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7/10/03 - Well it was time to get started.  I have put this off because of the size of this casting.  The bed is 3" x 3" x 30", that's HEAVY when rammed up.  Not to mention the amount of liquid AL needed.   That was my biggest concern.  I figured I would need 5 quarts to do it and 5+ to be sure.  I have been slowly working up to a full 7.5 quart cast iron pot full of AL.  Mostly making ingots and trying to get the head stock done.  The biggest reason for doing this was to get comfortable handling that much AL at one time. We all know this stuff is dangerous, we accept that.  Handling 7.5q of liquid AL is NO JOKE people!!!  Its hot and heavy.  Read on as I get this done... 

 

My first attempt.  Well not really.  This was a test and only a test.  I finally decided I was comfortable handling the full pot of AL.  Wanted to see what would happen if I simply tried the mold as Gingery suggests.  There was a riser added at each end because of the extra length.  I never expected it to fill out this good :)  There are only 3 problems.  I bumped the mold while closing it and created the hole on the right end of the top, top PIC.  The 1 end didn't fill completely because the mold had shifted and was too close at the end, left bottom PIC.  These are simply molding problems I can fix by being more careful when closing the mold.   As you can see in the bottom right PIC there is a lot of flash.  That's because the quickie flask I made wasn't flat and created a gap between the cope and drag.

 

Problem 3 - That's different.  It's bowed UP at each end.  I have heard this being the case on other beds.  With a 24" bed I suspect you simply scrape the ends more to get it flat.  Mine is about a 16th of an inch gap in the middle.   More than I want to scrape.  I checked the pattern its flat (no bow).  I weighted down the cope to keep it from floating when I poured.  SO I will be adding some filler to the top center part of the pattern feathering it towards each end.  Hoping to compensate for the bow.  A note on the funky lines on the top.  The center part (about 7/8") is slightly lower than the outer edges of the top.  Kind of a shallow U, bottom left PIC.  This was to help speed up the scraping process, figuring I would only have to scrape the outer portion instead of the entire top.   This should still give me good contact with the ways.  I "might" use a split ways.  Not sure yet.  YES that's a foot under the bed and it is yellow.  I wanted something different.

Next time some more info on my "NO ROLL" method of molding this monster.

Here is a good example of an alternative method to do the bed casting.  Very similar to the method I used.

Better_bed_casting.html  opens new window

 

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