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Vacuum casting filters etc

Hello all!

Another shop improvement in the works! Dan wants a new vacuum casting
set up. I do too. When we were talking it over today he showed me a
beauty in one of the catalogs. It is capable of taking perforated
flasks. We do no production to speak of. Any trees we have done we do
with the Torit. The machine looked great $1500. + plus shipping. Then
I notice this very familiar squarish cast aluminum end on the vacuum
motor. Ah Ha I says! It is a Dayton refrigeration service pump!
Nothing against the motor really. I have one myself I have been using
for around 12 plus years. I learned to change the oil often. I also
learned that this pump, for our purposes, should have two filters.
One for trapping the investment particles, and one for removing
water. I added filters to mine. It was a major effort (around $100).
in pipe fitting. Probably because I am no pipe fitter! I have a
double filter system with a valve for each filter depending on
whether I am investing or casting. Dan feels I am blowing smoke,
passing wind, and to anal on this issue! I think that is the order he
stated? We are just having fun! He is a fine jeweler I assure you! He
feels one sprue is plenty most often, and is done investing inside of
4 minutes! We agree to disagree on some things, needless to say!

If we are going to improve our casting system, is it advisable to
have filters with a quality vacuum system or not? The Busch pumps
were mentioned when I went through all the aforementioned effort,
several years ago. The rotary vane type I recall, was mentioned. The
cost for the motor was over a thousand back then. I fixed what I have
instead. The boss will buy us what we want within reason. We cast
fifteen to 20 customs a month; pretty shy volume for a spendy system.
The perforated flasks are to be considered only if they make them for
the smaller flasks I would think. Does someone offer one for say, a
2x3 inch flask? Putting a single custom in a 5x7 flask would be a
waste. Who makes a system we should look at? Am I all wet with hoping
for a filtered system? How about vacuum chambers? Anyone use a system
with that feature? Hoping John Henkel and a few others will advise.
Space is an issue. We have about 30 inches of counter space, and
would likely purchase off the shelf. What is out there? Thanks in


Hi Tim, An inexpensive ($ 800 ) Vacuum casting and investing system is
available on the open market with it’s own built in pump. It is a
very small machine and works without any problems and very low
maintenance. I have used one for over 20 years until I built my new
factory.It is not neccessary to use perforated flasks at all and these
flasks are quite expensive in comparison to regular flasks.(
perforated flasks also limit your flasks size. If you visit my website,
look for a link to The “WORKSHOP” and you will see a lot of pictures
, equipment and on casting. We cast all kinds of
metals(gold, silver, bronze, brass, ) and pewter in a different
system also shown in the workshop.We receive many orders from Jewelry
stores in quantities of 1 to 2 pieces which we cast using a propane
/oxygen torch and small 2x3 flasks. We also do volume runs in the
1000’s of pieces using 6 " diax 113 " tall flasks…and they were
all done on the small machine with no perforated flasks. On flasks
that are large than 2x3 , we use a vacuum enhancing flask liner
called “Tivac” Available from the Contenti company ( 1800-343-3364 )
This vacuum enhancer is superior to the wax web or plastic web
because it locks itself into the flask and burns away in the oven
leaving vacuum chanels all over the flask were they are needed… they
can also be shipped in the middle of winter without fear of breakage.
They also sell the small casting Investing machine. Please visit my
website to see how it all works and call if you have any questions.
Daniel Grandi http:/ (Casting & finishing for
stores and designers) Racecar jewelry Co. Inc Tel: 401-461-7803 (after
10 am eastern Standard time) 52 Glen Rd. Cranston, RI 02920

If it were me, I’d put a particulate filter & moisture filter between
the vacuum chamber & the pump. Put the filters in a location they’re
easy to get to. It’s lots cheaper to replace filters than good vacuum

I home brewed my vacuum set up. The pump started out as a 1/2 hp, 6.2
cfm 2 stage refrigeration vacuum. The vacuum chamber started life as a
10", 1/2 wall PVC water main. The filters & a vacuum reservoir are
located between the vac chamber & the pump. So far It’s worked well.

If I remember right, the pump was about $300.


Hello All:

"put a particulate filter & moisture filter between the vacuum
chamber &  the pump." 

Just to clarify this, make sure the filter is between the vacuum
gauge and the vacuum chamber or you may wind up with a plugged up
gauge. I use a fairly inexpensive in-line fuel filter from the
auto parts store. Also, change the oil in the vacuum pump often.
If you see cloudy oil in the site glass it is most likely due to
moisture and should be drained and replaced. Vacuum pump oil is
not very expensive. With the short run of hose in a vacuum caster
you should have no problem pumping down to 30 inches, any less
than that and you have a leak somewhere.

Michael R. Mathews Sr.

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