#linuxcnc Logs

Mar 26 2022

#linuxcnc Calendar

02:27 AM MrSunshine_ is now known as MrSunshine
02:42 AM CaptHindsight[m]: mrec_: which lathe is this?
02:52 AM mrec_: https://www.weissmachinery.com/brushless-lathe-series/57292655.html
02:54 AM mrec_: I replaced the Z leadscrew with a ballscrew X is still a leadscrew but it also has to go away sooner or later
03:00 AM Deejay: moin
04:17 AM silopolis[m]: <CloudEvil> "mrec_: if you find problems with..." <- Yes please do! Work on docs is happening now 🙂... (full message at https://libera.ems.host/_matrix/media/r0/download/libera.chat/07e25e4da4fa8d1d9efbbdfe0cbf06c6a0045a82)
04:47 AM Tom_L: morning
05:17 AM -!- #linuxcnc mode set to +v by ChanServ
05:17 AM -!- #linuxcnc mode set to +v by ChanServ
05:17 AM JT-Cave: morning
05:28 AM silopolis[m]: ✌️
06:17 AM JT-Cave: sneak peek at the new configuration tool https://imagebin.ca/v/6bZ0yagJAjv3
08:21 AM Tom_L: nice one JT
08:26 AM JT-Shop: thanks, now to make it work lol
08:45 AM Tom_L: that's the easy part :)
08:59 AM robinsz: so, question ... my XHC wireless pendant .. the reset/stop/start buttons work .. the jog works ... but the =0, =1/2, go to 0 etc ... none of them work.
09:00 AM robinsz: is this stuff not part of the standard configuration? Is there a guide?
09:02 AM robinsz: I can see some forum stuff from 2017, but that s liek 5 years ago ...
09:04 AM Tom_L: for manual jog speed?
09:04 AM Tom_L: you may need to set those up in your hal file
09:06 AM robinsz: no, for things lie setting sero on an axis
09:07 AM Tom_L: http://tom-itx.no-ip.biz:81/~webpage/cnc/rpi4_lcnc_2.8.1.png
09:07 AM robinsz: the jog wheel works fine
09:07 AM Tom_L: mine call mdi commands in the ini file
09:07 AM robinsz: umm ...
09:07 AM robinsz: thats noce
09:07 AM robinsz: whats an MDI command?
09:07 AM Tom_L: [HALUI]
09:07 AM Tom_L: MDI_COMMAND = O<work_zero> call
09:07 AM Tom_L: MDI_COMMAND = G10 L20 P1 X0
09:07 AM Tom_L: MDI_COMMAND = G10 L20 P1 Y0
09:07 AM Tom_L: MDI_COMMAND = G10 L20 P1 Z0
09:07 AM Tom_L: MDI_COMMAND = O<work_zero_xy> call
09:07 AM Tom_L: so the first one would be 0 iirc
09:08 AM robinsz: oh, we must be talking about different things
09:08 AM robinsz: this is the pendant, no the GUI
09:08 AM Tom_L: i know
09:08 AM Tom_L: you should be able to set that up though
09:08 AM Tom_L: even though i didn't do it on my pendant
09:08 AM robinsz: I have the pendant working,
09:08 AM robinsz: I patched the accels bug a while back
09:09 AM Tom_L: [buttonpush] -> call mdi 5
09:09 AM Tom_L: pseudo code
09:09 AM robinsz: so I can assign GCODE to the buttons is what you are saying?
