View Full Version : Foundry supplies found locally

08-17-2004, 10:28 AM
This weekend I went to a local place that sells pottery supplies. They have a pretty decent selection of clay, refectories, glazes, etc. I went to pick up some fire clay for the foundry and a few other misc. supplies. Cool looking place, kind of like a feed mill, pallet upon pallet of 50 lb bags. While I was there I asked about silicon carbide powder. The man looked somewhat surprised and said they had some. He dug through a shelf and pulled out a small brown bag. He said it has been a long time since anyone wanted any of it. While I was there I also noticed they handle sodium silicate. If I ever need to make cores I know where to go. For once I found stuff cheaper locally than online.

08-17-2004, 02:32 PM
I found a country store like that in eastern Ohio. Had stuff I need and well priced. I even tried to pay extra, and the store keep said he would rather have me come back, than charge me more.

Found a bag on cement there, it's a formula for underwater concrete work. It was $9.00 for 50 pounds.

We need more of these places.


08-17-2004, 04:35 PM
What do you plan to use the silicon carbide powder for? Is that to make crucibles?

I noticed Lindsay Books now has a book by Vincent Gingery on making crucibles. Anyone here seen that?
I've looked for something to coat metal crucibles with to retard the burn thru in my charcoal furnace. Someone once mentioned something called "kiln wash" or something like that. But I couldn't find any.

08-17-2004, 04:37 PM
I use silicon carbide for lapping andfine metal finishing.


08-17-2004, 08:37 PM
For a crucible coating I use furnace cement from the hardware store, thinned with water to a thick paint and brushed onto the pot while it is warm, lasts for 2 or 3 heats with aluminum. Also works well for coating skimmers and other tools.

08-17-2004, 09:03 PM
I use "kiln wash" fromthe ceramics shop down the road,2lb bag is $3.00,does about 30 sq feet.You mix it up thin with water,looks like malox,then just brush on a heavy coat with a paint brush,it dires in seconds after its apllied and nothing sticks to it.Its used to protect the shelves and side of ceramic kilns from spills and melt downs.

My mother used to do her own cermaics for her floral business,she had a kiln that ran over the time limit,the ceramic greenware melted and ran all over like cheeze,we turned the kiln off and let it cool expecting a big mess but suprisingly everything stuck to the kiln wash coat and flaked right off,since then I'm sold on it.

08-18-2004, 09:21 AM
lynnl, I just purchased Vincent Gingery's book on crucibles. To be honest it wasn't quite what I hoped for. About 95 percent of the information I had already found while browsing the internet or experimenting for myself. That being said, it's a decent book as an introduction to crucible making. The silicon carbide I was thinking of adding to my next crucible test batch. Even though I've gone throught a fair amount of materials while experimenting, the latest results are pretty good. In the end I figure it will be less expensive than buying the stuff premade.

08-18-2004, 10:24 AM
Finding foundry supplies locally plus finding items that can be sold in small quantities is also a problem. I went in with another foundry guy and bought 20 #16 S/C crucibles since we couldn't get a break on the price for a smaller quantity order. Since starting I have found ways to prolong the life of a crucible so these extras will probably get used at my grave site for flowers vases. On average the price is half if you can make their minimum, I did find a foundry sand supplier that would sell in one ton loads so I didn't have rent a big truck to go get a load but could use my pick up. They said they had it in the sack so I thought that would be great for handling but it turned out to one ton sacks which was still better than getting it in the loose. Since this has turned from a hobby to a business I have found it cheaper to buy commerially produced material over home brew items. A good S/C crucible will last for several hundred pours with no problem. On a good day we will make 20 pours. I know you are asking yourself why doesn't he go to bigger crucible. Well I do this work basically by myself and using a one man shank with a larger crucible would creat some problems lifting especially when pouring brass.

08-18-2004, 11:22 AM
#16 crucibles full of brass. Wow, that is impressive. Those things have to get heavy in a hurry, plus very hot. Do you have a metal shield on the shank to help with radiant heat? What types of things do you pour?

08-19-2004, 01:27 PM
It's weights about 50+ lbs. when pouring brass but the hardest part is lifting the crucible out of the furnace and setting it in the shank. The heat isn't a problem when you wear good pouring gear. The main thing is to have everything set to go when you pull the crucible and start your pours. From the time I pull the crucible and do the pours to the time I return the crucible to the furnace is less than three minutes. The longer you take the more chance for problems.
My main work is in the antique car and fire truck replacement parts. On average I pour 2 to 3 times a week with the off times balanced out for machining and polishing the parts cast. I try and stay away from long production runs that can be done by large foundries and stay with jobs that require the personnel touch in many cases making patterns or repairing original pieces to be used as a pattern. I do a lot of one offs that wouldn't be done by a larger foundry because of their set up. Most foundries won't do the machining or polishing to their castings so by offering this it helps to get more work.