Our quest: A journey to cast steel- casting brass Martini Henry barrel rings

Discussion in 'Muzzleloaders & Black Powder' started by Gert Odendaal, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. Gert Odendaal

    Gert Odendaal AH Elite

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    Our quest: A journey to cast steel- casting brass Martini Henry barrel rings
    Good day to all members:
    As mentioned in the .500 Jeffery building project , I need to find a method to enable me to cast my own steel rifle parts. My good friend Herman Nel shared this vision to find a method to cast our own steel rifle parts. We commenced on this journey the past week.

    The method we currently employed was by using termite to cast our first experimental steel cast .

    Preparations began by doing a sand cast of a box-lock black powder Derringer parts.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We commenced to measure the steel parts of the Derringer.
    [​IMG]

    Herman prepared the sand casting box :
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Firming up the sand from left to right with the hammer is important to ensure the sand and parts print do not move when joining the top cast box.
    [​IMG]
    Pressing the steel pistol parts into the sand to create a duplicate print:
    [​IMG]
    Taking out the parts carefully not to brake a piece out of the sand print and covering the steel parts with powder plaster of paris.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Covering the sand cast surface with fine powder of plaster of paris:
    [​IMG]
    Taking out the steel parts and creating runners for the molten steel to flow in to the part prints in the sand:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The process is now completed and the lid is put onto the cast prints , the alignement is ensure by two steel rods threading through two holes to line up everything square.
    [​IMG]

    The second phase commence by measuring the amount of steel cut into pieces , flat bar and drop into the crucible that will contain the Termite. The melting process will commence when the Termite is ignited by a fuse to set the metal/Termite ablaze..2500 degrees is reached , the steel is melted and the Aluminium parted from the molting steel. The molten steel burns through a metal washer and enter into the cast following all the runners to fill the cast prints and create the steel parts we need.
    The crucible is positioned in the centre of the sand cast box :
    [​IMG]

    The detonator is secured through a hole in the lid of the crucible , after the correct amount of mild steel pieces and the Termite is weighed ...
    [​IMG]
    The igniter:
    [​IMG]
    Steel and Termite is measured:
    [​IMG]

    Wires are connected to the ignition box:
    [​IMG]
    The melting process started:
    [​IMG]

    It increased into a volatile combustion reaching at least 2500 degrees Celsius.. the crucible exploded.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Meltdown:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Cooling period:
    [​IMG]

    End result:
    [​IMG]

    Conclusion:
    We will be able to cast steel parts for the old rifles. We are currently refining the process. The melting process was not completed when the molten steel burned through the steel disk in the crucible. We will use a thicker steel disk to prolong the meltdown of the steel and Termite, ensuring the aluminum in the melt down separate from the steel ensuring pure steel will flow into the cast and the dros aluminium will drift on the surface since the aluminium is lighter than the steel.

    I will give an update on our progress with this process..http://www.**MENTIONING**LINKING**TO**FORUMS**NOT**PERMITTED**.co.za/forums/images/smilies/happy0065.gifhttp://www.**MENTIONING**LINKING**TO**FORUMS**NOT**PERMITTED**.co.za/forums/images/smilies/thumb_up.gif
     

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  2. Gert Odendaal

    Gert Odendaal AH Elite

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    The second part being the Martini Henry brass barrel bands :
    The next casting project commenced after the steel casting project.

    I had Martini Henry barrel rings/bands I need Herman to assist me in casting it in brass.

    Fortunately the same preparation is done when casting the Martini Henry barrel bands.
    The examples are pressed into the casting sand. It is then removed to dust it with powder of plaster of paris. This ensures the items are removed( drawn) from the sand to leave imprints . Runners are cut to ensure flow of brass to the imprints.

    The problem was that Herman did not have enough core sand to fill the second barrel ring ...so we had to do with one barrel ring filled with core sand and the second one without core sand. Ensuring I have a lot of drilling/filling work to do on this ring.
    Here are photos of the process:
    Martini Henry barrel bands pressed into the casting sand:
    [​IMG]

    Removing barrel bands and covering it with powder:
    [​IMG]

    Filling the one band with core sand and baking the core sand until hard and colorful:
    [​IMG]
    Putting only the core sand ring back to ensure a hole is formed .
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Creating the runners for the molten brass to flow into the cavities:
    [​IMG]


    Filling the crucible with two brass locks to be melted down for the casting work:
    [​IMG]

    Opening up a hole for the brass to flow into:
    [​IMG]
    Putting the crucible into the oven:
    [​IMG]
    Removing the lock bar since it will not melt from the crucible :
    [​IMG]

    Melting temperatures are reached, 1250 Celsius...
    [​IMG]
    Crucible removed from the oven:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Pouring the brass:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cooling down:
    [​IMG]

    End product:
    Cast Martini Henry barrel rings, still need to be worked down:
    [​IMG]

    With the next barrel band casting I will ensure more core sand to lessen my work load when working these items down...http://www.**MENTIONING**LINKING**TO**FORUMS**NOT**PERMITTED**.co.za/forums/images/smilies/grin.gifhttp://www.**MENTIONING**LINKING**TO**FORUMS**NOT**PERMITTED**.co.za/forums/images/smilies/thumb_up.gif

    I hope you have enjoyed this thread...more to follow...http://www.**MENTIONING**LINKING**TO**FORUMS**NOT**PERMITTED**.co.za/forums/images/smilies/thumb_up.gif
     

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  3. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Quite impressive metallurgy!
     

  4. Adam S

    Adam S AH Veteran

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    That is very interesting. Thank you for taking the time to post the description and photos. I'm looking forward to seeing what else you can do with this technique.
     

  5. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Lots of people these days think that meat comes from the grocery store.

    I kinda forget and think steel rifle parts come from the gunshop.

    Great to get the reminder! Fascinating to see in pictures even and great explanation of what is being done.
     

  6. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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  7. Gert Odendaal

    Gert Odendaal AH Elite

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    Thank you members. Yes, we will refine the Thermite casting process until we can control the separation of the pure mild steel and the aluminum. When this is achieved we will be able to cast exact replicas of rifle parts. There will be some finishing work we still need to do but at least we will have something in hand to work with..(y)
     

  8. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Elite

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    For the brass have you guys tried lost wax casting, similar to gold and silver in jewlery casting?
     

  9. Gert Odendaal

    Gert Odendaal AH Elite

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    At this stage we only focus on getting our timing right to get the pure mild steel to separate from the aluminium. From there onward we would look at the finer points of the casting process .(y)
     

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