09:09 AM Tom_L: search for something about that
09:10 AM Tom_L: https://forum.linuxcnc.org/38-general-linuxcnc-questions/35821-using-pendant-to-enter-f1-and-f2
09:10 AM Tom_L: http://wiki.linuxcnc.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?Adding_Custom_MDI_Buttons
09:10 AM Tom_L: possibly more the 2nd link
09:11 AM robinsz: http://wiki.linuxcnc.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?Adding_Custom_MDI_Buttons
09:11 AM Tom_L: same one
09:11 AM Tom_L: you would need to adapt that from the pyvcp pannel to your pendant
09:12 AM robinsz: oh, hmm
09:12 AM Tom_L: i just haven't happened to have done that yet
09:12 AM Tom_L: we will call it homework :)
09:12 AM robinsz: I'm not sure I even understand
09:13 AM Tom_L: but i see no reason it couldn't be done
09:13 AM Tom_L: it involves 3 files iirc
09:13 AM robinsz: these buttons works as standard in Mach3
09:13 AM Tom_L: the xml to display it
09:13 AM Tom_L: the <button> thing to connect it
09:13 AM Tom_L: and the hal line to execute it
09:14 AM robinsz: hmm, its beginning to sound WAY too hard tbh,
09:14 AM Tom_L: no it's really not once you grasp it
09:14 AM Tom_L: i have a pause / resume button on the pendant
09:14 AM robinsz: so do I
09:14 AM Tom_L: any other function should be possible
09:14 AM robinsz: and it works
09:15 AM Tom_L: you will have to go about it a little different
09:15 AM Tom_L: net remote-rapid-to-home halui.mdi-command-00 <= pyvcp.rapid-to-home
09:15 AM Tom_L: net remote-rapid-to-home halui.mdi-command-00 <= my.pendant.button
09:16 AM Tom_L: just a stab at it but that should work
09:16 AM robinsz: do I enter those in the MDI?
09:17 AM Tom_L: no those go in your various config files
09:17 AM Tom_L: the actual mdi command goes in the ini file
09:17 AM Tom_L: the connecting command i just made up goes in your hal file
09:17 AM robinsz: let me try adding thos to the ini, one moment
09:17 AM Tom_L: remember mdi commands start with 0
09:18 AM robinsz: before the "net"?
09:18 AM Tom_L: in the section i posted
09:18 AM robinsz: so "0 net remote-rapid-to-home halui.mdi-command-00 <= pyvcp.rapid-to-home" like that?
09:18 AM Tom_L: [HALUI]
09:19 AM Tom_L: [HALUI]
09:19 AM Tom_L: <Tom_L> MDI_COMMAND = O<work_zero> call
09:19 AM Tom_L: something like that would go in the ini file
09:19 AM Tom_L: work_zero is a gcode subroutine
09:19 AM Tom_L: also found in your config directory
09:20 AM Tom_L: o<work_zero> sub
09:20 AM Tom_L: G90
09:20 AM Tom_L: G0 Z0
09:20 AM Tom_L: G0 X0 Y0
09:20 AM Tom_L: o<work_zero> endsub
09:20 AM Tom_L: m2
09:20 AM robinsz: that would move the Z axis
09:20 AM Tom_L: well change it to whaever you want it to do
09:20 AM Tom_L: i'm just posting what i did
09:21 AM robinsz: OK
09:22 AM Tom_L: some mdi commands can be a one liner in the actual ini file
09:22 AM Tom_L: or if they're longer, pass them to a subroutine
09:22 AM robinsz: touching off Z is probably the main one
09:22 AM Tom_L: both methods are shown ^^
09:23 AM Tom_L: MDI_COMMAND = G10 L20 P1 Z0
09:23 AM Tom_L: sets your fixture offset Z
09:24 AM robinsz: so how do I link that to a button though?
09:24 AM Tom_L: net remote-rapid-to-home halui.mdi-command-00 <= my.pendant.button
09:25 AM robinsz: ok
09:25 AM Tom_L: change the wording to make sense
09:25 AM robinsz: oh wait, I can't just past that?
09:26 AM robinsz: *paste
09:26 AM Tom_L: you need to know how hal sees your pendant button
09:26 AM Tom_L: pendant.00.button-5
09:26 AM Tom_L: etc
09:26 AM Tom_L: example...
