Fireball Lures

Automatic Pouring

21 posts in this topic

I'm now in the process of building my first prototype automated pnuematic pouring machine. I'll get you guys some pictures in the next couple of weeks and we will see how many baits this baby can produce an hour.

Nathan

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Sweet,

Nathan, I'm workin on something similar :D

Maybe we can compare ideas & see what we each turn out.

I'm sure your farther along than I & you will probably produce alot more quantity, but I'll share what Ive come up with so far:

I got ahold of a few used "HVLP" spray gun paint containers, there used in the auto industry to hold paint under the spray gun for painting cars. its almost exactly like a typical airbrush paint jar, where the gun siphons paint from the jar.

Well I'm gonna reverse it & use the carberator hole to attach an air line with 30psi. or less.....this should "push" the plastic up the siphon tube into the mold.

PRO's:

[1]The container is aluminum & all the fittings are all metal,

[2]The lid comes compression fitted & uses a teflon seal,

[3]Holds 4 cups of liquid,

[4]Travel in the tube is minimal to prevent cooling of plastic.

CON's

[1]Since it pushes plastic UP the tube, my molds need modified to have a valve to prevent runout, not really a problem though because I mainly use RTV & is flexible enough to mold a valve right in it.

[2]Not sure how I'm gonna heat it, I have some nichrome wire, but kinda ac/dc illeterate :| could always throw it on the hotplate i guess

[3] will still have to open it to stir & add plastic.

[4] All metal, so I cant see inside it :(

NOTE I havent attempted this yet, just started gathering materials, I'm sure I'll find many more flaws, but hey I love doin this kinda stuff.

Hell if it dont work, I can always throw a vacuum pump on it instead & use it to de-air my mold mixes B)

Great idea Nathan, this is, in essence, injection molding.

OhioMike send us a tutorial for his vacuum box, which is the same concept using a vacuum instead of positive pressure.

I think this topic is gonna get big, keep it coming Nate & thanks for sharing.

My Pic below:

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Actually red we are going two different ways with this you are going with injecting and I'm going with pouring and a faster curing time. I'm using Pnuematics to actuate the pouring pots and the molds are on a turntable timed with the pnuematic actuators for each type of mold the turntable runs x so many degrees to the first mold stops then the actuating arm is energized allowing the plastic to pour into the mold for x seconds then de-energizes closing the pot and rotating the turntable another x degree's to the next mold. The molds after being filled are turned into a chamber that is going to chill the plastic in a hurry I'm either looking at c02 injection which should be really fast not sure if it's gonna hurt the aluminum or not and it's gonna be expensive. Or a refrigerated tunnel dropping it to say around 30-40 degrees shouldn't be too expensive since I am an HVAC techinician lol. What do you need help with on the heater wires? I work on food equipment for a living and I'm sure I can come up with something.

Nathan

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Oh, I see......Thats quite an undertaking, but given your background in HVAC, I dont doubt your ability to pull it off. I'm not much help for timing processes using air pressure, but a piece of plywood on a lazy susan bearing might be the ticket for rotating the molds out to cool. I dont know how you'd drive that using air though.

Watch for condensation buildup on the molds from rapid cooling, depending on where your pouring, it might not be a problem.

Pretty cool, keep us updated, if you can.

What do you need help with on the heater wires?.

Well I have the nicrome wire & thought about adding a thermostat to heat the pot/can like a normal pouring pot' date=' but not sure how to insulate it. I know theres ceramic, but I'm looking for something else "non-conductive" that can take 400 deg. heat to wrap the pot with before I wrap it with the nichrome wire. how bout Fiberglass matting like used to repair boats? has anyone opened thier pot to see whats used inside for insulation?

Hey Red, this link might give you some more ideas

http://www.opalcamp.com/homemade_wax_injector_by_alan_le.htm

I also saw this $35 wax pump

http://www.tsijeweltools.com/casting/htmls/machines.html

Thanks Glaucus, I've seen that first link, Thats alot of solder on that contraption isnt it :lol: The other link has some great tools, I think I'll contact em to see what the max temp is. Thanks alot.

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For insulation you can use fiberglass you would just want to wrap it with something else over top of it. Not sure if the boat stuff will work but the yellow stuff like on water heaters will work I'm sure. T-stats you can pick up anywhere i know a few distributors we get our parts from for ovens and stuff so let me know if you need to find a thermostat.

