casting aluminum plaques

   #1  

ArlyA

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With our schools shut down, student are out anyway, I was in our school metal shop today helping the instructor who was casting aluminum plaques that are for a city park, to honor the various service branches. Don't ask me much because I know very little about this whole process. I'm just the helper... The last photo shows the plaques he was making today.
 

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   #2  

Peter 315

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Nice I did that in high school cast aluminum in sand molds of different objects . We used scrap and melted it. I made some eagles..:thumbsup:
 
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What a great little foundry area that school has! Thanks for the pics, Arly.

In high school our aluminum casting project was an ashtray which we would turn and finish on the lathe. The vertical mill was used to cut the little indentations for the cigarette to rest.

I never smoked so I may have the terminology wrong.
 
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yomax4

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We made ornaments like ducks, deer and belt buckles. None of them turned out with good detail. We did it with plastic too. Forgot all about that.
 
  
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ArlyA

ArlyA

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The class does have a bunch of castings or patterns the kids can use. In the photo of us standing looking stupid, you can see a few of the items them can make. They might have 50 different things they can do. Like this brass eagle that came off the Missouri.. Its mine but I gave it to them so they have a copy for casting.
 

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Yeah we sand casted a few pieces for a winch during my hands on manufacturing engineering class at UW long ago. Also learned about welding, turning, and machining metals while making my winch. Don't know what happened to that fine piece of 'art'. :D
 
  
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We live in a engineering university town. Mi Tech for those in the Midwest, so we've got to know many of these kids going there some E program. Plenty of them should have gone through this HS shop class program or some "hand-on" learning in general. Shop class is good.
 
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When I was in school we had a woodworking shop class. That was it, no metals. When my kids were in school, they had a woodworking shop as well, but the school closed down all shop classes shortly after that. Something about liability and the kids needing to prepare for college - ??? I think that preparing for college does not eliminate shop. On the contrary, shop will help them understand what it takes to make things.

I made my daughter help in the construction of my barn. She didn't really want to, but later in life she got into architectural design and she told me that, that experience helped her understand what the symbols meant and better understood what was going to be built.
 
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When I was in school we had a woodworking shop class. That was it, no metals. When my kids were in school, they had a woodworking shop as well, but the school closed down all shop classes shortly after that. Something about liability and the kids needing to prepare for college - ??? I think that preparing for college does not eliminate shop. On the contrary, shop will help them understand what it takes to make things.

I made my daughter help in the construction of my barn. She didn't really want to, but later in life she got into architectural design and she told me that, that experience helped her understand what the symbols meant and better understood what was going to be built.

Jr high we had wood class, made tables and crap, metals, made tool boxes and other cool stuff, elctronics, made radios. plastics, made canteens, footballs dishes. That era is long gone.
 
  
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Jr high we had wood class, made tables and crap, metals, made tool boxes and other cool stuff, elctronics, made radios. plastics, made canteens, footballs dishes. That era is long gone.

They make all those items in this class. Why do you say its gone?
 

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They make all those items in this class. Why do you say its gone?

I think he means in high school every school had trades not many do now , We had carpentry , sheet metal , small gas engines , automotive, machine shop,etc, not any more sad....
 

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I all my school years I never had one that had any trade classes but I sure wish I had some.

Only once did I even have any sports and at that we only played floor hockey and had to provide our own sticks. Since few owned proper shoes we were to play in stockings.
That HS had a real gym but it was so neglected that even the showers weren't functional.

I survived and evolved into a fairly successful DIY guy and owned a certified aviation facility which I sold and went into construction and played with tractors and anything mechanical.
Now in my 80's and still play tractor and always DIYing something or another.

LOL, but I did teach some aviation trades on contract basis for adult education.
All my classes were promptly hired upon graduation which was very gratifying.
\Also taught introduction courses for women that wished to enter non traditional trades, like automotive, welding woodworking etc.
That was a lot of fun!
 

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I guess it depends upon where you live . I had metal wood and small motors then auto shop . My kids only had wood shop and the wood shop teacher got fired because of budget cuts . They had a English teacher teaching class that had no idea of what he was doing . 4 out of 5 days they did paper work and watched movies . My son who worked in my shop since he was knee high to a grasshopper did most of the teaching and safety training .:confused2: Every day he came home I would ask him how did you do on your project he said didn't work again . Watched movies . He had wood shop for 2 years and did 3 projects.:eek::drink:
 

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They make all those items in this class. Why do you say its gone?

