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Metal Casting Tips and FAQ

Frequently asked questions

I enjoy answering your question on my Youtube videos and have put together some of the most frequently asked so I can answer them in more detail with the aid of illustrations.
Feel free to ask anything that is not clear.


Where does your user name come from?
Nothing to do with the Ford Motor Company, my lathe is a Myford, Myford lathe, myfordboy!

Can you recommend any books on casting?
I can recommend Foundrywork for the Amateur and The Backyard Foundry, both by B. Terry Aspin. I bought these 2 books when I first became interested in casting and they gave me a good introduction to the craft. I also have  The Complete Handbook of Sand Casting  which is worth a read.

Can the sand be used again?
Yes. With the greensand I am using I let the sand cool and then pass it through my Super Sifter
A little water is sprayed on to get the moisture content back to a usable state.

How is the core located in the centre of the mould?
From the amount of enquiry's I get it is not clear how the core stays in the correct location when the metal is poured.
Shown below are some snapshots from my Metal Casting at Home part 10 video.


Here we see the split pattern. Note that on the ends of the pattern and at the top, some half round sections have been added. These are called CORE PRINTS and will not be part of the finished casting.

When the two halves are  placed together the half round sections form a full round section. 

This is the core. The round section at the top and at each end will locate in the core prints in the sand mould. Because there are three it can only be positioned one way.


                     The core is lowered into the mould.




The core prints hold the the core in the centre of the mould.



  On the finished casting the core can be seen at each end and the core is then removed by soaking in water and digging out..











123 comments:

  1. Very interesting videos, casting, machining and building your own engines from scratch. Are you passing your skills on to young people (apart from through Youtube)?

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  2. Regretably I know of no young people who are interested. I am a member of a model engineering club,I'm almost the youngest.

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    1. I am young and i have been watching you do this stuff in awe!! I would love to make stuff myself thus is the reason i have been watching you! Thank you! I am looking to make small things first then who knows! Thanx again

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    2. I'm also fairly young (30 ish) and have been casting for a few years now. There are not a TON of younger people interested in making, but we are definitely out there! Thank you for your wonderful videos, I've only watched 5 so far and have already learned some really helpful and clever new techniques!

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    3. I'm 25. I find your video's brilliant. I want to have a go a mould making and casting. I have my own workshop but have never tried casting before so your videos have been very useful. I have just bought an Alba 4S shaper. How many people my age even know what a shaper is? I love old machines. Many thanks for the effort you have put into making your videos. Keep them coming. Liam

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    4. I'm 17, and I've learned quite a bit from your videos.

      Thanks to your videos, I should be able to start metal casting and having fun, so, thanks.

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    5. I'm 34. Your videos are great! Fine work! And good choise is showing unsuccesfull part sometime. It say our - "be ready, it's possible."

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    6. One more - I'd recommended visit to www.chipmaker.ru - it's Russian site about metalworking, all parts - casting, cutting, abrasive, CNC, ... - lot of information. Of course - in Russian, but you can try translate by google.

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    7. I just turned 14. I love your videos! I don't think that my parents would ever let me try to cast anything, but it's still interesting to learn about.

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  3. hmm.. very great and inspireing tutors on youtube thank you. id like to try it. but i dont know how to build a stove. did you used fireproof cement inside? and when you supply heat, how come supply tube doesn't melt aswell. how to get heat 1000-1300C at home? is that a simple gas balloon you are using or any special one? how do you measure temperature of flame and temperature of inside gasses in stove? if you could make tutorials on that.. that would make all your tutors complete and whole.
    thanks :)

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  4. Not sure what you mean by gas baloon. Fuel is propane gas in a bottle. The end of the burner is not in the flames so it doesn't melt.
    Click on the link to myfordboy's furnace for details of the construction(under "Pages" on the right of this page). Temerature can be measured with a thermocouple connected to a meter. With the aluminium I just pour as soon as its melted, it can be overheated.

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  5. Investment castings are the most versatile metal forming methods available. Designers are not limited to any particular alloy, as the investment casting process allows for easy alloy substitution using the same tooling. Great post!

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  6. Don't worry there are some young people. I'm one of them. I have to get some linseed oil to try your core recipe for several cannon patterns I made. I have a site as well. http://maniacmechanics.blogspot.com/

    Great work with everything.

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  7. hello, im 17 and i love your tutorials, i currently work part time for a small engineering company, and go college studying areospace engineering. i love the way you show the vids step by step kepp it up matey.

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  8. @Bill T
    I have read in another book that you can use molasses instead of linseed oil, which would make it less toxic for use in the home oven, and not anger your mother/wife/girlfriend.

