Sand casting motorcycle cases

Sand casting has been around since, well, since a really really long time ago. For thousands of years, people have been pouring molten metal into finely crafted sand casts, and there’s really no reason that someone can’t do the same thing in their garage or workshop today. This article covers the process of sand casting new case parts for antique Indian motorcycles. ┬áIn this instance, the parts were not only very difficult to find, the author also wanted to modify the design completely.

Though there are a few terms that pop up with which we’re unfamiliar, the process seems pretty straightforward. You build a model of what you want, you create the sand cast from the model, you fill the cast with molten metal. Done. In some cases, depending on the level of precision needed, you may need some machining done afterward. However, in many cases things don’t have to be quite so exact.

[via Matthew Van Arsdale]

12 thoughts on “Sand casting motorcycle cases

  1. Could you use lost wax casting in for this process, you could print the wax with a 3D printer, speed up the whole process.

  2. I was a moulder in an iron foundry for about a year, proper protection is an absolute must. Eyes, face, leather apron, non flammable jeans and kickoff boots. Oh and don’t ever ever do it over concrete, grass, sand dirt whatever, not concrete. When you drop molten metal on it, it explodes and sends hot metal at you at a high rate of speed.

    Do not forget your vents, sprue and gates, it needs them for filling correctly and shrinkage. There is a silver liquid we used to paint our patterns with to make them release better. If your doing a really complex shape, vibrate your mold with both the cope and drag together. that will help release your pattern. I know it goes without saying but you need to pack the sand very very well, we had air rammers, but you can use a hand one that has a flat/bulb end to pack it. Oh and be real careful about packing next to vertical surfaces, leave them a little soft so that they don’t push on your pattern too hard. if you do they will break when you pull em. after you get the pattern out you can then use a spoon and putty knife to tighten up that section of sand. If you have to use a core, make it out of sand and support it with aluminum or zinc supports. they mix in when you pour.

    If you want to freak the shit out of someone when your pouring, get your finger sloppy wet with spit and run it quick through the stream of molten metal, freaks the shit out of em every time. Funny as hell to see their face.

    1. yea, molten aluminum spilled on the lawn leave a big burn mark that lasts a long time.
      even I’m not crazy enough to dip a wet finger in molten alum. lead, maybe, not alum.
      I like the contrast between the start and end of your comment…

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