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 Post subject: Re: Furnace for Metal Casting
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:13 pm
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
During the clean-up, I tried to get all the aluminum bits I found grouped over in the corner near your furnace, so there's definitely some stuff to melt. I'd certainly like to see it fired up sometime. Casting is an art I wish I knew more about. I really like the idea of casting some TCMaker medallions, like one of the other hackerspaces did. Or metal versions of the TCMaker keychain.

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 Post subject: Re: Furnace for Metal Casting
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:14 am
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Location: downtown Saint Paul
If I were to bring in my some charcoal, and promised to use it safely, is it possible I could use your furnace? I'm working on making a cheapie clone of the Ikea "Stolmen" shelves, and I'd really like to cast some custom pole clamps. Let me know, this would be a big timesaver.

Riley Harrison

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 Post subject: Re: Furnace for Metal Casting
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:41 pm
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Location: Northwest Burbs
I think a couple cast TCMaker items would look good at the HackFactory and also be good to display (with a description of what was done to make them) at events we show a presence at.

Also those interested the Studio at Rush Creek in Maple Grove has a basic Blacksmithing class on the books for $24, they have you make a basic fork per the description.


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 Post subject: Re: Furnace for Metal Casting
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:14 am
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Location: downtown Saint Paul
I still haven't checked out the extent of what furnace / foundry equiptment is at the space. I would, however, be very interest in doing some small zinc castings with the tcmaker logo. If anyone was inclined to do some cnc milling, and make a positive of the logo, maybe about the diameter of a pop can or so, I can do that up.

For little castings like this, it's pretty simple. In a pinch, I'll use newer pennies for zinc, and a cheap frying or saucepan as a crucible. Zinc melts pretty quick on a stove top heating element, or hot plate. Melt your pennies, press the positive pattern in some sand, pout it in, trim it up, and bang! tcmaker medallion thingys.

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 Post subject: Re: Furnace for Metal Casting
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:54 am
Posts: 194
Location: Coon Rapids
Orkraider wrote:
If I were to bring in my some charcoal, and promised to use it safely, is it possible I could use your furnace?


I don't mind of you use the furnace. You'll have to run it outside, obviously. Don't pour molten metal on yourself or burn down the shop.

The crucible is in the furnace, as is the blower pipe. There are two blowers, one 12V and one 120V. I've only ever used the 12V one and it was ok direct connected to the pipe. If the other blower is stronger I'd considered picking up a PVC Tee and rigging up a sort of blowoff system to reduce airflow to the fire.

I used a pair of Channel-loc(sp?) pliers to lift the hot crucible.


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 Post subject: Re: Furnace for Metal Casting
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:12 pm
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Orkraider wrote:
... I would, however, be very interest in doing some small zinc castings with the tcmaker logo. If anyone was inclined to do some cnc milling, and make a positive of the logo, maybe about the diameter of a pop can or so, I can do that up.


I'm on it, been looking for usefull stuff to crave for class demonstration purposes. Does the material matter, I'm not sure how solid the sand is.

Pete


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 Post subject: Re: Furnace for Metal Casting
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:29 pm 
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Location: downtown Saint Paul
Most of the patterns I've seen have been made out of wood. That's for a reusable pattern.

If we were casting aluminum, we could have some fun with pink foam; The melted aluminum melts and vaporizes the foam, filling the void left behind. This does, of course, destroy your one shot pattern.

If you can mill in wood to maybe 1/8 " , or somewhere between 3 and 4 mm, that should be groovy.

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Furnace for Metal Casting
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:14 am
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Location: downtown Saint Paul
And thanks, Darus, I promise, no infernos. I'm really stoked about this. (no pun intended)

It sounds like this furnace should be able to handle aluminum, and it also sounds like we have some scrap aluminum; I'd like to come on in and do a test melt with aluminum vs. zinc before Saturday class fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Furnace for Metal Casting
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:12 pm
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Working on one now, it's a quick and dirty height map from raster file cut, it may need some clean up. If it wont work I can get a cleaner one based on a 3D model of the logo, I just don't have one, so I'd need to make one first, unless someone already has?!?

Pete

(I'll leave it on the CNC Router, it's out of a small block of stained wood)


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 Post subject: Re: Furnace for Metal Casting
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:29 am
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For anyone interested:
Chicago Ave Fire Arts Center (CAFAC) has a "Build Your Own Propane Forge" starting on Monday with two spots still open: I'm pretty sure you get to keep the forge. This is one of the first set of classes offered in their new (awesome) facility. http://fireartscenter.blogspot.com/ for more info.


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