Monday, June 15, 2015

The Foundry - "Some Call it Ankh is a key"

Yo, it's been a long time, but I am finally back from my field trip to ancient Egypt!! It was such a sight to see!!!  I learned so much about the ways of the scales and physics and how it applies to scrap alchemy and stuff like that.  I saw a statue of this guy holding and ankh and I was like: "Hey, that kinda looks like the relics from Crash Bandicoot" or: "Hey, that looks like the millennium key from YU-GI-OH."  Either way, I wanted one!!!  Plus, I had an album photo shoot coming up, and wanted something cool to wield in the photo, so why not an ankh? 
The Statue
The Millennium Key
The "Relics"

Rap group X-Clan were famous for overtly sporting the ankh in as many places as possible, so why not me?
I started with a piece of paper with an ankh on it, and using techniques I learned in sculpture class, (to make my education not feel worthless, like how DJ Quik crashes motorcycles into people on purpose to make use of his insurance policy) I traced the outline though the paper onto a piece of plywood.
I then went over the scratched outline with pen to make it visible.  I screwed the piece of plywood onto another equally sized piece since this is going to be a two half pattern.
The first thing I did with this combination was to drill holes at all the corners to make the shape easier to cut out.
Then I used a scroll saw to cut out the hole in the loop.  This is because the blade can be removed easily to allow cutting of interior shapes.
I then used a band saw to cut the exterior contour.
Then after a lot of belt sanding to smooth out the imperfections and round the corners, I took out the screws and drilled holes in their place for alignment pins.
By using this technique of treating both halves as one piece, I was able to make sure they were going to line up.
I then tried making a mold of it, but ran into three problems: I hadn't properly mixed the sand so it was both too dry and too wet at the same time and fell apart, the pattern didn't have enough draft angle to safely remove from the sand, and MY FLASKS KEPT FALLING APART!!!!
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to cast an ankh in time for the photo shoot, but that didn't stop me from using the pattern instead!  I wasn't ready to delay a whole album over this, and besides, there's already enough cool stuff in that photo to make up for it.  Such as a bicycle stereo, seat post, handlebar upgrade, repaired fenders, and grille!  I made my appearance!
So yes, about those draft angles.  I tilted the table on the belt sander (scene missing) to ensure I was getting a good angle, and then went all the way around the outside both halves of the ankh.  For the inside of the loop, I used a Dremel sanding wheel attachment (scene also missing).
Yes, now we can make the mold good! Now about those flasks that don't fall apart!!
It seems enough of my flasks fell apart so that I couldn't even make a complete mold with both halves!! Oh well, I take what I can get, and that was two open face molds of just one half of the pattern.  Maybe I will make a post of how I made those flasks to show how not to make flasks.  Or just sum it up in one sentence: Don't use wood, especially not terrible old furniture pulp wood with only inch-long screws holding it together!!!
So how's the foundry doing today? Excellent!
Except for those luxurious wheels of steel I added last time!!  They look nice and tan now!!
So yes, another successful melt and pour.  It seemed the surface tension of the molten aluminum caused it to bulge up from the mold a bit.  That just means I get a whole ankh when I only made half of the mold!!!  I need to be more lazy more often, since it seems to be paying off!!! 
Observation during the burn: There is a little gap between the lid and the furnace where ash from the starting wood was just trickling out ever so finely throughout the duration of the burn.  It was like a pleasant black snow fall, implying we would know what that looks like here in Southern California.
Oh yes! We got the ankhs!! A little bit of milling, band sawing, sanding, and uhh, more sanding and they'll look spectacular!!!

Proceed to part 12 - Aku Aku and completed soap dish

Back to part 10 - Molding Sand

Return to The Foundry Page

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