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Member postings for Oompa Lumpa

Here is a list of all the postings Oompa Lumpa has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Free Plastic
09/09/2014 15:56:19

I am looking into the France thing Jes so don't give up too soon. Very grateful for the donation though.

So, bit of an update, this was the target this morning:


Someone had done a bit of tidying up and thrown rubbish into the skip, how very dare they! Not a problem, I had taken my assistant with me and we just emptied it again onto the ground
Then I set to with the jigsaw and hand saw. An hour later we had this:


and the car was down on it's springs. We also tidied up around the skip before we left and we were invited back because we left the skip in a tidy manner with far more room than we started.

Back at HQ we started to sort the plastic into bundles that would comply with the weight/dimension requirements to keep the postage costs manageable and leave money for the charity. Here is Reece holding a bundle in my makeshift scales making sure it is just under eight kilos.


We managed to get six good bundles made up and I will be dropping them off at the parcel place first thing. I had under estimated the packaging requirements and needed to get a couple rolls of Duct Tape to stop the corners breaking through. I have put some paper under the tape so it shouldn't be too difficult to get off but I did have to make the packages secure.


I have also enclosed a couple of lengths of gauge plate courtesy of Mr Stevenson in there. He was kind enough to send me a bundle of the stuff last week so I am trying to distribute it. It's not much, but every little helps as they say.

Off to earn a crust now.


Edited By Oompa Lumpa on 09/09/2014 15:57:45

Thread: Tool Holding
08/09/2014 22:31:10

Sam, please excuse me but I am confused, do you have a Mill that is R8? I am just wondering why you bought an R8 ER Collett chuck when you have a machine that takes MT3 ?


Thread: Machining - sitting or standing?
08/09/2014 22:15:16

I have an empty 25L steel container that I cut the top off years ago to use as a Workshop bin. Once in a while I stick a short plank on top and it becomes an office chair. I might splash out and pinch a cushion for it though this winter wink 2


Thread: Backyard Casting
08/09/2014 21:25:13
Posted by Clive Hartland on 08/09/2014 21:05:44:

Graham, you mentioned casting Lead, the pot looks a bit grisly so the best clarifying material for lead is Bees wax!

A piece about the size of an Acorn and stir the lead as the heavier metals go down and stirring mixes the metal and brings up all the dross. Plus all the steel bits from the scrap. You know how to skim off the dross leaving clean metal.

I wonder if the risers for Aluminium need to be quite large to add pressure to the pour? Maybe that is why the corners did not fill out?

Clive, (my only forte is lead bullet casting.)

Very useful that Clive, I will remember that in future and fortunately have a good supply of Beeswax! wink

Both the lead and aluminium were poured into the open Ingot mold that can be seen in the pics (i hope - if not I will post a pic) so the Ingots were free forming and that is how aluminium ends up. These are small ingots so a bit more pronounced.

Peter, thanks for the information, I was saying I did not know if Borax would work as a flux, I didn't make myself clear. I use a commercial grade and always get good results.


(sorry, forgot to take pics of my lead molds today as I have had a day from Hell. It happens. Tomorrow is another day).

Edited By Oompa Lumpa on 08/09/2014 21:27:35

08/09/2014 09:39:00

Norman, thank you for the comments. My experience is slightly different to yours and it just goes to show, casting remains one of the "mysterious arts". With lead at low temperature I have never had an issue though I have had with Aluminium.

Les - You are quite right, you must have something between the molten metal and the concrete. If the molten metal hits concrete it is quite likely to explode, sending shards in all directions. In this instance though, as I was working in "her" parking spot, if anything had hit the concrete blocks it would be a toss up which would explode first, the concrete or the missus!

I have my molds which I first bought as a schoolboy a long time ago secreted away and I will take some pics later today so you can see where I started with this.


07/09/2014 22:54:06

Now, the lead is ready to go, it is well molten and now I am going to drop a de-gassing tablet in it:


You can see I have used my special Foundry Ladle to remove the dross in the pic too and that grey lump is a de-gassing tablet - and what is the strange tool next to it, looks like it fell off a Dalek - all is revealed here;


It is a stainless sink strainer that I have made into a plunger - I use all the best tools as you can see. Common sense dictates that you bon't look directly over the crucible when plunging. It is quite volatile and can be violent. Not dangerous at all if you are careful. The one cardinal rule is that your tools nust be dry. Do not for instance begin casting outside when it is raining. (and as a word of caution - don't try this inside a building unless it is the size of an aircraft hangar). Also, do not pour over the vent hole either, move around so the pour hole is right in front of you:


And here it is, a lead hammer:


Lead is easy to work with, I first started casting with lead when I was about twelve, going back a bit, but once you move up to aluminium, everything doubles, twice the heat, twice the protection and so on. Casting Bronze is yet more hazardous and Casting Iron is another ball game altogether. Here are a couple of ingots from today's casting, they are both shiny but the one on the left is lead and the one on the right is aluminium. Their shape reveals their very different characteristics.


You can also see some bits of iron pulled from the aluminium melt, a trigger and a couple of grub screws, one way to dispose of unwanted scrap guns!

