The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Home enthusiasts discuss their Foundry & Casting work.

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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by liveaboard » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:18 pm

I built it in the wrong place!
I didn't realize the hollow brick structures they build here transmit sound better than air. Any noise in the garage half of the house is in the residential area too.
So I moved my machines out to the shed and a sea container, which is ok but there's no hoist, and the low head height makes it a challenge to add one.
When I have heavy work, the OH just has to put up with it, because there's no other way. I have to use the hoist. I use it to lift the front of my car up for instance.

A big drawback of the swinging gantry is the half circle area it covers; I can't place things in the corners. The work area is covered, but not storage zones.

I would like to build a rectangular shed with a traversing beam that can cover the whole thing, and can lift my tractor implements for mounting / dismounting with minimal muscle power.
It's difficult to get good lift height without a really high ceiling. the beam and carriage eats height, the chain hoist eats height, the block and the hook eat height.

Anyway, 300 pounds shouldn't flex a 6" pipe very much. If it does, add some webbing near the base.

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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by RONALD » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:36 am

The feeling one gets when pouring hot liquid metals is akin to the same feelings one gets when a big truck filled with five yards of concrete arrive; it’s NOW or NEVER!

I have done a lot of both, not as an employee, but a "Do It Yourselfer".

I started pouring metals in the 70’s while teaching physics at Lane Tech High School, I actually enrolled in the night school metals class they offered adults at that time.

There were two actual foundry rooms, with two instructors. The school had 5000 students, so there was an endless supply of students for the various shops offered.

That is all gone now, but like Harold, I managed to glom onto some of the equipment when various shops closed, and, at scrap prices!

Today, I pour outside, but mold inside in a special building.

Our first pour was in 2000, and we have done many since, but that “Now or Never” feeling is still present until the pour is finished.

Below are three photos: the crane and furnaces in 2000, the molding building, and a pour.

Today’s students, in my opinion, lost that wonderful knowledge and pride gained by using hand and mind on real projects, no matter what the current web site says:
Jib Crane.jpg

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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by liveaboard » Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:35 pm

My stepmother was an artist who worked in bronze, so we had a little foundry in the garage.
She could pour maybe 10lbs. She used lost wax in plaster, so the molds had to be lifted out of the kiln hot after burnout, and they were heavier than the metal.
She found that the pyrometer was self defeating, the probe bled off too much heat from the small quantity of metal being poured; so after the first few times, she just judged the heat by color.

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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by Harold_V » Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:00 pm

curtis cutter wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:59 pm
I have one of these if you need a scale Harold: Horizon 500 KG / 1100 LBS Digital Crane Scale Heavy Duty Industrial Hanging Scale
That could prove to be real useful for me once I get the furnaces installed. One of them is equipped with hydraulic tilting, but the other is not. It could be that I will use the jib crane to tilt the furnace when pouring to the ladle, but I don't have a knowledge of the weight of the furnace. I know it's heavy, and may exceed the limits of the lift, so it might be interesting to hook it to the furnace and slowly load it to see where it tops out. Lets talk in the future, as need arises.

I appreciate the kind offer! :wink:

Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by reubenT » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:23 pm

I got kinda the same thing going on in my own way. A slow evolution taking some years to develop. But the need for doing an engine swap in my old track loader inspired me to get the overhead lift installed. I have a 30x60' pole barn shop with dirt floor, the lathes and milling machines occupy the far end, the 2 heavy beams were 30 ft long so I hung them from the rafters in the middle on one side where one end covers the furnace area, and the other end out to where I can work on vehicles with a 14 ft width since I had some old I beam pieces that I could weld together to get 14'. In the middle is what will be the pouring floor and molding bench on the wall at the edge. One beam is along the wall so it's well supported on the wall posts, but the one out in the middle just has the 3 2x12 trusses to hold it, so before lifting anything real heavy out toward the middle I will put some support posts under the beam ends, just temporary ones so I can move them if they get in the way. 3 new I beam trolleys (made in china) completes the setup. I just pulled a good engine and tranny from a buick, first job for the lift, with a hand comealong winch. it works very nice, once the load clears the fenders I can just roll it around and set it down elsewhere. I'll hang an electric winch on the trolley for molten metal ladles later. I used the electric winch to pull the beams up, but for engine pulling the hand winch is better. The buick engine will I hope be able to repower the track loader. The original diesel engine threw a rod out the side of the block, and the current engine is a ford V6 I put in it, it worked but not the best drive setup, then it burned out it's engine computer, the old volkswagon carb and home made electronic ignition made it run, sort of, but pretty rough. The buick engine with auto transmission should do a much better job of running it.
I live way out in the forest in the mountains of middle TN, where no one cares what I do. I can have all the junk and make all the noise and smoke I care to. (no industrial pollution but an occasional smoky furnace won't matter, although a good hot burn won't be smoking much) And up on the mountain I'm working on clearing land for orchard and gardens. Need the track machine running better to clear a fence row to surround it with deer fence, and help with clearing it. Then I want to create steam powered equipment to help out with the work of mountainside farming, orchards and gardens. As well as some old style IC engine machines, hit n miss type low RPM engines. For practical use in my situation I need 4x4 vehicles with big traction tires if at all possible. My first project has been a steam conversion of my old dodge 3/4 ton 4x4 truck. But I need a custom engine for it, so that'll be my first from scrap engine build I guess. When I get around to it. Will try it with charcoal, being I have a forest full of hardwood. Then decide if it's worth trying to get some coke.
In time I'd love to build a whole engine or two from rocks. Literally. Starting with iron ore locally sourced. I think that would be very interesting. Just sticks and stones and clay and sand and end up with a working engine. But for now the track loader needs fixin and the fence needs buildin, job for tomorrow is to attempt to get it to run again just enough to drive it down to the shop. But the weather can be pretty uncooperative during the winter sometimes for outside work. The mud gets extreme at times. I should be able to find time to work on something this winter other than the necessary jobs out there. Maybe experiment with the small cupola to see what it can do.

In time I imagine scaling up the cupola melting till I can do up to perhaps 500-1000 lb engine castings. I think if I set up a dual winch lift on a larger ladle I could handle it myself with just a long handle and T end. A main winch to lift the pot and a second one to tilt it for pouring, so I can work it from 8 ft away or more and just be doing the orienting and stabilizing manually. I sure don't wanna get very close to that much heat. But for the most part it'll be backing off to mid to late 1800's for technology level.

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