09:26 AM robinsz: I dont even really know what hal is tbh, I know its the internal "wiring", but I have no clue as to the schematic
09:26 AM Tom_L: we will also call that homework
09:27 AM Tom_L: hardware abstract layer
09:27 AM robinsz: yeah, I remember it came when we added classic_ladder and friends way back
09:27 AM robinsz: and I get the general concept, its a netlist, like in a circuit effectively
09:28 AM robinsz: but I don't think I have seen the schematic
09:29 AM robinsz: so its a bit hard to know how it is all hooked up
09:31 AM robinsz: its just whatver pncconf spits out as standard
09:31 AM Tom_L: first find what your pendant pin is called
09:31 AM Tom_L: hal showpin or such
09:32 AM Tom_L: i'm pulling some of this from memory so it may not be the most accurate
09:32 AM robinsz: let me try
09:32 AM Tom_L: working on another project atm too
09:33 AM robinsz: hmm, thats just an error in the MDI
09:33 AM robinsz: even after homing
09:35 AM robinsz: I'm guess that is not an MDI command then
09:35 AM Tom_L: http://linuxcnc.org/docs/stable/html/hal/tools.html
09:35 AM Tom_L: command line
09:36 AM Tom_L: from a shell while linuxcnc is running
09:36 AM Tom_L: halshow
09:37 AM robinsz: ah, I think I found it from another route
09:38 AM Tom_L: you can get the same information from the axis menu
09:39 AM robinsz: xhc-hb04.button-got0-zero-z for example
09:39 AM Tom_L: yes
09:39 AM robinsz: so it looks like the pendant "knows" about all these buttons
09:39 AM Tom_L: of course it does :)
09:39 AM robinsz: I assume the x/y/z/a stuff depends on the rotary switch positions
09:39 AM robinsz: but they are not "wired" to anything
09:40 AM Tom_L: right
09:40 AM robinsz: so its all there, but PNC conf doesnt hook it up
09:40 AM Tom_L: net remote-rapid-to-home halui.mdi-command-00 <= xhc-hb04.button-got0-zero-z
09:41 AM Tom_L: oh hell no
09:41 AM Tom_L: pncconf isn't that smart
09:41 AM Tom_L: now we're down to manual labor
09:41 AM robinsz: so that line goes in a hal file someplace
09:41 AM Tom_L: and once you start that, don't run pncconf again or it will erase all your hard work
09:41 AM Tom_L: yes
09:42 AM Tom_L: see i told you it wasn't that hard
09:43 AM robinsz: and repeat that for x,y and z
09:43 AM Tom_L: however you choose to make it work yes
09:44 AM robinsz: yes, I'd already made some other chnages, pncconf can;t be run again.
09:44 AM robinsz: its useful, but retarded
09:44 AM Tom_L: it gets a noob started
09:44 AM Tom_L: i've never used it
09:45 AM robinsz: you'd think the "custom.hal" file would be the place to put this and it would preserve custom.hal if you ran pncconf
09:45 AM Tom_L: put it there then
09:45 AM Tom_L: make a call to it from the ini
09:45 AM Tom_L: HALFILE = new_mill.hal
09:45 AM Tom_L: # Added for pendant support
09:45 AM Tom_L: HALFILE = my_jog.hal
09:55 AM robinsz: says the pin doesn't exist, but I checked the spelling
09:59 AM robinsz: ah, ok, let me move that cusom hal to the last thing it does
10:00 AM Tom_L: it won't matter now though since you said you've already modified the config beyond pnpconfig
10:01 AM * Tom_L exits the building
10:21 AM robinsz: ah very good ... setting zero and go to zero all working :0
10:21 AM robinsz: thnaks!
10:21 AM robinsz: now the =1/2 thing ... that would be awesome
10:22 AM robinsz: I did all the config of this from the ini file, through the [XHC-HBO4_BUTTONS] section, worked fine once I understood it!
10:34 AM Tom_L: robinsz, glad you got it working
10:35 AM Tom_L: not sure what the 1/2 thing is supposed to do
10:35 AM robinsz: yes thanks for help
10:36 AM robinsz: well, =1/2 on a DRO is used like this
10:36 AM robinsz: set edge finder on left side of job, press X0
10:36 AM robinsz: set edge finder on right side of job
10:36 AM robinsz: press "X 1/2"
10:37 AM robinsz: 0 is now job centre
10:37 AM Tom_L: so all that's left to do is write that code
10:37 AM Tom_L: then make a call to it
10:38 AM robinsz: so im guessing ... G10 L20 P1 X[#<_x>/2.0] is going to do it
10:39 AM Tom_L: worth a try
10:39 AM Tom_L: (carefully)
10:43 AM robinsz: oh and last thing ... I have no limit switches and do manual homing
10:43 AM robinsz: the hal thing to set all the axes as homed?
10:44 AM robinsz: I tried home = halui.home-all and that didn't do it.
