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Aluminum sand casting/ projects

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Shep1970

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Hello, I got into this particular hobby about 3-yrs ago. I needed a longer intake for a build and figured “why not make one”. (Pics) also needed another axle wrench (Pics). A tank scoop, (just seeing if I could do it).
A bike front fork brace- (not usable) had voids.
A front caliper bracket(works great).
But what I really needed was a sand rammer (compacts petrobond sand) for the mold halves. A new one is very costly!!! So I formed a pistol grip outa clay (then cast it into alum) and the hammer I cast a bolt into. It works really good(Pics) EXCEPT the first attempt I put 120pounds of air through it and orings came flying out (bits+pieces). The palm nailer I used only calls for 30pounds of air. But rebuilt it and it’s all set/ have used it every time since.....
I have casted a bunch of others things also but I’ll save those for another day.:thumbsup:
Anyway here’s some pics- thanks for looking

Shep
 

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Shep1970

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A couple more pics-

And two or three of my plastics hobby as well-I’ll explain more of the plastics some other day:thumbsup: it’s a headlight shell for a 1986 Honda atc

Oh, I also play with rubber parts as well(bottom pics) tank rubbers
When const work slows down in winter this is how I keep busy...:cheers2:

Shep
 

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mckutzy

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That pretty slick... Nice work... Howabout a few pics of the furnace setup...
I used to do alot of lead remelt from roofing lead for bullet ingots...
I need a new setup now..

What do you use for the binder for the sand??? Water, veg oil???

Cool stuff..
 

Shep1970

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It’s a 4kg propane furnace/(store bought) it’ll melt about 3-1/2 lbs or so of alum. I found myself last yr needing a bigger one. This one is approx 14” wide x 16” tall.
The petrobond casting sand is also store bought, I know there people out there that mix there own but just small time projects it’s just easier to buy it. I’m still on my original sand it lasts awhile(I just take out the burnt chunks)and save it Incase I ever mix my own.
Planning on trying copper/bronze next summer. The crucible (pour/melt) cup, I need a couple more for different metals. I’d never try Steele though(too hot) for me.
I just do it in the back yard with a couple saw horses plywood top, 5-6 fire bricks, tongs and a bunch of safety stuff. The first time I fired the furnace I was amazed at the noise- sounds like a small jet engine, at night the funnel of fire shoots 4-5 feet up.
The aluminum I’ve just been buying by the lb through eBay/ it’s clean and nice size pieces, so there isn’t too much slag(junk metal) to scrape off the top when melted.
I made my own pine molding boxes (two halves) that join together- actually I now have 3 different size one for odd size items. Join with like a trunk latch system.
PMC supplies out of ny is where I bought mine- they’ve gone up in cost though. There on eBay also.
Definetly worth the investment.

Shep
 

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mckutzy

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Copper and bronze are pretty hot... Steel is really hot... Most likely need forced induction burner...

Have you done any work with lost foam type cores... I'm remember in high school back in the day... We did alot of that... Teacher had built the hot wire foam cutter for us.. We used that blue siding insulation foam... Pretty fun stuff
 

Shep1970

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Any idea what alloy of Aluminum you're using?

I get it off eBay- it’s generally a guy out west that’s melting down old cylinder heads/gear cases/ some car rims, he will melt old castings. Then clean off the dross(impurities) off the top/add flux then pour into molds and sell it by the pound.
On avg. 3 lbs I melt will have maybe a teaspoon of junk floating to remove.

A380 is generally what’s used for casting- (I had to google it):thumbsup:
I haven’t tried the lost foam method yet. But I will soon. I really wish we had ant hills around my area, I guess nice sculptures can be had by just pouring the molten alum into one.
Shep
 

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mckutzy

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A DIY cobbled together one can be made for really cheap... The hose, gas ball valve and regulator are the expense... Mostly gas plumbing bits...
The little burner furnace I made last time was a pile of fire bricks....
 
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