Chapter 9:

 The Blob, Part II, The Aluminum Dip

Haven't you ever built a Meccano or otherwise pierced and bolted Gizmo, just to see it loose screws at the worse possible time?

Or maybe you think riveting is just not sturdy enough for a hard-moving, all terrain Gizmo? Or whatever?

This one, I discovered by accident, while melting Zamak stuff, and skimming the melted metal's surface with a piece of iron.

It sticks to the melt, really fast, and the longer you let it there, the larger the blob.

Now what's the use of a metal blob on a frame structure?

Not much, until you make that blob grow...

On a structure's CORNER, for example!

Illustration 30 Hummm... I've seen this before.

Now, that is a little cumbersome to say the least, dipping a structure into the melt, but the Aluminum Dip name is just a simplification;

Illustration 31 Cover it with something that'll burn away...

Illustration 32 Cover that with fire clay, a funnel for the metal going in.

What you do instead, is to wrap the part you want on anything that will make a blob-like volume around the parts you want, in a material that will burn away, could be rubber foam, or some Styrofoam packing material, and bury that deep into sand, with a hole for the metal to go in, and other for the fumes to go out. Or make a Fire clay wrapping around it, like this:

The intake hole, and the fumes exit too, will be filled with metal, too, but making a slimmer entry hole, and a hacksaw can take care of those.

Illustration 33 The metal, clay removed, note the intake metal strangling near the piece.

Illustration 34 Saw the excess metal off, fine!

If the Aluminum's hot enough, it has to be quite fluid, it will go in to occupy the foam's volume, that foam just goes into smoke, and you end up with a solid Aluminum reinforcement that won't loose no more bolts or screws!

You can go a little further, if you already know your way around flasks and Green Sand, and make some patterns, but it will be some complicated ones!

I think this method is only for really demanding joints, the Plastic method in the last chapter can be used for most everything else!