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Thread: The Bucket Foundry

  1. #4021
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    10th February 2005 - 20:25
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    Neil,
    Just saw your Autogyro article and enjoyed it - feels to me and no doubt the other regulars, that we have been through all the (inevitable) trials and tribulations with you and it's great to see you starting to emerge at the other end instead of ending up floundering somewhere along the way!
    Congratulations on your achievements so far!

    PS. when everyone is really interested in the two stroke engine, no one seems to notice (or care) what it is actually powering - just good to see it proving a point about power/weight ratio (beats just about anything)!

    Ken,
    I see you are really getting stuck into the experimental stuff now! but I hope you don't forget all about the 3D printing stuff! - every process has some merit somewhere!
    I have (since getting my little printer) now got some reason and inclination to learn the 3D drawing at last and I spend a lot of time trying to figure it out for myself - don't use the book a lot, only when I get stuck! - I'm a pig headed bugger! - (or stupid).
    I started off making sink plugs and now attempting to make patterns - still just doodling as yet and haven't decided to try melting out the PLA stuff up till now -
    Do keep us posted.

    Michael,
    I still have to read your stuff.
    Freedom of speech is important but if what we say is considered incorrect by our peers, they will quickly put us right.
    P.C. will eventually destroy our right to tell the truth.

  2. #4022
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    22nd November 2013 - 16:32
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    Shell core blower….there are many types, but here is ours:

    Shell cores are great things: quick to produce, strong, good surface finish, last forever blah, blah. The only downside is that they need metal dies to endure the 200 deg C temp, no cheap arse 3D printed coreboxes will do here.

    Despite that, we have one that we half inherited from a mate in Melbourne, and maybe will be used for a specific application. Basically it consists of 2 aluminium dies (no cavities as yet), these being mounted via bolted standoffs to the top and bottom platen of the horizontal die set, actuated by the red air cylinder. As the moving platen (nearest to the air cylinder) retracts, the 4 extended nut/spring units react against the fixed back plate and force the ejector plate towards the dies and, with ejector pins in the die, will eject the sand core. Not shown, but the same principle will also eject the core from the fixed die half.

    How does the sand get into the dies? When the dies are closed, the “sand holder” will be swung across until it is directly above the dies. Then the clamp cylinder will then force the clamp plate down on to the sand holder, sandwiching it against the hot dies, but with a heat resistant plate in between. When all clamped, then a large valve will apply a high air flow/pressure (via a connection in the clamp plate) above the sand in the sand holder, and then forcing the sand into the dies. Small strategically placed vents in the die allow air to escape to avoid dead spots.


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    With the dies around 200 deg C` (in our case heated by a series of small electrical heating insertable elements, around Ø10 mm), a finished core can be made in around 1 – 2 mins, totally dependent od the thickness and mass.

    Every now and then, the sand holder will be swung below the sand reservoir (proudly made from an old LPG cylinder....jeez, I love this type of recycling/repurposing) for refilling.

    Temp controllers will maintain the die temps using type K thermocouples.
    "Perfection is the enemy of progress"

  3. #4023
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    10th February 2005 - 20:25
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    I used to have the job of making dies (coreboxes) - coolest job ever as far as I was concerned! - and I had a free hand to do it all how I pleased, having earlier refused to go on the CNC machines - (I didn't want to become a slave to a Robot!)
    I got to design and build them in Cast Iron on a manual mill and lathe for Masport Foundries at Mt Wellington (where our valves etc. were cast). We didn't have the gear like blowers and heaters such as you describe to test them, so I used plaster of paris to check them out before sending them to the foundry - it worked but was bloody messy!
    The actual core making and casting process (in the foundry) is pretty smelly though, but I guess it really is the best overall solution for the moment.
    Freedom of speech is important but if what we say is considered incorrect by our peers, they will quickly put us right.
    P.C. will eventually destroy our right to tell the truth.

  4. #4024
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    12th October 2016 - 01:24
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    Finally got to cast the MotoBi manifolds, really happy with how they turned out.

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  5. #4025
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    12th March 2010 - 16:56
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    they look real nice, good feeling opening up molds to see how the castings look.

