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Kang

Kang's Kreations - Molten Metal Madness

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Oh man, I think he would have a stroke if he heard you say that after all the trouble he went through getting his videos to stay public AND have music in them, LoL...

 

You can post all the ingredients in common patina reagents you want, but Liver of Sulphur is always gonna sound like a potion ingredient to me...  ::D:

(seriously though, that info is much appreciated, thanks)

 

Kang

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13 minutes ago, Kang said:

You can post all the ingredients in common patina reagents you want, but Liver of Sulphur is always gonna sound like a potion ingredient to me...  ::D:

(seriously though, that info is much appreciated, thanks)

 

Probably because it hales from the days of actual alchemists. :lol:

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Ron Young recently came out with a second edition of his book, Contemporary Patination, My buddy who cast those dog-hooks for me bought it (despite cringing over the price tag), but now that he has it, he says he has no regrets and highly recommends it.  Real recipes, not just "order patina mystery mix #34 from my online store and apply hot"  type of stuff (there may be a it of that too but not an excessive amount).  Sounds like a winner.  Just FYI.

 

Kang

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Here is a (~15 minutes) video I just uploaded to accompany my entry in one of the home foundry forums for metal casting hobbyists I am a member of.  I am not sure if I can post the URL for the forum.  It is not attached to a business like these forums, but they do accept donations from members in exchange for extra upload space for pix as well as posting permissions in a few special subforums, to help keep the lights on, the software upgraded, and the bills paid.  A grey area in my mind, rules-wise...  To be safe I will not post a URL unless someone asks or tells me it's OK.  'The Home Foundry' is quite a new forum, not "Alloy Avenue", which I know some of our members here are already familiar with.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5FkA22RWr4

 

Hope you guys enjoy stuff like this!

 

The video is just part 1, showing how I made the Styrofoam pattern for a spooky new cast aluminum belt buckle.  I tried to make my project something that anyone could do who has some kind of a way to melt and pour metal and who owns a bucket of sand, so that the video could be more interesting for casting newbies and old timers alike.  You will see me using a band saw and a belt sander here, but I still could have done this project even if the only tools I own were a hacksaw, a file, and a sheet of sandpaper.  Oh, and a hot glue gun.  In part 2 I will use a drill press and a drill as well, but the press is also optional

 

I would have liked to enter my foam-cast aluminum electric Jack-O'Desk Lamp, but the rules of the contest ask for a new project that hasn't been shown online before, which rules Jack out.  For this project I am using lost foam casting because, as you will see in the video, I have a sizable hoard of styrofoam skulls and other Hallowe'en décor I've been gradually accumulating over the years, which is perfect for casting stuff like this.  Which of course is the reason I've been hoarding the stuff.

 

beltpatternthumb.jpg.7563fb6e3cefb1cf6267e9a6c00f7c76.jpg

 

Part 2, showing the pour and the finishing of the belt buckle will be going up sometime before Hallowe'en, barring some unforeseen disaster.

 

I know I am not the only one on this site who casts metal, so I just thought I'd share the info about this contest going on in case anyone wants to try and beat me to that sweet, sweet prize money.  I am not even sure we have enough entrants for judging to take place yet.  Better sign up quick if you're interested!

 

Here's another video where Dave, the new forum's owner, announces the contest and gives a little more detail about how to enter:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqaGUePrM28

 

Kang

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Quick update on the Hallowe'en casting contest results:

 

A pic is worth a thousand words, as they say:

 

contest.thumb.jpg.bef2f886aeafda067290077b07b5d390.jpg

 

Not a huge amount of participation, nor an overwhelming number of total votes...  But the contest was held on a relatively new forum that is growing, but doing so rather slowly.  In any case, a win is a win!  Woohoo!  Funny thing about being Canadian when $100US shows up in your paypal account - being converted into our native Québecois Quatloos makes my prize look much bigger!  There's a dirty joke in there somewhere...

 

Here's my competition's entry, also a lost foam casting, but far more impressive than mine due to all the skinny legs and silk strands he somehow managed to fill.  Frankly, I am amazed he pulled this off. (it did take him 2 tries though...)

