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Casting a receiver - lost foam


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Old 06-28-2013, 06:47 PM   #11
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Those heat sinks are usually extruded alloys, which would not be all that good for casting. There are many types of aluminum alloys that should be matched to the manufacturing process used. What I would recommend is that you use an alloy that is suitable for gravity casting processes. The easiest way to do that is to melt down some old aluminum castings that were obviously sand castings, which is most likely A356 alloy. I worked for a company that did lots of lost foam castings in the 1980's onward. The foam patterns can become distorted from pressure applied by the sand. The sand has to be tamped down by a vibration process if I recall. And not just any sand will work well. There are spherical sands and jagged sands and so on. In short, this will not be as easy as you might hope. Maybe some more web search, including Youtube is in order.
PS: I just remembered that Saturn engine blocks were lost foam castings in their early days. That would be a good alloy to melt down.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:44 PM   #12
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one thing i see is there is a lot of heat involved in melting down aluminum for casting. lots of potential for getting hurt if not extremely careful. are there poisonous fumes from melting aluminum? my father was an electrician with Alcoa Aluminum for many, many years in the electrical department and i know he had to carry a respirator with him every day he worked there. now melting might be different than smelting aluminum, but i would surely check into it to be on the safe side.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:29 PM   #13
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Aluminum vapors are certainly not something I consider pleasant.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:22 AM   #14
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After you cast it are you planning on doing any maching work to it? When you cast something you have to remember that the metal will shrink meaning it won't be the same size you cast because of the cool down. Expect at least 1/16 of an inch shrinkage. If it was me I would machine your idea if you have the equipment.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:52 AM   #15
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I would not even consider lost foam for casting a receiver. If anything I would machine it out of a billet.
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikingdad View Post
I would not even consider lost foam for casting a receiver. If anything I would machine it out of a billet.
Ah, to be rich.
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:45 PM   #17
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Believe it or not, there are some jobs that a hammer will not do. This is one of them. And if it were easy or cheap to cast receivers for guns, everybody would be doing it. I work in the metal trade, and have access to some machinery and a lot of talented people. I was thinking about machining an 80% AR lower. I decided that this was too much even for me.

I'd say go buy a used Savage Crickett. They're not very expensive, even new.
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clr8ter View Post
Believe it or not, there are some jobs that a hammer will not do. This is one of them. And if it were easy or cheap to cast receivers for guns, everybody would be doing it. I work in the metal trade, and have access to some machinery and a lot of talented people. I was thinking about machining an 80% AR lower. I decided that this was too much even for me.

I'd say go buy a used Savage Crickett. They're not very expensive, even new.
Blasphemer! how dare you say such a thing? there is nothing a hammer can't fix or build and to think otherwise, then your man card should be revoked immediately!
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:29 AM   #19
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LOL. ok ok, I'll amend to say if a hammer won't do the job, you just need a bigger hammer.....How's that?
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:30 AM   #20
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LOL. ok ok, I'll amend to say if a hammer won't do the job, you just need a bigger hammer.....How's that?
much better!

heck, i can even repair my watches with a large hammer and a crowbar!
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