along in patches.

But there's lots of really great detail. I'm moving up to Propane next, less charcoal, less ash.
I think the finger tips may have been ruined by charcoal ash getting into the ceramic mold while I baked it.

Ps. Thanks Ben.



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Monday, April 22, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It's turtles all the way down !

I've moved up from aluminium to bronze.

I started by making a stand for the crucible. That way it stays upright when the charcoal burns. Makes life easier.

I also prepared a bucket of charcoal broken into small lumps, about 2cm on the longest side. They would be easier to load, and burn fast and hot.

I had a lot of fun putting charcoal into the furnace without getting it into the crucible on the Al melts, so I made a sheet metal cone with a handle. I simply covered the crucible and shovelled in the charcoal. Less time with the furnace open.

And I kept it topped up. Once the furnace calmed down from a raging fury, I added more fuel.

It still took a long time to melt the bronze, but the turtle turned out pretty well for my first bronze case, and my second sand cast of anything.

A little tidying up to remove the flashing (I need more practice at making the sand molds) and a little cleaning up with a buffing wheel and this guy's a keeper.
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Thursday, April 4, 2013

That looks HOT

Charcoal and a blast of air from the output of a small shop vac.

They cleaned up ok

A little time with a belt sander, and a flap wheel and now they look presentable.

They were just a learning exercise, so I won't be going through the grits to make them look pretty.

I had on charcoal inclusion. I need a better skimmer than a piece of plywood.
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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Nothing a grinder won't fix

 Thanks to Oliver, for dropping over to help out with my first attempt to cast something other than Aluminium Mc Muffins.
Having ingots which were easy to manage made things nice and simple from the point of view of the melting.
I made a few mistakes with the green sand, including forgetting the parting dust! But the flask came apart so well we wend with it anyway.
I need to grind / file off the flashing, and then drill a pair of mounting holes.
It was a good learning experience. I could see a few things that went wrong, and I have a few ideas how to make things better next time. Video may follow, but that involves editing and uploading, so it may not follow too quickly.
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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wheelium Ingots

I melted down 3/4 of an Alloy Wheel to make ingots. They are much easier to deal with later when I want to focus on making something, rather than focus of getting the odd shaped aluminium bits to melt into the crucible.

I think my furnace is a little small, but it will do, I can easily get 3 of these from one melt, 4 would be brim full.

You need plenty of charcoal, and it burns fast. By the end of this melt, the furnace was pretty choked with ash. That did not help things.

When it's running right, it's HOT.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Wheelium Ingots


A broken aluminium wheel is a castable, machinable alloy, chop it, melt it, and pour some ingots.

It's an easy pour, so you get to make sure all the tools and set-up works, and ingots are easier to handle later when you are casting something more interesting.

Cook the mould over the furnace to make sure there is no water in it,  unless you think this is fun !

First you need some tools

A pouring shank, to pour the metal. With a locking bar to avoid the crucible falling out.



A set of lifting tongs to hold the crucible, gently but firmly as you lift it out of the furnace.



A casting flask, and a simple pair of tongs for moving hot things, or feeding the stock into the crucible.
A furnace to melt it in.

The furnace is almost straight out of Gingery's book. Sand and Fire clay for the lining. The lid is fire-cement and Perlite. It was easier to get it to stay together. The Fire clay and sand was quite fragile for a lid.

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