Match Plate And Flask Project

Discussion in 'Foundry tools and flasks' started by Patrick-C, Dec 1, 2022.

  1. Patrick-C

    Patrick-C Silver

    Okay, so I am super excited to start working on my first match plate casting project. Which I have been working towards for a while now. And so the first step I am going to start with is making a super heavy-duty aluminum flask for ultimate rigidity, and consistent alignment.
    And so far I have made the patterns for the flask, which I will be casting any day now. So here are a couple of pictures of the patterns. And I will be posting lots of pictures and updates on my progress for you all.


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    Tobho Mott and Tops like this.
  2. rocco

    rocco Silver

    Wow, they look super beefy! Have you considered routing grooves into the flat surfaces? That would have the dual benefit of aiding sand retention in the flask while at the same time lightening the flask.
    HT1 and Tops like this.
  3. Tops

    Tops Silver Banner Member

    Patrick, love the wood and wood-working on the patterns. Is that one side and one end or 2 pieces for one end?

    LOL :) thinking the same as Rocco:

    adams_wood_flask.jpg flask_fremont_spreadlock.jpg flask_huggamold.jpg hines_flask.jpg
  4. HT1

    HT1 Gold Banner Member

    Rocco was very nice, ill be direct, that flask is going to be insanely heavy , trust me, I made some 12 years ago, they are still sitting in the corner unused, actually I use them as a table remember a set of 12X12x3.5 wood flasks holds 75Lbs of sand so if your empty flask weight 25 Lbs, you are at 100 Lbs!!! that's a lot to lift, especially when you have to be gently with it
    , They do look good, but you need to lighten them

    V/r HT1
  5. rocco

    rocco Silver

    Pretty sure HT1 is right. Maybe before you go any further, get out the tape measure and calculator then do the math to figure out what your finished flask will weight then decide if the weight will be tolerable. The density of aluminum is 2.7 g/cm3 (0.0975 lb/in3) or 10.25 in3/lb.
    HT1 likes this.
  6. HT1

    HT1 Gold Banner Member

    0.35-0.85 g/cm3 pines density in a range compared to Aluminum 2.7 g/cm3 so multiply the weight of your wood X 4 to get roughly the minimum weight of your aluminum flasks. I know and feel you we all want to use manly aluminum flasks, but unless you get them down to a really thin design you will not be able to use them

    If you want some help go read this thread

    if you want a start, I'll mail you the patterns, and their follow boards if you pay the shipping , DM me I need to clear some space for sure

    V/r HT1
    Tops likes this.
  7. rocco

    rocco Silver

    This actually seems like it might be a project perfectly suited for a match plate, a long comparatively narrow loose pattern with a thin cross section, unless you're very careful, could be subject to a bit of distortion when moulding, no so if done as a match plate.
  8. HT1

    HT1 Gold Banner Member

    i've always seen them done with a follow board, but that could definitely be cast into a matchplate, then you don't have to worry about losing the loose parts, but it is a "advanced" project

    V/r HT1
  9. Melterskelter

    Melterskelter Gold Banner Member

    I agree with the advice that the design shown looks like massive overkill with respect to durability and rigidity. I have made a half dozen aluminum flasks of much lighter design. In fairly heavy use, they have proven to be quite bullet-proof. I have made them as bolt-together and as welded variants. I prefer making welded ones as assembling them is so much simpler than fussy drilling and tapping. Both have held up well. Iron slops have left them unscathed.

    I’d suggest using Baltic birch for your pattern making with yellow cedar ribbing and details. Its dimensional stability and ease of finishing is sooo much better than fir. Try to maintain symmetry in all axes in longish pieces as aluminum will warp as it cools otherwise.

