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Thread: Air Assisted Master Caster

  1. #1
    Automated Master Caster

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    Air Assisted Master Caster

    well, here it is...my air assisted Master Caster...instead of using your arm and hand to operate a simple valve controls the motions....yes, it takes some getting used to but it sure does save wear and tear on my already stuffed right shoulder....LOL

    i should note (another forum member mentioned this) that even though the MC is air assisted it can be operated unassisted as was intended...actually i begin the casting session manually to get the mold up to temp then switch to semi-auto...

    BTW, i am running the input pressure at 75psi, the mold carrier air cylinder is flow controlled while the lead pour cylinder is full flow and pressure...

    video......... http://youtu.be/H0Vkfr4l_Qc

    detail images....... http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y13...agma%20Caster/

    Parts list…all from www.mcmaster.com/#

    1 – 3368K31, hand operated lever control valve, spring return, exhaust center, $64.02
    1 – 8812K32, air regulator w/ gauge, $29.43
    2 – 5779K159, tube swivel,1/4 MIPS-3/8” tube, $4.50ea
    1 – 62005K333, flow control valve, 3/8-3/8” tube, $27.70
    10 – 5112K65, nylon tubing, 3/8” OD, $0.77/ft
    1 – 6498K145, SST air cylinder, 3/4” bore-5” stroke, spring return, nose mount, $30.15
    1 – 6071K12, forged clevis end, 1/4-28, $4.98
    1 – 6498K195, SST air cylinder, 3/4” bore-1/2” stroke, spring return, nose mount, $18.02
    1 – 6498K42, rod clevis for 3/4" bore, $4.08
    2 – 5779K157, tube swivel, 1/8" MIPS-3/8” tube, $5.10ea
    1 – 8975K483, 6061 aluminum bar, 5/8 x 1-1/4 x 12” long, $9.31 (for nose mount cylinders, stand off and pivot)
    1 – 4501K72, 1/4" SCH40 brass pipe, 12”L, $8.88 (cut to 2.125” for 1/2” stroke cylinder stand off)
    1 – 91251A370, 5/16-24 x 3” SHCS, $7.02 (for mounting 1/2” stroke cylinder to lead valve)
    2 – 97345A578, SST 5/16 x 1/2”L shoulder x -20 shoulder screws, $3.54ea (for 5” stroke cylinder pivot)
    1 – 9664K19, cut to length extension spring, .375” OD x .035” wire, $3.56 (cut to 4” for mold return spring)

    i did add a splash shield to the forged clevis to protect the return spring from lead spatter and i fabricated a splash shield for above the bullet tray to protect the cast bullets from lead splatter from over filling the mold....


    wyman....
    Last edited by wymanwinn; 05-12-2012 at 09:26 AM.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    Absolutely the coolest thing I've seen ! Great job !

  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    VERY nicely done. Congrats

    -RFL

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    ...And I thought the Master Caster, in and of itself, was a time and effort-saver! Great improvement, and nice engineering. Enjoy.
    Jon

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Finally got in. Thank You for the R&D and the information. I'll try to complete both projects by the end of next week. Pics will follow.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I like the air cylinder on the caster however I personally would go with a solenoid operated by a timed relay for filling the mold. I believe that would not only neaten things up a bit but also relieve the tension and stress of watching the mold fill with a careful eye. But a very nice simple effective way of doing it.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Gunsmoke4570's Avatar
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    That is pretty cool!
    Gunsmoke4570

  8. #8
    Automated Master Caster

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post
    I like the air cylinder on the caster however I personally would go with a solenoid operated by a timed relay for filling the mold. I believe that would not only neaten things up a bit but also relieve the tension and stress of watching the mold fill with a careful eye. But a very nice simple effective way of doing it.
    i feel my brain and hand (psycho-motor coordination) are a better "solenoid" than a mechanical one....and, besides, if i need to double tap the mold to get a bullet out of the mold or NOT pour the next cycle cuz of a missed hanging bullet OR a different and bigger bullet, how would you program that...

    i am happy with my setup....but thanks for the idea.....

    there is much less "stress" with this setup than before....actually pretty dang stress-less....oh yeah, that is a chair...LOL

    wyman
    Last edited by wymanwinn; 05-11-2012 at 09:23 PM.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Well, its a nice setup. Not at all trying to throw cold water on it. I think when I buy my machine I will go automated on it and possibly borrow a few of your ideas.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote:
    i feel my brain and hand (psycho-motor coordination) are a better "solenoid" than a mechanical one....and, besides, if i need to double tap the mold to get a bullet out of the mold or NOT pour the next cycle cuz of a missed hanging bullet OR a different and bigger bullet, how would you program that...

