Part 1: Building the Column and Ram
In the past I have made patterns for one thing or another and cast them in aluminum in varying degrees of success and failure. Most of my problems have been from molding practice and green sand quality. I still need to overcome these things. With this project, I plan to take a more disciplined approach and see if i can actually learn a little more from my experiences. This episode starts with the patterns for the column and ram. It consists of three patterns all of which are simple enough to make if you have either the right tools, talent or maybe both. I don't have a lot of either, so my plan of attack is to take each process slowly and see what happens, promising myself that I will not advance further until I have completed the last to the best of my ability. (Warning, it still may be poor, but we will see.) :-)
Another thing that I plan on doing different is having a separate page to discuss things when I get side tracked. For example, I know I will need to build some decent flasks, and overcome my green sand problems. Rather than discussing those things in these sections, I will either create a separate page for them, or will create an errata page for some topics. This way you can just follow the actual building process and not have to wade through all the other stuff. So, I will stop with the chatter and start with the content.
THE COLUMN SIDE PATTERN
I have only made one deviation for this pattern compared to the one that Dave gives is in his book. Mine is made with a 5/8" section thickness rather than 1/2" that Dave used. Also, I omitted the 1/8" strip at the top of the pattern since mine was already the required thickness. Below are some pictures of the side column pattern. You can click on them for a bit larger version of the pattern.
THE COLUMN FRONT PATTERN
This is a view of the front side of the pattern. The recess between the pads was made with a chisel. It did not work too well for me and required some filling with some wood putty. I read somewhere that you can thin Elmer's wood putty with water and make fillets from it too. I may give it a go with the next pattern.
I have the parts cut out and ready to assemble for the RAM pattern but am contemplating how I will do the GIANT fillets on the sides. As soon as I finish the pattern I will post and let you know.