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Newbie Report and Bentone Sand

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  • Tom DeClue
    HI, I ve been monitoring the site for about a year now and still haven t made my first cast but I m getting close. I ve made the foundry, have a pair of clay
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 12, 2006
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      HI,
      I've been monitoring the site for about a year now and still haven't
      made my first cast but I'm getting close. I've made the foundry,
      have a pair of clay graphite crucibles, made tongs and instruments
      to pour the molten aluminum from the crucibles, made a cope and
      drag, made a test melt which went fine and just finished making a
      40# batch of bentone sand. I bought the bentone from Richard Kern
      who just happens to live relatively nearby here in Colorado, so
      finally got to see someone who has done this and has experience. I
      followed the standard directions of 100# sand to 5-6# bentone to 2
      qts 2 cycle oil and 3.2 ozs methanol. I made 4 ten lb batches using
      the correct proportions. It worked perfectly. After the
      sand/bentone and oil were thoroughly mixed using one beater from the
      kitchen in my electric drill, (the wife hasn't missed it yet) I put
      in about 2.5 tablespoons of a fuel line antifreeze at the suggestion
      of Richard Kern, the name escapes me (I'm in CA on business this
      week so I can't look it up) but it's pretty much all methanol.
      After less than a minute of stirring I detected a distinct odor
      which is apparently the chemical reaction between the methanol and
      bentone. After 2 minutes the beater quickly clogs up. I continued
      working the mix for a few more minutes. The results are the cookie
      dough consistency I've read about.

      This all occurred last week. On Sunday, using my pattern (for a
      special clamp to connect a telescope tube to a fine tracking mount)
      I rammed the sand and made the mold. It's waiting for my return
      home on Saturday when I hope to melt and pour aluminum. All I can
      say is I'm taking my time and trying to think everything through
      very carefully, so far so good. Next week will be the proof of the
      pudding.

      Tom
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