Casting A “Radioactive” Copper Gear

Casting A “Radioactive” Copper Gear


What’s up guys welcome back to another day of metal casting experiment and you remember in a previous project I showed you how to make some green sand for metal casting and I also showed you how to make a special sandbox for metal casting as well and the purpose of those two videos was to create tools that we could use to cast a metal fidget spinner which is something I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of requests for however a channel on YouTube called pressTube went ahead and did a first day did a really good job and got about seven million views in the first day so so I don’t want to redo something that’s already been done really well and I feel like the fidgets spinner trend won’t really work on this channel I went ahead and printed out my own templates for a radioactive gear kind of symbol so we could still have the same fun with sand casting but for this video we’re casting with copper now a couple quick things I wanted to mention when I made my green sand I think I made it a little bit too wet so I’ve been letting this sit out for a couple of days I blend it all together and it’s a lot finer and a lot drier but I think it’s going to work even better these copper ingots here the ones we made in yesterday’s video where we melted down stands of copper pipes to make four different ingots which are worth about seven dollars and fifty cents each apparently so the purpose of today’s video is to use our template to create a custom styrofoam gear pack it in green sand then remelt or copper ingots so we can create ourselves some kind of a random metal gear just for fun so step number one is to cut out our template and glue to some foam so here we are guys I’ve got my templates attached to some housing insulation and now to trace out the edges we’re going to bring back to the StyroSlicer alright let’s cut out the inside alright guys our gear is finished it’s cut out of the styrofoam when it’s ready to be packed with sand now there are two parts of our sandbox the coke and the drag and for this I’m just going to using the drag we’re going to flip it over turn it upside down over top of the baseboard then we’re going to take our styrofoam gear and we’re going to place it facedown right in the center of the board on second thought this box is a little bit bigger than we need so I’m going to use the smaller one instead now if we had a really intricate mold we’re trying to copy the pattern of we would use a sieve and take our green sand and just sprinkle it over top like to it but since we’re using styrofoam here that’s just going to be obliterated it doesn’t really matter so much we can just grab handfuls of our sand and pack it down tight ramming tool cool our stand is packed down tight so now we can just use this scrap piece of one by three to shimy the top and smooth it all out beautiful it goes on like this take out the excess and flip it over take a look at what we got right there is our gear maybe we did a pretty good job guys our gear is packed in the sand it’s ready to be cast let’s take it outside our copper has been sitting in the metal foundry for about 20 minutes so let’s open it up and see what we got ah beautiful liquid copper look at that yeah alright guys where it all happened copper looks molten that’s beautiful take that out now as I begin to pour this it’s going to start shooting flames just to let you know nice and easy nice and easy here we go oh cool that’s the cool you know what’s interesting about that is as I was bringing the crucible over to para you could see the styrofoam was already starting to melt just from the radiant heat and I ended up pouring a little bit more than I wanted to because it was cooling down a little bit too quickly and it wasn’t filling the edges it wasn’t flowing in the way I was hoping it would but that’s okay because we can always grind this stuff off and make a nice smooth surface we’re just going to give that a few minutes to cool down then we’re going to quench it in some water take it out of stand and see we got it’s looking pretty solid let’s dig it out oh sweet look at that beautiful it’s very hot quenching is in order that’s what we got oh it’s not perfect it’s still pretty cool check this out guys my OCD is killing me right now because it didn’t form a complete gear it stopped right here where it looked like the two sides kind of solidified and then joined together I think that’s because the styrofoam didn’t get out of the way as fast as I thought it would I thought it would just evaporate it actually took quite a long time burning off allowing the molten copper to pour in and cool down as it did so I’m really tempted right now just to chop this down remelt it and cast it all over again I think I have to do that bangerang success that is why we made two templates all right we’re going to have to do this best because we don’t have any time to wait we don’t want to let that copper cool down at all there we go flames gone out copper is liquify that’s what a pity well transfer of course extreme is extremely hot getting up look at it melt of styrofoam right there just going to use the heat actually to melt to start from right out and look how it leaves that cavity there that’s cool all right here comes the core that’s beautiful oh I just found out I can’t call that good cumin burning I couldn’t tell if this family knew or not so I guess we’re going to find out a bit all right let’s just let that cool down for about five minutes and see if we got any better result fingers crossed because I don’t have to do that again it was really incredible about that experience was how the styrofoam just melted away under the key to the crucible it was actually fantastic the cavity that I left behind in the sand was absolutely perfect and my only concern now is as the liquid metal went in there did it push the sound out of place or did the sound actually have enough integrity to hold its position we’re gonna have to let this cool down for a few minutes then we can dig it out and see as long as we got a clean casting on the bottom we can send all that stuff off the top and still make it look pretty decent we’ll get all the wood on the side of the box is charred from the peat of the crucible as well and that is some pretty intense heat and all right well let’s see we got oh that side looks decent not perfect we got another little imperfection right there but looking nice alright go for the water bath here Hot Stuff dang we almost got a perfect cast on this side we got a little bit right there and a little bit right there it wasn’t going perfectly I think that’s as good as it’s going to get for today you can definitely see the radioactive symbol there that’s cool almost looks like some kind of genetic mutation looks like flesh dripping off interesting color it’s heavy well there you have a guys that’s what we got it looks like the sand actually did hold its integrity fairly well the problem that we have is copper cooled down so dang fast we’re getting these imperfections on the bottom where it hits the sand and cool it down a little bit too quickly but I might still be able to make this work I might take a just shop and just grind it down and see if we can make of it so there you have it guys that’s my first experience with hybrid styrofoam green sand casting looks like I still need to sharp it up on these skills a little bit but hey it’s not bad and it is a lot of fun and we’re learning as we go but the proof of concept is here guys we can use green sand to make pretty much any molds that we want and cast any metal that we want from here on out it’s just practice hey thanks for joining me for this video today I’ll be looking for you the next one talk to you then cool that feels really cool it might actually make a pretty cool fidgets there as well