10:46 AM Tom_L: http://linuxcnc.org/docs/stable/html/config/ini-config.html#_joint__lt_num_gt_section
10:46 AM Tom_L: possibly HOME_something or another
10:48 AM Tom_L: http://linuxcnc.org/docs/stable/html/config/ini-homing.html#cha:homing-configuration
10:51 AM robinsz: yeah, I did halreport | grep home ... it wasn;t really a help
10:52 AM robinsz: its pretty much the only thing I'll need the GUI for I think
10:53 AM robinsz: if I can remove that, I should be able to get the machine up, homed, set zeros and start a program, without needing the GUI, which will save having to fir up the computer and VNC
10:54 AM robinsz: just being able to do the go to zero and set zero is already a huge step forward
10:54 AM robinsz: saves running backwards and forwards an awful lot.
11:06 AM Tom_L: i did that for my A axis since it has no switches
11:08 AM robinsz: then the "home" button
11:08 AM robinsz: the homed indicator appears by that axis and the world cordinates become zero
11:08 AM Tom_L: i haven't been down that road since i have limits
11:08 AM robinsz: OK
11:09 AM robinsz: there must be a hal pin I guess, as thats what the axis GUI must be triggering
11:09 AM Tom_L: look at G10 L20 maybe
11:09 AM robinsz: that can only be issued after an axis is homed
11:09 AM Tom_L: nevermind then
11:10 AM robinsz: I have that in my MDI command for setting work offset
11:10 AM robinsz: if I press it before homed, it complains
11:10 AM robinsz: no big deal, I can fire up the VNC connection and do it if I have to
11:11 AM Tom_L: http://linuxcnc.org/docs/html/user/user-concepts.html
11:12 AM Tom_L: NO_FORCE_HOMING = 1
11:13 AM Tom_L: http://linuxcnc.org/docs/html/user/user-concepts.html#_homing
11:16 AM robinsz: oh, no I want homing to be set
11:16 AM robinsz: I have soft limits that stop me winding off the end of the ballscrews
11:17 AM Tom_L: i can't think of a way to do that
11:17 AM Tom_L: there must be one though
11:18 AM robinsz: well, it works from the GUI
11:18 AM robinsz: how woudl I go about digging out what that button on the GUI i slinked to in HAL?
11:19 AM robinsz: I should be able to just bind the same command to the XHC button
11:19 AM Tom_L: source
11:20 AM robinsz: I think I achieved enough today, time for a rest
11:20 AM Tom_L: heh
11:20 AM robinsz: big improvement already
11:20 AM robinsz: saved a lot of walking
11:21 AM robinsz: its a good 50 yards between the mill and the laptop wit the VNC
11:22 AM Tom_L: you want to be far away if it crashes?
11:22 AM robinsz: theres the estop button
11:22 AM Tom_L: that's usually an 'oh shit i missed it' button
11:23 AM robinsz: I only use the GUI to click those home buttons and load the program
11:23 AM robinsz: I turn it off after that and work from the controller
11:24 AM robinsz: ive got machien and world coordinates on the controller LCD, can jog and set work offsets etc
11:24 AM robinsz: start/pause/stop the program
11:24 AM robinsz: all I need relaly
11:24 AM Tom_L: set tool offsets
11:25 AM robinsz: I dont have a tool chnager
11:25 AM Tom_L: i preset mine and use manual toolchange
11:25 AM robinsz: now I can set z=0 from the pendant its great
11:25 AM robinsz: I have collets ...
11:25 AM Tom_L: so you should set up touchoff
11:25 AM robinsz: no preset tool heights
11:26 AM Tom_L: instead of a button use a touch pad
11:26 AM robinsz: mmm ...
11:26 AM robinsz: I have a lockable quill
11:26 AM robinsz: so I bring it "close" on Z
11:26 AM robinsz: set z=0
11:27 AM robinsz: drop the quill until it touches the work, lock it off
11:27 AM robinsz: so quick and simple
11:27 AM CloudEvil: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-71824-y Does this count as LASER machining?
11:27 AM CloudEvil: Optical tracking and laser-induced mortality of insects during flight
11:31 AM robinsz: there was a guy on youtube doing that
11:31 AM robinsz: tracking flies with a camera on his garage door and lasing them
11:31 AM robinsz: about a decade ago
11:31 AM CloudEvil: In flight?
