Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No More Color Chrome Magnos...For Now at Least

Well Chuck has informed me he is most likely closing the chroming portion of his business.  That really sucks because I only had 4 more magnos I wanted chromed.  I wanted the Copper Chrome Magno's the most.  These 'other' magnos were practice so he would have all the bugs worked out for this color.  Im not sure what will happen at this point.  Here are my options.  Try to find someone who can do the job. Buy a small metalizer and do it myself.  Cost...$5k-$10k.  

One way or another I want the 4 Magnos in copper chrome.  So with everything else, it may take a couple years, but I will somehow find a way to get the 4 magnos chromed in Copper.

Man...thats a BIG BUMMER.   :~(

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pressure Pot Modifications/Suggestions

The pressure pot I am currently using is an old paint pot.  What I have done to ensure that it works properly is to use Teflon tape on the pot threads ,  I like the white tape.  There are several types of teflon tape.  Green/yellow etc.  It depends on the usage.  For my purposes the general all purpose white tape I find works the best.  The second thing I have done is I use a chain wrench to tighten my pressure pot lid securely.  Yes it has indents on the lid to grab, but I cant get a good enough grip without tilting the pot and putting it between my knees.  Doing that just slopped my mold around inside.  So having your paint pot secured is probably a good thing if you are using a modified design.

Friday, April 2, 2010

My First Pressurized Mold

Well I finally got my first half of the mold done.  I need a new gasket and couldnt find one.  So for 5 hours I turned my compressor on every 15 minutes using the shut off valve as a regulator to keep the pressure maintained at about 50 lbs.

WOW...what a finish.  The top of the mold looks like a mirror and not a single air bubble can be seen.  Compared to my old molds where you can see the air bubbles right below the sureface.

Im glad I stopped casting 4 months ago and waited till now.  I'm looking at all the molds I have made so far without a pressure good as they are...OUCH...Im throwing them all away.  I am going to try and find some kind of gasket material, maybe a mason jar something along that line.  I dont mind babtsetting a leaking pressure pot right now, but I can tell it will get old real quick.

Anyways, in these next 2 pictures, what I am trying to show is that while the texture of the silicone is somewhat rough, there are no air bubbles.  Of particular interest is look how smooth the alignment holes are.    I plan to take my time making the molds.   Even if it means babysitting the pressure pot because of a slow leak.  The results are so worth it.   I can hardly wait to try out the clear resin to see how it will work.  A Clear Centaurus.  I can finally get my Chess set done.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Modifying the Pressure Pot

A while back I talked about getting a pressure pot off ebay for roughly 10 bucks.  I had planned on buying a bigger one, but it isnt in the cards till May or June.  Enviromolds has a complete system for about $800 that is really quite good and reasonably priced. 

So rather than get the new pressure pot now when I could least afford it, I opted for casting supplies and did a retro fit on the pressure pot I have.  Its smaller than what I would like, but it works and is better than nothing.  I just need a new lid gasket and 1 hose connector and Im ready to go.

This pot is actually a painters pot.  Meant to take the air out of paint.  This one had a regulator on the outgoing line to govern the spray of the paint coming out.  But the regulator isnt working and was in the wrong place for me anyway.  So I bypassed it.  I will work directly off the compressor.  I removed the outgoing line and put in a plug.  I kept the gauge as it was directly on the pot.  Good.  Right where I want it.  I cut the brass tube that came out of the lid and ground it flush so it wouldnt interfere with anything I put in the pot.  This tube sucked the paint out of the pot.  Thats all.  I then installed a make shift air fitting into the hose that came off the lid and goes to the compressor.  I hooked that up to a shut off valve and  then a quick change connector.  This is the compressor I found in the garbage.   It had a tag on it that said motor works, tank leaks.  So I welded up the leak.

The pot leaked.  I expected it to.  It needs a new lid gasket.  I inverted the gasket to the 'fresh' side and tightened the lid harder.  It held.  Im getting some new gasket tomorow. 

So how do I tighten a pot lid tightly with my mold/resin inside without moving the pot so my casting isnt splashed on the insides of the pot?  How do I hold onto it?

I took a couple of 3" hose clamps and made 1 out of the 2.  I did this because I didnt have a hose clamp big enough to do the job.  So I made one with 2.  I took some toolbox drawer liner and wrapped it around pot.  I then put a 1/2" keystock along the side of the pot.  I then tightened the hose clamps up and it holds not only the grip wrapping but also the keystock.  Now I can hold onto the can.  Now I can put the keystock in a vise to hold it still and then I can easily screw the lid on without moving the pot.  I can now also lay the pot down sideways for longer molds.  So the compressor and pressure pot cost me just under $20.00  The point being you dont need a designer setup and if you know what you are doing and looking for, you CAN do this on a shoestring budget.

It isnt the dream set up I wanted.  But it works properly and thats all that matters.  It will do what I need till I can get  a bigger pot.   At least I can do proper casting now.  Tomorrow I am off to get some new gaskets and a proper hose fitting and will be casting up a storm this weekend.  Centaurus will be my first project.  I need to make some figures for my chess set to keep the color scheme intact.