 

5a05e13416b1b_13VacSuccess.JPG.86bc7b8be725728c50653911288b0a92.JPG

 

I would not have thought this piece possible to cast successfully using the lost foam method, so I feel fortunate that the entries were judged on how they were presented in the contest threads, not on the quality of the castings themselves or the skills needed to produce them.  Al2O3's experience is mainly with making automotive engine castings, not decorative stuff, making this even more impressive.  He has built his own sand-compacting bucket vibration device for making better lost foam molds, as well as his own vacuum assisted lost foam pouring equipment (to suck the molten metal farther through where the foam used to be before it freezes and stops flowing).  Really impressive stuff IMO, if anyone wants a look he has video of his setup on his youtube channel, Kelly Coffield.  His furnace rig is crazy impressive too, but I digress...

 

My thread was written as a project tutorial suitable for beginners, not to show off a particularly impressive casting.  I also had many more in-progress photos in my entry than he did, since it was easy to grab screenshots from the video footage I shot of the whole process.  That plus the videos themselves probably helped sway a couple votes my way too...

 

::D:

 

Sadly, I woke up to a snowy lawn this morning, which means backyard metal casting season is almost done.  During the winter months I'm hoping to get back into my HirstArts modular dungeon build and some long-neglected minis projects.  Maybe I'll get in one or two more weekend casting sessions before my molding sand freezes into a solid block until spring.  Actually, I have been contacted by a local guy who wants to build his own home foundry to cast some big wheels for a slow moving tracked vehicle of some kind.  If he's serious then maybe I'll be able to get in on some winter casting action after all, since he has a heated shop.  A lot will depend on whether he is serious enough to pull the trigger on ordering himself some molding sand.  If so, I plan on ordering some more too, to add to my own heap, since we'll be able to split the shipping costs if we go in on it together.  Making greensand by hand is one of the few things in my foundry that I'd rather pay for than make myself.  That plus crucibles.  Oh, and the 3200F-rated castable refractory cement I lined my furnace with...  There are DIY recipes for that but not as good as the real stuff...  Maybe I'm just spoiled by having started out with professionally made and mulled high quality greensand, but I'd do the 10 hour round trip to pick it up in person before I would try making my own, hands down. 

 

Kang

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Well, we did get another weekend when nothing wet and gross was falling out of the sky, and the snow on the ground even started melting... so here is my latest casting adventure.  Not quite in time for Hallowe'en as I'd hoped, but at least I got in another session before winter (which is coming)... 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07UJtifMLmg

 

I've shown a pic here of a skull ashtray casting made from this pattern before, but there was no video to go with it. This time the casting came out almost perfect; last time the sand broke off where the dimple in the jaw hinge is located, so that casting had that area filled in with metal instead of being a smooth indentation.  Just a little bit of flashing in one area to clean up on this one, not a big deal.  Plus, one guy commented with a tip for avoiding that in the future.  Since I happen to already know for a fact that that guy (Clarke, who goes by Porositymaster at the alloyavenue forums (a different forum from the one with the Halloween casting contest, that's thehomefoundry, but almost everyone on there is on AA too)) pours beautiful cast iron and makes it look easy, that is one piece of advice I'm going to take very seriously!  Cast iron is pretty much the holy grail of backyard metal casting.  Technically casting steel is the actual grail, but iron is almost at the same level.  It's been argued that successfully casting iron counts as levelling up from being a mere hobbyist...  and Clarke does run his foundry as a LLC these days.

 

Here is my buddy Chirpy's video from the previous Saturday at the 2017 Soulé Steam Festival in Mississippi, featuring a bunch of footage of Porositymaster pouring iron while some of my other online metal casting buddies watch from the background in amazement.  I am SUPER envious of those guys who were able to get there, even though they cancelled the big event (the iron pour from the big cupola furnace) this year.  I'd almost rather watch Clarke melt and pour iron from his crucible furnace, since that is conceivably something I could do myself one day.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIUk1iHvcmM

 

I'm not technically an actual steam nut, but I am crazy for the foundry work that went into making all those engines, and I loved all the footage of the patternmaking work stations, so I would have had a great time if I could have gone in person.  Just meeting the guys I've been chatting with on the AA forum for a few years in person alone would have been a blast!

 

Anyhow, I've gotten way off topic here...