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  9. hello im 26 and thinking about casting
    too hit or miss little one
    yep got to say found videos very intresting

    got a few question if u dont mind
    how long dose it take to heat that amount of alu up with propane and is the a ideal temp to aim for ?
    just thinking about veg oil burner thats all
    get that it harder to regulate just like the waste oil burner hotter it get thinner the oil fast it flows
    and hole on furnce very large too on yours ?
    was thinking 55 gallon drum cut up with empty propane bottle cut in half and nice think insolation walls keep the heat in

    casting sand
    well have kiln died stuff use with shot blaster vessel just thinking of how fine to go what do u sieve at mirco ?
    also have very fine glass bead and chilled iron just a though
    is there a point were its to fine and dose to holds together ?

    i have almost finished my 8 x 4 cnc plasma cutter but can fit router in so was thinking of molds were did u get spec from thinking cold night in out of garge running it up on cad ?

    oo did u make up the boring bar one u used end to end to bore cyclinder ?

    the mant prob at mo dont have mill at mo but thinking angle block and flycutter on lathe
    or think not possible have a fair bit of cross travel

    sorry my grammer is bad
    Dyslexia as they come

    many thanks dean
    mini_mad_dean@hotmail.co.uk

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  10. It takes about 20 minutes to melt 5Kg. I pour as soon as all the metal is liquid, I don't measure the temperature. It bad to let the metal cook you can overheat it.
    The sand needs some clay in it to bond together so what you mention may not be suitable.
    Boring bar is home made.

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  11. I know this will appear foolishly simple in retrospect however, I am still in need of the easiest way to make green sand. I have read a bit about it but still it seems oddly confusing. Should I just go down to the beach and pick up a few hundred pounds of sand and sift out the seaweed and other things and then simply add a 20% by weight floor dry(Diatemaceous earth) and mix well with a little water? Or what?

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  12. My sand is a foundry product I have never made my own. The recognised method though is to use play sand and up to 10% bentonite clay. It needs to be mulled, it is not sufficent just to mix it together. Failing a proper mechanical muller its possible to put it between sheets of plastic and walk/drive over it until every grain is covered with the clay.

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  13. i have a question that in the making of stirling engine..if balsa wood is not available then what should i use as an alternative

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    Replies
    1. Bass wood is a common alternative to Balsa wood. you should be able to find it in most every hobby store beside the balsa wood.

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  14. Balsa is ideal for this engine as it needs to be light but heavy enough to fall under its own weight. Anything heavier, like a heavier wood, would effect the engines performance. I can't realy suggest an alternative as I haven't tried anything else. Foam would not stand up to the temperature inside the tin.

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  15. I found second video very interesting as you can really learn some good things from it...you can actually learn the process easily by watching it.... definitely things gonna be difficult if you try this for d first time... but this post will help you somewhere.... Bronze foundry

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  16. How many heats do you get out of your stainless steel crucibles. I am thinking they would last longer in an electric kiln type furnace which I plan to use.JP RYAN in California

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  17. It varies how long the crucibles last. I can get up to 10 melts usualy. An elecric furnace should prolong the life as there is no flame involved. Heating would be more even.

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  18. Hello myfordboy and thank you very much for taking the time to share all of this with everyone.

    I am a complete rookie at this but am very interested in casting my own stainless steel designs. I am trying to do a Shiving razor and brush stand out of solid stainless steel. I aim to keep it as more of an art project than anything but I would like to make about 20 of them to give to friends and family. Which approach do you recommend I take?

    I am fairly certain I'll be able to make the mold myself but I may have to take it somewhere to get stainless steel poured into it. The sand seems tough because you need to rebuild it every time. Is there another type of home maid mold that you can re use over and over again? I've made molds out of rubber for making plastic prototypes and would love to make something similar for stainless.

    Thanks so much!

    Edward

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    Replies
    1. I would suggest lost wax casting is the way to go with this one.You would need to mahe a female mould to produce the item in wax. In industry this would be an 2 or more part aluminium mould. You will not be able to melt stainless steel yourself but you could produce the wax items and get them cast at a foundry that does investment casting.

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    2. Great! Thank you so much!

      Edward

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  19. Are you making your own wood paterns if so please do a VIDEO . This is the only thing that is holding me up at this momment.

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    Replies
    1. I have videos on pattern making like this one.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sQCJ6rv54s

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  20. hi i wonder if you can help, i have a foundry (home made) it works great but i keep breaking the mould when i remove the patern. is my sand too dry? when i had sand sticking to the patern i was told my sand was too wet, but the mould would not break. any advice would be great

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  21. Does your pattern have enough draft? If it has then its realy only your sand mix that could be wrong.
    I have just put out a new video showing how the sand should be.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l638qR0Y6YE

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    Replies
    1. Nice good information it is great post thank for sharing with me.

      http://www.rapidprototyping-china.com

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  22. Good morning,

    The E Z stirling engine page is missing from your site.
    Could you please check?

    Thanks

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  23. Good morning Myfordboy,

    Thanks for all of the videos! We're starting to do some sand casting in a highschool shop class and I have a few questions about the sand. We're using a casting sand that has been mixed with motor oil. Should this oil just be a 30 weight crankcase oil? I would think that we're looking for the same consistancy that you're using with the watered sand. Is that correct? I'm also curious about the alignment pins that you're using on the flasks. Are those something that you fabricated or are they sold? We were thinking about building some small flasks like you have. We have some aluminum ones, but they are pretty big and need a great deal of sand. Just FYI, some of the kids are really interested in this, so your videos are helping to pass it down!

