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How many cans for a Crossbow?
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How many cans for a Crossbow?
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ManiacalCoyote
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Post How many cans for a Crossbow?  Reply with quote
I'm in the process of acquiring a '95 Crossbow. I want to make a copy out of Aluminum, and am planning on casting the shell. About how many 12 oz (355 mL) cans of Mountain Dew (soda) will I need?

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UKNerfWar
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Post Reply with quote
This is a big job. Casting the shell is relatively simple but I suggest you practice with some simpler shapes before you try with a blaster (unless you really know what you're doing).

There isn't really a lot of Al in a soda can so you will likely need hundreds to cast a full shell.

And that isn't even the hard part. Once you've successfully cast the shell you'll have hours of filing and milling to remove all of the flashing and imperfections from the mold. The easiest way to do this would be with a CNC mill but then you'll need a laser measured 3D rendering of the shell halves.

I know of one person who has successfully cast a blaster in Al, but they were a founder by trade and had all the kit and expertise needed to pull it off.

All I can say is good luck fella. If you pull it off it will be amazeballs.

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[quote="OldNoob:38837"]Remember if a mod guide has no performance test figures to back it up, look for a better one![/quote]
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blindgeekuk
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Post Reply with quote
I believe Drax is trying to do a laser based render of the crossbow
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ManiacalCoyote
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Joined: 12 Feb 2016
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Fav. Blaster: '95 Crossbow (Level 3, making level 4 internals) "The Morrigan"
Location: Sacramento, CA



Post Reply with quote
UKNerfWar wrote:
This is a big job. Casting the shell is relatively simple but I suggest you practice with some simpler shapes before you try with a blaster (unless you really know what you're doing).


Also, I was planning on doing a trial version with the Tech Target Eliminator. First, I'd do something simple, like the catch or plunger rod. Then, I'd work my way through the blaster, making everything out of aluminium. This way, I would learn from the simpler sections and be more competent when I reached the shell.

UKNerfWar wrote:
There isn't really a lot of Al in a soda can so you will likely need hundreds to cast a full shell.


Ok. Perhaps I should just use straight aluminium instead of having a Mountain Dew shell.

UKNerfWar wrote:
If you pull it off it will be amazeballs.


Yeah, I agreee. It really would be amazeballs to be able to walk into a Nerf war with the first X-Bow made in 2 decades.

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ScoutsIX-3
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Post Reply with quote
I think you might run into issues (but please don't let me discourage you from trying!) when it comes to modulating the thickness of the casting. What casting method were you planning on using? Lost wax casting could work, but if I recall correctly it tends to work better for items that are pretty small. I'd suggest checking out a channel on YouTube that I've linked below. He does several videos on casting. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?...LiBJ_D3_ZSgKjt42Gl_zhBIl2D9KTP75t

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Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:42 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Elime_rawne
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Joined: 09 May 2015
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Post Reply with quote
Someone remind me of the melting point of aluminium again? Smile
You need some serious kit to cast something like that, you might be better off casting out of a resin of some kind.
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UKNerfWar
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Post Reply with quote
Creating a foundry for aluminium at home is a doddle. You can make one that runs off charcoal for less than 20.

The hard part will be removing all the random, junk material from the inside of the casting to fit the internals back in.

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[quote="OldNoob:38837"]Remember if a mod guide has no performance test figures to back it up, look for a better one![/quote]
Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:53 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
ManiacalCoyote
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Joined: 12 Feb 2016
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Fav. Blaster: '95 Crossbow (Level 3, making level 4 internals) "The Morrigan"
Location: Sacramento, CA



Post Reply with quote
Elime_rawne wrote:
Someone remind me of the melting point of aluminium again? Smile
You need some serious kit to cast something like that, you might be better off casting out of a resin of some kind.


Melting point = 1221 F
I'd probably cobble something together on my family's vacant driveway. (We park our one car on the street.)
I'd probably need a shit-ton of charcoal, and another problem would be getting the materials.

Resin might be easier, but making something out of plastic of one sort or another just isn't the same as crafting something out of metal. Come on, plastic IS easier, but I want to be able to work with metal. I never got to do the Metalworking merit badge in Boy Scouts, even though I wanted to.

Phase 1: Tech Target Eliminator [img]http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/Nerf/images/5/5c/Techtargeteliminatorbluegreen.png/revision/latest?cb=20130226234505[/img]

Step 1: Cast the plunger rod, catch, and trigger. These look like I could do all three of them in one batch.

Step 2: Make the plunger head

Step 3: Make the plunger tube

Step 4: Make the shell

Phase 2: Do my friend's Secret Shot [img]http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/Nerf/images/8/8e/Secret_Shot_right.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/1000?cb=20121213175901[/img]

Phase 3: Do a '95 Crossbow

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Davidov
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Post Reply with quote
I'll look forward to hearing about the progress as I've been going through youtube tutorials to help me with a much smaller project on my to do list and seeing someone else apply it to Nerf will be good.

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ManiacalCoyote
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Joined: 12 Feb 2016
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Fav. Blaster: '95 Crossbow (Level 3, making level 4 internals) "The Morrigan"
Location: Sacramento, CA



Post Reply with quote
UKNerfWar wrote:
Creating a foundry for aluminium at home is a doddle. You can make one that runs off charcoal for less than 20.