High School was a step up with the automotive including auto body. We used to braze body patches on the cars before Mig came along.
 

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They make all those items in this class. Why do you say its gone?

None of the schools near me have industrial arts at any grade level. Not sure what happened. They threw out Phy-ed as well.
 

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Jr high we had wood class, made tables and crap, metals, made tool boxes and other cool stuff, elctronics, made radios. plastics, made canteens, footballs dishes. That era is long gone.

Yes it is unfortunately. I am one of many who was let go due to being too expensive. I taught 1/2 math and 1/2 shop classes.
In addition to Algebra, Trig and Applied Calculus, I taught wood turning, wood working, forging, machining, welding (mig, tig, stick, oxy/fuel) and helped them with trucks and snowmobiles. They built fish houses and deer stands too.
After 3 years of repairing shop equipment and other shop items, and getting a non-program into a full fledged shop - I was let go to be replaced by a part-timer...who doesn't know anything about metal, machining or welding...

My new job I had to re-locate (left my home of 25 years) and don't get to teach shop anymore. But I did bring in welders and gear and taught a tig clinic 2 weeks ago on a special activity day :) Better than them going bowling - lol
 

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With our schools shut down, student are out anyway, I was in our school metal shop today helping the instructor who was casting aluminum plaques that are for a city park, to honor the various service branches. Don't ask me much because I know very little about this whole process. I'm just the helper... The last photo shows the plaques he was making today.

That's pretty awesome :)
Only aluminum pours I do is when I need a chunk to turn on the lathe. Last one was to make a line up tool for the timing gear cover on my WD Allis Chalmers.
When I put the cover back on, it needed to be centered with a line up block over the crank.
Didn't have a piece large enough, melted some scrap and poured into a pipe, pressed it out, chucked it in the 16 inch Southbend and let the chips fly :D

At some point I'll get into using sand molds I'd bet.
 

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Yes it is unfortunately. I am one of many who was let go due to being too expensive. I taught 1/2 math and 1/2 shop classes.
In addition to Algebra, Trig and Applied Calculus, I taught wood turning, wood working, forging, machining, welding (mig, tig, stick, oxy/fuel) and helped them with trucks and snowmobiles. They built fish houses and deer stands too.
After 3 years of repairing shop equipment and other shop items, and getting a non-program into a full fledged shop - I was let go to be replaced by a part-timer...who doesn't know anything about metal, machining or welding...

My new job I had to re-locate (left my home of 25 years) and don't get to teach shop anymore. But I did bring in welders and gear and taught a tig clinic 2 weeks ago on a special activity day :) Better than them going bowling - lol

Bummer about your job. For all concerned.
 
  
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Yes it is unfortunately. I am one of many who was let go due to being too expensive. I taught 1/2 math and 1/2 shop classes.
In addition to Algebra, Trig and Applied Calculus, I taught wood turning, wood working, forging, machining, welding (mig, tig, stick, oxy/fuel) and helped them with trucks and snowmobiles. They built fish houses and deer stands too.
After 3 years of repairing shop equipment and other shop items, and getting a non-program into a full fledged shop - I was let go to be replaced by a part-timer...who doesn't know anything about metal, machining or welding...

My new job I had to re-locate (left my home of 25 years) and don't get to teach shop anymore. But I did bring in welders and gear and taught a tig clinic 2 weeks ago on a special activity day :) Better than them going bowling - lol

We all need to squawk about the stupidity of no shop classes.! Everyone is not going to become engineers or attorneys and many of the engineers I've work with should have taken these classes when in high school. Our youth need these classes for the basics!!! :confused::mad::confused3:

Dave, my spouse is range gal from Ely.
 

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One summer all us kids were told we were going to summer school instead of having a baby sitter. Between 5th and 6 grade for me. 1 class for learning, one class for fun. I took math and metal shop. First project, build an electric motor from scratch. After that, pick your own. I built a 6 foot sissy bar for my bike, sandcasted an aluminum fin for my belly board. Good times!
 