    Thanks again

    Once

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    Replies
    1. I am pleased you have enjoied the videos. I have no experience with oil bonded sand so I can't help with this one. There are full details about the alignment pins on my " Making Moulding Flasks" page.

      Delete
  24. Re the Stickney and the 2 pieces of aluminium that you removed by chain drilling. I'm assuming that it would have been quite feasible for you to make the core so that you cast those 2 holes as you went, but you chose not to. Just wondering what the pros and cons are there.

    Thanks for all the videos, they are enormously helpful.

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  25. As you say it would have been quite possible to use the core to make the hole.
    The core would have been more complicated to make and the pattern would have needed additional parts to accomadate the core. The additional parts on the pattern would have to line up exactly with the core. This was my reason for using the method shown.
    Glad you like the videos.

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  26. Great site, great videos !
    I have been doing some aluminum melting for a few years (gingery lathe for instance). I have tried experiments with pure aluminum in which I left about 4% in wheight of pure coper (old electric wire) which is I should say "absorbed" in about 20 minutes by the melting aluminum. It seems to work not so baddly, and the alloy is "useable".
    I have seen that you use salt or diet salt to improve the fluidity, and washing soda as a degaser. Could you explain the chemistery of that?
    Thanks a lot (an apologies for my poor english)

    Claude

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  27. Hi Claude.
    I don't know the chemistry other than the washing soda drives off hydrogen gas which is absorbed into the metal during the melt.
    I have heard of adding copper to make it more machinable, I must give it a try.

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  28. Hi Myfordboy ... For the degassing can be used sodium bicarbonate in place of sodium carbonate?

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    Replies
    1. I am no chemist but sodium bicarbonate is obviously a different ingredient so could have different properties. I know the Sodium carbonate works so why not stick to this? Some users use "pool shock"for degassing.

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  29. Brilliant, I love it. Never had the opportunity at school or college, but you make it look *simple* thought I am sure it is not. I have built the furnace and tried it out last Sat, worked a charm. Plan to buy some green sand and make my first mold. Thanks for all you have done

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  30. myforgeboy
    what can i say i have been inspired by your video's to start my own forge so far i have i have only built a coal furnace but it still aluminium.
    i was wondering what i can melt in the gas furnace ie: mild steel, copper, brass any ideas as to what i can smelt
    thanks and keep up the good work
    dingo.dynamo@live.com.au

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    Replies
    1. The design is good for melting aluminium, brass, bronze copper but to melt cast iron the refactory lining would need to be replaced with a higher temperature one. Mild steel is not suitable for casting.

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  31. Hello Myfordboy,
    Do you have to do anything to your greensand after casting parts? Do you just bust it up and add it back to the unused greensand again or dose it dry out to much to use again? Thanks

    Joe

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    Replies
    1. I just push it through a kitchen sieve and then add water to get it back to the correct moisture content. Have you seen this video?
      http://youtu.be/mNDliDKH7Hg

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    2. Just watched part 26 and came back to say I found answer in that video but you where already on top of that...."Look with your Eye's not your Mouth " Thanks

      Delete
  32. thanks myforgeboy
    for the reply about what i can smelt and if i need to build a furnace with a better liner what would you suggest that i use as i have a coal furnace and am about to build the gas furnace any help or advice you can give me i would be very greatfull and thxs for responding so quickly bloody impressed i am lol

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    Replies
    1. You don't say where you live but you need to get a commercial castable refactory to make a hot face if you want the furnace to withstand higher temperatures. I have not used this myself. I can send details if you email me.


      Message to all--
      If everyone signs themselves as Anoymous I don't know who I am replying to.

      Delete
  33. hey myforgeboy
    sorry that was me asking about the lining in the question above .
    i'm an australian living in melbourne and have just started in this new adventure i need to caste a cone with a screw on it apperently its very hard to turn on a lathe so i was hoping to caste it . its for a wood splitting machine i want to build if you can send those details i again will be very greatfull and promise to give you some feed back as how i go
    dingo.dynamo@live.com.au

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  34. Hello Myfordboy,

    I,ve watched your entire series of videos on youtube with very great interest. I assumed that you had spent your entire working life in a traditional UK skilled engineering/manufacturing environment, sadly a thing of the past and with it the apprenticeships that gave young men an opportunity in life.

    I work in I.T. an interest that I developed at about 35 years of age and taught myself.

    I have some technical questions.

    How thin can a casting wall be made?

    What is the limit in terms of overall dimensions of the casting?

    When you have a molten mix how much time do you have to get it in the mould before it starts to solidify with the possibility that the material won't flow properly?


    I am interested in environmental issues, alternative energy and recycling. To these ends I have a number of projects in mind, do you have an e-mail address could I send you my designs and ask your advice?

    Thankyou so much for making the videos, quality!!!

