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Thread: Automated lead pour for the Master Caster

  1. #1
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    Automated lead pour for the Master Caster

    Has anyone done this yet?

    I was thinking about trying to figure out a easy setup that didn't require a PLC or anything expensive.
    Before I started putting together something, I was just wondering if someone had something that worked for them.
    Prefer using a electric solenoid just because I didn't want to run the air compressor but didn't want to also do a pile of modifications to the machine either.

    Also wanted it to run on 120v so didn't need to use a power supply.

  2. #2
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    Not that it will be a whole lot of help, but my initial MC lead pour was done with an old 240v solenoid from a washing machine, the type that has a motor and not direct drive, i believe they are used to stop rotation when it agitates the load. See if this image works: https://www.mrappliance.com.au/WebRo...100_new_ml.jpg

    For a control, Jmorris used a 555 timer IC plus a few other components, couple that with a relay and it's an easy timer setup. Personally i'd like it to be switched with a SSR as i had issues with just a relay giving power spikes messing with electronics. Ebay will have small timers too no doubt.

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    Thanks.
    I ordered something to try out to see if it will work.
    Don't like being hammered by the Cast Boolits Staff, then don't be a nail.
    The rules are simple to follow.

  4. #4
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    got the solenoid in.
    Its strong enough to do the job.
    Need to make a run to the hardware store to get

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Awesome, what solenoid did you end up going with?

    Do they have a lot of travel? not that we really need a whole lot to pull the arm on a MC pot, but i assume the pulling power they have tapers off the further out the core is from the coil.

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    I got one off of ebay from china

    10 mm pull
    .5 kg force

    Its more then strong enough.
    I need to bend the bracket then mount the solenoid.

    its 110v so I will have to use a relay in order to test it with my existing panel but thats no problem

  7. #7
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    looking forward to hearing how it performs. Heaps of power to do the trick.

  8. #8
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    A timed pour will be great
    Just need to add some mould trappers too
    Then you will have eliminated all the bad issues with the master caster
    Ready to buy as soon as available
    Great minds discuss ideas
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    Small minds discuss people

  9. #9
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    Do you rekon a tapper is needed for the mould? or if you could get it to strike a few times? My brother wrote code for my machine to activate small pencil sized air cylinders to strike the bottom allen screw on the mould to cause it to shake and drop anything that used to stick.

    Recently I have actually had no issues getting projectiles to drop from my MC as it cycles, it may be striking a little harder than what other peoples ones do. I also smoke my moulds with an acetylene flame to put soot on it.

    I'm wondering if there is a way to make the mould shake more as it opens, possibly by using a different angle guide that is not as smooth with bumps to make the mold shake more? Not sure if it would work due to the fact there really isn't a lot of travel here to give a lot of shaking

  10. #10
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    Automated lead pour for the Master Caster

    Tappers have been a dream that no one has been able to really do correctly.

    Ideally I would want to use electronic solenoids for the tappers instead of air cylinders.
    No_1 did have a setup for air cylinders and they did work.

    My panel setup has a double tap feature built into it so it will do multiple strikes at the bottom to knock the boolits out.
    I needed it for my 40 cal HPs

    This is where I stand on the auto lead pour.
    I need to bend the bracket that holds the solenoid.
    Auto lead pour using air is complete. In fact itís been complete for a long while because it was incorporated in my first master caster panel.
    Initially the PLC handled timing only and I didnít use a touchscreen.
    I used timing relay and potentiometer to do the lead pour. Worked great.
    But when I upgraded my setup, I went with a touch screen and incorporated lead pour into the PLC. Doing away with the separate timing setup.

    I have almost three weeks off for Christmas so I am hoping to get a lot of these small projects finished.

    First up is to get my shop finally back up and running.
    I am ashamed to say that I have been in my current house since Oct 2015 and havenít cast or sized one boolit.
    Didnít have a caster to start with because my buddy took it apart to copy it. Itís still apart but no telling where all the pieces are. Itís about 80% copied. Had to purchase and setup a new one.

    Now the problem is I need to run the air lines from compressor to the equipment.
    I bought the rapid air kit thinking it would work and save me a hassle.
    Nope itís junk. Tubing blows out of the fittings and I am running 80% the rated air pressure.
    So got to remove all the air lines. I am going with PVC. Itís a climate controlled building

    Sold my enclosed trailer so the stuff I had stored in it is now in the middle of my shop.

    I could go on and on.

    650 is setup. I have loaded 10k + boolits.
    Most were cast and sized prior to the move.
    I did contact Casting Machine and purchase a couple thousand 40 cal 180s to hold me over.
    Have 38sp, 40 sw, and 45acp tool heads and conversions for the 650.

    550 is setup. Have everything for it. 15 different calibers.

    Have a second 550 sitting in a box along with a SDB that is setup in 45acp.

    Case pro100 setup in 40. Waiting to get automated...... on and on.
    Don't like being hammered by the Cast Boolits Staff, then don't be a nail.
    The rules are simple to follow.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    We run our MC manually as it warms the mold with the pouring being perform automatically with the air cylinder. I have concluded actuating the pour of lead is the worst part of running the MC manually. My advice for any future modifiers of the MC machine is start with the lead pour then figure out how you want to go full auto.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I know that feeling, far too many things on the go making you have to put stuff you want to do till later.

    Not sure i could trust air plastic air lines if they didn't have "real" connectors, i'd be concerned of them letting go on me, especially when running air tools that make impacts, so the air flow starts and stops fast, causing it ti hammer i guess. All mine are either copper pipe or braided rubber hoses joined with barb fittings and clamped on.

    Good to hear you are going to get things sorted over the next few months.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tazza View Post
    Not sure i could trust air plastic air lines if they didn't have "real" connectors.
    Plan is to run PVC till close to where my equipment is. Then use the same tubing I use on my casting setup to jump over to a metal wall mounted fitting that would have a standard air line connection.
    I would have a shutoff prior to the transition from PVC to plastic tubing. As well as shut offs in line on the PVC.


    Concerning lead pour, to be totally honest, lead pour is the worst part of casting with the MC.
    If I only had automated lead pour, I donít know if I would do fully automated unless I was in the business of casting.



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    Don't like being hammered by the Cast Boolits Staff, then don't be a nail.
    The rules are simple to follow.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I have had very good service from the push in 6mm black plastic tube that runs from my air controls to the cylinders. The only failures i have had is two lines being melted from lead splashing from the sprue plate to the lines going to my main movement cylinder.

    I don't know if the reason that they hold on so well is due to the fact the lines are small and won't flex much with changes in air pressure.

    Personally, i didn't have many issues running my MC by hand, i used gloves so my thumb didn't get blisters, but i really wasn't casting loads of projectiles back then. I shot maybe, 8,000 per year when i had time to get out there about every weekend, how that has changed....

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