    ************************************************** *************

    Well, I have several ideas .... a tapper to relieve a bullet hanging in the mold could be accomplished by adding a small air cylinder to tap on the mold if needed or as a part of the cycle. The end of the cylinder would have a hard non-melting head screwed onto it as not to damage the mold. This could be a secondary control or activated by a timed relay.

    I feel a solenoid controlled valve on the lead would adjust for bullet size by varying the on cycle.

    not to pour is of course controlled by not depressing a timer pour activation button.

    After looking over the video several times I am seeing that the mold is not coming out for a cool down by the blower. Am I correct in this?

    If so my mind is thinking along the lines of a small cylinder to move the die into the air path after the lead fill. After a slight cooling cylinder B would move the linkage the rest of the way.
    So, my thoughts are as follows...

    1) Solenoid timed valve is activated for lead poor by operator (pushes button)

    2) Cylinder A moves the die into the air path stops for a timed cool down activates a micro switch and activates cylinder B

    3) cylinder B carries the die thru the rest of the cycle and stops drops bullets and is tapped by cylinder C and then is automatically returned via a programmable timer.

  11. #11
    Automated Master Caster

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post

    Well, I have several ideas .... a tapper to relieve a bullet hanging in the mold could be accomplished by adding a small air cylinder to tap on the mold if needed or as a part of the cycle. The end of the cylinder would have a hard non-melting head screwed onto it as not to damage the mold. This could be a secondary control or activated by a timed relay.

    I feel a solenoid controlled valve on the lead would adjust for bullet size by varying the on cycle.

    not to pour is of course controlled by not depressing a timer pour activation button.

    After looking over the video several times I am seeing that the mold is not coming out for a cool down by the blower. Am I correct in this?

    If so my mind is thinking along the lines of a small cylinder to move the die into the air path after the lead fill. After a slight cooling cylinder B would move the linkage the rest of the way.
    So, my thoughts are as follows...

    1) Solenoid timed valve is activated for lead poor by operator (pushes button)

    2) Cylinder A moves the die into the air path stops for a timed cool down activates a micro switch and activates cylinder B

    3) cylinder B carries the die thru the rest of the cycle and stops drops bullets and is tapped by cylinder C and then is automatically returned via a programmable timer.
    sounds overly complicated to me....

    you are correct in that I do not have the mold stop mid-path...i allow the sprue to cool in the pour position...never had a problem with that in the 5 years that i have owned the caster....actually just re-watched the Magma Engineering video about the Master Caster to find that i had been doing it wrong all along...LOL guess i need to recall those nearly 25000 bullets i cast the wrong way...LOL

    edit...BTW, my Master Caster has cast 38, 9mm, 40s&w, 10mm, 45acp, 45colt and 45-70....with bullet weights from 130gr to 450gr...
    Last edited by wymanwinn; 05-12-2012 at 09:02 AM.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote:
    you are correct in that I do not have the mold stop mid-path...i allow the sprue to cool in the pour position...never had a problem with that in the 5 years that i have owned the caster....actually just re-watched the Magma Engineering video about the Master Caster to find that i had been doing it wrong all along...LOL guess i need to recall those nearly 25000 bullets i cast the wrong way...LOL
    ************************************************** **************

    It isn't overly complicated to me because I have built production machines before.

    Not saying you have done anything wrong in the way you have chosen to cool your bullets. My thought was ....the possibility of the mold getting too hot not a criticism of your operational skills. Apparently since you have used this method it works. I have to ask these questions in order to broaden my information on the product. Simply...I don't have one yet

  13. #13
    Automated Master Caster

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post

    It isn't overly complicated to me because I have built production machines before.