11:31 AM robinsz: in motion
11:32 AM robinsz: not sure if they were flying or walking is it got them
11:32 AM robinsz: but as soon as it spotted them, it tracked and splatted them
11:32 AM Tom_L: mount that to a drone
11:42 AM robinsz: that x and y =1/2 works perfectly
11:42 AM robinsz: and it doesnt care if its poisitve or negative
11:42 AM robinsz: fantastic
11:43 AM robinsz: amazingly useful for setting work zero to the centre of a machined hole with an edge finder
11:44 AM Tom_L: got it working ehh?
11:44 AM robinsz: yep
11:44 AM Tom_L: nap time
11:44 AM robinsz: well, I have a whole bunch of relays to make
11:48 AM robinsz: https://imgur.com/a/pmHHUsg
11:48 AM robinsz: 4 port transfer relays for the 24GHz band
11:49 AM Tom_L: fun
11:49 AM robinsz: the bodies are finished
11:49 AM robinsz: just have to do the rotors now
01:40 PM CaptHindsight[m]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bqa2grG0XtA
01:42 PM XXCoder: nice!
01:43 PM XXCoder: way not enough demo though lol
01:43 PM XXCoder: https://youtu.be/YDVgXjT4GFo more of it
01:46 PM CaptHindsight[m]: it was on hack-a-day
01:46 PM CaptHindsight[m]: https://hackaday.com/2022/02/16/vr-display-shows-cnc-lathe-operations-in-real-time/
01:49 PM CloudEvil: I thought that was going to be https://store.steampowered.com/app/1787960/Milling_machine_3D/
02:13 PM CaptHindsight[m]: I can see that CNC simulator turned into a game
02:13 PM CaptHindsight[m]: or safety training with gore scenes
02:14 PM CaptHindsight[m]: fingers or hair meets lathe
04:13 PM unterhaus_: CaptHindsight[m] is there a reason that I shouldn't use 3/8" aluminum for a 3d printer build plate?
04:14 PM t4nk_freenode: haven't seen mr_unreal_ in a while
05:05 PM roycroft: unterhaus_: 3/8" is a lot of mass
05:06 PM roycroft: while it would retain heat well, it would take a long time to heat up that build plate
05:06 PM roycroft: that's not necessarily a reason not to use it, but it's a consideration
05:56 PM * JT-Shop is guessing that silopolis[m] didn't see my screenshot this morning
05:59 PM silopolis[m]: JT-Shop: indeed
05:59 PM JT-Shop: <JT-Cave> sneak peek at the new configuration tool https://imagebin.ca/v/6bZ0yagJAjv3
06:01 PM silopolis[m]: Oh my 😍
06:02 PM silopolis[m]: You merged all tools?!
06:02 PM JT-Shop: well starting from scratch sorta and taking all I learned from the other tools and building one for all Mesa cards
06:03 PM silopolis[m]: That is freaking cool!
06:03 PM JT-Shop: thanks
06:04 PM silopolis[m]: Thank *you*
06:04 PM JT-Shop: working on the Machine tab at the moment and some of that works as well as you can flash any card now
06:04 PM unterhaus_: roycroft, that's a worthwhile consideration.
06:04 PM JT-Shop: I have to trim down the firmware files for now because when you select the firmware it does any possible daughter cards for each header
06:05 PM JT-Shop: does> loads into the comboboxes
06:06 PM JT-Shop: on the Info tab it shows the main board and any notes about the board selected... you can play with it if you like
06:07 PM JT-Shop: https://github.com/jethornton/mesact
06:12 PM silopolis[m]: <JT-Shop> "I have to trim down the firmware..." <- Is that very heavy/slow?
06:12 PM JT-Shop: no, I have to make a dictionary for each firmware so it takes a lot of time
06:12 PM silopolis[m]: <JT-Shop> "on the Info tab it shows the..." <- Can I launch it from source dir?
06:13 PM JT-Shop: so I'm picking the common ones to start so I can get it up and goin
06:13 PM JT-Shop: yes
06:16 PM silopolis[m]: Just have to run the mesact python prog?
