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Rio vacuum casting / investing table


#1

After reading the huge debates regarding vacuum vs. centrifugal
casting on this forum, I really don’t want to open this can of worms
back up again so if you want to respond to me offline feel free.

I am at the point with my small biz where I am needing to go into
small scale (250-350 pieces per month) production (of silver and gold
jewelery pieces - typically small ones (up to 3oz max and that’s on a
rare day!) I am looking into both centrifugal casting equip as I have
heard it is less $$ to start, easier to manage technically, etc. but
recently I came across the Rio vacuum casting / investing table for
$550.00 and was under the impression it could “do it all”. Does
anyone have any experience with this machine? Is it
reliable/dependable for the money. Produce quality items? What’s the
catch?

Your feedback would be appreciated. Feel free to respond offline.

Thanks!
Kennedi
@Kennedi_Milan


#2

I bought one of these and was a little disappointed. I needed a
small machine to do the occasional small job in my shop and did not
want to take the time needed to make one, and this machine looked
like it would be the answer. When I received it I was dismayed to
find that the valves used in the machine are of a type used for
pneumatic controls. While these work just fine for their intended
purpose they are totally inadequate for vacuum work because of their
small port size. Due to the low pressure involved (14 psi max)
vacuum valves need to have at least as large an internal diameter
(port) as the tubing you are using for a rapid evacuation of the
bell jar. Even with my 5 cfm pump the evacuation of the bell jar was
very slow. Ideally you need to be able to bring the investment to a
boil in 45 seconds or less this was not happening with the machine
as purchased. I ended up replacing the very fancy single valve with
two three way ball valves with full 3/8 inch ports and now it works
fine for me, but I would not recommend this route as the time and
added cost makes this less than a bargain. I have had some
experience with Rio’s VIC 9 unit and it works fairly well for an
all-in-one type machine. If you can afford the extra $345 I would
look at that unit instead.

Jim Binnion

James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160


@James_Binnion
Member of the Better Business Bureau