100 Comments

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  2. 1. Copper is difficult.
    2. With that shape you need to keep the center whole(no 3 notches)
    3. Also worth trying again with enclosed casting with a channel and chimney to fill from.
    4 then cut the notches after it has cooled. Please try and let me know.
    Bonus please finish by sanding start from 120 grit and work up to 2000 grit then polish with polish compound. Please please try i know you can do it

  3. They were worth more water pipes pipes then as ingots but as the symbol that you're making that you can sell its art for whatever

  4. Try using kinetic sand, it has a higher density and the sand particles stick together better than wet sand due to it's properties. It should yeild better results

  5. Could you just mix in a plaster like drywall compound? it would hold together if you let it dry a bit and the sand would prevent it from cracking…maybe…

  6. I wonder if you bury a copper coil heater(high current) inside the sand if that would help? or if you put the whole mold in a furnace before casting. It will get rid of moisture right before casting and the hot sand might slightly slow the cooling process. I think the moisture is one of the main causes of imperfections. then again the heat might also weaken the sand.Worth a try…

  7. how about using 2 sandboxes and somehow create a hollow cavity inside greensand block to get a perfect cast?

  8. I think the regular backyard foundry is better for this since the heat won't take as much to travel to the crucible

  9. You probably know already, but the fumes from styrofoam and other plastic foams are highly toxic! Your videos are fun by the way

  10. I would probably try vacuum forming the foam gear since the heat is displacing the foam, not that the sands helps much

  11. If you ever decide to cast copper again, I have a trick I was shown a few years ago… When pouring the sand into the tray, mix it with wood glue, It will help the sand stay in place… You may also think about using kinetic sand(saw a video with aluminum) however it may still come apart.

  12. I think for future castings of anything…you might want to consider preheating any kind of mold you use. Cooling occurs due to temperature differential. While that gap will always be huge when working with any kind of molten metal, you can reduce it, and therefore delay its cooling somewhat. At the least, you could buy yourself an extra 20 to 30 seconds…which would be plenty to get a more even distribution in the cast.

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  14. Wicked video as always. Does aluminium cool down slower? It’d be great to make a few of these for a steampunk display.

  15. Huge amounts of hair gel. Sunnies inside for no reason. Video done like its an Infomercial. Even with the sound off I can bet your american. I'm surprised you didn't have your brand name on the boxing.

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