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Lost Wax or investment casting
Weaponeer Forums : Casting

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  dcorb

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Posted: September 25 2009 at 6:26am | IP Logged Quote dcorb

Metalworking - Handbook of Lost Wax or investment casting

Very interesting book. Shows how to build equipment and the process.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/2740531/-Metalworking-Handbook-of- Lost-Wax-or-investment-casting

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  wdoyle1980

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Posted: September 25 2009 at 8:12pm | IP Logged Quote wdoyle1980

I'll have to look at this a bit later.   I've been taking a lost wax casting class for the past few years at the local city college out here in Santa Barbara.  Really great program and great instructors.

midmichigun is letting me borrow a  lockwork from one of his rifles  so i can make some molds of the parts for silicon bronze / manganese bronze casting :)


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  dcorb

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Posted: September 25 2009 at 8:58pm | IP Logged Quote dcorb

I think it is a fascinating process. I am tempted to get into it but really do not know what I would cast.

 

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  elmacgyver0

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Posted: September 25 2009 at 10:50pm | IP Logged Quote elmacgyver0

Think of all the swell grip frames, receivers ect. you could make. The only limitations are time and your imagination.
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  wdoyle1980

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Posted: September 26 2009 at 5:29am | IP Logged Quote wdoyle1980

Well, you're also limited by what kind of heat you can put out and how much toxic fumes you can handle ;-)    Sand casting steel requires a good amount of heat.    I'm currently looking into what I can do with Silicon or Manganese bronze for some low-powered rounds.  I figured if old revolvers were made with brass frames, then I soulc be able to cast 70,000PSI tensile strength bronze for a 357mag trapdoor receiver and just use a steel plate attached to the bronze for the breechface.  idk.  more work to come on this project when midmichigun mails me the lockwork.  Then it's into overdrive with molding and casting these parts. lol.


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  dcorb

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Posted: September 26 2009 at 10:25am | IP Logged Quote dcorb

I really like the idea of making a rubber mold so any number of wax objects could be reproduced.

An idea I have be kicking around is scaling a 1919a4 to .22LR. A few parts would need to be cast. 

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  wdoyle1980

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Posted: September 26 2009 at 6:52pm | IP Logged Quote wdoyle1980

I have 3 concurrent projects:    I want to scale-down a trapdoor to .357mag, and I want to build an in-line 50cal blackpowder rifle from a Denali, and a 45cal blackpowder percussion pistol  from barrels that I picked up off Numrich.  I am hoping that I can use the same or lightly-modified variants of the same lockwork to do it.   I wanted to mold the lock from midmichigun so i can duplicate the 3 sets I'll need for the projects.  Have a positive in wax allows me to use blade and heat to modify for function or to dress it up/engrave it  real easily.

I still have to write a check off to the trapdoor dealer for the receiver and bolt.  I am hoping to be able to mold and cast at least the bolt; the receiver may be too big for my jewelry lab.  I'll have to see if I can create a sand-cast frame for it.

My buddy and I have been starting to work on collecting and melting down aluminum for some of our light-weight small-caliber project receivers.   You can anodize it and get a pretty good hard/strong/wear-resistant coating and helps reduce the weight for small-cal builds.     

Even if you don't plan on USING it for live-fire, Aluminum melts at pretty-low temps and is a good/easy metal for a backyard smelting/casting project.  Also, you can get pretty-ok alum from tin-cans.  crush em and collect a bunch.  Melt em, flux 'em (borax?), then pour into a cast-iron ladle or something to make ignots.  cool the ignots in the pool or air-cool (alum heats and cools pretty fast).  store ignots for projects.   3)....  4)PROFIT!


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  midmichigun

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Posted: September 26 2009 at 9:48pm | IP Logged Quote midmichigun

Wdoyle,

Watch your mail!

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  wdoyle1980

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Posted: September 27 2009 at 4:22am | IP Logged Quote wdoyle1980

I am super stoked!  Thank you again!

 Now, I just need to persuade my instructor that Manganese bronze does not have *too* much zinc to cast in the classroom.   He advised to stay away from 'naval' bronzes due to their possible toxicity during the melt.   MangBronze is pretty-damn steel-like in its tensile and yield strengths and is pretty steel-like in price.  Silicon Bronze is a bit weaker, harder to machine (due to the silicon, I would guess), has 0-to-nominal zinc, as well as like x2-x3 the cost.  ugh.  
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  wdoyle1980

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Posted: September 29 2009 at 5:39am | IP Logged Quote wdoyle1980

A certain package showed up in the post today!  (party)  I didn't go home before class (i had a sneaking suspicion that I should have). I went to class, spoke with the instructor.  Lots of good news: he's stoked to help me out with this.  I just need to find some silicon bronze casting grain or bar for casting.  I'm limited to like 200grams (about 7oz) per shot in the centrifuge, so it looks like I won't be casting any receivers (boo!), but the small parts should be enough for it.

