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Thread: Casting the Merriman Cleat

  1. #106
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    I

    I think I could live with this! Knowing it's hollow just makes it all the more impressive. I'm working on a new mast gate pattern now, so enjoying seeing a great job done!

    Mike
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

  2. #107
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    That looks great Jim! Well done sir!!!!
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  3. #108
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    That looks great Jim! Well done sir!!!!
    Agreed, Congratulations!
    I've enjoyed following this thread. Thanks.
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  4. #109
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Choice.

  5. #110
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Nice, Jim.

    Kevin
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  6. #111
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Very nice Jim

  7. #112
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon1 View Post
    I

    I think I could live with this!

    Mike

    Thank you, Mike and all for the kind words and encouragement.


    I'm liking the finish obtained by hand filing, as opposed to a polished buffed out finish. There's a texture there that has some appeal and highlights the hand work that went into the piece. The filing process goes like this...pick out the worst looking cleat from the pile...scrub it for fifteen minutes or a half hour...throw it back in the pile...pick the next worse one...repeat. Over time the overall quality of the pile improves. At some point further improvement should be impossible, but that's a theoretical concept and may never be achieved, much like travelling at the speed of light or finding the absolute value of Pi. You know it's out there but keep a file in your pocket just in case.

    Jim

  8. #113
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    At some point further improvement should be impossible, but that's a theoretical concept and may never be achieved, much like travelling at the speed of light or finding the absolute value of Pi. You know it's out there but keep a file in your pocket just in case.

    Jim
    You're a funny man Jim, I do so enjoy your threads and appreciate you taking the time to share and assist in my education via this forum.

    So looking forward to seeing how you go casting the nuts and bolts and then seeing them actually bedded down to the deck

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    There's a texture there that has some appeal and highlights the hand work that went into the piece. Jim
    So no sandpaper to 4000 grit before a leather strop comes out for the final mirror finish gleaming surface then....

    Very much enjoying seeing your work as always.

    Simon
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  9. #114
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    How much wall thickness do you have to play with, Jim? Is there a danger of over-fettling?

    Pete
    Don't underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers!

  10. #115
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Quote Originally Posted by simonmags View Post
    You're a funny man Jim, I do so enjoy your threads and appreciate you taking the time to share and assist in my education via this forum.

    So looking forward to seeing how you go casting the nuts and bolts and then seeing them actually bedded down to the deck



    So no sandpaper to 4000 grit before a leather strop comes out for the final mirror finish gleaming surface then....

    Very much enjoying seeing your work as always.

    Simon
    Thank you, Simon. I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed as I will not be casting the nuts and bolts needed...not that I couldn't, mind you. I have a bucket full of bolts for just such an occasion and I have been informed that I can't take them with me, so, any excuse to use them up while time allows. There are eight of the unobtainable oval head variety which will be used on the bow cleats and any number of the flat headed ones to use in other locations.

    Mirror polishing silicon bronze is a fools errand. Within hours visible patina begins forming, which is a good thing. I'm just now starting to realize that a boat can be over-bronzed. This was never a problem in the past when I actually had to buy the bronze bits, but now I make 'em i can see how it might be trouble. So rather than having a dazzling display of gold-colored boat bling I'm happy to see the pieces subdue their inner qualities under a nice greeny-brown layer of oxidation.


    Quote Originally Posted by epoxyboy View Post
    How much wall thickness do you have to play with, Jim? Is there a danger of over-fettling?

    Pete

    By over-fettling you mean filing the cleat to such an extent that the metal moves under a fingers touch? Not to worry, I never file in one place that long. Seriously, though, I can feel the wall thickness quite well around the base and somewhat into the arms and there's quite enough. Even an eighth of an inch of overall thickness is probably overkill as far as strength is concerned. The thickness probably has more to do with ease of casting rather than the strength required. You cannot equate the strength of a piece of flat plate to the strength developed when the metal is cast into a small, heavily curved object. Most of the strength is needed in the feet and the two pillars, as these are the parts that accept and transfer the strains imposed. The arms, in my opinion, take only a small portion of the load.

    So, no, I'm not worried about filing through, especially with the finer files where you have to scrub vigorously to remove the scratches left by the coarser files.

