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Thread: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

  1. #1
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    Default Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    So three years ago, when I began my Ilur build, I took a bronze casting class and made a mast gate for the boat. The class used the lost-wax method which is time-consuming (days or weeks instead of hours with sand-casting.)

    I was pretty happy with my result at the time, but, not having the fore-deck and carlins made, My gate was a bit too short. I also wanted to try to made a lighter, more elegant gate, so a new pattern was made. It's in two parts and is still thick along the middle where the parting line will be, but tapers towards the top and bottom.
    Here is the old gate and new pattern.
    old gate.jpg

    Here is a shot of the "deck," which is more like a breasthook/mast partner combo and the old gate, patterns and new gate fresh from the pour.
    many gates.jpg

    And here is one half of the new pattern in one half of the frame, or "flask" as it's called.
    IMG_1708.jpg

    Here, the top half of the pattern and the top half of the flask are shown. You sort of sift the sand around the pattern and then pack it tight. A little talcum powder keeps the sand from sticking to itself or the pattern.
    IMG_1709.jpg

    When it's all packed tightly, you separate the halves of the flask, and CAREFULLY remove the halves of the pattern from the sand. You now have a hollow in the shape of your pattern.
    IMG_1710.jpg
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Continuing...
    IMG_1711.jpg
    IMG_1714.jpg

    You then take the top half of the mold and, using a section of brass tubing, poke a pretty big hole(3/8 or 1/2 inch) through the sand from top to bottom. Then, on the inner face of that top half of the mold, you dig little tunnels that connect the "feeder" hole you just made to the hollow negative shape of your piece. You make a small tunnel and hole to let hot air up and out as the hot metal gets poured down and in through the larger feeder hole. Sorry no pictures. It can be a delicate procedure, so I forgot to document this part. But...

    Here is my little electric melting furnace at its hottest. It comes back down to around 2000 degrees before I pour. I'm showing you photos from today that my son took of the second pour. The first failed, I think because of a very cold mold.
    hot!.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Sorry about the pix. I love not having to use Flickr anymore, but this is sometimes the result when uploading directly from the computer.

    So, here I am pouring.
    pouring.jpg

    And The little bit of flame.
    lil flame.jpg

    The pour that my wife and son photographed today was the second failure. Probably from not having enough metal in the crucible. So I ran downstairs and rammed up another mold around the pattern since the furnace was already hot and I had more metal to melt. Surprisingly, the mold came out OK in spite of me rushing. Here is the second failure.
    2nd failure.jpg

    I poured again and probably because I put on "Tom Sawyer" by Rush to get my mojo working, was successful!
    success!.jpg
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Two more photos showing all three attempts. You can see that for the third attempt, I added a third feeder in the middle. This, and a full crucible really helped.
    3 gates.jpg

    3 gatez.jpg

    That's all for now. Thanks for checking in.

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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Nice work! Perhaps larger ingates for a faster fill?

    Jim

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Thanks, Jim. Yes, Must feed the hungry beast!

    I'll try a short video filmed by Falcon 2.

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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Looks good. Casting your own fittings is not as simple as one would think. I believe yours and John Hartmann's Ilurs will be the only ones with custom cast mast gates.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Very cool Mike, uh, hot I mean! Thanks for detail and video!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Very nicely recorded!
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Here's a bit of an update on "MastGate."

    After a bit of clean-up with a home-made cold chisel and sanders (disc and spindle, workplace tools) I was ready to drill. I started small and worked my way up to 1/4". I wanted to go to 5/16" like the old gate, but I must have gotten impatient and pushed too hard/fast, because one hole wandered a bit, making it too close to the edge to go bigger than 1/4".

    drilling.jpg

    Here is the new gate with a bit more hand sanding and drilling done, sitting next to its partner. There was some shrinkage that I couldn't get out without really removing a lot of material, so it will stay visible. It adds character.

    new gate.jpg

    And a pic from above, and a pic of the old and new gates. The new one is taller by about 1/4", but is quite a bit lighter both visually and in weight.

    top gate.jpg

    old and new.jpg

    Thanks for following along on my casting adventures.

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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Wow!
    Almost everything about boats involves so much more time and money than one anticipates that rational and accurate planning will deter even starting. Ian McColgin

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Well done!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Nice. Now that you've got it working, you can melt down the failures and re-use them. What's the next casting project?
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Two enthusiastic thumbs up!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Nice work on the new gate.

    Now, please tell me about this:


    Are you happy? Who makes it? My old-school concrete-in-a-5-gallon-pail furnace is pretty clunky by comparison.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Thanks for the kind words, guys.

    Steve, the furnace is from the Contenti company right here in lil Rhody. They are a jewelry supply co. https://contenti.com

    I love this furnace, but yours was probably cheaper. IIRC, this was about $600. A lot for what is a hobby situation. Contenti sells bronze in several forms, including shot, which is what I used here, along with scrap gates, vents etc, whatever can fit in my crucible.

    The only drawback to this furnace is the size of the crucible. This gate took almost a whole crucible full. So I can't make a piece much bigger than this. Also can't melt those failures down with out cutting.

    Cheers!

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

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Casting a mast gate for Ilur

    Seriously impressed! Your persistence has produced beautiful work.

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