Centrifugal Casting Machines
I placed this review in the tools section as presently I don't own either of the machines presented. Eventually I will do a review on the actual machine I purchase, so this will provide some background to my decision. Either one of these machines is a good choice.
I have studied several types of small centrifugal casting machines for use in my workshop. I am not intending to get into production casting as a business. I am just estimating what I need to do as a creative crafts-person, for doing my thing in my own shop.
That has boiled down to either scratch building something scary (spin casting is a somewhat scary activity) or obtaining something commercial. Store bought is still scary but at least has been proven to work, fine with me. Actually I am not scared of the spinning, just confirming it is a bit exciting if you have never seen it before. (There are lots of video on YouTube.)
I at first settled into two brands of spin casting machines. Mainly because they are the most popular and both are supplied by almost every casting or jewelry supply company. They are generically called broken arm casting machines. There is also a smaller variant I haven’t considered where the arm is fixed straight.
I understand the science behind the broken arm version. I won’t get into that science here, but it does seem to be the optimum method. The broken arm design is seen mostly in the larger size machines. I have set my focus on a slightly smaller machine. All reports indicate it works (for its size) as well as the larger version.
I trained a bit on the larger machine in the casting class I took. So naturally I considered that machine as my first choice, a perfectly good option.
But I also took the time to do the research on a slightly smaller size machine. That made me look at myself and decide exactly what I intend to accomplish in my work. What I discovered is I don’t need or will have a use for a big machine. The smaller machine actually handles the smaller flasks much better than the bigger machine and still can hold the larger diameter flasks, but just not as tall as the big machine. It seems a reasonable trade off. Let just call it a more personal size casting machine, rather than production.
That makes the Neycraft my spin caster of choice at the moment. It has a very large audience of satisfied owners and their machines have withstood the test of time. It certainly isn't perfect for everyone but for personal home shop use making custom small non-production casts, it will certainly outlive me.
Update 3/2015: I still haven't "sprung" for the spin caster. I have found success with the vacuum assist casting technique and haven't yet taken this step. I haven't attempted any small detailed casts where I think this machine will be superior for the reasons stated above and in a previous article. It remains on my want list but can wait until I really need (pardon the pun) to make the investment.