The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

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Harold_V
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The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by Harold_V » Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:52 am

When my wife and I made the decision to move to Washington State, it was with the idea in mind of building a nice shop, so I could pursue my interest in live steam. The shop was to include a small foundry, capable of pouring steel and iron, as well as non-ferrous. I've already talked about the induction furnace, and the muller I recently completed rebuilding, but that's not all there is to a small foundry, especially if one hopes to handle 100 pounds of molten metal, which is in my plan. To that end, I had need for a jib crane, as I fully intend to do my work without outside help, so a means of handling the molten metal is a necessity.

When I started construction on the shop, I installed a 6" pipe where I intended the jib crane to reside. It is cemented in an extended portion of the footing, and then surrounded by the 6¼" thick concrete floor. I had no idea how I would go about building a jib crane, figuring I'd cross that bridge when I came to it. And I finally did.

I was talking to Patio (one of our readers) about his work and mentioned that he was rewiring a couple jib cranes on the job. I asked him to give me a little description of how they were built, which he did. I didn't intend to copy the design (and I didn't), but I needed a sense of direction. Once I understood how they worked, I started imagining the issues I'd face, and how they'd need to be addressed.

One of the things that would be important is that the jib be adjustable, so it remained parallel when loaded (no sag), thus eliminating the trolley from involuntary movement. That meant I had to have an adjustment where the jib joined the vertical pipe. I also had to provide a bearing setup, so the jib would rotate effortlessly. To address that part of the problem, I'd kept one of the old rotors from the front brakes of my '94 Dodge pickup on the outside chance it could be used.

Not long after we moved to Washington, I attended a "tent sale" of shop products. Included in their offering was a nice little power hoist, made in Italy. Rated @ 800 pounds, I figured it was more than adequate for the purpose, so it was purchased. Unfortunately, it had a broken electrical box, which I was unable to replace, so I made a new one from a large piece of plastic.

When I was building the house, I needed a piece of I beam to help place a few of the leave-in-place foam/concrete blocks that were used in the exterior walls. I purchased a half ton trolley (badged Jet) and 20' of 6" I beam. I had the I beam cut such that I could use the longer piece for the jib, so it, along with the trolley, performed double duty, they are both now a part of the jib crane.

I started the project by remaking the electrical box, then I moved on to the mechanical portion by removing the brake portion of the rotor. That left the bearing housing and the eight lugs, which I would use to mount the housing I'd fabricate from ½" x 8" wide hot rolled steel. I had to purchase new tapered roller bearings, but just the cones. The old rotor still had the old cups in place, which would be more than adequate for an object that would turn less than 180°, and at a snail's pace. I also had to make an adapter that allowed the spindle I machined to mount to the pipe, which I had cut off and leveled at the desired height. I had to remove about 2½' of pipe, which I had left too long, not knowing how long it would have to be.

In order for the jib to rotate effortlessly, under load, and to help prevent sag, I provided a pair of bearings at the bottom of the fabricated housing. These bearings bear on the pipe, and are adjustable independently, so they will make contact with the pipe as the jib is rotated.

The jib is just over 10' in length, and will be called upon to carry about 350 pounds, max. That meant that it would have to be adjusted out of parallel, so, when loaded, it would flex to a parallel condition. I mounted the jib on a large pin, and provided a pair of adjustment screws at the base, along with a pair of ½" diameter rods on top of the jib, each adjustable, to help limit flexing.

The lift I had procured was quite fast in action, and needed to be slowed considerably. I did that by making a set of blocks, one at the bottom, which has a hook, the other a part of the housing upon which the lift is mounted to the trolley. The triple reduction yielded a very desirable speed, one that will allow for small movements of a ladle when pouring.

I took no pictures of the project while it was being built. All I have to offer is one of the finished unit, which, at this point, works beautifully. I am now engaged in building a ladle, which will fasten to the hook and allow for easy transporting of metal from the furnace to the flasks that will be poured.
DSC00125.JPG
A great deal of the equipment I have came from the Jordan School District, when they, in all their wisdom, closed down all of the industrial arts classes. The power riddle shown, as well as the foundry bench and the multiple crucibles, shanks and tongs, safety gear and hand tools, all came from that source. Included was a non-ferrous pyrometer as well as two new crucibles, still in boxes, and the large number of flasks, both aluminum and steel, seen stacked next to the muller. Aluminum flasks are not likely a great choice for casting iron or steel, as any spills would destroy the flasks, so I'm happy to have both types.
DSC00126.JPG
When the ladle is completed, I'll start installing the two induction furnaces, as well as creating a casting area. As the floor is concrete, I intend to provide an area surrounded by a shallow housing in which I will place a couple inches of sand, to prevent direct contact of molten metal with the floor.

Who knows? Someday I may actually have a functioning foundry!

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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steamin10
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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by steamin10 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:14 am

That is a very nice looking setup, more than I expected. I have an adjustable house post jack that will serve the same purpose only not as heavy. It will be dropped and cemented in the floor similar to your idea.

As an aside, your pouring floor can be covered with green board layed flat, or concrete board as they will not spit metal. This will give you a lolid floor to work over. I have cats, and providing them with a huge sandbox is not gonna work. A cope or darg half filled with sand can be your dump for cleaning vessels and keep the mess in a small area and keep the shop broom clean when not in use. Machines and sand do not work well together. Trust me.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by curtis cutter » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:33 am

This is awesome Harold. I wish my dad were still with us to share this picture with as his job was design and maintenance of the crane systems at the Auburn Boeing plant.

Just out of curiosity, have you measured the downward deflection (at full anticipated load) at the end of the rail and at various points along the travel?
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Just let go of it, it will eventually unplug itself.

