I want to buy another vacuum caster!

Yes, another vacuum caster! I have two made by Kerr, one for
each of my classrooms, but I want another! Let me explain. Twenty
years ago I bought a vacuum caster for $25.00. It was a large
steel ball with a cork in an opening in top of it. In the bottom
of this steel ball was a galvanized 1/2 pipe leading to a casting
platform. It had a simple shut off valve on this pipe. The user
would put a little water in steel ball, heat the ball untill the
steam came out and then insert the cork in the top. Then the ball
was cooled, thus creating a vacuum in the ball. The flask was
then put on top of the casting platform and cast just as a vacuum
caster. As the metal was poured into the flask, the valve was
turned on and the air pressure would equalize by rushing through
the flask and taking the metal with. It worked! It was fun to use
and fun to show people. I lost it, sold it, or gave it away, and
now, I would like to have another one just for fun. If you have
one I would love to buy it! I will put on my web site for fun.

Don Norris
PO Box 2433 Estes Park, CO 80517

DON i have the caster you are looking for. HUDCRAFT mini-vac.
this unit is brand new. It was setting on a self for over 30yrs.
instructions and org.warrenty. I brought it 3 mo. ago & have not
found time time to play with it. I paid $65 for it. Will sell for
$65 plus shipping. You can contact me offline at @BUBSSR
Jim Bubsey

Hello Don,

Sorry I don’t have an orb for you but my jewellery partner
bought one about the same time as you did. He graduated from a
device, even cheaper, that consisted of a bicycle pump affair in
a frame with a flask holder. The metal was melted in a depression
cut into the investment and when molten it was pulled into the
flask by pulling the handle on the pump. Interestingly when he
finally got a proper vacuum pump he adapted the orb unit to it
and was thus able to provide a hefty suck at the instant of need
by running the pump until the gauge says go and then hitting the
valve when its pour time. The orbs reservoir providing a full
vacuum instantly on the flask which a pump by itself could not.
Over the years the orb also caught a few accidents that might
otherwise have damaged the pump.

I don’t want to get involved with the ‘best’ debate as I am not
a caster. I would mention that a production caster I did contract
finishing for used a vacuum setup for hand made waxes, pumped
waxes in small quantities were cast in a broken arm centrifuge
assisted machine. He wore a helmet and face shield and a thick
leather jacket when using this machine, which bore the scars of
blowouts and other accidents, he also had a shelter which he
could dive into. He claimed the true centrifugal caster was the
only safe way to cast production quantities, a huge spinning tub
that poured many several ounces of molten metal down the centre
at the touch of a button. I think it was more expensive than a
motor car.

As an aside and to continue the vein of another post concerning
bean casting, an interesting random cast can be made pouring
molten metal over a straw broom head held upright barely
submerged in a bucket of water. Nice stringy organic shapes that
aren’t too heavy to try in gold.

Thanks for the laughs, Anthony Lloyd-Rees. I could really
picture that guy diving into a safe place! I still do not
understand the safety issue of centigal casting, though. As I
have said, I have cast centrigally for over 20 years with not one
accident! And I have cast many, many times in the middle of the
night in my underwear, with no fear of something bad happening. I
know, I know: TOO Much Sorry. I hope no one gets
that mental picture. It’s not a pretty sight! Anthony Lloyd-Rees

Don Norris
PO Box 2433 Estes Park, CO 80517