Monday, January 4, 2010

Hit the Books

Sorry I haven't posted anything in awhile. Notably, there has been some progress with the casting stuff, but I have yet to cast anything since that time. Early last month, I took some time to cook up some aluminum and pour a few molds. Phil came over to watch the process and help out a bit. The results were pretty discouraging, even though I had done things as best as I knew how. The pictures show some copied wax positives and the resultant castings, as well as an original mold and its almost "ok" result. Watching clips on youtube, it seems every yokel with a sandbox and a blowtorch can cast aluminum accurately. So that made me really question what was going on.

Thusly, I took a trip to the Seattle Central Library to spend some quality time getting to better know what the ding-dang is going on with my aluminum. This is the part of the movie where there is a montage of me pouring over books, writing equations on a chalk-board, maybe pouring fluid in a beaker and taking notes? It concludes with the camera fading away as I am asleep on top a pile of papers at a table. Yep. Most of the information was the typical facts and figures and numbers that I already know, but one book actually had a troubleshooting section. That proved really helpful as it identified my problems exactly and also offered new information I had not yet encountered. So hopefully, the quality of my results will improve hereafter.

We're going to get off topic a minute here -

I also took a trip back to
Ohio for Christmas. After some flights getting bounced around, Thanks to my cheapo standby status, I finally wound up in Huron. We hung out with Liz's nice family for a bit, then down to Columbus to hang out with my folks for a few days. I got to run into a few old friends and even go to see my elusive sister for thirty seconds.
In other news, I've been trolling around the Moped Army forums looking for cylinder bodies that I can use to copy in preparation for a mass-produced cylinder project. With the cylinder port-arrangement insert that I have, case-inducted cylinders are the natural candidates (Batavus, Vespa, Peugeot, Derbi). Thus far, I have no specimens suitable for replication other than the flat reed and pyramid reed Derbi jugs that I got from Vic of the Puddle Cutters. My original intent was to avoid the marques of machine that already have a good selection of performance parts available. Seeing the cylinders first-hand, its now easy to see the tremendous potential a derbi motor can have, and how much more work would be required to match it with another brand of machine. As an example, the spigot diameter is quite large (54mm) which means a determined tuner could build a 90cc Derbi without having to touch the cases, aisde from porting. The cylinder studs are spaced so that with some machining to the case mouth, a 100cc motor is plausible. If last year's Polini Cup is any indication, I'd say it's only a matter of time before these things are reality. (maybe already are?) I'm not a Derbi guy, so i don't really know.

Look for updates in the near future regarding casting progress and a well-equipped metal shop I
might get to play around in. Weee!

1 comment:

deanhatesyou said...

oh man, i hope people know there's an 80cc limit (+/- something like 12% or something?) before they go building 100cc derbs to race on! at least in the moped class. twist and go your golden, though!