    Kind Regards
    Peter

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    Replies
    1. Hi Peter,
      None of my working life has been spent in the environment you mention! The engineering is a hobby and all I know has been learnt from books and self tuition. I have been a model maker since school days and have progressed via model aircraft, and cars to model engineering.
      To answer your questions,The thinness of the casting possible will depend on the size of the object. I suppose I have gone down to about 3mm on small pieces.The overall size depends on how much metal you could melt in your equipment. I can melt 5Kg with my set up. The overall size is not an issue if you can melt enough metal to fill it, the mould will hold good.
      There is enough time not to rush the pour, it safer not to hurry, no real danger of it solidifying before you pour.
      I am happy to help if I can. myfordboy[at]yahoo.co.uk Replace the[at]with @

      David

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    2. Hi David,

      The result of your self tuition is very impressive!

      Two more technical questions.

      When you break the molds, do you reuse the sand or is it too cooked to be used again?

      Do you factor in any shrinkage for your designs?

      Peter

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  35. Peter,
    The sand is used over and over again. I make the patterns 2% larger than I want the finished item to be.

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  36. Hi i noticed a few things

    When you pour the metal in - how did you make sure the metal did not fill the metal tubes you were pouring it into? (because if it did that, it would match the shape that we want) like how did you make sure you had the right amount of metal?
    Also, if you were to do this often where can you find a ready supply of metal? is it just builders merchants and so on? Thanks!

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  37. sry in my first question i meant as in if you have too much it would "over spill" and then form the shape of the tubes too

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  38. It is necessary to fill the feeder and riser tube as this gives the metal head to fill the mould.This is the reason for adding the extention feeder and riser. As the metal cools it shrinks and this head of metal feeds the mould. You can see the metal shrinking at the top on some of the videos.
    I have never bought any metal just keep my eye out for scrap like car parts old light fiitings etc.

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  39. I have entered the realm of metal casting because of your You Tube videos. I have to admit, it has been a complete failure. Hours and hours of frustration each day for the last two or three weeks. I'm obviously doing something quite wrong so I hope you can help.

    I notice you now have a reference to a company selling green sand. Prior to that you had another company but they had red sand which, with the conditioner I bought from them, was said to be right for the job. I have called them several times for advice but I think it is something wrong with the way I'm using the sand. They admit it is not as good as the old Mansfield green sand but I'm sure it is something I'm doing wrong.

    The thing I'm making: I have a brass ferule welded to a 3mm brass plate which is oval shaped. The plate is wider than the ferule diameter by 4mm and 10mm (because of the oval). The welding has been done by an expert friend of mine and it is perfectly smooth. I'm a wood turner so I have turned a 480 gritted piece of box wood which fits inside the brass ferule. I place the object on a shiny piece of contiboard that is perfectly clean and dry. I have made a frame that I put around the object which is plate down and ferule up and with the 'bung' inside the hollow (the sand gets stuck in the pattern otherwise). I put the frame around it and pack in the sand very tightly as you show. I then turn over the 'box' and tap the pattern. I then screw in a couple of screws in to a couple of pre tapped holes on the plate. I lift the pattern an the bung remains behind as I planned. The mold is damaged in some way though. Usually it is the sand sticking to the pattern even though I talked it thoroughly. I then try drier sand but it wont pack so close and I get some gaps but it doesn't stick to the pattern. So, I either have gaps or stick and there is no in between those two states.

    My question is: Do I leave the sand to dry/harden for a long time (if so, how long) or should I go to even more expense and buy the new sand you are recommending. I live in Sheffield, South Yorkshire so I can get to most of the places you might know.

    My second question is: Should I abandon the sand altogether? I need to make about fifty of these objects and it would be a fag to make a new batch of sand every time, or could I keep pouring in to the same sand mould once I get a good one (not holding my breath though).

    Sorry for the long post but I'm feeling quite desperate at the moment.

    Kind regards,

    Graham.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Graham,
      I was often asked where to get greensand and J.Winter & Co was the only place I had seen it for sale although I had not used this sand myself. I recently came across ths Artisan Foundry site and as I needed some more sand I thought I would try theirs as there was no minimum order and they seem to be geared up to supply us home casters.
      As supplied the sand was very wet and it took a while to dry it out enough to use. I had to go over it with a hot air gun as we haven't seen any sun this year otherwise a day outside would have done it. It took me a few goes to get feel for it as it was a little different than my usual sand. Video No 29 shows this sand in use.
      Do have any draft on your pattern? All surfaces should have slope to enable easy withdrawal so the furrule need to have a slight taper on it. Realy if the sand sticks to the pattern it's too wet and if it breaks it's too dry. Did it pass the sweeze test, not sick to hand but break cleanly?
      You can't use the same mould for more than one cast as you need to break the sand to get the casting out.
      It does take practice to get the correct moisture content in the sand.
      I see Artisan Foundry do casting courses at a reasonable rate.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the speedy reply. I think I need another casting method. Originally I turned all my 'tops' by hand but they became moist with the sand so I painted them and then they were not so smooth as when I'd turned them. The sand always seems to stick. I did notice the courses and I might go on one but I'm a bit disheartened by sand and wonder if it will be more money wasted. I'll bite the bullet again tomorrow and try hand drying like you suggest. I think it might have come too wet in the first place I can turn slopes but the ferule is perpendicular to the lid and that corner is where the problem always occurs. I'll turn some sloped ones and try again - thanks.

