Many of you my not know, but the casting area has been diligently meeting every Wednesday at 5pm for almost 2 years now. Some weeks we haven’t been able to get together but for the most part it has been a consistent schedule. Aluminum casting has always been a thing we have done, even back at Lenox. Since moving over the equipment we have expanded our ability to cast other Non-Ferrous metals such as Copper, Brass and Bronze. We have also expanded our capabilities to do Ceramic Shell, and Sodium Silicate Resin Bonded molds. Iron Casting has always been a goal to do when looking for the new building. We can finally say that we are ready to start up our Cupola Furnace who goes by R2V2.
The only requirement is we need to have molds made and iron broken. Until we have molds that equate to an estimated total of 500 lbs of metal, we will not be able light up the furnace.
Meet us on Wednesdays at 5pm to get signed off on mold making processes and getting signed off to use the crucible furnace. Bring a pattern to get cast or if you just want to check out the area come on by. No appointments are needed. We need your help to make molds. Premade artist tile molds are available for sale with the cost of metal included.
In addition, if you happen to see a cast iron tub, sink, or radiators on the side of the road please contact Dave to collect it. The more cast iron donations we can get the better.
Ever see a YouTube video of someone making something and have an immediate need to make one for your-self? Happens to me all the time. Last week I saw this video from creator Steven Bennett. In it he designs and builds a fume extractor designed to look like a Makita power tool.
It seamed like a fun design exercise and I have been doing a lot of soldering at home any way. I choose to make my fume extractor in the style of Milwaukee Tool for obvious reasons. This is not my first project that adopts the over molding look of a red and black power tool. SO it was also a good opportunity to have another go at DIY over molding using resin printed molds. Resin is the way to go here for a couple reasons. First the material come in clear, this means that when filling the mold it is easy to see when and where it is filling up. Second, no sanding is necessary on the interior of the mold.
I am using a Smooth-On urethane rubber colored with black pigment. On a side note the inside of the mold needs a heavy coat of mold release if you want to remove it with the part intact. I may or may not have learned that the hard way. The mold shells are held on with some clamps and then the edges are sealed with modeling clay. After the urethane is mixed it can be injected with a small syringe into a hole in the mold shell.
I’ve finally got the Autonomous WVO steam engine to the point where I can run it well enough to do some worthwhile testing. A jillion thanks to the MMS members without whose help I never could have come this far. Plenty of interesting challenges to come. See it in action here
Did you know that April 5th is First Contact Day? It’s a fictional date from the Star Trek universe that commemorates the first meeting between humans and Vulcans in the year 2063. While we may not have made contact with extraterrestrial life yet, we can still celebrate the spirit of discovery and exploration that First Contact Day represents.
One way to celebrate is to watch the movie Star Trek: First Contact, which tells the story of how humans achieved warp drive and made first contact with the Vulcans. If you don’t have a copy of the movie, don’t worry – it’s available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services.
Another way to celebrate is to create a 3D printed model of “The Phoenix”, the spacecraft that made the historic first warp drive flight. You can find the model on Thingiverse at this link: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2147368. Print it out and proudly display it in your home or office as a reminder of the ingenuity and curiosity that led to the historic first contact.
Of course, there are many other ways to celebrate First Contact Day. You could attend a Star Trek convention, practice your Vulcan greeting, or share your own first contact stories with friends and family.
So on April 5th, let’s celebrate First Contact Day and all the possibilities that the future holds for us as we continue to explore the final frontier. Live long and prosper!