  6. #4026
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    19th October 2014 - 17:49
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    You can see Patrick pouring the manifolds and Jeff pouring some cylinder liner blanks on Jeff Henise's FB page. Jeff hasn't got the photos/videos added to his Highwayman Bikes website yet.

  7. #4027
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    12th March 2010 - 16:56
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    Quote Originally Posted by WilDun View Post
    I used to have the job of making dies (coreboxes) - coolest job ever as far as I was concerned! - and I had a free hand to do it all how I pleased, having earlier refused to go on the CNC machines - (I didn't want to become a slave to a Robot!)
    I got to design and build them in Cast Iron on a manual mill and lathe for Masport Foundries at Mt Wellington (where our valves etc. were cast). We didn't have the gear like blowers and heaters such as you describe to test them, so I used plaster of paris to check them out before sending them to the foundry - it worked but was bloody messy!
    The actual core making and casting process (in the foundry) is pretty smelly though, but I guess it really is the best overall solution for the moment.
    Yes, my shell moulding machine will be outside under a roof. Smell can stay outside. About ready to put the third and last steel block, plattern, in the CNC. A steel frame to sit the platterns on is next.

    Yes, it was nice to be asked to do an article on my twostroke gyro engine for Kiwi Flyer magazine. As you may guess the editor also flys autogyros.

  8. #4028
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    20th January 2010 - 14:41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flettner View Post
    Yes, my shell moulding machine will be outside under a roof. Smell can stay outside. About ready to put the third and last steel block, plattern, in the CNC. A steel frame to sit the platterns on is next.

    Yes, it was nice to be asked to do an article on my twostroke gyro engine for Kiwi Flyer magazine. As you may guess the editor also flys autogyros.
    I seen your name in something last night about scale mustangs and Spitfires.
    http://www.campbellaeroclassics.com/id55.html
    Have you considered doing one for BMW R1200's. they seem a far more cost effective option than a roTAX



    Kinky is using a feather. Perverted is using the whole chicken

  9. #4029
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    10th February 2005 - 20:25
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    Quote Originally Posted by OopsClunkThud View Post
    Finally got to cast the MotoBi manifolds, really happy with how they turned out.
    It really is a great feeling to turn out your first casting!!
    I did manage a few pours around two to three years ago, however, circumstances haven't really gone my way since - but I'm not giving up yet!
    I got a little 3D printer (which I didn't regret buying) to do some patterns - love it, and it's all good fun getting to learn 3D draughting as well - but I'm beginning to see that the old tried and true patternmaking and casting methods are still best! Everything has a niche somewhere, where it can excel, but no system is best in every situation.
    Did you design and build all your own foundry gear?
    Freedom of speech is important but if what we say is considered incorrect by our peers, they will quickly put us right.
    P.C. will eventually destroy our right to tell the truth.

  10. #4030
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    19th October 2014 - 17:49
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    Patrick did his pattern and core mold box from PLA on his 3D printer. With filling/sanding they seem to be quite nice, though he was finding the PLA a bit soft and had to be careful when lightly ramming the sand in the core box so he didn't dent the plastic. Patrick also printed the mold for a nice pouring basin.

    The foundry day was at Jeff Henise's so the furnace etc are his.

  11. #4031
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    Here's a shot of the molds with the pouring basin
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  12. #4032
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Moore View Post
    Patrick did his pattern and core mold box from PLA on his 3D printer. With filling/sanding they seem to be quite nice, though he was finding the PLA a bit soft and had to be careful when lightly ramming the sand in the core box so he didn't dent the plastic.

    I heard that Ken Seeber had caught up with Jeff in Australia.

    How thick were the shells in the patterns? - I have actually been finding PLA to be quite a hard plastic, in fact I would have expected it to crack causing it to collapse rather than through it to being too soft! - it was really quite hard to sand too! - Looks there could be a few different grades of PLA available?? - I do know that there is another grade called "Tough PLA" but that's the only other one I've heard of.
    Freedom of speech is important but if what we say is considered incorrect by our peers, they will quickly put us right.
    P.C. will eventually destroy our right to tell the truth.

