Monday, October 24, 2011

Inside An Air Regulator~ Because you don't trust the one on the compressor

Ah those magical devices!  They regulate your air feeding into some contraption.  Ever wonder how one works? You didn't want to take apart your $50 tool though, so you lived in ignorance.  Until now.

I have an air regulator.  I bought it for a quarter at a yard sale.  It worked great, but then started leaking along the gasket in the middle.  I figured I could fix it easy.

My Regulator hooked up.  

without screws

Big spring

That is the screw in the top that puts pressure on the screw.

Gasket thing.  It wasn't sealing against the metal well.
I puts some hylomar on it and that did the trick.

Button that is pressed on by the dimple in the piece above.

Input.  Unfortunately, you can't see the gizmos in there.  Not anything significant though

You are enlightened.  Remember, you heard it on Maniac Mecahnics first.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Cannon Pattern

I made this pattern on my lathe a few months ago.  Since then, I have given it several coats of polyurethane.

Eventually, it will be cast in brass or bronze, however until  then, I will practice casting it with the core with aluminum.
Here it is now.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A mortar pattern

Here are some pictures of a mortar pattern that I turned.  It's about 3 inches wide for perspective.

As you can see, one of my attempts wasn't to great.  At the time, my crucible was a bit undersized for this pour, but now I have a larger crucible to use with the big furnace.

 Split patterns are easy to mold.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Videos of my projects are up!

I just uploaded this about 12 hours ago.  It shows my modifications to the bucket of my sand muller.  Be sure to check out my other videos in the bar above, or click here for my channel

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Back to the ol' drawing board...

I'm very often designing things.  Normal flat desks are sort of unsuited for this, so I built a desk-top drafting board.  It has a hinged lid for storage underneath.  My new (old) T-square is also pictured.  I put a piece of rounded molding at the base for a pencil stop.  Its very comfortable to use.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I tried making some brass a while back.  I didn't have any borax on hand at the time to use as flux, so a good amount of metal just oxidized.  The copper was from pipes and the zinc from wheel weights.  With all the strange oxidization, it was dumb luck that he metal turned out pretty.

Here's the ingot.  It weighs about three pounds if I had to guess.

Nice golden color.  I doubt I'll be able to duplicate it though!

The actual proportions that I was trying of are those of Admiralty brass.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Molding Bench

When I get the foundry going, I cast lots of things.  This means I'm making lots of molds.  Making them on the ground is tiresome.  I had been filling my flasks over a large plastic storage bin, but I was still on my knees.

Finding a heavy duty plastic box at a yard sale for $5, I though I could use it.  It would allow me to have more sand and would be closer to my ideal height.  I put it on some blocks to get it up higher.  Now its about waist height.  Good for molds.

I then went and made a wooden frame that sits inside on the tops of the plastic ribbing to support my flasks.

Here is the result.

I have yet to fill it with sand.  Eventually, I will mount my muller right next to it so the fresh sand goes right back into the box.  I may also make a divider for mulled sand on one side and dry sand to be remixed on the other.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My new anvil stand

I do some blacksmithing from time to time.  Mostly to make custom tools for my other projects, but having a good anvil to beat things on is a much needed item for anyone.  My anvil was originally sitting on some tree trunk sections as seen in many photos, but they started to rot. I didn't like them, so a new base that wouldn't rot was in order.

My materials included

3" angle
galvanized fence post tubing
1/4 steel rod
3" treated post

The angle iron was gifted to me a while back.  The fence post tubing was free as well.  The 1/4 steel rod was from a garden decoration, and the post was leftover from rebuilding our deck.

I stick welded the whole mess together.  Here's the result:

Note:  I have to level the ground still there.

A note to all who are planning to build a base for their anvil:  The face of the anvil should be at knuckle height when your arm hangs down.  Otherwise, you will strain your wrist while forging.  This allows for a full arm stroke of the hammer.

Sand Muller Gearbox.

The most complicated part of a sand muller is easily the gearbox.  Welding spouts onto buckets isn't hard, but getting gear to mesh can be tricky.  I found that with some clever positioning, I could fit a lawn mower gearbox into a garage door opener system.  The rpm is still a bit high, but it is usable.

The main shaft goes to the small gear.  It meshed with the larger gear, which is mounted to the shaft of a lawn mower gearbox.  The output shaft from the gearbox goes through the existing bearing from the door opener.  The gears and gear box all came from the same self propulsion drive on a rusted out mower.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Furnace Shots!

I have buckets of pictures of my furnace, going from the first firing and progressing through later castings and such.  I may form blocks of photos, just so each page loads within the month.

The burner started


The preheat chamber for the evaporator burner

My whole foundry as it looked last year.

With the heat turned on.  Lets go easy at first!

Night shot!

Now its cooking!  The flame just shoots right in.  For comparison, this is relatively cool as far as melting goes.  I've had the furnace about 3x hotter.  We'll save those pictures for tomorrow!