06:16 PM JT-Shop: ./mesact from a terminal
06:16 PM JT-Shop: in the src directory
06:17 PM silopolis[m]: Now I NEEEED a card! 😅
06:17 PM JT-Shop: lol
06:31 PM robinsz: so, following my hand-controller success ...
06:32 PM robinsz: I noticed in the hal config, it mentions something about "inputs for closed loop stepper" ... is it possible to add encoders and "do soemthing" ?
06:33 PM robinsz: maybe not correct the problem, but at least detect a stalled motor and stop for example?
06:41 PM JT-Shop: others have done velocity on stepgens but IMHO it's a time sink
07:07 PM robinsz: I just noticed the wiring in the HAL file
07:08 PM robinsz: oh, wait, I might have misread that section ...
07:09 PM robinsz: ah yes, thats the loop between hostmot2 and the PID
07:09 PM robinsz: sorry, ignore me
07:09 PM robinsz: configuring that pendant though, that was a great step forward
07:18 PM robinsz: I'll probably do better just buying some of those "closed loop steppers" from leadshine or whoever.
07:48 PM roycroft: refractory cement/firebricks are weird things
07:48 PM roycroft: i've been doing a little repair work on my heat treating oven, in preparation to install a new heating element
07:48 PM roycroft: i spritzed down the firebrick about a half dozen times where i'm doing the repairs
07:48 PM roycroft: i thought i got it really wet
07:49 PM roycroft: and the refractory cement is thinned down to the consistency of a weak soup
07:49 PM roycroft: but i had to almost spoon it on the firebrick, and it dries almost instantly
07:49 PM roycroft: i can see the water get sucked out of it
07:49 PM enleth: bricks in general are like sponges when it comes to pulling water out of the mortar
07:49 PM roycroft: yes
07:50 PM roycroft: and i'm fairly used to that
07:50 PM roycroft: and i knew firebricks would be worse
07:50 PM roycroft: which is why i spent so much time watering things down first
07:50 PM roycroft: i sprayed the bricks down to the point that after the final spray, water was almost puddled on the bricks
07:51 PM roycroft: for like 7 seconds, i guess
07:51 PM roycroft: because by the time i started spooning on the refractory cement, the cement instantly started setting
07:53 PM roycroft: i think it's going to work
07:54 PM roycroft: but it's pretty weird how it behaves
07:55 PM enleth: I guess when you can't just dunk them in a bucket of water for a minute - because they're already a part of something you're patching up - you could perhaps prime them to be less absorbent
07:56 PM enleth: the fact they're firebricks makes this a bit tricky
07:56 PM enleth: but perhaps there's something based on sodium silicate that could do the job
07:56 PM enleth: or just sodium silicate itself?
07:57 PM enleth: oh yes, it seems this is exactly what people recomment, judging from the first half of the first page of google results
07:57 PM enleth: *recommend
07:57 PM enleth: so it could actually be the proper way to do it
07:59 PM enleth: it helps that some firebricks are apparently made using sodium silicate as a binder
08:06 PM roycroft: the refractory cement instructions said to thin the stuff, and to spritz the parts being mended several times before applying it
08:06 PM roycroft: so that's what i did
08:07 PM roycroft: i was initially intending to install the new heating element this weekend, but after applying so much water to the firebricks, i think it is probably best to let it sit for a few days before doing that
08:07 PM enleth: yep, good idea
08:07 PM roycroft: i would not want any little steam explosions when i fire it up because the bricks had not dried out suffficiently
08:08 PM enleth: or, if you have a way to do so, run the heating elements at a very low power for a day
08:08 PM roycroft: i don't have the pid controller for it yet
08:08 PM enleth: as in, just enough for the inside to stabilize at almost 100C
08:08 PM roycroft: i'm not sure the built-in rheostat would let me run it at a low enough temperature
08:09 PM Tom_L: got another heat source you can put inside that does?
