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 Post subject: Pressure Pot Casting Tutorial How To
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 12:27 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:06 am
Posts: 320
Location: geekvarietycustoms
I posted this over and CJ and thought it might be of some help to folks over here that might be thinking about doing custom castings with silicone molds and resin.

Its a simple how to of how I put together a pressure cooker and compressor to help in the mold making process.

First and foremost, many endless amounts of thanks to Stew for walking me through his process for casting and everything else in between, his help has been immeasurable.

So Stew had been helping me in the ways of a casting Sensei and teaching me the ins and outs of things to help get me going. I've learned a lot from him showing me and talking to me about it but I had to get out there and do it on my own to really understand it.

I've been casting for a bit now with various levels of success and failure. I've realized through the many failures, certain things needed to be changed about how I was casting to make things better and more efficient cause I've been wasting silicone and I cant afford to do that. So it was finally time to get a pressure cooker and compressor to take the whole casting thing to a new level of quality. With the cooker and compressor I can make better molds and hopefully waste less product along the way and make a better end item.

Stew had shown me his setup but what I came up with was a bit different. I ended up getting the following items from Amazon and Sears at a reasonable price. I have been looking for months for parts that had a good price point and were quality items, I think I came up with a good set of tools finally and this is what I ended up getting.

Compressor: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BOCBAM/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

Compressor accessories kit:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009KN9PE/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i01

Pressure cooker:
http://www.sears.com/presto-6-qt-aluminum-pressure-cooker/p-00876034000P?prdNo=2&blockNo=2&blockType=G2

The cooker I ended up getting on sale for $24 so just keep an eye out and you can get a deal for sure on this and its large enough that it will fit most anything you are going to cast. The key difference in what I did compared to Stews setup was adding a release valve on the pot via some extra parts that came with the compressor and extras kit.

First thing I did was to take apart the pressure cooker.
Image

I removed all extra pieces that I didn't need. Pull out the little black plastic nob on the right side, remove the top center piece and take off the handle cap on the lid. When you take the handle cap off the lid there is a stem in there thats a pressure release that's not really sealed or anything so it wont work with a compressor setup the way you need it to with this project. On the inside there is a small plastic gromet that will come right off the end and the stem will come right out leaving the collar fitting that you cant unscrew to get out so it needs to be drilled, which we will get to in a second.

Get a couple wrenches or some pliers and remove the center knob thingy, it comes off pretty easily also. I used some hardware to fill the center stem hole but honestly you could just hotglue the holes from the inside, I just wanted to get rid of the stem completely as not to confuse the issue of stems and such.

Now that you got all the parts off you're gonna need a 15/32nds or 31/64ths drill bit and a hot glue gun. I used hot glue cause it cures hard and fast but you could use silicone seal if you have it handy, its just gonna take long to deal with to setup is all.

Okay so now that you have the stem out of the left side of the pot lid, there is a collar that the stem was in that you will need to drill out with the bit mentioned above. Drill out this collar and then take one of the male/male (threaded on both sides, there should be 3-4 in the kit) connectors from the parts kit and just tighten that sucker down into the hole you just drilled out. The collar was aluminum so you dont need to thread it cause the male/male adapter is steel and will thread itself in the softer aluminum.

Image

Now that you have the male/male adapter in there just take one of the tire valves from either the kit or the compressor (one comes with each so you'll have an extra) and screw it onto the male/male and now you have a pressure release valve! Use the thread tape for a good seal, it comes with the kit so there is no reason you shouldn't be using not to mention that it keeps the threads sealed which is a must in this project.

Image

Take one of the quick release/male connectors and where the little plastic nub was in the lid just force screw that guy in there and now you have a place to plug the compressor into. You don't need to worry about tape on this cause the hole is a tad smaller than the connector so it will fit super snug and not need to be tapped. You can throw a little hot glue around the inside if you want but you wont need too unless you really messed up when screwing it in, otherwise it should be super tight!

Image

At this point you are all setup and ready to go. Remember to check the seals on the lid where you put the posts and make sure everything is air tight with either hot glue or silicone and bam success!

Image

I thought I would post this to help out anyone who might be looking to do this sorta thing and save you some trouble and time along the way trying to find all the parts you'll need and what to do with them once you have them.

If I wasn't clear about anything just let me know and I will try and add more pics or write some more info to clarify things.

Hope this is helpful to folks and thanks again for all the knowledge Stew imparted on me over the last couple years here, I cannot thank him enough.

Here is a short video I made to show things a bit more clearly.

http://youtu.be/3kuPiddfS4g

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