View Full Version : Casting a South Bend follow rest with pictures

Bill Pace
11-15-2009, 06:26 PM
We recently had an interesting, and actively followed, thread discussing aluminum casting started by Lazlo, so I thought this might also be interesting

This past week I visited Lane one day along with our other friend Henry. During the conversation, Henry tells us he has been wanting a follow rest for his SB heavy 10 and that they seldom come up on ebay and when they do go for way to high a price -- could I maybe cast one for him? Well, Lane has a follow for a 9" SB and figure with minimal alteration, it would adapt to a 10" -- so roughly figuring where changes needed to be made, I brought the 9" follow home and started to try and figure out how to make a pattern, and then get the pattern out of the sand! This is some of the debris from 3 "prototypes" that didnt come out right!


Eventually I managed to get something that looked pretty good--


The point where it would mount to the saddle was where it seemed to need alteration, so I added some 'bulk' there -- plus I needed some 'bulk' there to facilitate removing the pattern from the sand. This piece was what gave me the most problem figuring out how to get it in, and back out, of the sand. This is it ready to go in the sand--


And here it is just successfully pulled from the sand and ready to re-close and pour!!


Bill Pace
11-15-2009, 06:27 PM
This is the furnace - its been running here about 15 minutes and the al if just beginning to get 'saggy', it will be ready to pour in about 25-30 minutes - and the other items needed to make a pour, the cope & drag is to the far left, the muffin tins are to take the excess molton al, then the slag skimmer, crucible picker-upper and a 1/4" welding rod to poke the pot with and a few extra scraps of al to add to the pot

The scrap Al I'm using here is probably 80-90% pistons, the rest is just a mish-mash of odds & ends gathered here and there. I drop them in the crucible and melt it, I dont add anything to it, I skim the dross/slag off the top and pour it


Here it is just coming out of the sand -- HOT_HOT_HOT!!! Looks pretty good -- so far, keeps fingers crossed...


And indeed it does look good!


11-15-2009, 06:43 PM
Well Bill brought it over for me to see this evening even with my one good eye. All I got to say is Bill got it figured out . I dont know any thing about casting but have machined lots of them . And Bills stuff is dam good. And he has been making us some super nice castings . Hope I can return the favors.

11-15-2009, 06:57 PM
That is some fine work! I hope it did not give you as much trouble as my bench rest base. Thanks again, I think of you when ever I use it.

11-15-2009, 09:10 PM
Dude that is fat city!


11-15-2009, 09:14 PM
Very nice Bill! About how many pounds of aluminum did that take?

11-15-2009, 09:48 PM
wow Bill, way to go, nice work

Bill in Ky
11-15-2009, 09:59 PM
Great work there Bill, along with super pictures... very nice post!!

11-15-2009, 10:29 PM
Heck why didn't you make several more for the 9"?
There are probably a dozen guys on the south bend board over at PM that would be all over this. I might be interested in one in a few more weeks, after I build some more money up.

Looks Great!!!!

oil mac
11-16-2009, 12:01 PM
From a moulder, who did a goodly amount of Alum work in my day, I would like to say WELL DONE You made a pretty good stab at patternmaking, & moulding, I think you will agree both trades are a "black art" & not as simple as the textbooks or most people think,
your casting looks nice & clean, You will deservedly be well pleased