I put together the raising hammer mold in exactly the same way as the sea horse mold.I found that at the casting stage of this I had problems.
I think I had placed the hammer too far down and as it was a little larger than the previous hammer, I needed an air hole in there.
I rebuilt the mold in the afternoon, placing the hammer closer to the top of the mold and with two air holes in to draw out the metal.
Later in the evening we went for a second pour.
This time the piece worked really well an I was ready to clean up both my claw hammer and raising hammer.
So right now I am in Mátranovák, Hungary. I have spent the last few days sand casting hammers in brass. The first one I tried was the seahorse claw hammer.
I made the sand casting mold in the usual way. First I compacted the sand into the bottom part of the mold. After scraping the sand flat I roughly carved out a space for the 3D printed hammer.
I compacted the sand flat around the centre line of the print and then coated in talc.
I added the top part of the mold and compacted the sand with a mallet. After reaching over the top line I scraped back the top so it was flat.
I then opened the mold and took out the 3D printed plastic hammer and the tube I used for the pour hole.
I placed the mold back together and clamped the edges.
I then took the mold to the local blacksmith Laci bácsi, who helped me cast the piece in Brass.
He first smashed up lots of pieces of coal into small pieces for the furnace.
He then lit the furnace with some small pieces of wood and then added the coal.
The mold was left close to the furnace to heat a little and was turned after ten minutes to heat the other side.
The metal was left to heat for around 20 minutes before it was liquid enough to pour.
After around five minutes after the pour the metal was solid enough to open the mold.
Laci bácsi and myself were both very happy with the result.
The hammer was quenched in water and I am now left with the task of finishing off the piece.
For the last week I have been trying to get my head around design algorithms. I always thought the products from the effects are great and that the endless design opportunities are really exciting.
For the last thirteen years of using rhino I have always worked in a design led way. I nearly always begin with a sketchbook and pen. I decided I wanted to make at least one piece for my shipping container house whereby I have an initial idea and let the computer work out the details of the design. After spending a few weeks making a cushion cover for my jewellery making stool I decided to recreate the current stool design I have using CAD. I am currently using a Pakistani rushty stool which I love for size weight and use. I am planning on taking this basic shape and running algorithms on it to determine my final stool design for the shipping container house. This is all quite easy to write however I have soon came to realise that this is going to take a little more time to get to grips with than I had originally thought.
I began the week looking at software called Dreamcatcher by Autodesk. I have seen many articles on the internet of how this program has been developed to be able to let a designer run variations on their model to come up with the best design solution.
I really wanted to use this software to develop my idea however after talking to Autodesk the software is not yet available.
I then decided to check out Grasshopper which is a plug in for Rhino. This is where my mind was blown and I became stuck in the computer for the last five days. I thought I knew most things about Rhino until I downloaded Grasshopper! I have discovered that I need to learn an entirely different language. I would compare Grasshopper to designing through being a virtual electrician. The commands are very similar to Rhino, however they are wired together in an order almost like coding. The program allows you to change a design multiple times without rebuilding it every time as you would have to do n Rhino.
After day 3 of teaching myself from youtube video’s I hadn’t got very far in terms of designs, however I had seen a change in my way of thinking and the coding began making more sense.
By the end of the week I have managed to get a little further, however I definitely need more practice and my design is still not what I am looking for!
Today I got my crochet bowls back from the kiln. I am very happy with the glazes and certain elements of them. I like how they have transformed from CAD into something organic and handmade.
I have made one big mistake in the making of these and that is that I used porcelain with a much lower firing temperature glaze. The result of this is that over time the glazes will crack. Next time I will be buying in some earthen wear slip to try and this should stop them breaking.
This week I printed off six file handles for my 3D printed tool box. I had previously been using corks from old wine bottles. I drilled holes into the prints and chemically bonded the file into the handles.
I was fairly happy with the look of the final pieces however white is not the most practical colour for the workshop! I drilled through the side of one of them an realised I should have printed them with the holes in.
The biggest disappointment came when I tested the half round file and realised that the handles need to work both ways up. I am there for going to go back to the drawing board and make a newer and more comfortable version.
I finally got my shot glasses back from their third and final firing. Again they are a little smaller than I had hoped . Some are more useable than others but I have enough for a collection. I am really happy with the finish on the glaze with the final green added. It gives the pieces individuality and makes then feel more organic.
I am also really happy with the way the detailing from the rough print has came out in contrast to the smoother mold printed.
Over the last few weeks I have been having problems with the goblets bending at the stem and touching other items in the kiln. Although I gave a few of them a knock and they came apart they are imperfect and I plan to redesign the whole thing.
The pint tumblers are working out great. I have a perfect set of four now and a few more in the process of making.
Today I ran a test print of my claw hammer I designed over the last few days on the UP printer. I wanted to check for size and scale and I may also take a cast from this into bronze. I am very happy with the feel, form and size. I am also going to 3D print one in hardened resin to test it’s durability. I haven’t quite decided on how I will produce the handle yet. I will be having a think about this over the next few weeks.
Over the last week I have been designing a tension saw I can 3D print and use both to make my jewellery as well as items for the house I am building. Firstly I created a wire frame which looked very similar to my jewellery in triangulated forms. When I piped this using T-splines it made the piece look almost sewn together, which I ran with. It is still a triangulated form so I hope this means it will hold a lot of strength when in use. I also made this from a frame to cut down on material for cost as well as weight in use.
Initially I designed a traditional fitting where the saw blade would have been bolted, however I changed this as I wanted a more contemporary design.
My final design I made bolts and a handle that match the saw frame. I plan to 3D print the entire thing in the next few weeks using steel for the frame and bolts and either wood or plastic for the handle.
For the last day or two I have been designing a claw hammer for larger scale use such as building my house. I went through a few designs and decided I would make use of the CAD and design the hammer so that I wouldn’t have to wedge the handle at the top in a traditional way. I designed the handle and the hammer head so that they join in the handle shaft.
I got a little carried away with the handle when the hammer head started to look a little like a seahorse. I’m not sure if I will keep the base section exactly like this or if I will simplify it a little before production and comfort. I am hoping to cast the top section in bronze and get the handle either milled in wood or 3D printed in hard clear resin.
Today I got back my shot glasses from their first glaze firing. I have painted them all with the green glaze I bought and tested a few months ago. I decided to paint them all different to each other so that when they are being used people know which one is their glass.
I am still not having a lot of luck with the wine goblets. The one that I tested last I left to dry before cleaning up to see if it holds together better. When I came to clean it up I noticed it had a slight lean and a small crack at the bottom of the stem. It is still in tact and I have put it in to bisque fire however I am not very hopeful and I plan to redesign the whole goblet and start again to make it stronger.
On the plus side I got back two more pint glasses which I glazed today. I am very please with how these are working out and I will soon have a set.