The hard part will be removing all the random, junk material from the inside of the casting to fit the internals back in.


So, $30-ish? Doesn't sound too bad. The problem will be having a large enough area to cast the entire Crossbow shell.

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Northwind
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Post Reply with quote
As ON says, melting aluminium's easy enough. Cans are a fairly crappy source, there's only about 12g in each can. An easier source would be scrap automotive bits- you could pick up a motorbike swingarm or dented wheel for the scrap value.

Can't comment on the practicality of this actual project though! I've done some very simple lost wax casting using a mate's little blast furnace and it worked out fine but I'm a little skeptical about transferring that to the fiddlyness of Nerf. I'll say for sure, I couldn't do it right now and I'm not confident I could do it at all...

Hmmmm. I need to speak to that same mate, he owns a "little" injection moulder though I don't know what "little" is to him, since he's used to automotive scale. The work to set up for plastic injection moulding is fairly outrageous...
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UKNerfWar
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Post Reply with quote
ManiacalCoyote wrote:
... The problem will be having a large enough area to cast the entire Crossbow shell.


Trust me, this will be the least of your problems. Casting solid parts like catches and plunger rods is a doddle. You can simply make the mould from foundry sand and pour the aluminium.

For the shell you will need to make a positive and a negative mould for each shell half mad somehow fit them together with enough sprues and open risers to let the molten metal reach every part of the mould whilst letting all of the gasses escape. If (and it's a big if) you do get a successful casting, you'll then have hours of milling and filing to do to remove all of the flashing and mould lines from the castings.

Trust me buddy, this is a huuuuuuuuge job. There is a reason why it's not been done before... At least, not in the NERFing community.

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[quote="OldNoob:38837"]Remember if a mod guide has no performance test figures to back it up, look for a better one![/quote]
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ManiacalCoyote
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Fav. Blaster: '95 Crossbow (Level 3, making level 4 internals) "The Morrigan"
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Post Reply with quote
One thing I'm thinking of is getting a plaster casting of the hollow, with the internals in place. If I have the shell use more material and only have to worry about one side having lots of fancy pieces (And the other side having boxy depressions for the internals to go into), I'll have a simpler job.

In other words, all the funky sprues and shit that you see on the inside of plastic blasters will be gone, and my copy will be much sturdier.

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haloxxbilly
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Post Reply with quote
Grant Thompson has a backyard metal foundry tutorial on his channel.

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ManiacalCoyote
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Fav. Blaster: '95 Crossbow (Level 3, making level 4 internals) "The Morrigan"
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Post Reply with quote
haloxxbilly wrote:
Grant Thompson has a backyard metal foundry tutorial on his channel.

I know. I've seen some of his vids, and that's why I have as much an idea about what I need to do as I do.

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ManiacalCoyote
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Post Reply with quote
When I got an outside opinion, I realized that just watching a few videos on Youtube is not enough training; instead, I'm going to try to take a metalworking class this fall at a community college near my house.

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McRex
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Post Reply with quote
ManiacalCoyote wrote:

Ok. Perhaps I should just use straight aluminium instead of having a Mountain Dew shell.


I don't usually tell anyone this, but I have a tub full of yellow HDPE bottle tops next to my computer. Like, the kind of big tub you use to store blasters kind of big tub. You'd probably want to save up a lot of them over the space of 6 months to get anywhere close to what you'll need. Full aluminium blasters would be pretty interesting though. As would crucial components cast in HDPE.
Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:53 pm View user's profile Send private message
ManiacalCoyote
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Joined: 12 Feb 2016
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Fav. Blaster: '95 Crossbow (Level 3, making level 4 internals) "The Morrigan"
Location: Sacramento, CA



Post Reply with quote
McRex wrote:
ManiacalCoyote wrote:

Ok. Perhaps I should just use straight aluminium instead of having a Mountain Dew shell.


I don't usually tell anyone this, but I have a tub full of yellow HDPE bottle tops next to my computer. Like, the kind of big tub you use to store blasters kind of big tub. You'd probably want to save up a lot of them over the space of 6 months to get anywhere close to what you'll need. Full aluminium blasters would be pretty interesting though. As would crucial components cast in HDPE.


What kinds of bottles have tops made of HDPE?

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blindgeekuk
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Post Reply with quote
Pretty much any fizzy drink bottl in the UK, probably any plastic milk bottle top. I have a collection of them as well, I use them as tiny palettes for mixing paint when painting D&D minis
Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:29 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
ManiacalCoyote
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Joined: 12 Feb 2016
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Fav. Blaster: '95 Crossbow (Level 3, making level 4 internals) "The Morrigan"
Location: Sacramento, CA



Post Reply with quote
blindgeekuk wrote:
Pretty much any fizzy drink bottl in the UK, probably any plastic milk bottle top. I have a collection of them as well, I use them as tiny palettes for mixing paint when painting D&D minis

*facepalm*
OK, perhaps I should've asked my question on r/Nerf, or some other board/forum here in the USA.

Also, how easy/hard is it to cast HDPE?



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