    Jim

  11. #116
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Primo Jim! Nice job indeed! The South Coast Company in Newport Beach CA made a similar cleat to that one as well. It was also hollow.

    I have cast hollow Herreshoff cleats and had a similar problem to that which you ran into. This was caused by the cores shifting position during the pour. I solved it by incorporating a flat strip of metal into the center of the core prints that extended down the center of the holes and an inch out between the cope and drag. This kept the cores centered and I had no more thin walls from shifting cores.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 02-06-2019 at 01:16 PM.

  12. #117
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Primo Jim! Nice job indeed! The South Coast Company in Newport Beach CA made a similar cleat to that one as well. It was also hollow.

    I have cast hollow Herreshoff cleats and had a similar problem to that which you ran into. This was caused by the cores shifting position during the pour. I solved it by incorporating a flat strip of metal into the center of the core prints that extended down the center of the holes and an inch out between the cope and drag. This kept the cores centered and I had no more thin walls from shifting cores.
    Jay

    Thanks, Jay, that's very kind of you to say.

    I agree about the core being misaligned in the mold and causing a void. The cause could come from several places and in my mind I suspect that there might have been a slight misalignment when I made the mold for the core. Or the core might have shifted when the cope closed up the mold. Or the defect might have been in the cleat that I used for a pattern. If I was making more I would take care to skew the core in the mold to counter the misalignment. But I'm not, I'm done.

    I sliced the failed pour to check the wall thickness and the misalignment of the core is evident. Keep in mind that this was poured too cold and was poorly gated. These problems were corrected and subsequent pours went much better.

    The central sections of the cleat showed ample wall thickness and were much less affected by the misalignment.

    Jim



  13. #118
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Anatomy and Physiology of a Deck Cleat. Very interesting. Thanks for taking the time to slice that up and photograph it.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

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  14. #119
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    I know the frustration Jim and have always wondered how Herreshoff made such perfect hollow cleats. The answer may have been to carry a bronze support out past the tip end of the core print and then cut the ends of the cleat off. Of course yours have closed ends but bonze wire would support the tip of the core and could be filed off during finishing.
    Pete Langley at the PT Foundry could, most likely answer that question for you.
    Jay

  15. #120
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Now that it is too late, I have finished a lot of bronze castings with a big single cut carbide burr, a "Flap Wheel" and bench mouted belt sander. Flapwheels are available for the foredom machine and die grinders as well as the bench grinder. I work down from 80 and call the 120 grit finish "good enough" and pretty much never use a file anymore.
    When it is time to varnish I first go over all the bronze bits with a tiny hand held #120 flap wheel.
    (McMaster-Carr has it all)





  16. #121
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    It looks great, nice work. Great job.

    Be glad it is bronze and not aluminum...lots and lot of shrinkage during solidification.

  17. #122
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    I know the frustration Jim and have always wondered how Herreshoff made such perfect hollow cleats. The answer may have been to carry a bronze support out past the tip end of the core print and then cut the ends of the cleat off. Of course yours have closed ends but bonze wire would support the tip of the core and could be filed off during finishing.
    Pete Langley at the PT Foundry could, most likely answer that question for you.

    Jay

    Jay, I'm sure that both Herreshof and Merriman would have used match plate patterns for their production runs which would have given them more accurate and easy-to-mold molds. It's likely however, that they experimented first with a loose pattern much like I'm doing here, just to work out the bugs before going into large scale runs.

    One thing that I've come across in my readings is a useful little implement called a chaplet. As far as I can tell a chaplet is somewhat like a double headed tack of a certain length. When placed in the mold they support the core and maintain an even gap. They melt into the poured metal.

    I'm reposting the picture of the core sitting in the drag cavity ready to have the mold closed up by placing the cope half on top. I felt that the big base was necessary to cantilever the core in the cavity. A couple of small chaplets out near the tips might have helped keep the clearance.

    The trouble would have occurred on the right side of the picture, underneath, where it's difficult to see. It's possible that the cope might have shifted the core slightly, it wouldn't take much. Because of the height of the core great care had to be taken lowering the cope. Two sticks were clamped to the back of the drag and on on the side to allow the cope to be aligned before lowering it into place.

