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Casting & Stabilization Making your own blanks & stabilizing wood blanks.

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Old 07-09-2018, 06:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
MDWine's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Manassas Park, Virginia, USA.
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Default An Inexpensive Solution?

I want to get into some casting, smaller pieces mostly. Jewelry and the like...

I've looked on YouTube (in addition to IAP of course) and see that some are making 'chambers' out of thick PVC. (I can hear the gasps from here!)

These guys only charge the chamber to ~20lbs, and are getting the clear results that I want.

I want a proper pot, but price is a consideration. On the outset, this seems a reasonable possibility.

PLEASE: I know the warnings and the dangers and on and on and on... We don't need to re-hash all of that...

Simply, THE QUESTION: Has anyone here actually tried this? What were YOUR results?
Manassas Park, Va.
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I know you don't want warning and dangers, but from personal experience I would strongly caution you against this. PVC is forbidden from use in compressed air applications, at least in some part, because when you pump up a compressible fluid, it heats up, and PVC pipe, fittings, glue, etc lose a large part of their strength very rapidly as temperature increases. I discovered this firsthand creating something similar to what you're trying to do for a project in college years ago. And yes, it exploded and sent shrapnel everywhere. I was extremely fortunate to walk away unscathed.

Does using very low pressure lessen the risk? Probably somewhat... but it does not negate it. Not to mention if your regulator or valve you use to maintain pressure experience a failure of some kind, without a relief valve set right above your working pressure you have no protection.

Perhaps you can save some cost for small pieces by making this out of steel or aluminum pipe nipples and fittings, but learn from my near death experience. PVC is bad news for compressed air.
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Old 07-09-2018, 04:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2015
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I'm unsure of the diameter pipe you intend to use, but for 8" sch40 the burst pressure is rated 500psi and the sch80 is rated 875psi. As the diameter decreases, the rated psi increases. So theoretically, it could contain 20psi, but after the over-all cost of the pipe and fittings, a paint pot could be bought and be a little safer.
If I were to try pvc, I wouldn't rely on the adhesive, as that will be the weak point. I would add some type of mechanical fasteners in addition to the adhesive.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Note that the glue for pvc 6 and larger is different from the glue you use on the smaller diameter pvc.

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Old 07-10-2018, 08:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Manassas Park, Virginia, USA.
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My verdict is still out, and I probably will get the HorrorFreight pot at some point.
My major difficulty is having 4 or 5 major projects in the works, and having dropped some major bucks lately. I'm an 'instant gratification' type, and I didn't want to wait for the 1) saving up $$ and 2) the 25% discount coupon... but I will.

I just wanted to see if anyone here had tried it. Now that I think of it, if someone had, would they want to admit to it here? lol

I admit that I had trepidations even posting my question! ...but I get it.

Thanks for the responses, it is greatly appreciated.
Manassas Park, Va.
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Milton, VT
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You know, there are ways to cast without a pressure pot, for those who don't want to invest. I've got a number of pens I cast with PR quite successfully. Also, I've recently started using Royal Palm Thin (an epoxy), which does not need pressure either. I've been pleased so far.

Gary Walz, Vermont Wood'n Pen
Milton, Vermont
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