  13. #4033
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    22nd November 2013 - 16:32
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    Michael, I agree with Wil in that the PLA can be quite rigid. I get the impression that maybe he didn't have enough layers at the surface. It would seem to me that 2 if not 3 would give a good "skin", but also maybe the infill density was a little light and not providing enough support for the skin.

    Maybe “OopsClunkThud” should change/extend his name to include splash, smile, smell and pain to reflect the excitements of casting…

    Your wooden copes and drags look really neat and well made. Was it sodium silicate & CO2 you used for hardening the sand?

    Jeff's Highwayman site is really good. Lots of well presented detail coverage on exhausts, frames and engines.

    Dunno if I'd consider leaving sand outside in the open. Our neighbourhood cats would have no hesitation in having a shit in it.
    "Perfection is the enemy of progress"

  14. #4034
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    19th October 2014 - 17:49
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    Jeff has a tarp over the foundry area to try and keep the cats away.

    Jeff did the boxes/patterns for the cylinder liners and Patrick did them for his Motobi manifolds.

    One of the things about getting a 3D printer is the question "what will I do with it?" Patrick sent me a bunch of photos of things he's made for the bikes and garage that shows he's got that issue well in hand, it looks more like he could use an extra printer to keep up with the potential projects. I don't know what settings he used for the patterns but he seems to have a good idea of how to make parts that are sturdy enough to be useful. I have the impression that not all filaments are created equal, maybe the PLA he gets is a bit softer than others?

    These were using the sodium silicate and CO2, and my understanding is the binder was getting a bit old, I don't know if it has a shelf life. I think it seemed good to use it up on these somewhat less critical parts vs cylinders etc.

    I didn't hear about there being any panic moments, which is always nice.

    Jeff has already done a T6 heat treat on the liner castings.

    cheers,
    Michael

  15. #4035
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Moore View Post
    Jeff has a tarp over the foundry area to try and keep the cats away.
    ……………………………………….
    One of the things about getting a 3D printer is the question "what will I do with it?" Patrick sent me a bunch of photos of things he's made for the bikes and garage that shows he's got that issue well in hand, it looks more like he could use an extra printer to keep up with the potential projects. I don't know what settings he used for the patterns but he seems to have a good idea of how to make parts that are sturdy enough to be useful. I have the impression that not all filaments are created equal, maybe the PLA he gets is a bit softer than others? …………………………………………………………………..
    cheers,
    Michael
    My grandson had a brainwave at his kindergarten a few years back - he went through a phase of making signs on wooden sticks and he asked the teacher to write on his signs "please don't poo in the sandpit" to try to make the cats stop and reconsider their actions!

    Yes of course, the 3D printers have a niche somewhere but as with all new fads, the majority of new 'enthusiasts' just go and find other toys to play with, whereas we Bucketeer (etc) types keep using them for an actual purpose and there are quite a few uses for them (ie besides things like Christmas decorations, sink plugs and balls for the wardrobe hooks which I started off doing to cut my teeth on.

    DesignSpark Mechanical is what I'm now using, its 'free to download' (and very good!) 3D software and of course good old Cura to convert everything into G-Code (also free!) and I'm actually getting to grips with it all.
    - Wish I had had all this cool stuff when I was a teenager!

    Never mind, we'll soon begin to benefit by getting all the practically unused and perfectly good but discarded secondhand gear which didn't come up to expectations for it's original owner, probably only because it actually required some thought and experimentation to set up properly - and so we will then be able to obtain a cheap, useable machine! (talking from a cheapskate's point of view of course! ).

    I just do tiny stuff, - nothing of significance really. Something about the size of say a 125cc piston might be at the upper end of my league! and that size or less probably explains why my stuff doesn't have rigidity problems.
    I would imagine that as the size increases, the lack of rigidity will probably increase exponentially (if that's the right way to describe the problem in this particular case!)……. But as Ken says this can all be kept under control by proper internal support.

    I do think that traditional casting methods will still hold their own for some time yet though!
    Freedom of speech is important but if what we say is considered incorrect by our peers, they will quickly put us right.
    P.C. will eventually destroy our right to tell the truth.

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