08:09 PM roycroft: but yeah, ideally i'd heat it up to about 90 degrees and hold it at that temperature for a day or two
08:09 PM roycroft: yes, it's called "the sun" :)
08:09 PM roycroft: i'm not about to die or go bankrupt if this kiln does not get hot by tomorrow
08:10 PM roycroft: i've been meaning to do this refurbishment since last fall
08:10 PM roycroft: since it lives in the unheated fabrication shop, i decided to wait until the weather got warmer before doing the work
08:10 PM enleth: when I cured the smelting furnace we have here, I connected the 3 coils in series (normally intended to run at 3 phases, 400V phase-to-phase) and hooked them up to 230V
08:10 PM roycroft: waiting until friday next to install the new element is no big deal
08:11 PM enleth: it was just about right to keep it below boiling with the lid open
08:11 PM roycroft: this is a small kiln
08:11 PM roycroft: 200x200x200
08:11 PM roycroft: i have been using it for heat treating metals
08:11 PM roycroft: now i want to do some enamelling with it
08:12 PM roycroft: the old heating element was failing - i was only able to get it up to about 850 degrees
08:12 PM roycroft: it should go up to 1100
08:12 PM roycroft: i don't need it to get that hot to do enamelling, but i'd also like to be able to melt copper and silver in it
08:12 PM enleth: same here, takes a 2l or so crucible, mostly intended for aluminum casting but can do heat treatment - we just made the heating elements beefy to reduce waiting time
08:13 PM roycroft: and copper metls at 1084 degrees
08:13 PM roycroft: melts
08:13 PM roycroft: silver melts at 961
08:13 PM roycroft: i would be melting to recast - a way to reuse scraps
08:14 PM enleth: you might have a hard time casting anything useful without a temperature "buffer" above the melting point
08:14 PM roycroft: so i need to add another 50 degrees or so so that it doesn't solidify the instant i remove it from the kiln
08:14 PM XXCoder: need tp dump more heat into vat than it loses
08:14 PM roycroft: so i really need 1150 degrees
08:14 PM roycroft: hopefully the new heating element will get me there
08:14 PM enleth: aluminum melts at 660C, but we cast it at 750
08:14 PM roycroft: i'll likely be smelting 50g at a time
08:15 PM roycroft: which is both good and bad
08:15 PM roycroft: it's easy to handle
08:15 PM roycroft: but it will also cool faster
08:15 PM roycroft: so maybe i need 1200 degrees for casting copper?
08:16 PM enleth: my best guesstimate would be about there
08:16 PM roycroft: then that's what i'll test for
08:16 PM roycroft: and if i'm honest, while copper is getting expensive, it's the silver that i'm more interested in
08:16 PM roycroft: that stuff is way too expensive to waste the scraps
08:17 PM roycroft: if i can only get 1050 degrees, then i can cast silver
08:17 PM enleth: the biggest pour we've done was 1.5l of aluminum at one time, so about 4kg, melting scrap and pouring muffin tray ingots for future use
08:17 PM roycroft: and that's fine
08:17 PM enleth: handling that much molten metal starts to be a bit funny from the safety point of view
08:18 PM roycroft: yes
08:18 PM roycroft: and i am confident that i can handle small amounts safely
08:18 PM roycroft: but larger amounts not so much with my current shop situation
08:19 PM enleth: that was about 6kg of stuff, crucible included, on the end of a long stick you need to handle it, just waiting for an opening to obliterate someone's feet
08:19 PM roycroft: much more than that and you need crucible tongs with 2 handles, so that a pair of people handle it
08:20 PM roycroft: usually when you are making larger pours, you have tongs to remove the crucible from the forge, which lift it straight up, then you set it down and use different tongs that are designed for pouring
08:21 PM roycroft: and you wear a *lot* of clothes
08:21 PM roycroft: very heavy clothes, that are all natural fabrics - no polyester
08:22 PM roycroft: and heavy boots and gloves and a face shield that goes way down
08:23 PM enleth: yep, we made the two types of tongs, they did their job pretty well for a tool made based on youtube videos by people who never did anything like this
08:23 PM roycroft: basically you say to yourself "some hot liquid that's 1000-1500 degrees *IS* going to splash on me - how do i keep myself from getting burned by it?"