  
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Just got home from the local HS we've been working in. The school officials finally caught up with us and kicked us out! Of course due to the epidemic thing. Its located just a cross the street from our hospital and there is a chanced the school will get converted into a overflow infirmary. No welding shop for me in the short term.. :mad:
 

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Just got home from the local HS we've been working in. The school officials finally caught up with us and kicked us out! Of course due to the epidemic thing. Its located just a cross the street from our hospital and there is a chanced the school will get converted into a overflow infirmary. No welding shop for me in the short term.. :mad:

Incredible HS shop. I assumed it was Michigan Tech. Are those DIY downrigger cannonballs near the finished plaques?

Several years ago, US politicians rediscovered apprenticeships and seemed interested in resurrecting them. Haven't heard much about it lately, though.
 
  
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Incredible HS shop. I assumed it was Michigan Tech. Are those DIY downrigger cannonballs near the finished plaques?
Several years ago, US politicians rediscovered apprenticeships and seemed interested in resurrecting them. Haven't heard much about it lately, though.

HS means high school. Sorry to say the Mi tech is a not very good at Public relations so its very unlikely I'd ever get into a shop they operate.... Those iron balls are for denting art work the class sells to help finance their shop. Don't ask me much about that since I know darn little!!
 
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I buy a lot of the old equipment from the school systems at auction, based on what I've seen anything having to do with metal or wood working is pretty much gone in my area.

A little over a year ago I almost bought a casting bench with a forge and bunch of other equipment, ifni hadn't been laid up with a broken wrist I probably would have gotten it.

Either way my kids will get plenty of metalworking experience (and some woodworking too) I think too many people try to leave all of their kids education up to the school system.
 
  
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I buy a lot of the old equipment from the school systems at auction, based on what I've seen anything having to do with metal or wood working is pretty much gone in my area.
A little over a year ago I almost bought a casting bench with a forge and bunch of other equipment, ifni hadn't been laid up with a broken wrist I probably would have gotten it.
Either way my kids will get plenty of metalworking experience (and some woodworking too) I think too many people try to leave all of their kids education up to the school system.

Most people don't have a home shop, or the skills to teach there kids this or that anyway. For all practical purposes, I don't have a home metal shop either but that's why we have school systems. We need to make sure our schools are teaching kids basic stuff like this.
 
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Several years ago, US politicians rediscovered apprenticeships and seemed interested in resurrecting them. Haven't heard much about it lately, though.

I am a welding Instructor and can weigh in on this...

This is a HUGE deal right now. I work with 16-24 year olds and we are doing a lot with apprenticeship programs. Carpentry, Marine Pipe-Fitting, and Welding where I work (US Dept of Labor) all work towards sending the students from our classes where it is introductory to the trade, and transfer them on to apprenticeships where they can get better in the trade they choose. It really is a training/employee/union relationship that really is working out well.

At my level we do two things: introduce them to the trade, but also teach them "soft skills" which is basically being employable. It is things like safety, showing up on time, doing a solid days work for a solid days pay, anger management, achieving employer expectations, etc. We can all debate on why they dod not have that stuff already, but they don't, so someone has to help them with this stuff.

For me it is great because I worked at a shipyard where a lot of these students will end up. I know what the employer is looking for (US Navy) and can help the students get there.

The interesting part is, these students, right out of the gate will be making several more dollars per hour than I do as their instructor. I think that is great, my days of crawling around ships and submarines are over, but unlike when I started out, these students have a real chance of doing well in life. For many, apprenticeship programs will really help them get there.
 
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Thanks for what you do, Broken Track. What type of organization are you doing that with?

Back when, the larger manufacturers often had their own accredited, in-house tool and die apprenticeships. I hadn't heard much about apprenticeships for a long time until some politicians started talking them up several years ago- probably envious of Germany's success with them. On an informal but important issue, all of the implement manufacturers must certainly be quietly doing a lot of fabrication training that will serve everyone well for decades. Hope they are recognized for that.
 
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Thanks for what you do, Broken Track. What type of organization are you doing that with?

Job Corps...

It is hard to state "the average student" because really it varies greatly from student to student, but it is a fact, there is a lot of broken families out there, and a lot of times the sound upbringing we had pre 1990's is not there for a lot of kids today. But you cannot just take them out of foster care, or take them from a homeless shelter, and put them to work. There are barriers that must be addressed.

And to the shipyard's credit, it is a two-step process. We just introduce them to welding really: stick, mig and tig, but then they will get AWS certified, then move on to the shipyard apprentice program for a few weeks, and get specific NAVSEA weld trained.