    Not saying you have done anything wrong in the way you have chosen to cool your bullets. My thought was ....the possibility of the mold getting too hot not a criticism of your operational skills. Apparently since you have used this method it works. I have to ask these questions in order to broaden my information on the product. Simply...I don't have one yet
    as have i....but i think the KISS principle works well here...

    ask away....we are forging new trails here....and economically "automating" the Master Caster and the Star Luber/sizer may just be the next big invention...at least to the folks here on CastBoolits....

    as for the mold getting too hot...all i need to do is hold the mold in the down position for a couple of seconds... as i have done in the past without the air assist...
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    You have a valid point...the KISS principle.

    Ok, making my rendition simpler

    Mine I think will have a timed solenoid to control the lead flow by pushing a button to start the cycle of the timed lead fill. This way you only have to pay attention to it upon setup. Once its set up correctly you won't need to watch the lead fill procedure.

    I will stay with your single cylinder to operate the machine thru the cycle per your experience that a stop in front of the blower isn't needed.

    I will add a tapper cycle in order to remove any stuck bullets and this will be activated at the end of the cycle when a micro switch is reached to start a timer to activate the tapper cylinder.

    What I have done is complicate your simple elegant idea with several ideas to possibly make running the machine even more enjoyable.

    I will add that my hat goes off to you for your automation on this product. In my opinion you were 95% there and it could be left as is. My prior experience makes me look to see if there are any possible advantages to adding any modifications. Sure, I have complicated it slightly but have also added to the no brainier operational ability. Timed lead fill and a tapper would have to be beneficial to this machine in my humble opinion.
    Last edited by 6bg6ga; 05-12-2012 at 09:29 AM.

  15. #15
    Automated Master Caster

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post
    You have a valid point...the KISS principle.

    Ok, making my rendition simpler

    Mine I think will have a timed solenoid to control the lead flow by pushing a button to start the cycle of the timed lead fill. This way you only have to pay attention to it upon setup. Once its set up correctly you won't need to watch the lead fill procedure.

    I will stay with your single cylinder to operate the machine thru the cycle per your experience that a stop in front of the blower isn't needed.

    I will add a tapper cycle in order to remove any stuck bullets and this will be activated at the end of the cycle when a microswitch is reached to start a timer to activate the tapper cylinder.

    What I have done is complicate your simple elegant idea with several ideas to possibly make running the machine even more enjoyable.

    With my ideas the mold won't have to be watched for proper fill every cycle and if a different bullet is being cast all that is necessary is an adjustment of a timed relay control knob to increase or decrease the amount of lead going into a mold.
    don't forget splatter guards for the return spring and bullet tray...and i did add rubber pads to the mold stops....

    wyman
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    In looking at your still pictures it is clear that you have thought things out. This is clearly a result of years of experience in the manufacturing and production field. And again it is easy for someone to look at something like this that you have many hours in and suggest small changes. This is not meant as a sign of disrespect by me. It is however an attempt to make something that is great possibly a slight step better.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Got the Star setup and running!!!!
    Did you drill and tap the pivot block for the cylinder?
    Can you give me a measurement for the pivot holes in the caster base?

    Again, thank you for the help.
    Fox

  18. #18
    Automated Master Caster

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    Quote Originally Posted by shootinfox2 View Post
    Got the Star setup and running!!!!
    Did you drill and tap the pivot block for the cylinder?
    Can you give me a measurement for the pivot holes in the caster base?

    Again, thank you for the help.
    Fox
    yes...1/2-20 tap...and keep in mind that my pivot block had to be bored/threaded a bit off center...the Master Caster center rib was off center...

    i drilled the 5/8 x 1-1/4 pivot bar 5/16 from the end and centered with a 1/4-20 tap for the shoulder (5/16 x 1/2"L x 1/4-20 thread) bolt...

    the 5/16 drilled pivot is 2.075" from the absolute back of the MC and 2.900" down from the machined top of the aluminum where the pot sits...both sides...confirm this...this places the 5" stroke cylinder with about 1/4" of extension and contraction remaining in the stroke...important...

    wyman
    Last edited by wymanwinn; 05-16-2012 at 08:11 PM.
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  19. #19
    Automated Master Caster

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    more info given for Fox....in case the thread is subscribed to...

    wyman
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  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thank you sir!

    I will try to have it running by Saturday. Work gets in the way.

    If you get to Texas send me a PM? always room for another SASS shooter.

    Fox

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