Shop Work: October 2020 part 2/2 – Homemade Foundry Posted on November 1, 2020 - November 16, 2020 by hakasays Oct17 Weekend aluminum foundry project update:Just need to mount the temp controller PID and everything into the control box, then this project is basically done.Then I can start doing some casting experiments🤓 pic.twitter.com/pE6EAblAPc— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 17, 2020 How to do quick project box cutouts with minimal tools:1 – Scribe the area you want to cut out2 – On a drillpress, use a small drill bit and peck around the cutout holes3 – Use a small end mill to cut everything out4 – Finish with a quick filing.🙂https://t.co/apTztZcYMw pic.twitter.com/QeKRSg1XEz— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 17, 2020 Getting the project box mounted to the propane tank foundry, using 1/4" bolts as standoffsThe outside doesn't get *too* how so I think it will be OK.If not, I can always pack insulation between the two and add a fan.https://t.co/fBylElBgaQ pic.twitter.com/cpw0eHxHu6— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 17, 2020 Finishing up the wiring now🤓https://t.co/D1Yy76oKZ3 pic.twitter.com/COx83mQUfz— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 17, 2020 Ooof.I had the foundry fired up and was melting aluminum for maybe an hour, then I noticed it started cooling down.Turns out some Al had spilled to the side and shorted the coil. 😱Spent some time trying to clean it out to no avail.New one tomorrowhttps://t.co/e2zB5BlVWT pic.twitter.com/lkTuZKz9aW— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 17, 2020 Lessons learned: – Add a 20a breaker to keep the Solid State Relay from burning out. (and maybe just swap with a regular relay?) – Add a stainless 'splash guard' between the coil and crucible to keep shorts from happening— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 17, 2020 Oct18 Replaced the element in the homemade aluminum foundry, testing it out now.For now the foundry survives on a steady diet of old hard-drive chassis.🧐😋https://t.co/GwmMEbs6VF pic.twitter.com/BZoBjdjquj— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 18, 2020 First proper aluminum casting finished this morning.For a first ever test I'm pretty happy with it.☺️https://t.co/CBOEsTCa8B pic.twitter.com/56li5NQjX5— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 18, 2020 Casting cleaned up pretty good. Plenty of imperfections, but you can even see the little striations from the 3d print it came from:https://t.co/TCc8uzLaVO pic.twitter.com/t7sTRw3zzu— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 18, 2020 Also casting some more aluminum ingots to separate all the slag+paint+garbage from the good metal.It's much easier to reheat ingots, there's a lot less slag+garbage to skim off. pic.twitter.com/stfM5sYbIB— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 18, 2020 Oct19 Have been working on a homemade aluminum foundry over the past few weeks, turned out to be a pretty neat project.🥰Anyone interested should read over the plans to see if it's something they're interested in.🤓It doesn't take a lot of tools:https://t.co/DA0Nd979Lz pic.twitter.com/KFY0QZnNZV— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 19, 2020 Oct20 The engineering equivalent of brushing your hair and teeth while taking a dump😅 https://t.co/vSWSuKxZOQ— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 20, 2020 Working on a few ideas for a steel split-mold to make the whole aluminum casting process easier and more modular.Hopefully I have time to visit the metal supply shop this week🤞https://t.co/B63fALEgtG pic.twitter.com/bmJqIYkPh6— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 21, 2020 Huge power cables jumping against the Earth's magnetic field during an electrical short#Engineering #Electronics pic.twitter.com/cS3l29Q0v1— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 21, 2020 Oct24 Ordered a cast-iron frame to help with aluminum casting project. Finally getting a chance to test it out this morning🧐 pic.twitter.com/UBEPEwb5JK— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 24, 2020 Getting better😄Homemade cast bitcoins☺️https://t.co/tN5xbzt9ic pic.twitter.com/p6rjw30aoZ— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 24, 2020 3rd time's the charm.I'm still getting a feel for the proceshttps://t.co/7Oj5dYTDId pic.twitter.com/ny3k7JedXP— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 24, 2020 Neo questions the idea of using humans to generate electrical power in The Matrix:🧐 pic.twitter.com/E4TVtILT72— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 25, 2020 Crap I forgot to post the link. 😅😅😅https://t.co/ke3jnrlwZr— Hippo University (@HippoUniversity) October 25, 2020 Oct25 Today's agenda is upgrading the electric foundry a bit and continuing with casting experiments.I definitely need to put a steel plate on the bottom,because I've now burned up two coils when a bit of molten aluminum dropped onto them.🤫#Engineeringhttps://t.co/DA0Nd8PymZ— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 25, 2020 She's dead Jim.