Lifting tongues and pouring rings.

Discussion in 'Foundry tools and flasks' started by OMM, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    I really like the two in one @grayhlucas

    I think I’ve seen a few others have a two in one.

    Anybody else care to share their designs?

    I’d like to create a two in one design that can handle anything from A8 through to a A20(And encompass my 5 1/2 inch stainless steel crucible). Maybe some think this is a wide scope! ... But I’m going to pretend like it’s achievable.

    I might have to cut 1 inch off the top of my (10” tall) stainless steel crucible to make this work. Oh well.
  2. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    I presume your interest is limited to lift out furnaces....correct? If you have a lift-off or tip-off furnace, snatch and pour open ring shanks can be dead simple. If you search open ring shank you'll see pictures and videos of mine in use.....but that wont do you much good.

    There are quite a few other examples floating around the forum and more options with steel crucibles. Most would target A10 and smaller. You might give a little thought to an A20 full of iron at ~60lbs, the weight of the crucible and shank will put you North of 85lbs. The location of the center of rotation of the shank affects how/where the metal pours about the spout and the effort required to torque/pour.

    I manage my A20 full of aluminum fine but that's 40lbs at aluminum temps. Might be best to sling around some molten metal on a smaller scale before you get too committed to that idea.

    -Just sayin'

  3. Petee716

    Petee716 Silver Banner Member

    I made a set like myfordboy's. I'll link his video as it does the design more justice than pictures of mine would.

    The photo shows bolt-in internal spacers that allow me to handle a 7 and 10 clay graphite crucible (Legend Mining). image.jpeg

    I've poured lots of aluminum and brimful of bronze with no problems but as Kelly suggested I'd have concerns about larger size and weight with this particular design. With the weight of #10 full of bronze there is a discernible cumulative flex in the mechanism in the jaws, hinge, and link rod. It's still plenty safe for my application but I wouldn't go any bigger. It conjures mental pictures of a drop-out.
    When I built my larger furnace I bought a #18 from the same source and made conventional lifting tool and pouring ring. Regardless of the pouring apparatus, the balance issue is a big one. Because of the limited weight of the crucibles I'm using I can easily overcome the imbalance of my lift/pour rig, but I was more careful when building my larger pouring ring. Having some kind of grip for turning the shank with your off hand is helpful.

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  4. Jason

    Jason Gold Banner Member

    Matt did you see this style? This would be my choice for a single tool. It could be designed with a change out bottom section to accommodate different size crucibles.

  5. oldironfarmer

    oldironfarmer Silver

    I believe in becoming proficient at established technology before embarking on new and better. Lifting tongs and a pouring shank are simple, foolproof, and have stood the test of time. Having two simple items with no moving parts instead of a single complex one offers a lot of advantages with respect to versatility and durability.

    If you think about the industry you work in, you will often see novices think they can make improvements before understanding the existing technology. Rarely does that happen.

    The slick tongs Jason referenced have never been shown in operation, much less long term operation around foundry conditions. The pouring hook may not allow you to see the stream. We don't know why, but his stated intention was to produce and sell them.
  6. garyhlucas

    garyhlucas Silver

    Just so you know I have been pouring with my grab & go tongs now and I am pleased with how they work. There is really just the hinge, a pipe within a pipe that allows it to open, no other moving parts. The loop of pipe at the top allows me completely invert the crucible and tap the tongs against the ground to get all the debris out. The bent loops are 1/2" steel pipe. I think 3/8" pipe would have been more than strong enough and a bit lighter. Pouring control though is very good.
  7. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    Do you find this has made your pouring experience easier or more cumbersome? What size crucible are you using?
  8. garyhlucas

    garyhlucas Silver

    I got the whole foundry setup given to my grandson by a good friend's widow when he passed away. I have 3 crucibles all about the same size with a 5" diameter base and I think they are an A10. It was a school setup and had Mifco two man tongs and two man pouring rings. So we couldn't pour unless there were two of us. I also saw the process of pulling a hot crucible from the furnace, setting it down in a ring, picking it up and pouring, setting it down again. grabbing it with tongs, returning it to the furnace, as making it really likely for it to get dropped or broken. It was a lot of work too. So I first modified the tongs so they could also be used to pour and that was a big improvement in the process. The two man tongs will be used when we try bronze which is so much heavier.

    So based on that success I made the one man grab & go tongs. The long handle and elbow and cap help counter balance the weight of the crucible so it is like lifting barbells. The pipe is just above the center of gravity of a full crucible so it stays upright but then rotates smoothly for the pour.

    sIMG_3335.jpg IMG_3678.JPG
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  9. Tobho Mott

    Tobho Mott Silver Banner Member

    I made these for my #12 crucible:


    The shank could use a 90 degree turn at the back end like Gary's has, for better pouring control (and maybe less splashing molten metal on my toes).