    Thanks for your interest,

    Jim



  18. #123
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    Now that it is too late, I have finished a lot of bronze castings with a big single cut carbide burr, a "Flap Wheel" and bench mouted belt sander. Flapwheels are available for the foredom machine and die grinders as well as the bench grinder. I work down from 80 and call the 120 grit finish "good enough" and pretty much never use a file anymore.
    When it is time to varnish I first go over all the bronze bits with a tiny hand held #120 flap wheel.
    (McMaster-Carr has it all)


    Thanks, Jake. My problem is that I like to file. Crazy, right? The most time consuming part of the clean up is around the bases, rounding off the feet and blending the contours into the flare of the base, places where it's difficult to control a flap wheel or the radius gets too small for the tool to reach in. Thanks for the suggestions, though, and I'll get one or two suitable wheels to work into the routine.

    Jim

  19. #124
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Quote Originally Posted by BBSebens View Post
    Anatomy and Physiology of a Deck Cleat. Very interesting. Thanks for taking the time to slice that up and photograph it.
    You're welcome, Ben, now we all know how thick a hollow cleat needs to be.


    Quote Originally Posted by rregge View Post
    It looks great, nice work. Great job.

    Be glad it is bronze and not aluminum...lots and lot of shrinkage during solidification.

    Thank you, Sir, I am glad! I can't understand why, after all that work someone would pour aluminum down the hole instead of bronze. Why? To save five dollars?



    Jim

  20. #125
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    You're welcome, Ben, now we all know how thick a hollow cleat needs to be.





    Thank you, Sir, I am glad! I can't understand why, after all that work someone would pour aluminum down the hole instead of bronze. Why? To save five dollars?



    Jim
    They don't make beer cans from bronze.

    Peace,
    Helpy Helperton

  21. #126
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    I used to enjoy filing, but today after an hour or so my hands do not want to uncurl for several hours afterwards!
    A message from above (the brain) I'm sure.

  22. #127
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    So Rob, would beer in bronze cans taste any better than it does in aluminum cans? I prefer bottles.
    Quote Originally Posted by rregge View Post
    It looks great, nice work. Great job.

    Be glad it is bronze and not aluminum...lots and lot of shrinkage during solidification.
    Solidification shrinkage, from liquid to solid, requires appropriate gating. Patternmakers shrinkage, from hot solid to cool, is the part where the core is crushed and the size decreases.The difference in pattern makers shrinkage between bronze and aluminum isn't that large, and if you look for numbers, you find quite a range and some sources say either one is larger than the other.

    This begs the question as to whether saving $5 and a few ounces is worth it.

    FWIW: Chaplets are explained in the next link. FWIW, the chaplet doesn't always wet well due to surface oxides and doesn't always dissolve. I have seen a 0.0001" thick oxide shell remain intact in BeCu where the Be diffused through the Cu chaplet, making it look like the parent metal, sometimes with a small pure copper core. Wetting of the chaplet can be enhanced by plating. A thin solder or tin plate would wet easily and disappear through diffusion even if the chaplet failed to melt and mix. Maybe just a thin coating of rosin flux would burn away.
    This is worth reading, but it has lots of good info on casting other than shrinkage: https://meehanitemetal.com/wp-conten...ninfluence.pdf

    https://www.haworthcastings.co.uk/ne...n-sand-casting
    Aluminium shrinks by over 6% during solidification while copper shrinks by nearly 5%.

    http://www.calculatoredge.com/charts/mshrinka.htm
    Brass 1.4% Alluminium 1.8%

    Page 15 of a powerpoint that you have to download has shrinkage.
    https://www.eaglegroupmanufacturers....ers-shrinkage/
    Bronze 1.5-2.3% Alluminium 1.3%

    https://www.nonesuchtools.com/pmkr/shrink.html
    Each metal has its own shrinkage rate:
    Metal Shrinkage
    Britannia* 1/32" per foot
    Tin 1/12" per foot
    Iron 1/8" per foot
    Bismuth 5/32" per foot
    Brass 3/16" per foot
    Aluminum 3/16" per foot
    Copper 3/16" per foot
    Steel 1/4" per foot
    Lead 5/16" per foot
    Zinc 5/16" per foot
    * Lead free form of pewter
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  23. #128
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    So Rob, would beer in bronze cans taste any better than it does in aluminum cans? I prefer bottles.
    Solidification shrinkage, from liquid to solid, requires appropriate gating. Patternmakers shrinkage, from hot solid to cool, is the part where the core is crushed and the size decreases.The difference in pattern makers shrinkage between bronze and aluminum isn't that large, and if you look for numbers, you find quite a range and some sources say either one is larger than the other.

