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Thread: Casting machinery parts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Winnipeg Manitoba
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    Default Casting machinery parts

    Thoughts driven by a couple of observations...am I correct in thinking that casting parts can be a fairly lengthy and perhaps difficult process in terms of design (of part and mold) relating to materials as well as accuracy? and if a business proposition one would think enough volume, somehow, to warrant the work and expected sales...

    Observation 1: local sale of a small furnace and casting table and equipment (have not viewed and don't know seller...as in how many businesses locally would have such items of this relatively small size)

    Observation 2: a definite "bump" on EBay of the listings that are "raw" castings...I know of Metal Lathe, Martin (?), Hemingway kits and one or two others but right now there are several castings for compounds of a unknown (or multiple guess nature), a couple of Atlas/Craftsman compounds and what looks like a Logan lathe carriage...and lots more small parts like carriage stops stating they are NOS [just an observation but I know at one point a comment was made elsewhere that there are now more late 60s Z-28s than Chevrolet ever made ]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    718

    Default

    A small to medium home foundry can be cobbled up without too much trouble, and a very few hundred dollars if you're a decent scrounger at all.

    Aluminum, brass, bronze and zinc alloys are all very possible. Cast iron is a lot higher hurdle.

    The materials to make greensand molds or petrobond molds aren't that expensive either, compared to starting some other type of business.

    The amount of business available to you will totally depend on your contacts in the machining/fabrication business.

    In a small home shop, you have the advantage of being able to avoid most of the EPA and OSHA regs that ran a lot of small foundries out of business.

    But what if you get successful and want to hire people? Big learning curve and a lot of money.

    How big do you want to get?

    How extensive are your contacts that need some small run castings?

    Finest regards,

    doug

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Winnipeg Manitoba
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    Default

    Curiosity more than wanting a small business...it is very much wondering, judging solely by attempted sales on places like Craig's and EBay of small items related to not just home shop machining in particular but that as well as some related "businesses"...wondering if perhaps there is coming a tipping point where there are enough like "us" to make it more viable...but I may have such a narrow view or biased thought process...just saying, while I think I understand the skills necessary to make a lathe carriage stop say from "scratch", personally I am more inclined to take something like http://statecollegecentral.com/metallathe/MLA-8.html
    as opposed to machining away square block of steel or cast iron...
    I know there is no way to compete with mass produced items, as example, generic iron handwheels but are there bits enough needed other there for metal and woodworking machinery...I am thinking those sellers I listed in the first post are perhaps enough for a relatively small market. On the other hand that does not mean something at home could not be of some "use" even if just for personal satisfaction...I put metal spinning in the same category or close to it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Alberta
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    Default

    A coworker does a bunch of casting, mainly aluminum and bronze and 99% is artistic. I actually found him a couple tumblers at an auction that I think one was semi used the other brandnew that he got for around $350 for the pair, he said each is over 10k new. There is another local fella that does cast iron but the temps are getting up there on that, Doc Nickel may have some advice there.....

    I think I've heard my buddy comment recently that the Petrabond or something else is getting hard to acquire, maybe enviro linked or something, I could find out.

    Since his stuff is art related his moulds are out of hi density styro which vanishes in a nasty puff of black smoke when pouring, repetitive casting may look appealing to switch to more permanent mould design.....
    Opportunity knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.....

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