      Delete
    3. Graham,I would suggest a radius on the corners too where the ferrule meets the plate if you don't have one there.

      Delete
  40. I've been messing around with casting using my hobo-style furnace. Basically a coffee can filled with charcoal and an aerosol can with the top cut off as my crucible. I cut a hole in the bottom of the coffee can through which I blow air with a blower fan I rigged up. I've done three successful melts, and two unsuccessful ones, and those two are driving me nuts! Basically, both times, the melt goes from solid (before it's melted) to liquid (molten), to a thick, paste-like gunk. The first one that didn't work, I was using a soup can, one of the larger size ones. I also changed the way I raised the can off the bottom of the coffee can, restricting air (and heat) flow underneath. The crucible also sat below the rim of the coffee can, so it's possible that ashes and whatnot from the charcoal got in. Finally, I was melting a metal that I'm not absolutely 100% positive was aluminum (although I'm 99.5% sure it was). I figured that it could have been any of those things that I did differently that messed me up, so I went back to what I'd done successfully the first time and had a successful melt/pour into my first two-part mold. I decided to try again, to make some cupcake-tin ingots out of some scrap that I had. I got another aerosol can, cut the top off, stuck it in the furnace (which was still burning from the previous melt), let the coating on the inside of the can burn off, and started feeding it metal. At first it was going great, although a little slowly. I could see the liquid metal in the can and I just kept adding more scrap to the melt. When I turned off my blower to pour, I got the same result as the first screw up. Thick, paste-like goop that doesn't pour. It didn't even move when I turned the crucible upside down.

    I really don't know what I'm doing wrong, I figured someone that knows a lot more about it than I do might be able to help. Am I leaving it molten too long so that it's absorbing too much hydrogen? I didn't know that it could absorb so much as to become saturated like that. If that is the case, can I remelt the metal and try again, or is it ruined?

    Thank you in advance, I really want to get this problem fixed and start doing successful melts again!

    ReplyDelete
  41. This is a problem I have not encounterd. If the metal is pasty it sounds to me like it is not hot enough to melt properly. You do not mention if you have used flux. This will make the melt much more fluid.
    Adding more metal to the melt is not an issue, it is quite normal to do this or you would never get sufficient metal melted. You can remelt without any problem.
    The hydrogen issue creates a porous casting not what you have here.

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  42. I love your work , Sir. Please if possible , try to make an inline-4 engine with the flat-crankshaft layout.

    And once again , Excellent work. Keep casting.

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  43. Hi, I really like your videos. Very informative and clear. I just wanted to contribute with a good source of aluminium. I have been testing melting old harddisks - they contain a lot of aluminium. Even the disks are made of aluminium. You just need to remove all electronics, iron parts and magnets.

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  44. Your videos have really helped in our efforts to cast aluminum prototypes. When you add salt and sodium carbonate to the melt, about how much are you adding?

    Thanks!
    Peter

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  45. When I do aluminium casting I do get quite a lot of porous in the castings. I use sodium carbonate and table salt as I learned from your videos, but I don't think it helps me a lot.
    Do you have any suggestions as to what I might do wrong?
    I am using a foundry I build out of blocks of aerated concrete cut with 22.5 degrees edges that I mount into a tapered octagon chamber. It gets really hot, even brass is easily melted - perhaps I heat the aluminium to much?
    Thanks for your great videos.
    /Lars

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  46. Hi Lars
    It is possible to overheat the metal. As soon as the metal is completly fluid I add the flux, degas and pour.

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  47. Just came across your videos recently, thanks for the excellent guides.

    If I can ask a question regarding the drays, any particular wood used in the construction? and those alignment devices with the pins, are they home-made or commercial?

    Thanks,

    Peter

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  48. Hi Peter
    By drays do you mean the moulding flasks?
    I have details of the alignment pins on the "Making moulding flasks" page.

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  49. Thank you for the info, looks like I'll be trying casting too!

    Peter

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  50. Sir, your videos are so enjoyable to watch, i wish i could stand next to you while you work. I have recently completed my first casting, a lost foam casting just to get my feet wet realy, but i was very proud of how it turned out. I have learned a tremendous amount from watching you, and I will continue watching everything you post. I wish you were living somewhere i could come visit and watch you in person. Im looking forward to to trying my hand at machining, and im taking notes on all your videos. I collect obscure knowledge and try to learn lost arts, may come in handy one day considering the state of politics here in the US, when i end up living in a cabin in the woods lol

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    Replies
    1. Hi Chris,
      Thank you for you comments. I am pleasead I have been of some help.

      Delete
  51. Thanks to explain the casting process involved, and the man power required for making of industrial iron goods
    regards,
    gray iron casting

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hi myfordboy,

    I find your videos inspiring, and I'd like to make a few kitchen items (forks, spoons, bowls, plates, maybe even a full table one day, just for the fun of it). But I have two questions:

    1. I notice you always use a feeder and a riser. The feeder is the crevice the metal is poured in (goes through the carved ingate), but what is the riser for? Does the aluminum "rise" through it? Is it strictly necessary, like maybe for the hot air to escape (just guessing)?

