Monday, December 12, 2011

GA State Iron Pour

This past Saturday, KSU packed up their furnace and brought it downtown to GSU for the Iron Pour.

It was pretty exciting. Both schools were pouring molds and the audience could buy a scratch block and watch it get poured.

This day was especially exciting for me, because when it was my turn to carry the ladle, I told my partner that I wanted to be the Driver.

So I was.

Basically I was in charge of tipping the bucket over and filling up the molds, as well as moving it around and not spilling it all over the place.

I did pretty well. When the iron was being poured into the ladle while we were holding it, I got slightly discouraged since it was heavy as crap, but we then poured half of it into the other group's ladle so they could work on molds too.

Me holding the live end of the ladle as it's being filled up:

Anyway we made our way over to the first mold after dancing around all the people who were in our way, and I poured it pretty smoothly. I stopped prematurely on the ones I managed to get to since I couldn't tell if they were full or not and had to wait for "Good!" when I was hoping for a "keep going..." kinda thing.

I'm leaning over behind the girl with the green patch on her jacket, but I'm doing the exact same thing as the girl in the very middle up at the top:

You have to hold the ladle in the position like the one in the picture above until you finish filling the mold. I only got to three molds since my arms could not handle it anymore and I passed it off to my backup. Which is why they're there. Which is good.

Basically that was all I did. I wished I had another job to do after, like shovel or backup for someone else, but there were so many people that only a few people got to do something twice.

The whole day was a bunch of fun. I was super nervous being live end, and I chose to do it, but I couldn't not do it. It worked out in the end though. I think. I don't know the results of my pouring abilities.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Finals Week

So yesterday was iron pour training. I got my mold all set up and then I was given the task of breaking more some iron.

So I got my sledge hammer thing--the kind that you just sort of drop / slam onto the ground instead of swinging it at things--and broke myself up some radiator pieces. And also worked my arms and obliques.

With a few other people we managed to get 3 piles, but they never ended up being used in the pour, so that's awesome.

Anyway, when it was time to pour, we all got suited up and assigned positions. The boys all got to go first, so they got all the molds except one, and so two other girls and I were left with the last mold.

I was given 'dead end,' which I wanted, and the other girls were given shovels.

If you watch the video I posted in my last blog [here] of the advanced students pouring, I had the job of to holding the bucket, but I'm on the side with the one handle. The 'live end' has two handles so she can angle it and pour the iron out.

Anyway, so they're pouring the iron into the bucket while we hold it, and it's very heavy as it's being filled with lava and blobs of it are splashing and bouncing off of our leathers, but we carry it over to the skimmer to scrape out all the crap that floats to the top.

Anyway as we're picking the bucket back up, we weren't entirely synced and I didn't expect it to be quite as heavy as it was so slipped slightly and one of the professors came in to help me carry it a ways.

But once we got to the mold it was easy. There was smoke everywhere, but I could just rest my elbow on my leg while the live end filled the mold. We then dumped out the excess, set it back on the stand and that was it!

The iron pour this Saturday is going to be a lot more intense because we will have many many molds and the furnace will be constantly getting hotter while we're carrying heavy things in our leathers, that it will basically just be work.

I also need to get my last mold put together before then. Don't know when that's going to happen...

In other metal news, my box showed up on the Metalsmithing poster! Yay me.

Other than that I'm pretty much just working on my wood sculpture.

I have since taken a die grinder to it, so it's slightly slimmer and smoother, but not by much. I have a whole lot left to do.

My metals project is also due next Monday, but it's still just a bowl at this point.

My legs are really sore right now :P