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NP317
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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by NP317 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:44 am

Nicely done, Harold!
You also hit the jackpot, getting that foundry equipment from the school district.
~RN

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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by rrnut-2 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:37 pm

That looks great Harold! I bet your getting anxious for a pour.

Jim B

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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by Harold_V » Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:07 pm

steamin10 wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:14 am
As an aside, your pouring floor can be covered with green board layed flat, or concrete board as they will not spit metal.
Green board? Like in drywall?
No cats involved in my shop, so sand will work well enough, I think. Problem is, while I've visited my share of foundries, I have yet to actually do any foundry work, so I don't really have a sense of direction.

That said, I do have similar experience from when I processed precious metals. At that time I built this tilting reverberatory furnace,
Tilt furnace #2.jpg
and experienced one spill, although only a loss of slag, not metal. My floor in the furnace room was epoxy coated, so it resulted in several burn spots. Luckily, no steam explosions, which I hope to avoid at all costs. My floor contains hydronic heating.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by Harold_V » Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:11 pm

curtis cutter wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:33 am
Just out of curiosity, have you measured the downward deflection (at full anticipated load) at the end of the rail and at various points along the travel?
Not yet, although that is on the agenda. At this point I don't have a means to load the weight, but that will change when I complete the ladle.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by Harold_V » Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:19 pm

I'd like to thank all you guys for your comments and positive support. No one will ever understand the amount of effort that has gone in to this project, so it's really comforting for me to hear from you.

Jim----yeah, I'm anxious to put it to work. And for the same reason mentioned, above. I've worked towards that day for years, and have spent an enormous amount of time doing so. My reward for the effort expended will be the day I pour the first heat. A great deal of that success will be thanks to you, for the donation and delivery of the larger of the two furnaces I have for melting steel/iron. I'd have been somewhat limited without your generous contribution, for which I thank you once again.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by curtis cutter » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:59 pm

Harold_V wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:11 pm
curtis cutter wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:33 am
Just out of curiosity, have you measured the downward deflection (at full anticipated load) at the end of the rail and at various points along the travel?
Not yet, although that is on the agenda. At this point I don't have a means to load the weight, but that will change when I complete the ladle.

H
I have one of these if you need a scale Harold: Horizon 500 KG / 1100 LBS Digital Crane Scale Heavy Duty Industrial Hanging Scale
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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by steamin10 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:28 am

Yes , green board. It is cheep, tougher than common drywall, and can be left in place but like concrete board wont move and can have wheels run over it. If you go to sand you will find it has its own set of problmes in migrating everywhere. If you build a box, you will constantly trip on the ledger, not good at any age but especially with hot metal. I did most of my pouring on 3/4 inch plywood. If spilled on it smoked and made a mark, but thats it. And it stood against the wall til next session. With hot metal, I prefer a clear floor as can be had, so an excape route can be pounded if there is a blow for some reason. A good example was a mouse that built a nest in a closed mold. He made and unexpected pop when he went off, and is the reason I USE helm, gloves and face shields when pouring. Work boots instead of joggers. Cotton blue jeans and shirt, long sleeved. Even a ball cap will shed a pop from your hair, and I have done that many times, feeding the furnace with cold metal,or pigging into a slightly rusty mold. -pop- its on the ceiling. I did an el dummo and dropped a full ladle on concrete, I ran like the wind, until it died. And all that was in aluminum. Iron or brass would be worse as it is hotter

As with any machinery, there are things that are just unwise to not do. A small mistake can have big events. THINK before you move. The more you do, the more exposure to risk. Dont make chances, have a plan.

You being a pro machinist I am probably singing to the choir, but it is the unexpected that will bite the hardest.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by liveaboard » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:41 pm

This is my hoist; I bought it at a factory auction in Belgium. It was still on the wall and I had to take it down myself; that was epic.
Standing on a wobbly steel cabinet with a torch...
It's about 9' long (I cut off a foot), and does angle upward slightly with no load. Although it has no bearings, it swings easily with 1/2 ton on it.
With a whole ton on it, the beam gets level and it takes some effort to move the load along the beam or to swing the beam.
I had the rear of my tractor hanging on it not long ago, and that's a very heavy chunk if iron. I guess it was a ton +.
I had the post set in a big foundation block when the new floor was being poured. As you can see, there are upper braces too, they attach to a steel truss across the center of the room.
gantry hoist..jpg
So with bearings and only a few hundred pounds load, Harold's gantry will move with a finger. flex will be barely measurable I expect.
If you want, I'll measure the beam angle and diagonal top strip that takes the load on mine.

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Re: The slow evoltuion of a long term plan

Post by Harold_V » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:14 pm

Unfortunately, I am unable to support the top of the column on my setup. That's the reason I welded the remnant piece of the jib to the back side of the 6" pipe that is the column. It made it far stiffer, but there's still flex, which really can't be eliminated. Had I wanted greater capacity, I'd have to change what I did.

There's an 8" concrete block wall immediately behind the column. It has minimal reinforcement in its construction---vertical #4 rebar, but not in all cells, plus a bond beam (horizontal), as required by code, which repeats @ 4' intervals. Using the wall to stiffen the column would most likely result in a cracked wall, so I opted to not go that route. The only other method I could conjure would be to tie the top of the column to the bottom chord of the trusses, which, in my estimation, would not be a good choice. I made all of my decisions based on the idea that the total load would be limited to no more than about 300 pounds, if that.

As you suggested, with as much load as I've been able to apply, thus far, it moves without effort, which is very desirable when one has molten metal being transported. Should prevent slopping.

Nice setup you have, by the way.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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