The Test Pour at Rupert's Farm

I drove 3 hours to get there and another 3 to get back, for 4 hours of the most interesting and exciting discussions, demonstrations, advice and castings I have ever seen. What a blast! And like a fool, I forgot to bring my camera to record the event :-( When I go to pour the cast iron pieces, I will definitely pack it though!

Rupert is an excellent host, a natural born instructor who basically gave us a step by step description of everything that he was doing, why he was doing it and the problems that can arise. I was able to have my 2 piece template casted in aluminum and was pleasantly surprised at the quality and finish of the cast part.


First try at casting and it worked better than expected!

The above picture shows the casting just after it came out of the sand and the sprue (fill hole) and risers (hole to let aluminum flow out of the cast) knocked off with a hammer.. It requires machining of the two faces and drilling of the mounting holes. The picture doesn't show the hole made by the sand core. The extension on the top for the sand core plug is hollow and very thin, the missing one on the bottom was broken off. The presence of the extensions are the result of jury rigging a round core into a square hole just to try the template out.

casting box

Sand casting box (notice alignment arrows)

I made a sand casting box out of 3/4" plywood that I had around. It is basically two rectangular frames that attach to both sides of a small flat board (painted red in the picture). On either side of the flat board is the halfs of the template. The template halfs are aligned perfectly to each other.

The idea is that you fill one side with sand, then fill the other side, remove the flat board with the template and you have a perfect mould ready for pouring the iron into. There are 1/2" grooves cut into the inside walls of the rectangular frames to help stop the sand from falling out. When the sand is rammed in, it is very stable and you can turn the frames upside down without dumping the sand.

core mould

Core mould

To make the center exhaust runners, a sand core plug is made that has the required dimensions. The core mould is basically two pieces of wood clamped together. Down the middle is a hole milled or routed in each piece the shape and dimension of the exhaust runner.

The template will leave indents in the sand for the core plug to sit on. The core mould is used to make the sand core plug. Sand is packed into the core mould and then a 3 1/2" nail is pushed in from both ends for added support. The core mould is seperated and the sand core plug removed.

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Copyright July, 2011 Eugene Blanchard