Re: Silicone bronze casting and chasing safety.


Bramblebush ForumsFAQ

Posted by Mark Parmenter on November 22, 1999 at 20:46:38:

In Reply to: Re: Silicone bronze casting and chasing safety. posted by bruce paul fink on November 22, 1999 at 20:41:03:

Ditto to Bruce's reply.

In addition

We use welders leathers, chaps, heavy welders gloves and a wire screen face shield that you can order from a welders supply. It is a fine screening that blocks infrared heat, dims the

visible and protects from sparks. It fits on a standard full face shield frame. It will not deform from the heat. I just wear a hat with the brim cut off. A "lucky" hat. A bandana soaked in water is nice for the neck and keeps your head cool too.

We only melt silicon bronze so we do not worry about lead or zinc fumes. Good ventilation is a must in any case. We exhaust the foundry 4 times a min. with two 25,000 cfm fans.

When chasing, a good dust mask is in order when using abrasive discs. Also eye and hand protection in all cases.

I concur with Bruce, always prepare for the worst case. Get a couple of good fire extinguishers and have them located where you can run out and come back in.

One other safety concern not mentioned is wax, if you do lost wax casting. My studio was burned 3 years ago (last week) and I had a fun week in the hospital with skin grafts and more pain than you would ever want and $30,000 in repairs. This fire started from a wax pot. The nature of wax is to get to the flash point, produce a flammable gas and then explode. The fireball sets off anything around, including all that wax you have stored nearby and all the wax on the floor you spilled and did not clean up. My studio was gone in 10 minutes. Keep your wax area clean and store wax in a place away from any possible flame.

If you have a wax fire GET THE HELL OUT and don't try to put it out yourself.

Make sure the fire dept. uses a dry chemical extinguisher, NOT WATER which will just spread the fire. Tell them it's grease or something if they look at you like a dumbass. I used two large dry extinguishers on the fire with no effect before I slipped on molten wax and was almost killed. The smoke is toxic and dense. Wax is without a doubt the most dangerous thing in your foundry.

Every foundry fire that I know of started from wax. Treat it like gasoline. Use LOW temperature wax pots. I use food warmers with a water bath. Never use hot plates or other direct heat sources.

My two cents.


Follow Ups:

Bramblebush ForumsFAQ