I'm going to use an electric motor to run the turntable Red but after thinking about it more I might go with a conveyor belt.

Nathan

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Thanks for the info.

I can help you with a motorized conveyor, lemme do some diggin through my favorites & I'll get ya some links :wink:

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Thanks red I've been looking but they are really expensive, I need a dc powered belt cojnveyor might have to build one from scratch. I need the DC power to be able to regulate the speed of the conveyor to get the pouring right on the molds. Have you ever looked at the roboworm website? www.roboworm.com they have a picture of the machine they use under about us I believe go to the about us page and it's on a link there think it say innovation or something. It's basically a turntable you will see what I mean if you see the picture. Let me know what you find on the conveyors.

Nathan

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I found some injecting machines at Zorn molds website and they also have an open pour design like I'm designing. You might want to look at the pictures on the site but none of them get really close to the machine which tells me that they can't be that complicated to build, cause they don't want us to see the machine too close.

Nathan

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Well the more I look into it guys the way to go would be the injection machine cause it can do a whole lot more than just worms. With the right molds you can do just about any type of plastic fishing lure imaginable. Even crankbaits... What a man could do with a small size affordable injection machine is a dream come true. Any of you guys reading this have some knowledge on how these babies work reply or email me. I have some basic knowledge of how it works but I've never seen one in person so any help would be great and could speed this process up greatly.

Nathan

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Ah..... Luke, Ive lured you to the darkside.... :D

We used to have a member here by the name of XLR8N, we used to talk about injecting hard plastic & he gave me this link:

http://www.nhsouth.com/crafts/workbench/injector.htm

its a homemade, hand operated injector.

but for soft plastic,

I was fenagling with air pressure for injection rather than a cylinder or other "physical contact" cause I figured it would be easier to keep clean & maintain, but the site has some good descriptions.

I have a question, in the link above, the author spoke about wrapping nichrome wire around a brass or copper tube that held the plastic, then adding current to the nichrome wire. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wont that make the heating tube "live" or would the current stay within the wire? :huh:

If I could directly add the nichrome wire around my metal heating pot it would make much progress in my project.

Hey, Help! Is there an Electrician in the house!! :P

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Ok red what does the wire physically look like? Is it copper inside and has an insulation like fiberglass on the outside? If so no it won't be live there is a company called Alto Shaam that uses this type of wire on there ovens I work on and it basically wraps around the oven in a maze. Never over lap the stuff though and never let it touch. It gets red hot and will burn itself up and go caboom. If your wire looks like this or if you're not sure post a picture and I can tell you if it is the same stuff sounds like it though. What we use to strap the stuff down is the metal tape you can buy at any HVAC supply house for ducting it's aluminum and we use a fiberglass cloth like used in supporting liquid fiberglass. Once you have it all together hook one line black wire to one end of the nichrome and the other end you can break using a thermostat power into tstat and the other wire out to the element when the tstat opens the circuit is opened. If the wire you have isn't what I'm talking about I can scrounge up some for you I think.

Nathan

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the nichrome I have looks just like spinnerbait wire.

it came in an uninsulated coil like what you get bulk spinnerbait wire in.

I think its a .36 guage

its nearly identical to the wire found in your toaster, but it is round in profile instead of flat. I looked in my toaster & saw the wire wrapped around what looked like a "circuit board" type of material.

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You would have to have some sort of insulation in between the wire and the pipe. On the wire I was talking about it would work but what you are talking about I wouldn't try it it would get really hot really fast and I just wouldn't trust it. I'm going to build my machine to hold either 1/2 gallon or 1 gallon of plastic. Going to get a tank and use an element sort of like on the Lee pots, gonna use an external valve so I can add a motor driven agitator to the tank to keep it stirred up and speed up that part of manufacturing. If you are looking for elements or off the wall parts you can use for machines check here www.surpluscenter.com I found my pneumatic cylinders here and pretty cheap.

Nathan

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what you mentioned woul be what I'm ultimately lookin to do later,

hold more plastic, & add an agitator etc.

thanks for the info on the wire, I think I'm gonna try woven fiberglass cloth for insulating.

can you get inside a lee pot? the element they use, is it similar to an oven element? ya know, thick? like 1/4" dia.?

I use a lead ladle/pot from Hilts called "Hot 1" & it uses a thick element directly exposed to the lead.