 

Kang

Edited by Kang

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Here's my latest creation:  a blank aluminum plaque, with the gating left on.  The reason is that I am going to use it as a pattern.  I'll simply have to glue house numbers or what have you on it, and mold the whole thing in the drag (bottom mold half) with the sprue (a turkey baster tube) molded in the cope (top half). I don't want to use my wooden pattern plaque to make real plaques, as prying the house numbers back off it to make room for different ones will cause heavy wear and tear if I use the wooden one for that, but the aluminum one should last for a very long time. 

 

Hoping I'll get a chance to use it to cast some house numbers for my sister for XMas, but this is very dependent on the weather continuing to not snow or go too far below freezing. My molding sand is water-bonded, therefore it gets far less sticky when it is cold...

 

IMG_20171205_103640399-1040x585.thumb.jpg.2eaebe556dba37e7f007490b694e79c1.jpg

 

IMG_20171205_103659496-1040x585.thumb.jpg.e57795474bfcd772fe4abd95eee75242.jpg

 

I'm not sure what caused the ring-shaped markings opposite from the sprue and the in-gate (which is called a knife gate when set up long and skinny like this) on the reverse side.  The pic makes it look like the plaque has shrink there, but it's about perfectly flat, it just has a strange surface texture right there.  I've consulted the hive mind (ie. forumites from alloyavenue and thehomefoundry) to try and figure that out.  It's only on the back side that nobody is going to see anyhow once the plaque is installed, so I'm not too concerned even if it appears on every casting, which I doubt it will.

 

patternmaking.jpg.9c0cdd7162239279b1227f459c7c2fda.jpg

 

This latest video mainly details how I made the original wooden pattern that was used to cast this aluminum one.  Apologies for the minimal amount of fire and the appalling utter lack of glowing hot liquid goo in this video; my phone does not seem to like shooting video in the cold weather, so I got no usable footage at all of the pour.

 

I used an old tube of Squadron Green Putty from my minis toolkit to make the fillets (this kind of fillet rhymes with "spill it", not with "Hill A") which is foundry jargon for the radii inside the sharp corners, added for ease of removing the pattern from the mold as well as for avoiding certain casting defects.  I do not believe I had ever actually even used the Squadron putty before for bases or gap-filling or whatever it was I actually bought it for years ago...  A little tricky to work with, I found, but it did get the job done.

 

Kang

Edited by Kang
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Quick update:  Some sandable primer and a few coats of gloss enamel spray smoothed over the slightly porous parts of the raised border very nicely; it's smooth as can be now.  I expect prying numbers etc. (not yet finished in this pic, needs some putty and sanding and more of the glossy paint coating) off of the recessed face of the pattern will ruin the paint job there, but that will be easy to fix by sanding, I really only wanted to smooth out the borders, that is the reason for painting the pattern.  But smooth is good, makes it easier to draw the pattern out of the mold without breaking the sand.  Hence the glossy finish.

 

I also added another 'Squadron Green Putty' fillet before painting it, to gently radius the sharp corner where the runner (vertical section on left of frame) connects to the knife gate (which connects the runner to the pattern proper).  Stuff is a little easier to work with when you're smooshing it against cast aluminum than it did against the baltic birch plywood the original pattern is made of.  Or maybe I just have a little more practice using the stuff now...

 

I also drilled a 1/2" hole in the cope side (ie. the top, as oriented in the mold, ie. upside down relative to this pic if that makes any sense) so that my new (turkey baster tube) tapered sprue pattern has a snug place to sit without wiggling around much while I'm ramming up molds with this pattern.  That is not shown here; I don't have a pic of the other side to post, perhaps later.

 

IMG_20171211_182936962.thumb.jpg.69361475d3cd1c592fb8aca26de4f4a5.jpg

 

Looking forward to getting those house numbers cast!  And also to making other removable patterns for sticking to the background and casting up.  Sets of letters and numbers (got a friend with a sign shop and a CNC router who's offered to cut me a set of reusable numbers and maybe more in thin sign plastic, sometime after the holidays), maybe some A Song of Ice and Fire house sigils, some kind of design for a sign for my foundry, and so on...  The possibilities are endless.  I can't wait to cast this, just not sure if I should hurry up and do it in aluminum or wait and see if my folks get me the bronze ingots I asked them to consider getting me for XMas from the sculpture supply place in Toronto to try out...  They are in T.O. now at my sister's place, so it's a real possibility I'll be casting a bunch of stuff in silicon bronze next year, woo-hoo!  That stuff is supposed to be a dream to melt and cast.

