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High-Performance Blades Sharing ideas for getting the most out of our steel.

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  #1  
Old 09-26-2006, 11:58 AM
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B.Finnigan B.Finnigan is offline
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Smelting supplies, equipment and materials.

Knowing where to get the supplies for smelting is the first crucial step in getting started. This thread will be a reference guide to companies that carry supplies and materials for casting and smelting. Hopefully we can amase a good data base of suppliers that we have dealt with and carry good quality equipment. Most likely there will be multiple suppliers for some equipment so we can have a good selection. One may be closer to you and that is important when it comes to paying shipping costs.

I have been using Legend inc to get graphite crucibles. They have a great selection and no minimum order (always a big plus in my book!). They also carry many other casting, assaying and smelting supplies.

http://www.lmine.com/Merchant2/merch...Code=crucibles

The Graphite Store. Good quality, many sizes available and no minimum order. Don't forget to check Ebay for scrap graphite blocks. There is always someone selling some very cheap.

http://www.graphitestore.com/items_l...d/71/cat_id/22

Gold and silver casting grains.
http://www.ccsilver.com/ I have ordered several thousand dollars of supplies from them with no problems. They also do small orders.

Hematite source:
http://www.optaminerals.com/sandblaster/price_list.htm

They will sell individual bags for an additional $5 to shrink wrap them. One more company that still has not forgotten the little guy who just wants to play around.



I will be adding to this list in the next few days and anyone else that has good resources feel free to post them also.

Last edited by B.Finnigan; 11-27-2006 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 09-26-2006, 01:25 PM
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Bob Warner Bob Warner is offline
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I think there needs to be a few basics posted somewhere for those uf us that have no experience at all. I just went to the link above to look at crucibles and they have different sizes for different prices but they are listed by #0000, #2, #3, etc..... They do not tell me how big a #3 is. Will it hold enough to pour a bolster or an entire engine? Is there a place that gives dinemtions or capasity?

Also, a list of common terms would be a good idea. We know people have had issues with heat treating and not understanding that tempering is only part of the heat treat process. We need to clear up the terms and the basic process very early in this forum. It will save answering a lot of basic questions for the rest of our lives (I would be one asking them).

Maybe a drawing showing smelting in all its forms with descriptions of what each component is.


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Old 09-26-2006, 02:35 PM
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I will attempt to explain the numbering used in crucible sizes. The number stands for how many kilos of molten aluminum a crucible will hold. Which does not help much but the link I posted above does give the dimensions of the crucible which is what I use when selecting a new crucible. Most places that carry crucibles do not bother to list the dimensions or even have something in the pic to give it scale. The number of kilos of molten aluminun does't help me very much in determining the actual size.

Last edited by B.Finnigan; 09-26-2006 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:15 PM
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OK, I'm not to smart. The dimensions are there, I just did not page down to see it.


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Old 09-26-2006, 06:26 PM
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I was pawing through my inner sanctum of wonderful treasures (my "junk" room to Carrie. She will not go in there. It's at the shop, and she's seldom there, so I can hide all sorts of neat stuff in there). I found that I had three crucibles, all seem to be a different make up, or at least different color. Is there a way to tell what one is, based on seeing it? It's been a long time ago since I've used any of it. I still have 30 gallons of oil-sand in buckets, maybe I'll finally get to use the rest of it.


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Old 09-26-2006, 08:07 PM
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Bob,

Just dug down the links. If you hit the graphite crucible link, then click one of the crucible links (I did the #3 crucible) then it gives demensions (Outside dimensions: 4.3" top diameter X 5.25" high for a #3) on the page with the single item.

--Carl


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Old 09-26-2006, 10:50 PM
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Before you buy a crucible you will need to know what size your furnace or forge will be. The crucible must fit but not take up too much space. You also will need to be able to see it while it is hot to watch the bubble activity. If you can afford it silicon carbide SiC crucibles will last a bit longer and not migrate as much carbon into the melt. I have a small #3 that has been through three smelts and over a dozen castings and it is still in very good shape.

All crucibles must be considered disposable. Smelting temps of 2400 deg take a heavy toll on them. Getting your button out after it has cooled will also stress them. I have punched out the bottom of several of them by trying to tap loose the button. Casting is much easier on them and one should last for many runs if you are careful.

When you get a crucible you have to season it in your kitchen oven. I leave mine in the oven overnight at 250-300 deg to drive out any moisture that may have accumulated. If there is moisture inside the graphite the high heat will explode it. Low heat will gentley and slowly evaporate the water out but a sudden exposure to 2400 degrees and you have a mini bomb and some scrap graphite.
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Old 10-29-2006, 04:01 PM
EdStreet EdStreet is offline
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so far ive not seen much in the way of temp gauges/meters. any ideas?

Ed


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Old 10-29-2006, 06:22 PM
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Try ceramics and pottery supply websites. Harbor Fraud also carries one but it is probably like all of their garbage.
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Old 10-29-2006, 07:41 PM
EdStreet EdStreet is offline
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I did find a good deal on the tongs, rod a mold and crucible.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=280039759283

should be able to cast alot with that one. enough for both bolsters front and back.

Also thinking about doing some mod's to a bbq grill with fire brick clay and some bricks.

Ed


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Gold is for the mistress - silver for the maid
Copper for the craftsman cunning in his trade.
"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall
But steel - cold steel is master of them all.
Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936)
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Old 10-30-2006, 04:52 PM
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http://baileypottery.com/kilns/pyrometers.htm
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Old 11-27-2006, 05:41 PM
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I just posted an online source for hematite. It is listed on the very first post on this thread at the bottom.
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Old 11-29-2006, 05:04 PM
EdStreet EdStreet is offline
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fyi I just picked up 4 fused silica melting dishes on ebay for $20.

7.5 oz and measures approximately 2 3/4" x 1 1/2" (70 x 38 mm)
9 oz and measures approximately 2 3/4" x 1 11/16" (70 x 42 mm)
8 oz and measures approximately 2 3/4" x 1 9/16" (70 x 39 mm)
12 oz and measures approximately 3" x 2 1/2" (77 x 63 mm)

shows good for melting with a torch to 2,500F.

Ed


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Gold is for the mistress - silver for the maid
Copper for the craftsman cunning in his trade.
"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall
But steel - cold steel is master of them all.
Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936)
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  #14  
Old 12-04-2006, 04:31 PM
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B.Finnigan B.Finnigan is offline
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Show us what you make with them! Don't be shy, this is not the "display case" or other forums were evryone expects the best of the best. This forum is about information and inspiration.
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