Is home casting "worth it". Well, that depends. If it is a special one-off that nobody has, it may be your only way to get that part. If you want to pass a couple of hours right back at the basic level of metalworking, it is hard to beat. Blacksmithing is it's equal and occasionally I can be found doing work on my anvil. I find it very relaxing. It is not for everyone, it can be messy, it is certainly dangerous and it is hard work and usually, when you are finished all you have is a bare casting. But then that was the idea, wasn't it?

I am not suggesting for one second this is how you go about casting or even any of the techniques I use are correct. This is how I do it and it works for me.


07/09/2014 22:53:49

I know quite a number on here cast their own stuff and I also know quite a few people would like to try it but don't know how or where to get the materials.

I needed to do a bit of casting today so I thought I would do a bit of a pictoral "How To". Casting is not for everybody and to be honest, you only need to do this a couple of times to realise those expensive castings may not be so expensive after all. In fact they may be a bit of a bargain.

Materials. You are going to need some "stuff". Whilst most Casting "stuff" is as old as the hills you are going to need some simple, but basic ingredients. First off, you need the Metal itself. I assume you are going to use Aluminium and old castings along with a bit of good ally material in the form of offcuts will be fine. Then you need a crucible. For casting Ally this could be one of those stainless containers from the supermarket, but don't expect this to last too long, a couple of pours at most is the general experience. I don't know, I have never tried it. I have a couple of good crucibles.

Then you are going to need a Flux and a degassing agent. You can't really go far without these two basic chemicals. I suppose you could possibly use Borax but again I have not tried this. I buy my flux and de-gassing tablets from John Winter Foundry supplies who are one of the shopping partners on this site. They cater especially for the home foundry in one department and also they are the only supplier I know of who supply Oiled Green Sand. I prefer oiled sand as it gives good definition, holds together well, stores well and al the other good things you want. Doesn't come out of carpets easily though as it tends to stick, being oiled an all. You have been warned

Outside everything else, the most indispensable piece of kit you need are a pair of leather gauntlets. You might get away with a pair of gardening gloves. You probably won't. A pair of good gauntlets are not that expensive. Shop around but believe me, you don't want to be cutting corners. Then you are going to need a furnace, I made my own, pair of good tongs for the crucible, I made my own, a drag and cope (the two halves of the mold former, again - I made my own. In fact you can make everything you need yourself if you so wished.

So, let's get on with it, first up, fill the bottom bit with sand:


Then place your pattern in it. I am doing this a bit ass backwards, because I made a simple pattern from a piece of pipe in one piece. A quick look on Utube will show you how it all goes together with a split pattern but this job is in no way precision casting because today I am making Lead Hammers. Close enough is good enough.


The white powder you see sprinkled everywhere is plain old Talcum Powder. Fruits of the Valley I think this was, smelled nice anyway:


There you go, pulled the two apart and now laid the shaft ready in the drag, the bottom part of the mould. I have also now made the runners for pouring the metal in the Cope, the top part of the mold:





Edited By Oompa Lumpa on 07/09/2014 22:57:33

Thread: What did you do today? (2014)
05/09/2014 22:20:57
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 05/09/2014 21:23:15:
Posted by Oompa Lumpa on 05/09/2014 21:13:12:

Today I had a bit of a play with my Proportional Dividers ... and the thought occurred to me that I have never heard mention of them on here?


Predictable enough, Graham

Many people here have no sense of proportion. devil


Very good Michael. I see you have spent the day sharpening your wits



05/09/2014 21:13:12

Today I had a bit of a play with my Proportional Dividers as I had to make a new screw for them (lost it, can't be helped some days) and the thought occurred to me that I have never heard mention of them on here? I find them quite useful and a great shortcut some days.

Also, my new Dumont Tweezers arrived, but that is another story.


Thread: Free Plastic
05/09/2014 13:28:01

Everyone who has messaged me has now been sent a PM with all the details on it so please log into your inbox to check. Thanks.


05/09/2014 10:14:33

Well Gentlemen, this thread grew legs and ran off with itself!

I have a good number of requests, far more than I imagined. This is not a one off but an ongoing thing so I will work my way through the list in a first come, first served basis. If you need plastic for a project on Tuesday, well I am sorry - it isn't going to happen. Neil knows how many people have made requests and it is a lot. So the logistics:

I have put a number of parameters into my favourite package quotation system and I have come up with a number I am happy with, it means you get about five kilos of the stuff. The parcel costs, for around the five kilo's - £5.50p I am going to ask everyone for £6 towards the costs and you can send this by Paypal or Bank Transfer - PLEASE PUT YOUR FORUM NAME AS THE REFERENCE - and I will pm or email you the details for payment over the next day or so.

Obviously, as the project progresses there will be a small amount of money surplus. This money will be donated to the Alexander Bastedo charity, feel free to give a couple of pence more. A number of members of this forum have given generously in a few of my private schemes.

