Australian grassroots motor racing grew up with the home built special. Many examples of these historic cars are still in existence today. Some were built as circuit racers, but many were built for the ever-popular hill climb events held at the various climbs scattered around Australia.To build a competitive home built racecar today requires many skills.
Most importantly the racecar enthusiast constructor will need to have hands on knowledge of metal fabrication skills, i.e., knowing how to weld or braze metal, or machining skills may also be required to operate lathes and milling machines to produce many of the special one off parts. Just as in the early days of Australian motor racing, today's constructor needs to be extremely resourceful.
If the budget is tight, the home race-car builder can use many avenues to keep the construction costs down to an acceptable level, being multi skilled will allow the home fabricator to construct all manner of things instead of resorting to expensive of the shelf custom made parts.Many people are unaware that metal casting techniques can be used in the home workshop to cast lightweight aluminium parts. Metal casting is not that difficult to do, and in the last couple of years there has been a worldwide resurgence of home metal casting, i.e., people have been busy setting up a simple home workshop foundry to cast special metal parts that would otherwise be quite expensive if sourced professionally.
Basically all you really need is to build some simple foundry equipment, and learn & practice the basic skills, and before long you will soon be creating some amazing things in metal with your own mini foundry.A basic understanding of foundry knowledge and self - built equipment is the key to your metal casting success.Proven foundry methods and techniques are employed by model engineers, home mechanics, car & motorbike restorers etc, to create high quality cast parts that would be otherwise unobtainable. If you have never contemplated casting your own metal parts, then you'd be amazed at the many different things that can be made, especially if you have a well-equipped machine shop.
It is possible to make those hard to get parts right in your own home foundry workshop. for a very low cost.The foundry process is basically carried out by producing a pattern, which is normally made from timber, but patterns can also be made from many other materials, one particular compound that can be used to reproduce broken parts to make a new pattern is RTV silicone.Once a pattern is produced, it is imbedded into the foundry sand to make a cavity, green sand is a common type of foundry sand, but there are many other types of easy to use sand moulding mediums.After the sand is rammed around the pattern, or the silicate sand has set, the pattern is carefully removed from the sand mould, and the mould is closed and made ready for the pour.
A simple gas fired furnace can be constructed to melt the metal which is then poured into the sand mould to create the casting. Once the casting has cooled, it is removed from the sand mould, cleaned and prepared for the machining & finishing operations. Quite often, the complete operation; from pattern to finished casting can be achieved in just a few days, and that is the great advantage of being in full control of the whole operation, you can manufacture and finish everything in house, while reducing the overall cost to an absolute minimum.Once you are familiar with the basic foundry techniques, and you understand the techniques involved, you will be able to create many things in metal that you would otherwise not thought possible..To learn more about metal casting visit our web site, you can download a free ebook on setting up a small back shed foundry for metal casting, visit: http://www.myhomefoundry.com.
Article written by Col Croucher.Australia. This article can be reproduced as long as full credit is given to the author and the web link remains within the article.
By: Colin Croucher