As they say in ‘Helix’ – progress

So, this past Sunday I had an extended melting session. Started up the foundry easily enough, but it wouldn’t heat up enough and when I’d hit it with the blower it would die. Not to mention that I initially forgot about the clogging issue. Needless to say, frustration level was high.

After some troubleshooting I decided not to use the blower – it was causing me more issues than helping. I got to the point where I figured out how to set the burner to really push out the heat without running rich. It’s all a combination of fuel pressure, air pressure, and controlling fuel flow with the needle valve. Wow. It was a great learning experience. Once I got everything figured out it was late in the afternoon, about 4pm, so daylight was getting to be an issue. By the time it was all said and done, the sun had gone down and I was putting stuff away with the light of the camp lantern.

volvo_head_3What was the outcome? I melted down two boxes of drives and parts for a total of three ingots and two small stakes (what I call the smaller triangular ingots) and one Volvo cylinder head, which yielded three good size ingots with one stake and a tiny piece of a stake. I probably could have made three full size ingots (bread molds) which is what I’ll do next time.volvo_head_9

Monday afternoon (17-FEB-2014) I received the 6-ft pieces of ACME threaded rods: one 5/8″x8 and 2 of 1/2″x10 and the 5″x1″ bore pulley for my boring bar. Nice! I was sweating how I would bore the tail stock and what size I would make the bore then it occurred to me – just make it match the head stock spindle like the Gingery model. So, I’ll make it 1.5″ bore. I started looking at steel bars on-line – pretty reasonable for CRS.

Slow weekend

The wife and kids were up in Phoenix for the annual Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe, so I was on my own. Fortune Cookie ( Twin Peaks and Silverbell, (520) 579-7813) pork fried rice and some crab puffs for dinner . Yummy!

Didn’t make it to Industrial Metals, got out of the house too late. I stopped by my buddy Roy’s house, picked up a couple of bad cylinder heads that he didn’t want anymore. I’ve been trying to find a source of small letters to put on the placard for my cast pieces so I stopped at Hobby Lobby. We’ll see if what I found works, I’ll look on-line as well. Some other miscellaneous errands, but nothing major.

I had dinner and veg’d out for a while then about 7pm I went out to the garage and started taking the head apart. What a pain in the ass! Those studs didn’t want to come out for anything – broke a few. Oh, and what do you do if you don’t have a valve spring compressor? Short answer, you make one, of course! I’ll post a picture of it when I get a chance to do the second head. I put it together in about an hour – you just can’t put a price on having metal, a welder, and hand tools. I don’t know what these metrosexual men do when they run into something they don’t have the tools/skills to overcome. Seriously, do they go shower and put on their skin conditioner and pout? Anyway, got the valve springs out and then the fun began – cutting it in half. Why? Because it needs to fit in my foundry. I think for the second head I’m going to try something I’ve heard mentioned – heat. Apparently, high heat will weak the aluminum enough that hit can be broken up into smaller pieces to fit. I’m not cutting up another one! It was 11:30pm by the time I finished! Jack was barking up a storm – the moon was bright so he went nuts. Silly dog.

I had dinner and then settled down to watch Ender’s Game. Wow! I know they had to edit the story for length, but they did an excellent job getting the story on the screen. The school and training was really well done. The kid they picked to play the part of Bonzo – perfect – I hated that little kid. In other words, he knocked it out the park, he played it perfectly. I didn’t know how they’d pull off the dreams and the adventure game but with the exception of there being no giant at the end, it was great. I’ll definitely watch it again. One of my favorites.

Sunday was an absolute nothing. I felt like crap, this crud that’s going around just won’t leave me. I want to get better so I can get back to my walks. Think I fixed the headlight problem on the car – loose connection. Topped up the fluids and called it a day. Watched the end of the first half of the ‘Cat’s basketball game against Oregon State (I despise Robinson) and the second half. Nothing like winning by 20 points. Resident Evil flicks, Walking Dead on television now. What’s not to like? 🙂

Still here!

I’ve been busy working on my main project, my foundry. It’s been running for a few weeks now, and very successfully at that. The latest on the whole project is that I’ve melted down just about all the drives I had taken home from work. It’s a lot of work to take them apart but it’s some high quality aluminum! Time to start working on the lathe again. Coming up this weekend, hopefully, is a final burn of my last stash of drives and then hopefully create some ZA-27 alloy with zinc, aluminum, and copper.Well Done Stay tuned!


Just after I posted this I got the bronze bushings for the headstock. Woohoo! I should have the shaft collars tomorrow, Friday the 7th. What a day. 🙂