Cheap Graphite Source—-NAPA of all things!

Discussion in 'link to various suppliers' started by Melterskelter, Jan 2, 2021.

  1. Melterskelter

    Melterskelter Gold Banner Member

    I was looking around on Amazon and eBay for Seed Slip Natural Graphite powder and finding it in 1 pound lots for roughly ten dollars. A slightly less expensive per pound 400 ounce pail was available for roughly 8 dollars a pound. But then I saw a listing for NAPA and a 10 pound bucket for 30 bucks. I was skeptical that NAPA actually had it and figured I get a “no” when I called my local store. Surprise! They took my order and will have it in 2 working days! Sweet. I use it for my patterns and am investigating it for parting. Now I can use it pretty generously with concern for cost or availability.

    Just passing it on.

    NAPA Part #: BK 30739 Made by Balkamp

  2. dennis

    dennis Silver

    I did notice that Napa had seed-slik, but the container was different - so I went by what I was told about possible "counterfeits."

    Given that I might need to secure the stuff for three places, paying less will help.

    What of the talc-mixed material, for parting compound?
  3. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    Jesus!! How much graphite do you need man !
    A quart would last me ten years. Lol
    dennis likes this.
  4. Melterskelter

    Melterskelter Gold Banner Member

    I am starting to use graphite for parting compound as well as surface slicking the pattern. . Using it for parting, a pound will last a month or so.

    Dennis, NAPA shows two Seed Slik products. One is “natural graphite” and is the part number I quoted above. The other similar product they list is a mix of talc and graphite that may well be as good or better. Regardless, their price is excellent. I would not be surprised if this graphite can be bought economically at farm supply stores especially during planting seasons.

    I used it for parting today and my initial impression is that it may work better than the Teton parting compound I bought. I used to use a cheap “after shower” talc that worked really well. I have not been able to get it at the local Bargains Only store since Covid.

    dennis likes this.
  5. dennis

    dennis Silver

    How does that Teton parting work? I've but read of it. Only kind I've actually used is something bought (by others) at an actual foundry-supply place.

    There aren't any true farm-supply stores in the Portland area, to the best of my (limited) knowledge. One needs to travel close to an hour by car, or two hours by bus (or two and a half by bike!) to the nearest Tractor Supply! (30+ miles away by road. Was opened "recently." Prior to that, the nearest one was nearly twice that distance, and in another state!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  6. dennis

    dennis Silver

    I recall reading in one of Ammen's books about securing 25 pounds of plumbago among the list of supplies prior to starting a small-scale foundry able to cope with the occasional paying customer.

    Perhaps when "casting brass" arrives (supposedly on Monday?) I might be able to find that entry. I'll take a picture if/when I do.
  7. Jason

    Jason Gold

    NAPA = No Auto Parts Available. I do buy the napa gold oil filters. Once you cut one open and compare it to a fram, you'll become a believer.
  8. Melterskelter

    Melterskelter Gold Banner Member

    The local NAPA people have been good to me for the 40 years I’ve done business with them. They did not require prepayment on the special order even though I offered. For me they have been good people ( most of the guys have been with the local company for decades and know their stock and know motor vehicles) with good and cheerful service and good products. I appreciate them.

  9. HT1

    HT1 Gold Banner Member

    Cast More !!! I go through about a quart a year
  10. Petee716

    Petee716 Gold Banner Member

    The NAPA franchises close to me are good but pricey. They're the only game in my little farm town and although the guys there can take a bit of a take-it-or-leave-it attitude, which seems to be common around here sometimes, if you don't cop a 'tude they're generally pretty cooperative. If you've ever had to deal with "that dude" behind the counter of a factory tool crib you'll know what I mean.

  11. crazybillybob

    crazybillybob Silver Banner Member

    There's a Napa warehouse in the town near me (where I grew up). So if the local shop doesn't have it you just drive over and get it at the warehouse. Cost 2x everywhere else but it's there.
  12. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    Don't need it for investment castings.
    Besides the stuff is like antisieze, there's enough in one little bottle to paint 2 elephants.
    Jason likes this.
  13. Hiho,from Australia-I was ringing round for graphite powder ,found a supplier who seemed happy to sell to me,=120km round trip(74mil's) later,Whats your business number?(what the f@*k?)..try & point out - No am a hobby caster,& was still was stuffed around i.e they couldnt do a $10 kg (2.2lb)counter sale..

    But in their factory driveway was a lump of graphite at least 10mtrs x 2mtrs dia ..weird...

    The next company I rang,
    I emphasised I was a hobbyists caster - the reply was magical = "come to our factory after 3pm on friday (we close early fridays) & your welcome to clean our lathes down for free graphite, (I'd rang a gold graphite crucible manufacture)!

    Got the guided tour of 30 odd lathes set up to turn out graphite gold crucibles.

    Probly got the guided tour as I'd took some wax masters that where ready to mold up ) & was lead out the back of the factory & was shown their hopper/ducted vac system from the 30 lathes..the manager even got the storeman to box up 10kg of graphite powder for me..

    & was told to help myself in future from the hopper..I was even offvered a 500gm (1.1lb) tub of supper fine graphite,but on finding out it was worth a small bomb,I past..(I have a ball mill,why be greedy)

    So I have been wondering if I could do a ceramic (but swap it for the graphite) shell casting,

    next step anyway is to buy ceramic dip slurry & experiment (but might try waterglass as the 1st experiment binder (to keep cost down), if its only for a alu pour..any thoughts on the graphite shell idea ?

    So go google gold graphite crucible manufactures in your area,& point out your a hobbyists caster, & ask if you can scab from their lathe au$26kg(us$12lb) why not...
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
    dtsh and Melterskelter like this.

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