The lockwork is pretty well greased.  When I disassemble, I'll be cleaning all of that off.  Now, I'd like to give it back to you in the same condition received, so what kind of grease would you recommend for that?

I told him about some of my projects and what I needed help/assistance with.  I LOL'd when he was like (shocked-expression) "are you making a SILENCER OR SOMETHING!!?!"    I get this alot.  you say you're making a single-shot 22lr and all of a sudden "you making a machine gun1?!"    I brew beer :  "OMG YOU MAKING MOONSHINE?!"    ::sigh:: ignorant ppl don't understand those are some pretty big keywords that end up with 5-0 at your door poking around.   I end up having to say "NO NO Single-shot rifle. legal for any citizen to make, 18 or older! (ach!)"

I have a few projects on-deck,depending on which one I can start the fastest.   I have a 223 barrel from a stevens.  It has no extractor cuts, and the bullet seats so that the rim and recess is sticking from the barrel; doesn't seem very good for a falling-block, trapdoor, or a side-pivoting breech unless I recess the barrel in a sleeve so that the cart-rim is flush with the jacket (thinking...).  I have a 357mag from a IMItimberwolf that's pinned, but has some weird barrel hood on it (slide-action rifle).  I was debating on just sheering that off or using that to make a break-open.     I'll try to get some pics, b/c i've been drinking lots of beers tonight and my ability to describe seems to be long-gone. 

The lockworks looks really awesome, and I can't wait to start molding the components.   I'm heading back to FL for a wedding and HS-reunion on the 7th and will be back in a week.   I have a class that Monday (5th).  I'll try to get the pieces molded by then.  I want to thank you again, midmichigun! 
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  midmichigun

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Posted: September 29 2009 at 8:03am | IP Logged Quote midmichigun

Wdoyle,

As I mentioned in the other thread. The grease is probably from the 60's! It will be hard to find that vintage!

The triggerguard is just for your entertainment. If you can, make a cast for it, for a later date. I have casts laying around for AR15 lowers... They generally don't go bad.

ENjoy... and sorry for the grease!

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  wdoyle1980

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Posted: October 20 2009 at 4:53am | IP Logged Quote wdoyle1980

I hate cross-posting, but here I go. 

http://www.weaponeer.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=10120

New updates on my adventures in lost-wax casting using Midmichigun's lockwork.   I've got pics up of the first two molds:  Trigger and Hammer

my instructor forgot the rest of the parts I had him hold for hardness testing.  ach!   He'll have them in class for next week so I can cook up the rest of the molds. I can do two molds at a time in the vulcanizer and they take about an hour to cook  630p-900p lets me do two rounds (4 molds) and I'll probably have him help me cut them open so I don't mess them up.  Using the wax-injector is pretty cool.  The liquid wax hardens in about 30seconds, so I can cast a few of these pieces pretty quickly.

I'm placing an order for some Silicon Bronze so I'll have it by next week so I can start casting parts.
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  midmichigun

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Posted: October 20 2009 at 5:41pm | IP Logged Quote midmichigun

wdoyle,

I was reading somewhere about 1911's that had brass/ bronze frames. This is a project I want to see happen. The discussion centered around the durability of such a design.

The merits were: longevity from lack of corrosion, and that brass/ bronze have relative low coeffs of friction (don't have my metallurgy book handy so I can't quote numbers).

I don't think there was a reason given why the brass frames were a no/go... but cost being a factor.... was pointed out.

People wondered about the relative strength, but I think that if you can see 70kpsi, you are in the pocket.

We are moving along the same zone... I am just lagging due to $$ right now.

Funny x 1
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  dcorb

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Posted: October 21 2009 at 8:11am | IP Logged Quote dcorb

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  Inabadhood

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Posted: October 21 2009 at 9:40am | IP Logged Quote Inabadhood

NICE!!!
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  wdoyle1980

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Posted: December 02 2009 at 2:00am | IP Logged Quote wdoyle1980

Long time no post.   Been gearing up for the holidays and been burning some PTO/vacation time with the girlfriend.   I finished up my jewelry casting class and was able to get a flask set up with the wax-cast parts.    I'm posting these pics on both this thread and my percussion-lock thread.


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