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CA-BC Where to buy green sand in Victoria?

British Columbia
Type
Supplies

jcdammeyer

John
Premium Member
The recipe seems like a good one, and no doubt it works great. I think there is a wide variety of ingredients that will "work", and a narrower range that are really optimal. Like cooking. Depends on your local, and what raw ingredients you have easily available.

I've had decent success with play sand and ground kitty litter. It's not great, It falls in the range of "will work", but is far from optimal. I would really like to make a large batch of proper green sand once I get my big foundry completed. I'll ride the playsand batch until then.
The trouble with play sand is that it's deliberately not 'sharp'. So the grains slide rather than lock. Now if you are using lost foam covered in plaster then it doesn't matter. Same with lost PLA since the plaster holds the sand away long enough.
 

Dan Dubeau

Ultra Member
Yes, it's the little things that add up. Wrong sand, wrong binder, mediocre product. It's like baking bread with the wrong flour. Yeah, it's "bread" but it's probably not good. Visualizing it from a mechanical standpoint, round sand grains, coupled with slimy binder, and it's easy to see why it would not be the best choice to work with. I can feel the slimyness of this cat litter in my sand when working with it, and sharp edges are very hard to hold when molding. Way too many loose grains around too.

I've got plenty of good usable castings from my sand though, BUT, I'm not advocating anybody go down that route just because it's the path of least resistance, and a cheap trip to home depot. I've probably got less than $30 and an afternoon in my sand. If it comes across that way it's not my intention. Just relating my experience from using it. Knowing what I know now, I would have been much better off starting with the proper ingredients from the start. The sand especially, but at the time I made mine, I was not armed with that knowledge. I've learned a lot using it though. If mine sits for a while and dries out, it takes a lot of work to recondition it. The more it gets used and worked the better it becomes though. After 3-4 castings it's usually worked in pretty good, and things improve greatly, but it could still be way better. Working it by hand takes too much moisture to get all the grains evenly coated again, and it takes a few castings to dry it back out to the point it's "good", and all grains coated evenly. A muller would help that process greatly, and is something I'd like to build in the future.

Once the weather warms up and I can lay out a big tarp outside, I'll get the right sand and binder and make a big batch of proper green sand. I want the next batch to be a large one, so that I can ram up multiple molds and pour them at once. That requires more molding boxes, That I was hoping to cast now with what I have.....It's an evolutionary process..... I'm looking forward to working with proper molding sand someday soon. I'm not blessed with an endless supply of disposable income though unfortunately, and things sometimes take longer than I'd like the to. With way too many hobbies and interests it's a tough call which ones get the cash, and which ones don't whenever I have some excess.
 

trevj

Ultra Member
I read and re-read that page with the info on it about the two Bentonites, and what comes to mind from that, is that the Western Bentonite, is more appropriate for coarser sands and higher temperature castings, where burning the sand to the casting may be an issue.
The Southern Bentonite is capable of working well in a wider range of moisture content, and still allows a fine sand to breathe.

I have noticed of late, that I cannot get basic clay cat litter at the local stores. All they have in stock is this new light weight stuff. Have not bothered to ask why.
 
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