    2. With a feeder, riser, and ingate, won't every object cast have these extra "extensions"? Each cast object will have these two vertical cylinders sticking out, with a small ingate extension as well? How can our finished cast be only the shape of our mold? I noticed, on your 10-toy car mold video (part 17), when you broke the sand to remove your finished castings on each of the 10 toy cars, they had the ingate/feeder/riser tube extensions (of course, that's how you poured in the aluminum). But at the end of the video, when you place the 10 cars on a bench, the extra extensions are gone, and all that remain are the car! How did you remove the extra parts? Did you just saw them off?

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    1. Hi Jason,
      As the metal cools in the mould it will shrink and the riser and feeder provide a supply of metal to feed the mould. On some of the videos you can see how the metal at the top shrinks. Without the feeder and riser the casting would have defects. On a very small casting I don't usualy bother with the riser.
      The casting will always have the feeder and gatting attached and will need to be sawn off. If possible they are placed in a non visible possition.

      Delete
    2. Hi myfordboy,

      Thanks very much for the reply. And thanks for uploading these videos; it's definitely a source of inspiration to others like me.

      - Jason

      Delete
  53. Same questions, but no longer going to be using aluminum for utensils. Just did a quick search and apparently there's a controversy on the safety of aluminum utensils. But I have hundreds of ideas to cast with.

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  54. Sir please inform
    how is the core templates for foundry shop?

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    Replies
    1. Maloik,
      To make a core it is necessary to make a core box which has the female shape you need.

      Delete
  55. Hello MyfordBoy,

    I have been watching all of your videos. I wanted to get into making things like you do a long time ago, but there arent many people that know how or really support/understand it. In fact, I came across your page by coincidence while surfing youtube and it re-inspired an old interest. I then foolishly thought there were many people like you that upload videos of casts that they make, but there arent. You sir, are a very rare type of person that is hard to come by. And, for that I commend you. I have read several publications on how the process is done to make a lot of the things you make. More in particular the establishment of cast iron pipe works in the US. I recommend reading "CAST IRON SOIL PIPE AND FITTINGS HANDBOOK" if you havent already. I am wanting to make some pipe fittings, specifically a "side outlet tee" You can find an example here:

    http://denierco.com/images/photogallery/33%20Side%20Outlet%20Tee.JPG

    This particular style of fitting is for railing where it just slips on and is screwed down to tighten the fitting to the rail. In this manner, no permanency such as welding is required and it is able to be taken down and reconstructed or adjusted on the spot. I wish to make other types of fittings for railing, but this is the one that I plan on using the most. So before I begin, is there any advice that you can offer me for this particular mold as far as level of difficulty, machining, screws, mediums, etc? I have good technical skills and sound logic but I would be a novice/beginner when it comes to this field. I do however learn very quickly and pay strict attention to detail. Also, would it be possible to make a master mold or permanent mold (aside from the core)from a strong metal with a very high melt point? If so, would I then be able to recycle old cheap pots and pans and other various household metals and re-purpose their metal to pour into the mold? Any information or direction you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Like you, I also plan on recording my work and uploading it to my YouTube Account. I think this is a great tradition that should be taught and passed down to other generations, so this skillful art is not forgotten to mechanical robots. would like to talk to you about this subject and learn from you. Please reply or you can email me at the below email address. Thank you very much!

    Sincerely,

    Jeff Tackett

    jefftackettfb@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  56. Thank you for your great Blog. Very well written, much appreciated.

    Castings India

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  57. Greetings from a freezing #### Dublin, Myfordboy - or perhaps I should say Master!!

    Built the furnace & burner. Ordered Sand, tablets & crucible from Artisan supplies and am all set (I hope).

    Wondering if I can simply connect the burner - via about 15' of the proper tubing to an ordinary gas cylinder (Sheila will wonder why the Superser is not working) or do I need any type of safety valve.

    I might add that as a retired 65 yr old (me) Super 7 user with all his digits I have scant respect for Elf'n'Safey :-)

    Regards, and thanks,
    Ruaidhrí

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ruaidhri
      You need a regulator. I have an adjustable one and always use it set to 2 bar. It also has a hose failure cut off built in but a barbecue does not have this feature so not essential?
      The superser would be butane gas. I am using propane, butane could be a problem with the pressure dropping in cold weather ( like now!) I think the regulators for camping stoves and barbecues are much less than this.
      I just had a quick look on ebay and you can get an adjustable propane one up to 4 bar for less than £10.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the quick reply!
      I should have mentioned that I will be running the hose through a handset (sievert clone as far as I can tell) which has a flow control but not (again as far as I can tell) a regulator as such which has any sort of pressure indicator. Off to Ebay :-)
      It would also make sense if I simply pick up a propane cylinder and leave Her Ladyship some heat LOL.

      BTW like so many others I am hugely grateful for the tuition - I have read the books, but to see the process in action is a whole different ball game.

      Thanks again,
      Ruaidhrí

      Delete
  58. Amazing how simple it can be to communicate with people and have them understand a certain topic, you made my day.