    For my #6 crucibles I use a cheap and easy single tool for liftout and pouring, though I do set it down to switch grips.


    I don't mind setting crucibles down to get a better grip more suited for pouring, but dropping it or knocking it over would definitely be a bummer. I take an extra 15 seconds setting up to make sure that the firebrick plinth I set it down on is stable and pretty much level, and I don't fully release the crucible from the tongs when I set it down until I'm sure it isn't trying to tip over.

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  10. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    Correct. I don’t have fancy lift Furnace, but I can put my whole furnace in my Caravan in 30 seconds by myself.
    I dream a A20... but A16 is probably more realistic with the total sizes of my furnace. I don’t think I will ever go smaller than a A8.

    Your A20 should hold around 4L at a brim full. Or 244 in.³ . Aluminum has a weight of .1 Lbs. per cubic inch, or 24 pounds for a A20 to brim. Is the A20 crucible And that side of your lifting tongs an extra 16 pounds? What percentage of full crucible do you pour at?

    I guess what I’m getting at is, if you pour at 75% full, you only have 18 pounds of aluminum. The other 22 pounds is in your rig.

    Can you weigh your total rig for us??? Maybe with just a bathroom scale?

    Do you have any videos of your pouring? I would love to see them.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
  11. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    The 4l A20 volume cited by Morgan is brimful and you cant practically handle a brimful crucible without spilling 10% all over the place.

    75% full is a more comfortable and preferable fill mostly because you can get the spout much closer to the pouring well. When crucibles are full it often requires higher pouring heights and that can cause undesirable turbulence and calamity in the pouring cup and metal feed system and casting defects. But, there is the practical matter of sometimes you need the metal volume.

    I'll weigh the crucible and shank tomorrow.

    There are many videos. Here is a link to an A20 pour here on the forum. There are several videos in that post but the pour is about halfway down the post. While viewing, if you go to my YouTube channel there will be more pours with A10 and A20. I've changed a few things on that particular part since that video. I now pour it vertically positioned in my cylindrical (30 gal barrel) lost foam molding rig instead of horizontally in the wooden flask and with a resuable offset pouring basin now......but you can get the gist of it.

    Just to be clear on my previous posts, I do very much like a single tool to snatch and pour, including Gary's which I think is a clever adaptation for a lift out furnace. I use them exclusively. In addition to the remarks Gary previously made about the advantages, another significant advantage is I'm usually pouring just a few seconds after opening the furnace so there is very little heat loss.

    My cautionary comments are more in regard large one-man pours, especially iron, where the ever-presence of Murphy's law and consequence of failure is higher. When I invite a crucible of molten metal to a wrestling match I want an unfair my favor.

  12. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    Today the A12 showed up.
    And I rounded up what I think is enough pipe to put together a grab and go pour handle.
    (And to keep Jason happy, I’m keeping it a stainless steel theme.)
    The larger/longer one is 3/4 schedule 80 and smaller is 1/2 schedule 160.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
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  13. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    Here's the family. A20 weighs 11.6 lbs.

    Salamder Super Cruble Weights.jpg

    The shank weighs 14.2 lbs.

    A20 Shank Weight.jpg

    So that's 25.8 lbs between the two. To be fair, the shank was originally intended to be used on a pouring cart, is overbuilt, and could be half that weight.

    That A60 is a beast

    A20 in A60 Sized.jpg

    I have a three lobe jaw that grabs that thing. I probably would have built and open ring shank if I knew better at the time.

    A60 Open-Closed Sized.jpg

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  14. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    Now you’re just bragging Pulling out a I’m just kidding the information is good. I think you very much.

    So do you use the same 14 pound pouring shank for both the A20 and A10?
    I guess you’re measuring them after they’ve been used a many times? That’s fair. (They could have a reduction in weight or an influx in weight depending on what’s left inside.) is there any that you haven’t used yet (that you have weighted)?

    My brand new A12 is 6.85lbs. (before use).

    I only have 14 1/8 total inside furnace height (and an 11 1/2 inch to 12 inch diameter). A A20 is about 10 1/4 inches tall. I’m thinking I would like to keep 2 to 2 1/2 inches of crucible below lid. So for a A20 I would only be running a 1 1/2” tall plinth.

