Friday, 26 February 2010

Old books on casting

No one is quite sure when people first started melting metals and casting them in sand, however there are plenty of old books with descriptions and details of techniques. The Archive.org site has a few of these books including the following two.

American foundry practice treating of loam, dry sand and green sand moulding, and containing a practical treatise upon the management of cupolas and the melting of iron (1892)

Wood working, wood turning, patternmaking, green-sand molding, core making, dry-sand and loam work,
cupola practice, mixing cast iron (1905)




The American foundry practice describes, learning the moulder's trade and is not particularly complementary of the novices.

When a young man starts out to learn the moulder's trade, about the first thing lie does is to get a trowel, stick it in his pocket, and call himself a moulder. He comes to his work finely dressed, with a cigar in his mouth, and his talk is about anything rather than what he is doing. This is not the case with all beginners, but it is true of the majority of them.

However it does go on to have lots of information on casting flywheels, pulley's and gears. There is lots on creating patterns, handling sand, cores, venting and pouring the iron. There is a comprehensive index which is always good to see in a reference book.

The second book as the title might imply is biased towards woodwork and pattern making. Following a intro with sections on woodworking (and woodworking tools) and wood turning the book looks at how different patterns might be made. Some of the examples are quite complex such as steam engine parts or a throttle valve. As per the previous book there are sections on working green sand and cores. The last section of the book has details of working with an iron melting cupola which might not be relavent for a home foundry. The book finishes with a good selection of exam questions and again a comprehensive index.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Bosch DIY Tool Sale

I've been sent a few emails from Amazon recently with reduced price powertools from Bosch. There is a wide range of cordless hammer drills, multi-tools and garden equipment.



Bosch DIY Tools

Other Flea Sculptures and models

The flea sculpture is nearly finished, so I thought I'd share some other people's creations.



Merkaba's flea is made from Sculpey Premo Polymer Clay and has the cheeky message, "if brains were leather you'd have enough to make a saddle for a flea".

Ellen Rixford made this 18" cloth flea model for an advert for a flea collar.



Greg and Jeff Quayle make the "Origional Flea" sculptures a series of unique handcrafted "flea" characters performing different activities.





Nicole Jakins from Queensland, Australia has this witty take on mans best friend. The flea is made from recycled copper, sterling silver, dog registration tag and a cat bell hidden within body. She's also written a few words on the making of the flea.

Derl Wolmuth has the last and largest of the flea sculptures I've found. His bicycle flea is made from pvc, bamboo, paper and bicycle parts and was designed to be ridden in a parade.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Book Review - Performance Welding Handbook





I bought this book to find out if I wanted to buy a TIG or a MIG welder for my model engineering workshop, it answered that question and a lot more.

The book is intended for people aiming to build or repair light aircraft or performance/race cars and bikes. Author Richard Finch is well qualified to write such a book as he is a certified welder and has consulted for NASA. He has filled the book with photos of the equipment, joints and techniques, the writing is clear and first person making you feel like you are just having a chat with this expert welder.

Welding a boat

This is an excellent book for reference as the pages are colour coded by chapter so that you can quickly flick to a chapter from the back cover. The first couple of chapters look at different types of welding equipment and what to look for when buying them. The next are fitting and jigging including special techniques such as cutting a fishmouth in a tube.

Welded joint with tubing

Each of the next six chapters describe welding with different materials and equipment; TIG welding 4130 steel tubing, TIG welding aluminium and magnesium, MIG welding steel and stainless steel, MIG welding aluminium and magnesium, Gas welding steel and stainless steel, Gas welding aluminium. The book finishes off with plasma cutting and shop safety.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Maker Faire 2010 Newcastle



Maker Faire, Newcastle - March 13-14, 2010

"Maker Faire celebrates things people create themselves -- from James Bond-worthy electronic gizmos to homemade clothes. Inspiration is ubiquitous at the festival and there are surprises around every corner for people of all ages."

For a two days in March, Newcastle will be full of "Makers" who will be sharing their ideas, creations and exhibits. Music, Science, Crafts, Robotics, Audio visual experiences, Engineering and Power Tool Drag Racing will all be on show.



Maker Faire is part of ScienceFest – a 10 day celebration of creativity and innovation across Newcastle.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Rusty old websites

Whilst reviewing the workshopshed web logs I spotted that there are a few people who are interested in rust, rusty stuff and rusting.

A further search found the following links:

Rusty Iron Workshop



Rob Skinner and Kelley Garcia, who describe themselves as "a couple of gearheads" from La Habra, California. They have a collection of engines and machinery running on gasoline, kerosene and the stirling cycle.


Rusty Metal Works

Michael Geltz is an artist who makes sculptures, working with wood, metal, machines, engines, electrical, welding and blacksmithing. Michael comes from a long line of practical people, his grandfather was a tool and die maker and his great grandfather was a blacksmith.


Rusty Iron Rally



Down in Southern Australia is the Mid North Coast Machinery Restoration Club Inc., each September they run the Rusty Iron Rally. The rally allows owners of tractors, engines and models to exhibit their handywork and buy and sell new parts at the "Swap & Sell" market.


Rusty Iron Art

Gordon Frost SR is another metal artist who makes outdoor sculptures from weathered iron. His full size sculptures of people and animals include a fireman, giant spider and gas bottle pumpkin.

Workshop Practice Series