But Job Corp does a lot for them. They get their high school diploma if they do not have it, get a drivers license, must meet employable skills beyond just welding ability, get 3 meals a day, room and board, daily pay. medical needs, get a career advisor once they are 70% complete, and that advisor follows them for 18 months past graduation. So they really get a good head start.

I grew up in a foster home, and became a foster parent myself, which is kind of why they hired me I think. I understand where they came from.

But the students are great, they really are. It is just the same issue that every teacher has, not enough time for all the paper work. I realize why it is there: people want to know how the kids are doing, and track their progress, and who knows the students better than their teachers, so really we are the only ones qualified to say, but it is hard to cram everything in an 8 hour day that is all.
 
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Thanks for that Job Corp description B T. Sounds like a rewarding program for all.
 
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as a tech alum, they have some great shops and many of them are totally student run. Tech is a pretty unique place. if you want in, the best people to ask are the students that manage the enterprise program, They are student run businesses that do research for a lot of different corps like Boeing, Nasa, Caterpillar, Polaris, etc. I was on the board of one that worked on medical products.
 
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Most people don't have a home shop, or the skills to teach there kids this or that anyway. For all practical purposes, I don't have a home metal shop either but that's why we have school systems. We need to make sure our schools are teaching kids basic stuff like this.
I didn't have shop at home growing up, I also wasn't in the school system. My dad took me to adult education classes when I was growing up.

I never said schools shouldn't have the ability to introduce kids to skilled trades, it's a great way to find out a kids interest.

The problem I'm seeing is too many parents want to rely fully on the school system for every aspect of their kids upbringing.

Unforunantly I get to see a lot of this first hand.
 
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50 years ago I had shop classes in an urban setting. I turned those into a professional career that paid well, supported a family and provides a good retirement. I supervised my prissy daughter doing maintenance on her car. Too bad her suburban high school didn't have shop classes for her. She surprised many boys with her knowledge. To the point... shop classes teach more than goofy projects. Countless urbanites have no concept of food production, manufacturing, or any of the processes that provide their life. And there is little chance for them to learn. Contra Biden... coding is no panacea for society.
 
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I was fortunate enough that my high school had an outstanding Industrial Arts program and our metal shop had an aluminum foundry. We could make giant schoolhouse/church bells, and many, many other items. I really enjoyed ramming molds, pouring, shaking out, making new green sand for the foundry, etc.. All that stuff is gone now that kids are being pushed into college and in front of computers.

I felt that having experienced the many different aspects of metalworking has made me a more rounded journeyman in my career. I feel sad that kids nowdays will likely never have that experience.
 
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I had an interesting high school experience.

I realized as a Freshman, that if I did not take study halls, and instead took extra classes, as a Senior I would have all the classes I needed to graduate, and so I could take Vocational School all day. (Normally it was just half a day).

So as a Junior I went to Vocational School and took my first year of Diesel Tech. As a Senior I took welding in the morning, then Diesel Tech Two in the afternoon. A bunch of kids said it was "not fair". But it was. they could have done the same thing as me, it was just they wanted to throw spit balls and talk during study halls, instead of taking extra classes and doing homework at home. So it was fair: I just put the time in up front, to reap the rewards later.

I was bound and determined to be a Heavy Equipment Operator. But I really liked welding, and was good at it, so I ended up welding. For a year I was a heavy equipment operator, but I did not like it. I was BORED. So I went back to welding. Then I was a machinist, but the economy tanked in 2008, so I went back to welding: you can always get a job welding.

Like school I kept my eye on the prize, and did double shifts which for me on the railroad and tug boats, was staying out for 12-16 weeks out instead of coming home every 6 weeks. So at 42 I had enough money to retire.

But I never planed on getting cancer.

But after almost 4 years since working, I got this job as a welding instructor. It is good to pass on what I know to others which was in the construction, railroad and maritime industries. I got a wealth of experience to help a variety of students find their welding niche.

Interestingly, I am still going to school: to college to get my High Pressure Steam Boilers License.
 

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I want to cast some plaques to commemorate Boy Scout Eagle projects. Any one know where I can get some letters / symbols to use in the sand casting mold to show who did the project and when? I've been looking for some years without success,when I saw this thread thought I'd ask figured with the vast knowledge base here someone might have something that would help me.
 
 
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