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Old 04-16-2009, 10:03 AM   #1
abby
 
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Default lost wax casting

My speciality is lost wax casting which I have been doing for over 20 years.
I got into this from sand casting as I had a need to produce sculptures,

business awards,

and classic auto spares,

but now concentrate on model engineering castings of the more difficult type.
mostly in gun-metal

but also aluminium

and nickel-silver

I have complex patterns rapid prototyped and have had to become proficient with 3D cad,



Most of my equipment and process is designed and built in house by me,


always willing to help out on a project and if anyone is interested they can see more on my web-site ;
www.unionsteam.co.uk and forum www.unionsteam.co.uk/forum
these are hosted on my own server so may be slow at times.
regards to all.



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Old 04-16-2009, 04:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: lost wax casting

Great work , lost wax casting is something i am going to have to get into, what dose the modified ped drill do.
Rob



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Old 04-16-2009, 07:18 PM   #3
abby
 
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Default Re: lost wax casting

Hi Rob, the drill press has been converted into a high pressure wax injector , the wax is melted by a small cartridge heater in the reservoir - the copper tube part on the side - and drawn , via a non-return valve , into the cylinder which replaces the quill.
Pressure is applied by the long top handle onto a piston and the wax is forced into a die ,placed on the table ,through the bottom valve. A band heater keeps the nozzle and ram at required temperature using simple temperature controllers.
Injection pressures of 200 psi are possible and dies are machined from aluminium , or cast from low melt alloy(woods metal) , or sometimes silicone rubber , even chemical metal can be utilised.



the combination of pressure and die produces consistent dimensions in the wax patterns and castings allowing holes as small as 1\16" to be included in the casting , thin wall sections are also more easily reproduced allowing castings to be made that require minimum machining


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Old 04-16-2009, 07:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: lost wax casting

Abby that's a good idea for the drill press, and you sure are the man to ask about lost wax from the look of your work, I do a fare bit of sand casting so what sort initial of cost would it be to get started with LWC ?
Rob

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Old 04-16-2009, 08:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: lost wax casting

Abby I know what it takes to get a positive result from casting.

Let me say:

Rick

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Old 04-16-2009, 08:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: lost wax casting

Rob , it need not cost a great amount to set up a small facility but there are two essential items.
You will need some way of de-waxing and firing the moulds , typically an electric oven of suitable size and able to reach 750°C , you could probably use a domestic cooking oven with extra insulation , or use the elements in a Kaowool lined metal box.
The oven will need a programable controller , again if you are so inclined you could use a PC , my first oven used an Apple IIe with home made I/O board , but for around 100 USD you can buy a good controller.

Secondly you will need a source of high vacuum i.e. at least 28" Hg in 2 minutes. I have an Edwards laboratory high vacuum pump which new would be over a 1000 bucks but if you look hard enough you can get a used one for peanuts.
You will need the pump for de-gassing the investment cement and assisting the mould filling.
Some stainless steel tube large enough to take your castings with at least 1/4" to spare , but mild steel will work, just doesn't last as long.
I spent almost nothing on my first lost wax foundry , now it is a business I tend to buy what I need unless I can make it better.
the rest is consumables ,my process uses commercially produced plaster based cements , but you can make your own , not so reliable but it works.

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Old 04-16-2009, 08:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: lost wax casting

Rick...lol

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Old 04-16-2009, 09:11 PM   #8
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Well i have a start the vacuum pump i picked up free some years ago to build a vacuform machine witch was never built, i best get scrounging for the rest.
Great web site, one photo shows Mixing Investment Cement under vacuum is the vessel a modified pressure spray paint pot ?
Thanks for the info. Rob

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Old 04-17-2009, 02:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: lost wax casting

That drill press setup looks a lot like a plastic injection molder.... I scrounged a tiny one several years ago from a defunct high school shop. It's not got a big 'shot', but I think it would work for wax. IIRC, Gingery has plans to make a drill-press injection-molder attachment that could probably be converted. Have to consider lost wax sometime as I also already have a burnout kiln.. alas I passed on the vacuum degasser and flasks as well.

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Old 04-17-2009, 10:14 AM   #10
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Default Re: lost wax casting

Most of my equipment is made from something more readily available , the paint pressure pot is a good example.
With the current financial situation cash is king and bargains are out there. Bankrupt factory auctions are the place to go but you will need transport and lifting gear for the bigger stuff.



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