some basic questions.

Home enthusiasts discuss their Foundry & Casting work.

Moderator: Harold_V

Posts: 18574
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:02 pm
Location: Onalaska, WA USA

Post by Harold_V » Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:56 am

Canyonman wrote: I would like to see your "one man" tools if you happen to have pix.
Sure enough!

Didn't have any pictures of the #1 bilge crucible tools, so I bead blasted them and took one for you. They have been in storage for several years and had surface rusted. It's very damp here in Western Washington, and they have been stored outside in a 40' shipping container.

I tried to locate the crucibles, but to no avail. If you could see the size of my storage area (more than the container) and its condition, you'd understand! :) I'm in a hell of a mess, and it won't improve until I finish the house building project and regain the shop for shop use.

The #1 shank doesn't have a keeper, which would be desirable. A spring loaded finger that goes over the rim of the crucible would be easy enough to add, which I'll do if the tools work out for use with my centrifugal casting machine. If not, they're going on ebay, along with the crucibles.

The pic of the #8 combo shank/lifting tool is one cropped from an old photo that I took of the equipment that was sold with the refining business. If is weren't for that, I'd have nothing. Sorry for the poor quality, but it's the best I can offer. The forward jaw is fixed, with the rear jaw telescoping through the bushings welded to the upper shank. I designed the tool around my needs and was very pleased with its performance. The one change I'd make were I to make another would be to add a locking device of sorts, so grip alone wasn't responsible for holding the crucible. It worked fine, but an unexpected event could have caused me to drop the crucible. Not smart.

Jaws for all of the tools pictured were machined in a ring to the contour of the specific bilge crucibles. The #1 pouring shank was is one of the rings, properly relieved for three point suspension, but the other two tools were made from sections of the machined rings, which were welded to extension members to complete construction of the tools. With that design, crucibles are properly supported in the right place. It's important that crucibles not be held tightly. If you don't know, they are quite plastic when red hot and easily deform.
I think I'd prefer an "A" crucible if I had my druthers. No logical reason really, personal preference.
Interesting. I've never really given it much thought. I think the one advantage of a bilge type is that it is much easier to keep in the tools due to the shape. Don't know that its true, however. I've used only the bilge type in all my years.

My experience in visiting a few foundries was that all of them used the bilge type, so I can't help but wonder if they don't offer some advantages we may not know. Otherwise, it's likely just because that's the way it's done in the States. for no particular reason. Maybe someone can chime in and enlighten us.
I was not trying to lead someone down the Rosy Path to Doom, but if he chose this way I was just attempting to relay enough info for a "Leak Resistant" Pipe Crucible.
I don't have the least problem with sharing your design with folks, and I'm sure no one else does, either. I feel as long as each of us provide information and present the pitfalls along with the suggested methods, we provide a good and valuable service.

#1 Crucible tools-resized.jpg
#1 Crucible tools-resized.jpg (16.85 KiB) Viewed 1656 times
#8 Lifting and pouring shank.jpg
#8 Lifting and pouring shank.jpg (11.62 KiB) Viewed 1656 times

User avatar
Posts: 129
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 4:28 am
Location: OK, USA

Post by Canyonman » Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:30 pm

Thank You Harold,

I'm assuming the upper tool in the upper picture is the one you would add the spring retainer?

That scissors lifter is excellently made!

And the bottom one is the critter that requires a super grip? I would find this tool difficult to use when using charcoal as fuel. Unless the crucible were lifted out then transferred. But it is a good design that I Would look into if/when I go to gas.

I'm just now starting to read thru Ron Reil's Mondo Burner and the rest on his site.

My preference is to only grasp the crucible once. I have been to 2 pours that "went south" during the transfer from a lifting tool to a pouring tool.

One had a coal stick to the bottom of the crucible and it tipped. We lost about 1/3 of the melt.

The other was a transfer to a large pouring tool, similar to the lower one, only designed for two people lift. That day we learned about pre-heating tools and what "cold shock" was. We lost all of that melt as the clay-graphite crucible cracked completely around and down in 3 places. :roll:

On that lower one, a ratchet idea comes to mind. Similar to a gas pump handle/nozzle. What do ya think? :?

I'd sure like to see the centrifugal casting machine if you can shoehorn it in between posts! :)

Take Care, Ken

Post Reply