 

Kang

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Hey everyone, hope you all had a great holiday, whatever you may or may not celebrate.  Here's wishing everyone a safe and happy new year!

 

I got some new goodies for the foundry under the tree this XMas - some high-temp aluminized gloves that should allow me to skim dross off a hot crucible of bronze without getting a burned pinkie finger, and about 50lbs of Everdur (a silicon bronze favoured by art casters)!  I can't wait to try casting that stuff...

 

IMG_20171225_093239413.jpg.33bc16671b643aa8aea28555da86e8a0.jpg

 

Also picked up a new portaband saw, which should help a lot with removing sprues etc. from castings, and also if I decide I need to cut those huge bronze ingots down to a more reasonable size.

 

Also, here's a quick video update on the house number casting project: (spoiler alert: the insane cold still has it on hold for now.  Probably a good time for me to get back to some of my miniatures projects, which have been on hold far too long.)

 

xmaswishes.jpg.84acc6462218b8fb5d8e313f23dd3ff3.jpg

 

Kang

Edited by Kang
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Here's the new portaband saw in action, making quick work of turning a giant (~15lbs) silicon bronze ingot into more reasonable sized pieces. (click anywhere on the thumbnail below, it looks like a youtube embed but really the pic is just a hyperlink to the video)


Talespinner, if you are watching, I'm curious how the amount of dust/shavings produced compares to the new ingot-cutting metal chop saw that you recently mentioned over in your awesome box-turtle-folk scuplting thread.  Thanks,

 

newyearswishes.jpg.77c24a5e91662c403cddb300bb8de8e1.jpg

 

Kang

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On 1/9/2018 at 7:25 AM, Kang said:

Here's the new portaband saw in action, making quick work of turning a giant (~15lbs) silicon bronze ingot into more reasonable sized pieces. 


Talespinner, if you are watching, I'm curious how the amount of dust/shavings produced compares to the new ingot-cutting metal chop saw that you recently mentioned over in your awesome box-turtle-folk scuplting thread.  Thanks,

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7l8sRws_tAk

 

Kang

 

I'll let you know when I've tried it.  I'm betting mine has a lot more waste, since it has almost an 1/8" kerf.  My biggest problem is in figuring out how to secure the metal to the saw for cutting.  My chunks start at about the size you cut off, and I want them considerably smaller from there.  I think my largest crucible holds about 0.25 L at most and I don't really want to use that much at a time.

 

I laughed about your comment on the 50lb going fast, since I think that would be many years supply for me. :lol:

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1 hour ago, TaleSpinner said:

 

I'll let you know when I've tried it.  I'm betting mine has a lot more waste, since it has almost an 1/8" kerf.  My biggest problem is in figuring out how to secure the metal to the saw for cutting.  My chunks start at about the size you cut off, and I want them considerably smaller from there.  I think my largest crucible holds about 0.25 L at most and I don't really want to use that much at a time.

 

I laughed about your comment on the 50lb going fast, since I think that would be many years supply for me. :lol:

If you work in a clean area, say with a tarp under the saw, won't you still be able to use/melt the filings/dust, cutting down on the waste?  Since it's getting melted anyways, it's not like sawdust that is unusable.

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6 minutes ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

If you work in a clean area, say with a tarp under the saw, won't you still be able to use/melt the filings/dust, cutting down on the waste?  Since it's getting melted anyways, it's not like sawdust that is unusable.

The problem is that with a grinding wheel, flecks of the wheel will slough off and contaminate the filings.  They would contaminate the melt.  I'm not sure what is in a grinding wheel, but I can't believe that it would be good to get into the bronze melt.

 

That said, I got mine at about $7-8 a pound, so I'm not too worried about losing that amount.  Now when I file the gold and sliver, I'll be a lot more concerned about catching and reclaiming the filings.

 

@Kang, would the borax capture and clean the contaminants out of the bronze during the melt?

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