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YouTube casting versus the real world

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:59 am
by philbert
So I've seen a number of folk on YouTube (mrpete222, clickspring, among others) making small castings for flywheels and so forth from various non-ferrous materials (aluminum, lead, bronze). I'm sure it's harder than it looks, and their good results are no doubt testament to both talent and experience, but it does look achievable.

I'm wondering how much harder it is to cast larger things out of iron? So rather than a 3" flywheel out of lead, what about a 6" or 9" flywheel out of iron?

Re: YouTube casting versus the real world

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:48 am
by DavidF
The trick is getting the iron up to temp quickly under the right conditions. It is possible to do it in a home foundry setting, but the iron temperatures really take a toll on the furnace and crucibles. Your better off cutting your teeth with some aluminum and work your way into bronze before going for cast iron.

Re: YouTube casting versus the real world

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:03 am
by steamin10
It is not so much the glob of metal that is made, it is the end result desired. A lead flywheel is good on weight, but too soft for durability. Aluminum is too light for inertia to be good for a wheel. Lead is a poor material for a cylinder, but easy to carve and work, if making a pattern. Bronze better than brass on most counts but most expensive. Cast iron is cheaper, and nearly the temperature for bronze, so it is the next logical step in the learning. It is just the idea of making fishing sinkers and taking the next step and its nuances to get a part engineered for your use. What is acceptable. The devil is in the details.

Re: YouTube casting versus the real world

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:36 pm
by philbert
Thanks all,

I did find a gentleman doing some cast iron work that showed some of the cast iron specific issues. Quite an interesting series of videos


Re: YouTube casting versus the real world

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:00 pm
by steamin10
Philbert: What you linked to is another prime example of the trash that exists on the net. This guy has all home built stuff that is faulty in many ways, and a prime example of how a novice can get into trouble or injured. In my honest opinion, buy or borrow a book on casting by C W Ammen, and read it before you spend a minute on making anything. He wrote and published much of his foundry experience in several books on casting, molding and running a foundry from experience. In is collection of works are the gems that will provide success without the learning curve failures of re-inventing the wheel. I would tell you that the practice of foundry is basic to repair and manufacture, but is a hobby all in its own right. The Navy published some founding booklets that are good guides too. So my advice is read, read, read, before you commit any effort to foundry because of some amateur video. Other wise, get a tin can, bust a car battery, and pour some fish sinkers in the driveway sand. Everything else would be similar.

Re: YouTube casting versus the real world

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:06 pm
by philbert
Certainly not something I plan on trying any time soon - and I agree some of these folks seem very unsafe. The part where he nearly trips on the plastic bucket while carrying the full crucible was scary.

Re: YouTube casting versus the real world

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:50 pm
by DavidF
I hadnt seen this guys videos until you posed the one up. Im looking forward to seeing more of his videos and his progress on his engine build.