    Metal castings

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  59. Thanks for posting this information, CNC models are able to produce parts quickly, often consolidating several manufacturing steps into one.

    CNC models

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  61. I am so glad to see this blog and your YouTube videos. Although I did not take foundry when I was in secondary school (seemingly hundreds of years ago) I was trying to explain the pattern making process and the way sand casting molds are produced to a young man (in his mid-40's) just the other day.

    I stumbled on to your video series. Great that someone has put this down in video form for future generations.

    One question that I have. I was explaining to "my protégé" that when attempting to duplicate an existing casting, you have to make the pattern slightly larger to account for metal shrinkage when cooling. I have heard one should allow about 10% larger. Does that sound about right and does it vary greatly between different metals, i.e. aluminum versus iron?

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  62. 10% is way too much. I allow 2% for my aluminium castings. It would be less for other metals about half that for iron.
    You also need to add a bit on some surfaces that will be machined; a machining allowance.

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  63. hello i have one question as you how you made mould?

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  64. The mould is made by ramming sand around a wooden pattern. It can be seen in many of my casting videos.

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  65. Very nice article.. For further more information of an Precision Machined Components Suppliers you can refer Precision Machined Components Suppliers

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  66. Hi myfordboy,we are a Chinese foundry for manufacturing various investment castings.Our company webiste is http://www.china-investmentcastings.com.If you are interested in Chinese foundry,pls contact me.My email address is cathy.fly02@gmail.com or ella.fly02@cnool.net.

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  68. Hi myfordboy, you have all my respect. I'am about to start doing my own aluminum castings and I'd like to get a very high level of details and precision: ideally I would like to get aluminum gears for a planetary gearbox without additional machining. Because of that I was leaning towards investment casting ( or lost wax casting ). In my mind that will spare me from some operations which require high practice such as core making and mold splitting. I found a nice video: http://youtu.be/WWVVSZP3Au4 . I'd like to know if you have any experience and suggestions on lost wax process. Thanks again, and congratulations for your amazing works.

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    1. Hi Matteo, Lost wax would be an advantage in this application where you don't want to machine the casting. If you were so use a sand mould the parts would need to have draft so that they can be removed from the sand. This would make a poor mating gear .
      I have not tried lost wax myself so cannot offer any tips but I do have some wax and investment so will give it a go one day if the need arrises.

      Delete
    2. Hi myfordboy, thanks for your feedback. I'll do some experiments and let you know. Since the parts are complex, my biggest concern is on how to design the molds to let the fluid aluminim full every corner and to not let gases trapped into the mold. Plus I'm not sure about the need of venting holes. I'm about to use this product for the investment: http://www.kerrcasting.com/products-1/investments/satin-cast-20 mixed with sand 50% . If you could eventually post any video of your future trials with investment casting I'll greatly enjoy that. Thanks!

      Delete
  69. Great post! Been reading a lot about different parts of metal casting. Thanks for the info!

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  70. This tips are really helpful to metal casting process. I need more details about how the green sand helps to create metal casting. Please mention more information about The Stamping Process on Steel. If you mention this, it is as a good informative post.

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  71. Nice And Helpful Post.. Heat Treatment Furnace , Electric Furnaces, Industrial Ovens Manufacturer in India | AFECO Heating System

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  72. That was a great post.Thanks for nice sharing.
    You can also find best Cast Iron material at Laxmi Iron & Steel Industry. The main object of LAXMI IRON & STEEL INDUSTRIES is to provide best quality and cost effective Cast Iron. For more information Visit Cast Iron Casting Manufacturer.

    ReplyDelete
  73. I appreciate this article on metal casting. I'm trying to find Iron casting for my business. Does anyone know where I can go to find some?
    John Bond | http://www.indimet.com/index.php/product/sand-shell-mold/

    ReplyDelete
  74. I am looking for a company that does aluminum castings. That would be really great and would make things a lot easier on me. That would be really awesome.
    Jak Manson | http://www.indimet.com/index.php/product-category/castings/aluminum/

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  75. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  76. My brother used to work for a metal foundry works place. He once showed me how he made aluminum castings for semi truck parts. It is a really neat process to see the metal become so malleable.

    bryanflake1984| http://www.indimet.com/index.php/product-category/castings/aluminum/

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  77. car liability insuranceYour blogs and each of its stuff is so pleasurable and valuable it is making me come back soon.

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  78. Sir, if I may, I just want to ask a question. Why is it there's only 1 hole in some sand molding? Because normally there are 2 holes. The sprue hole and the pop up hole right. Why is it there's no pop up hole in some sand molding? Just curious. Hope you'll respond to my question :) 

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the casting is small a second hole, (riser) is not needed. The riser serves 2 functions, in a larger casting it allows air to escape and also it feeds the casting with more metal as the metal cools and shrinks. Without it you can get areas where the metal has shrunk away from the mould.

      Delete
  79. auto insurance quotesI want to say thank to you people for this great and helpful info. Thanks!!!