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Well I haven't taken one of mine apart but you can see the element on the outer edge of the pot cause it's exposed. It's thick like 1/4" and is round like a stove eye sort of. It's just a halo element 120 volt 500 watt so the data plate says 500 watt haven't took the element out so I'm assuming thats what it is. You probably want to use a small element in the 500 watt range so it doesn't get too hot to fast anything larger may cause hot spots and scortch plastic really bad. I've got alot of parts together and ready for some assembly think I will just build one now to pour into the del-mart senko style mold using just a gravity feed system like a lee pot until I can get some more information and idea's on the actual injectors I need to find a cylinder and figure out how much plastic should be in this thing when it compresses and how the vent the molds cause with that much force behind it the molds have to vent or the air will get trapped in the mold. Some of the machines I've looked at shoot the stuff in at over 30,000 psi thats a whole lot of pressure and I don't think I'm gonna go that big.

Nathan

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Well the parts are rolling in for the new machine, just placed the order today for the pot that will heat the plastic. 4 Gallon capacity melter from a company called wennesco digital temperature read out, thermostatically controlled tanks, 500 watt, with a 1/2" pouring spout man this thing should flow some plastic. Oh by the way the cost on this tank was 300 bucks cheapest I found, had to get it custom made though it's a wax tank they are converting to plastisol for me. Might be a little more expensive than that but we will see when they get it done.

Nathan

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*Update*

The Semi-Auto Fireball Pouring System is near it's finishing stages. The system is near complete and should be complete and ready for some serious testing in the next few weeks. The system will be a faster way to hand pour worms and I will have plans available once the machine has been tested. I also will be adding new features to this machine to make it even faster and eventually it will become an auto machine. I will keep you guys updated and I will get some pictures as soon as it's finished.

Nathan

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Nathan, hows the hot pot from Wenesco working out for you. I just ordered a 5 gallon model from Ritehete and it will be very similar to yours, except it will have a 1/4 " value. Also what did it end up costing you, mine is going to run 500. as I had some mods done to it.

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The pot is working great I didn't use that pot on this particular machine this one uses 4 Lee 420 production pots that is the bigger version of the pouring pot. The one from Wennesco ended up costing me $380 and it has a manual valve 1/2" but using it I ended up dropping it down to 1/4" by using adapters. I like it alot and use it for big runs of solid color pours. The machine is pretty simplistic and is basically a hand pouring helper if you will. I'm going to try to finish this baby up this weekend and get this show on the road.

Nathan

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I apologize for reviving an old thread, but i stumbled across this site and I too am building a pouring machine. Has anyone made any progress with the machines mentioned in this thread?

I've got two machines planned, a CNC (or PLC) driven machine to pour open molds and a PLC driven pneumatic injection machine for 2piece molds. So far I've collected some of the parts as I find them on eBay but am not convinced what way to go. I have put the injection machine on high priority over the pouring as it will be a less complicated machine.

Currently my main roadblock is figuring out how to transfer the plastic into the ram chamber. I have toyed with a few ideas, but haven't tried anything yet. Cost is a main factor in building this machine so I'm looking for solutions that are "eBay" friendly. My first idea was to use a peristaltic pump to pump the plastic. These can be found pretty cheap on eBay ($40 or so). The problem is most of them are stepper motor driven and the controllers for those are not cheap. I also don't know how they will withstand the heat.

I then thought of using an "auger" to push the plastic out of the chamber and into the injection ram (like big commercial injection machines). This may be a solution as I could probably put this together with a few pipe fittings and a drill bit. Then timing is an issue that can be overcome.

Another thought was to have a constant pressure type system mentioned earlier in this thread. This is how machines like the Nordson hot melt systems work. I really liked the idea redg8r has with the paint containers. Did you ever get this working? Any pics?

Last but not least would be vacuum. I could have a electric control valve that connected to the ram chamber that would open as the ram withdrew causing the plastic to siphon into the chamber. The valve would then close and the nozzle valve would open as the ram was charged and the piston pushes the plastic out. This may be difficult as the valves would get gunked up with plastic and could fail.

Ok, with all that said what do you guys recommend? Have you completed your machines? Pics? Once I complete this machine I will be working on the pouring machine that will pour up to 3 colors in each cavity to create bloodlines, spots, patterns, etc...

Thanks in advance!

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