    Kelly you might’ve overbuilt yours, and I will definitely overbilled mine. But mine will have a bunch of extra weight to get up and over. 14 pounds is going to be tough to beat!

    I did up this drawing tonight and everything is scalable. 1 cm = 1 inch
    Everything will be adjustable except for the clinch. There will be two nests, so it will be a 4 point clinch.

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  15. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    No, this is my A10 shank....

    A10 Shank Weight.jpg

    The A20 and A60 shanks were built to be used with this cart. I haven't used the cart either. In fact, I'll probably use a traveling gantry crane with the A60 before the cart.

    4 Cart Anotated.jpg

    I haven't used the A60....but it's coming. I haven't used the A4. I bought it on eBay for $15 with shipping on a no reserve auction. Figured for that how could I go wrong? Will probably do a bronze or iron melt in it. I primarily use A10s and A20s. I get a lot of heats out of them. Aluminum duty in a resistive electric furnace is an easy life for a crucible.

  16. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    Kelly, Thank you again more awesome information! You’re A10 T ring design is how I’m building mine.

    Do you recall what schedule size pipe you used in the handle of each shank?
    I’m not going to change my design (but others might find it useful). Schedule 40 is also(STD) standard. This is off-the-shelf Homedepot stuff.

    Pipe Schedule chart.

    I am purposely using 1/2” schedule 160 so I can turn it down to fit inside of 3/4 schedule 80. I am using seamless inside construction pipe. Seamless has no weld protrusion inside a pipe. The ID is usually consistent within .005”. I’m sure these are hurdles you’ve overcome with your slip and fit pipe crucible containment mechanism.

    Your no stranger, when you apply SHCS, LSHCS, FHCS, BHCS & SBCS(shoulder bolts), and you know the difference between G5-G8 and 12.9 marked on your SHCS. You didn’t just stumble onto the stuff... and if you did, I am shocked. The average Joe thinks I’m talking Spanish. But you probably know what the tensile strength of a quarter inch screw is, (in fine and coarse). You might even know what the sheer strength is....( dependent on clearance). I am quite impressed with your builds.

    What is your background???
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  17. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    The handle on the A10 and A4 shanks are 1" x .090"w tube. I have oodles of that. The handle on the A20 is 1 1/2" sch 40 pipe. It was selected because it fits nicely inside some 2" DOM tube I had.

    I have a business that manufactures pipe weldments and fabricated tube assemblies.....mostly hydraulic and fluid carrying components some light structural stuff. I have an inexhaustible supply of shorts and drop/remnants. The model shop tool room is well stocked with tooling components and related hardware.

    DTI Dumpster.JPG DTI Stores.JPG

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  18. garyhlucas

    garyhlucas Silver

    Nice looking shop Kelly. I was an electrician in my first career. My dad taught me pipe bending when he fell off a ladder and had his arm in a sling for 6 months. We did industrial work so I've made thousands of bends in pipe up to sch40 4". I liked the big stuff, has to be right on the first try. I've had 3 Hossfeld benders, and at one point almost took a job with Pedrick Bender company designing benders.
  19. OMM

    OMM Silver Banner Member

    Kelly, in post #13 you showed this pouring shank.

    I am guessing you have roughly 7 pounds on either side of the Blue line???

    Where is your hand placement closest to the crucible? Is on or behind the redline? Or, how close is it to the charge???

    From the blue line, how much pipe handle do you have extending in inches?

    With my current design, I might have 9 pounds in front of my lead hand just in metal (not including crucible or moulting mass for a single man pour). I have designed this for one or two man pour (with attachment for dummy handle). I have also kept my design open for a two wheel rig.

    I do think I can safely place a A20(but will probably not ever go over A16) and be able to remove. Cast-iron or bronze being 2 to 3 times the mass of aluminum, might be a challenge, so I’m allowing for dummy handle or wheel rig.

    My present design I will not be able to get my hand closer than 9 inches from the charge.

    I guess, what I’m asking is how close is your lead hand to the “charge” while pouring?
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  20. Al2O3

    Al2O3 Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    The front edge of my hand is on the blue line and the rest of my hand grips the stationary shank handle. Though the sliding collar has a slot and guide pin to prevent rotation, it does not lock in place so you must keep your hand on it to keep the crucible top clamp in place. When it is used on the pouring cart there is an over-center mechanical actuator that locks it in place. I'll have to measure the length/weight of the shank handle this weekend.

    Like I mentioned earlier, this shank mechanism was originally made for the A60 on a cart. The interchangeable A20 open ring attachment was added after the fact. It's very reliable albeit a bit overdone for a hand shank, but for aluminum, it can be manipulated just fine.


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