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  80. Hi Myfordboy, thanks for taking the time to make, edit and upload your videos, they are very interesting. I want to do some casting in brass and have three questions for you please.
    1) What are your views on ceramic blanket for furnace building.
    2) ebay have Borax (Sodium Tetraborate) is that the correct stuff for brass?
    3) How much Borax would you add to say 1 kilo of brass?
    Regards,
    Norris.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Norris,
      The ceramic blanket is a wonderful insulator and reflects heat well. I have some on the base of my furnace. The disadvantage is that I think you would easily damage it when handling the crucible. I have seen furnaces built with the blanket but they always have stiffening solution painted on or have a thin hot face of castable refractory.
      I have limited experience with brass, I have only done it a couple of times but Borax is the correct flux to use. I used some sold in the supermarket which worked fine. This is the proper stuff http://artisanfoundry.co.uk/store/product_info.php?products_id=241&osCsid=anfd3spemfhkkj179lmkdikeb0
      I would guess a teaspoon full for 1kg.

      Delete
    2. Hi David, Oh wow!, You have a massive fan club here on your great blog which is so nice to see like-minded people like myself asking you various questions and wanting to learn more about metal casting which you are a connoisseur at doing!

      Your wonderful and well put together step by step videos always give me the confidence to carry on after a bad foundry day lol

      So far my 3rd electric motor end shield casting came out 80% okay as you've seen, but it could be a lot better!

      As soon as I get some more Bentonite clay to add to my green sand, I will have another go and update the photobucket album for you to see how I'm getting on with this extraordinary project!, I dare say I will get there in the end lol

      As for the electric furnace (the smallest jewelers furnace with the large custom made steel crucible), This is dong much better than I thought! and it melts about a pint of aluminium in less than an hour which is great, I do hope to start using that larger electric furnace which I built in 2011 which is still unused to this day!! - that one has a huge steel crucible of about 5 kilo but that furnace is a dead weight to move from the house to the backyard!!!!!!!!!!

      Will e-mail you when I have another casting session to try and get a crisp casting just like your 4 hp engine castings in your metal casting part 1 and part 2 of your great series of videos which I still love watching ;-)

      P.S, All the best of luck with that extra foundry space you have now and also the new hoist mate.

      Enjoy all your free time and most of all enjoy your metal casting which is a legend and a true credit to yourself.

      Best wishes, Joseph.

      Delete
  81. David, thanks for the reply, I've ordered borax from the supplier you suggested, and I noticed that there was also available some paint on solution for putting a hard surface on ceramic blanket.. Also on eBay is a 25 kilo tub of KOS fire cement. Is that the correct fire cement to mix with perlite to form a furnace like yours? As you may guess, I am not certain which method to adopt, cost wise there is little to choose between, and although the ceramic blanket may be more convenient, I feel that the supporting structure would need to be more robust. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer the questions, my final one being what would you suggest as a flux/degassing agent for clean aluminium.
    Regards, Norris.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used the 25kg tubs of KOS fire cement ( 2 required) .
      Artisan foundry also sell a castable refactory and I would consider using that if i were to build another furnace. I don't know what quantity would be needed you would have to ask Art at artisan, he is very helpful.
      You will have seen in my videos that first i used table salt for a flux and later switched to Losalt as I felt it gave better results. I am now using EXF 326 drossing flux, again from Artisan Foundry supplies. It's not expensive and last for ages.
      I am still using washing soda to degas.

      Delete
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  85. Incredibly nice article, accurately what I was in search of. Thanks klk welding inc

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  86. Great information and good videos!
    I am building a small home foundry here in Honduras. I am an American living here and things are a bit hard to find, but I am making do.
    One question I have is what are ALL the fluxes you use? I saw Sodium Carbonate as a degass, and Potassium Aluminum Fluoride as a drossing flux. Are there any others?...I need to order some fluxing chemicals here and I need the chemical names. There seems to be MANY kinds of fluxes and I am not sure what I all need. I am recycling cans and aluminum engine castings and such...so I am going to need something to bust down the dross..especially with cans...they end up mostly oxides...what is your recommendation for fluxing?..thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The two you mention are all you need for aluminium. Sodium carbonate is for degassing and can be bought in supermarkets here in the UK as washing soda.
      Potassium Aluminum Fluoride is used as a flux, an alternative is LoSalt or table salt but the proper stuff is better.
      I would forget the cans and just use the engine castings. Alloy wheels are best.

      Delete
  87. thanks for the info!
    I have the "lo salt" which is Morton Lite, which appears to be NaCl and KCl mixed.

    I can also get Calcium Hypoclorite here, which some people call "pool shock"..apparently it might be a good degass flux, because of the Chlorine generation. Actually, they sell it very cheap here for swimming pools. The weirdest problem I have, living in a Spanish speaking country, it reading the packages and trying to make the connection- chemically. I think it will be Sodio de Carbonato or some such. I was thinking about using Nitrogen gas and bubbling it through the melt, but I have to see just how much that will cost me. The don't rent cylinders here, like in the USA, so you have to BUY them and they aren't cheap. I will probably just use powder chemicals...less problems and cost. If you send me an email, I will be glad to show you pictures of my project.

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