So, in conclusion - everyone will get a package - It will likely take me a fortnight to get through the list as it stands if I send out four packages a day. You will not jump the que and it may take a while but I will have the tracking details of every package so we will know where we are up to and some of you may have to wait up to two weeks! Shock horror eh!


04/09/2014 17:04:10


Okay, no worries guys. I am off out now because on a Thursday night I go shooting. It's my "night out"

However, I will send everyone who contacted me a PM later and we can work it all out as it looks like a trip to my "supplier" is on the cards for tomorrow Dumpster Diving they call it in the US. Thank goodness the guy is happy for me to do it.


04/09/2014 10:31:44

So, saw this the other day and this has been burning a hole in the back of my head ever since. I have access to any amount of plastic "waste" - offcuts to you and I. The guy is actually grateful that I take the stuff as it reduces his skip costs. But I can't be selective, I can only take what is there however this includes a lot of 9mm plastic sheet offcuts as shown in the pic and thick poly offcuts.

The 9mm stuff I am turning into collett trays this week and the thick stuff you can see what that is good for.

I do not want any money for this stuff but a contribution towards postage (and you can get quite a bit into a 48 hr bundle with Hermes for about a fiver) would be acceptable. It's no bother for me to bundle it up either as I can just Duct tape it, you can't really "package" it

If you want some please let me know.




Thread: Bullfinch Blowtorch
03/09/2014 20:04:18

Thanks for that Barry, as I said I was thinking about the 1472 but that sort of seals the deal for me. There is a BOC place not too far away so I will call in if I get a chance, they don't seem to be all that expensive - around the £12ish mark - online but I like to buy locally if I can.


03/09/2014 18:17:16

I have a Bullfinch Blowtorch that I use for generally heating stuff up and so on in the workshop. It is great, much better than trying to run one of those little canister type torches.

However I have only one nozzle for it, the 1230 though mine is the "older" type and well used now. I am considering buying a second nozzle for silver soldering and generally work of a more localised, precise type nature.

Does anyone have any experience of the 1472 burner or have any experience of the smaller burners?


Thread: 'War Department' (arrow) Marking
03/09/2014 12:36:42

Here's some of mine, one even survived the war!




As you can see, good kit.


Thread: casting copper hammer head ?
03/09/2014 07:59:58
Posted by jason udall on 02/09/2014 20:25:40:

Old stainless spoon to scrape off the dross removed above...

..good luck

I have discovered that ASDA have some very useful kitchen items. For instance they sell stainless steel containers/pots for £6 and these are useful for some of my blueing mixtures and there is a whole section of stainless spoons and stuff that can be made into ladles and skimming tools, even made a "dunker" for degassing tablets from a sink strainer. All for just a couple of quid.

Well there is my useless bit of info for the day.


Thread: Installing a new lathe
02/09/2014 08:28:48
Posted by Robbo on 01/09/2014 21:16:13:


Might be better to pull up a few flags

I would be cautious of doing this unless you know how thick they are. Sandstone flags generally are not light and recently I was very interested to see 5" thick flagstones being pulled out from a cellar. Apparently this is not unusual.

(The thickness that is. Having seen John's post above, this is exactly why they were being taken out, they were being sold)

Self levelling compound on a membrane will crack unless thick enough and the cost would run well into a second mortgage if you were to pour it thick enough. It is designed to adhere to the concrete floor you are trying to level. I would consider a de-humidifier in a cellar or you are likely to run into damp problems. Leave it as it is and use good quality commercial machine "feet" with anti-vibration built in and save yourself all the hassle.

OR - build a shutter for a concrete plinth and throw some mesh in. Irrespective, you are going to need some sort of insulating mat to stand on or suffer the consequences. This is very much suck it and see. Just go for it, there is nothing stopping you doing these things afterwards. Personally, I would paint everywhere white now if the cellar is empty and then go read the article about workshop lighting. Just the mention of the word cellar conjures up visions of dark and damp in most peoples minds so you need to get that addressed first.



Edited By Oompa Lumpa on 02/09/2014 08:31:17

Thread: Not a "modeller"!
02/09/2014 08:09:57
Posted by Ian Phillips on 02/09/2014 07:49:57:
Posted by John Stevenson on 02/09/2014 01:54:09:

Personally it would be interesting to know what flux is needed to weld moleskin trousers to armchairs.

John, your curiosity knows no limits!

Only yesterday you were enquiring about what to use to separate the bond between moleskin and upholstery, now you want to join them together.

Personally, it is making me nervous. Is there anything I need to know John as I think this preoccupation with Moleskin is a bit unhealthy. Smooooooooth!


Thread: Cutting granite worktops
01/09/2014 18:41:54
Posted by roofer on 01/09/2014 18:35:41:

Diamond tipped blade in a wood cutting skill saw type will have to make a spacer up for the saw to blade spindle as they never match, but believe me its a lot more controllable than free hand in a Stihl sawwink 2

I find it useful to clamp a wood lat on the line you want to cut down and this helps lots to keep the line straight. But you are right, freehand can end up all over the place.


(yes, I know the wood can damage the diamond of the blade but so far mine works just fine, no lasting ill effects)

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