🙄Open circuit >1megOhm vs the 100-200 ohms it should be.Luckily I had a spare onhand already and it won't be too hard to swap out.https://t.co/isn1Bc5TPe pic.twitter.com/Qo1xgG2HYV— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 25, 2020 Doing the rewiring now, then I can focus on machining a steel baseplate so this issue doesn't happen again.🔧https://t.co/isn1Bc5TPe pic.twitter.com/MdY9cYMOcR— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 25, 2020 Tried machining a steel plate on the lathe, but the inserts kept wanting to chip. Ended up rounding it all off with an angle grinder.Result is sharper edges and it's not nearly as pretty, but it's more for catching splashes of aluminum than for show.🤫https://t.co/isn1Bc5TPe pic.twitter.com/epfZo9ZgzK— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 25, 2020 In addition to protecting the coils from splashes of aluminum, the added thermal mass might help protect the whole system from thermal shock.— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 25, 2020 Everything's assembled and wired up, firing the homemade foundry back up now.Hopefully everything holds together a lot longer this time 😄https://t.co/isn1BcnvdO pic.twitter.com/78I2FOEPKS— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 25, 2020 Testing the homemade foundry and it says I'm only drawing 400 watts?! Feels like it should be double that, maybe my Kill-A-Watt is messed up ?(I had it near some Tesla coil stuff last time I used it a long while back)https://t.co/bda1yeGY5k pic.twitter.com/zebicpEYC4— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 25, 2020 Did some more casting today (still trying to get the Bitcoin right)https://t.co/bda1yeGY5k pic.twitter.com/CkZQuKoc5A— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 25, 2020 Very cool. I made one (much smaller) out of a stick welder and some carbon rods. I was able to make liquid steel in about 40(ish) seconds.Just a proof of concept now that it's working I'm gonna develop it some more I would love to have one like yours tho pic.twitter.com/hMNiXgQur2— UMP 40 🎄🌲⛄☕ Christmas is here! (@RE_UMP40) October 25, 2020 Not much to show today, mostly just kept feeding the foundry scrap aluminum.So far I got about 25-30lbs of ingots made from a big pile of scrapped hard-drives and rails.https://t.co/bda1yeGY5k pic.twitter.com/Kgq7IH5iTW— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 25, 2020 https://t.co/bda1yeGY5k pic.twitter.com/a95nbeHW3l— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 25, 2020 Oct25 #Engineering #Protip,If you ever get tar, paint, silicone, or something on your hands that does not come off with soap and water,try using WD-40.Works great 9 times out of 10.https://t.co/sGyKaoG2hz pic.twitter.com/nnHJrSC4LW— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 27, 2020 Case in point, I was up on the roof sealing the garage with roofing tar for the rainy season here in SoCAL, and the latex gloves I was using practically disintegrated in the process.Soap+water would barely make a dent cleaning my hands, but WD40 dissolved it in seconds.— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 27, 2020 Watching the electric skies is on my bucket list🥰 https://t.co/ikix2YDPvC— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 28, 2020 Oct29 Now that I have an aluminum foundry going, I want to try making machinable wax so I can CNC some coins.https://t.co/yIGWXqIGIW— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 29, 2020 Making a few master-molds on the CNC mill this weekend, so I figured I'd try making some machinable wax in the process.Mixing wax + plastic = a gooey slop that looks like wax but machines very well.For micro-machining it's a lot less likely to break end mills. pic.twitter.com/YUg2d1QO9W— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 29, 2020 You'll see it a lot in jewelry making.Cutting metal can be tricky at such small scales when the end mills are as thin as a mechanical pencil lead,.Wax requires more steps to cast, but is MUCH faster and easier to machine pic.twitter.com/uSJK6miTMv— Hakasays (@Hakasays) October 29, 2020 Oct31 Still tinkering with the aluminum foundry,doing lost-wax and lost-PLA casting this weekend. Started out by casting a plaster mold of a 3d-printed bitcoin to hopefully burn out later. pic.twitter.com/PkilI9EjzF— Hakasays (@Hakasays) November 1, 2020 Tried machining a master coin mold out of aluminum, but once the bits get below 1/16th of an inch you run a much greater risk of breaking them.I gave up on this one after breaking a few 0.05" end mills😕 ($4-$10/ea and I only have so many to go around) pic.twitter.com/nST8bH5HG0— Hakasays (@Hakasays) November 1, 2020 Machinable wax is faring MUCH better for small prototyping work.The bits just eat right through the wax with almost no risk of breakage.I'm gonna have to buy/make some more because a dream to work with.(end goal is to do castings with them)https://t.co/uHmlMKYsMY pic.twitter.com/OrPql2aEsI— Hakasays (@Hakasays) November 1, 2020
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