    This begs the question as to whether saving $5 and a few ounces is worth it.

    FWIW: Chaplets are explained in the next link. FWIW, the chaplet doesn't always wet well due to surface oxides and doesn't always dissolve. I have seen a 0.0001" thick oxide shell remain intact in BeCu where the Be diffused through the Cu chaplet, making it look like the parent metal, sometimes with a small pure copper core. Wetting of the chaplet can be enhanced by plating. A thin solder or tin plate would wet easily and disappear through diffusion even if the chaplet failed to melt and mix. Maybe just a thin coating of rosin flux would burn away.
    This is worth reading, but it has lots of good info on casting other than shrinkage: https://meehanitemetal.com/wp-conten...ninfluence.pdf

    https://www.haworthcastings.co.uk/ne...n-sand-casting
    Aluminium shrinks by over 6% during solidification while copper shrinks by nearly 5%.

    http://www.calculatoredge.com/charts/mshrinka.htm
    Brass 1.4% Alluminium 1.8%

    Page 15 of a powerpoint that you have to download has shrinkage.
    https://www.eaglegroupmanufacturers....ers-shrinkage/
    Bronze 1.5-2.3% Alluminium 1.3%

    https://www.nonesuchtools.com/pmkr/shrink.html
    Each metal has its own shrinkage rate:
    Metal Shrinkage
    Britannia* 1/32" per foot
    Tin 1/12" per foot
    Iron 1/8" per foot
    Bismuth 5/32" per foot
    Brass 3/16" per foot
    Aluminum 3/16" per foot
    Copper 3/16" per foot
    Steel 1/4" per foot
    Lead 5/16" per foot
    Zinc 5/16" per foot
    * Lead free form of pewter
    Actually, cans are a terrible source for aluminum, as I've learned while experimenting in preparation to do some casting.

    Still, it was a funny joke. Was...

    Peace,
    Robert

  24. #129
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    One who owns an aluminum boat might prefer an aluminum cleat.

    Jeff

  25. #130
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Actually, cans are a terrible source for aluminum, as I've learned while experimenting in preparation to do some casting.

    Still, it was a funny joke. Was...

    Peace,
    Robert
    Pity that they don't sell milk in glass bottles any more. The metal work class at my school collected enough milk bottle caps to cast a hack saw handle.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  26. #131
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Pity that they don't sell milk in glass bottles any more. The metal work class at my school collected enough milk bottle caps to cast a hack saw handle.
    They don't? Better tell our delivery guy.

    Really.

    Plastic caps, though.

    Peace,
    Cream, Too, In Those Tiny Bottles The Cows Hate To Crouch Over

  27. #132
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    I have made enough parts to recognise that for most one or two off runs, it is far easier for me to just "carve" them from billet. It is hard to beat the learning experience of actually doing it though, and that has real value.
    (I probably would have just knocked the ends off of the horns on the core...)

  28. #133
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    I have made enough parts to recognise that for most one or two off runs, it is far easier for me to just "carve" them from billet. It is hard to beat the learning experience of actually doing it though, and that has real value.
    (I probably would have just knocked the ends off of the horns on the core...)
    Show off. Would I could simply whizz bits of aluminum smaller and in the desired shape. I am EXCELLENT at making aluminum filings, by the by. A-zoop, a-zoop, a-zoop. Almost to the line... A-zoop, a-zoop, a-zoop.

    Peace,
    Robert

  29. #134
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    Default Re: Casting the Merriman Cleat

    Thanks for this thread Jim, it's interesting to see behind the curtain. I've done a little casting (read as "VERY little") a long time ago, but nothing hollow.

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