08:23 PM roycroft: and expect to get minor burns occasionally anyway
08:24 PM enleth: our answer to that was a heavy leather split apron that goes all the way down and over the shoes, with straps to fasten it to the legs
08:24 PM enleth: got splashed, didn't care in the slightest
08:25 PM roycroft: that's a good solution
08:27 PM roycroft: a solution that a lot of folks don't seem to figure out is to make the handles on the pouring tongs really long
08:27 PM roycroft: so each person is standing like 2m away from the pour
08:27 PM enleth: oh, and an even thicker leather sole strapped to the underside of the shoes, in case there's a pool of molten crap on the ground and maintaining balance requires stepping on it for whatever reason
08:28 PM roycroft: yeah - rubber soles on boots are nice, until you're walking on molten metal
08:28 PM roycroft: leather is a lot better in that situation
08:28 PM enleth: yep, dead pig arse remains one of the best ways to shield oneself from molten metal
08:29 PM roycroft: i'm hoping that my pours will be very small and very uneventful
08:30 PM roycroft: and since my primary pours will be silver, uneventful is good for more reasons than safety
08:30 PM roycroft: i don't want to lose any of it
08:30 PM enleth: on the topic of eventful pours, if you ever decide to use plaster molds, be sure to dry them out *really* well and then some
08:30 PM enleth: guess how I know this is important
08:31 PM enleth: I mean, it did look spectacular, but a scale reenactment of a live volcano is not everyone's idea of fun
08:32 PM roycroft: my intent is to get some graphite ingot molds
08:32 PM roycroft: and to preheat them before the pours
08:32 PM enleth: amazingly, the casting itself actually turned out almost OK even though the mold partially exploded
08:33 PM roycroft: well the metal probably solidified before the explosion
08:34 PM enleth: pretty much, and what it did spit out in the little volcanic eruption was just the sprue
08:35 PM enleth: but when you do dry them out properly, plaster molds over lost PLA patterns are amazing
08:37 PM roycroft: the numbers tell me to take care of the molds
08:37 PM roycroft: a 1oz graphite ingot mold is about $25
08:37 PM roycroft: which is not terribly expensive, but silver is worth about $25/oz
08:38 PM roycroft: if i blow up my old on the first pour i'm losing at least the cost of the energy to melt the silver
08:38 PM roycroft: a graphite mold should be good for a few dozen pours if taken care of
08:38 PM roycroft: which means keeping it dry and clean, and preheating it before the pour
08:38 PM enleth: yeah, you probably won't be pouring silver into muffin trays
08:39 PM roycroft: no
08:39 PM roycroft: aluminium, perhaps
08:39 PM roycroft: lead, certainly, if that's something i wanted to do
08:39 PM enleth: they work well for aluminium
08:39 PM roycroft: i would not hesitate to use them for that
08:40 PM roycroft: although for what i'm doing, i actually need proper ingots
08:40 PM roycroft: my roller mill can only handle material about 6mm thick
08:40 PM enleth: amusingly, the most commonly used mold here turned out to be a baked beans can - just about the right diameter to height ratio for a very useful size of lathe blank that would be rather expensive to buy as a pre-cut rod
08:40 PM enleth: single-use, cheap, easy to get
08:42 PM enleth: buy baked beans, eat baked beans, wash the can, pour, get a nice solid cylinder ready to machine within the same day
08:43 PM roycroft: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPIP9KXdmO0
08:43 PM Tom_L: or a single person and a pivot on the other side
08:44 PM Tom_L: my bud uses muffin tins for ingots
08:47 PM enleth: what's more, it actually takes about as long for the furnace to heat up as it does to go buy a can at the nearest convenience store in the area and eat the contents, so two people can handle the process in parallel
08:48 PM roycroft: if you consume the beans prior to the melt, you can provide ancillary fuel to the forge
08:48 PM Tom_L: and enjoy each other's company after eating the beans
08:50 PM enleth: and it doesn't look like dunking the newly formed blank into water 15 minutes after pouring does it any harm, so all in all it takes maybe an hour and a half to turn scrap into a usable blank on a sunday afternoon when it turns out there's no material to make the part that's due tomorrow
08:52 PM enleth: roycroft: I'm very much not a fan of flammable gases of any kind, so it's all electric, no fart intake port included
08:52 PM roycroft: both copper and silver can be quenched immediately after heating and remain in an annealed state, unlike steels
08:55 PM roycroft: brass as well, iirc
08:55 PM roycroft: and i think that works for gold, but i've never done any work with gold
09:08 PM roycroft: yes, gold is heated to 676 and held there for 10 minutes, then water quenched, to anneal