Sunday, March 15, 2009


Shifted gears a bit on the pig casting machine and began work on the actual machine part of the complex - I'll be back working on the lower building soon.   Essentially a pig casting machine is a conveyor belt of pig molds - hot iron is poured into these moving molds on the low end and, with the help of water sprays, the pig sets and is dumped out of the mold and into a waiting gondola on the high end.  The electric motor and drive system is on the high end.   

 The conveyor is primarily a bunch of I beams and angles with rollers for the pig mold belt and then the molds themselves.  Originally I'd been thinking of using some sort of large scale corrugated siding to represent the molds, however, this would have been a poor representation.  I also had thought of making a master and casting the individual molds and rollers in either metal or resin - this would have taken forever to make tha
t many castings.  In the meantime I came across Plastruct U-channel structural shapes. These are only manufactured in a few sizes but they would solve both my problems - the smaller size (3/32) I used for the brackets for the rollers - the rollers themselves are made from .040 styrene using a punch.  The larger U-channel, (1/8) will be used for the actual pig molds.  I spaced the rollers per Mike Rabbit's plans on 1/8" H-columns with 5/32 I Beam cross members.  There are walkways on both sides made from .030 styrene.   Next - the pig molds and links, the lower return belt, and the supports and roof for this structure.  

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