    Finally, I know you have very “crafty” and numerous sibs who collaborate. It’s time for you young folks to invest in a decent 3D printer and print your patterns in PLA segments to be glued together. ;)

    HT1 likes this.
  10. Patrick-C

    Patrick-C Silver

    Okay, thank you guys for all of the great advice. I have thought about how beefy the patterns are and that is too leave some room to machine square and then they would just be super heavy duty.
    I have never made an aluminum flask, and I would like to add all of those ridges and fancy patterns to make them lighter, but from what I calculated when I made the patterns the aluminum flask will only weigh 30 lbs. Which to me is not that much.
    The size of the flask these patterns will make has an inside dimension of 10"*12"*4" which is about 100lbs of sand, so altogether 130lbs. And recently I have been using a wooden flask that once filled with packed sand weighs ~180lbs, so weight has been considered and deemed not an issue for me.
    Thank you for offering Ht1, I appreciate the offer, but I like to make my own lol.
    And I do have a 3d printer, but I find I like working with CNCed patterns more than 3d printed ones with the 3d print lines and all of that, and the gluing, man I hate doing that I used to do it when I didn't really use the CNC machine, but yeah not thanks lol.
    Okay, so the patterns are made from southern white pine, and they were CNC cut with 10 deg drafts for easy molding, I am really good with 3d design, but I thought I would keep my first flask patterns simple. They are designed to bolt together once machined.
    So I won't be casting these flasks with a matchplate, I will be using them for matchplate casting for other projects, one reason why they are so heavy duty.

  11. HT1

    HT1 Gold Banner Member

    lets Half your weight by design
    12 X12 X 3.5 Cope and draft fully fitted ready to use 14 Lbs




    BTW I weighed one of my wooden flasks same measurements 6 Lbs 11 Ounces
    you dont need all the fancy reinforcement on a Professional flask unless you are using a casting machine, or a Pneumatic rammer really really poorly !

    V/r HT1
    Patrick-C likes this.
  12. Patrick-C

    Patrick-C Silver

    So, I like your design but there are a few advantages that mine has.
    #1 is that if I spill brass on it the more mass has a better chance of surviving.
    #2 more machine room for squaring up.
    #3 the extra thickness allows for me to fasten a much heavier-duty alignment system.
    So the tab in the middle is for the alignment pin.
    And the tabs on the sides are for bolting them together.

    Thank you, Patrick
  13. HT1

    HT1 Gold Banner Member

    ok at this point i assume you are trolling us, but oh well, I'll try one last time.
    here is a VAST improvement over your design:
    one degree of draft rather then your 5 degree
    reinforced ribs rather then big chunky solid pieces that will need a riser
    minimum machine allowance to save time and metal.


    Note all the dust , it looks like that because I abandoned the design about 14 years ago, because it was TOO Heavy , But I assume you have some lifting equipment since you have no concern over flipping 130 Lbs of sand :eek:

    you maybe missing what people are pointing out here we( I , definitely I) have made or watched others make mistakes here and on Alloyavenues for years and really try and help people not repeat the same mistakes, I have all but given up on aluminum flasks because the effort is not worth the return(snap flasks are an exception but that's another issue) I can make a dozen wood flask in an afternoon that will function as well as an aluminum flask. I can replace my wood flasks annually for 10 years for what it would cost in time and material to make a set of aluminum flasks, if I was teaching that math would change, students would wreck 3 times the flasks I do ( i'll give you that one if it is the case, of course then you would need to be concerned about your students lifting those heavy flasks)

    and lastly your way overconcerned about molten brass damaging aluminum flasks, that's a non-starter, unless you are pouring HUNDREDS of pounds of brass , if you move up to cast iron it is an issue, of course then you need steel flasks , which by the way if you think you need steel flasks ill sell you my unfinished ones for the cost of shipping, you guessed it, because they are TOO HEAVY

    V/r HT1
    Charlie2Crows and FishbonzWV like this.
  14. Melterskelter

    Melterskelter Gold Banner Member


    Good post above. But on one point I’ll offer a different recommendation: even in iron casting aluminum flasks are fine. I have slopped iron onto mine many many times with zero ill effect. Now, if I had a 20 pound spill accumulate on one side, things might be different. But a few ounces here or there do no harm. I think the aluminum conducts heat so fast it cools the iron in contact with it very very rapidly..

    To your other evident frustration: There are horses and there is water…

    Tobho Mott, FishbonzWV and HT1 like this.

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