The moulder's tools are of the simplest character. They should, however, be well made and receive proper care. Some are provided by the employer and some by the moulder. Those usually supplied by the employer are water pails, shovels, swabs, riddles, bellows and rammers. There ought always to be an ample supply of these tools so that no one need be idle. The pails are used for wetting down the sand previous to cutting up, etc. The shovels are for cutting the Hand, tin-owing it into the riddles and similar work; the swabs serve to moisten the sand in the moulds when finishing. The riddles are the sieves through which the sand is sifted upon the patterns so that when the ramming is done it will be light and even in its texture and free from lumps. The bellows serve to remove the dust and loose sand that may have accumulated in the recesses of the mould while in course of preparation.
The rammers vary in length, weight and form in accordance with the work to be done. The general forms of rammers are shown in Figs. 7 and 8. The quality of the casting depends upon the weight and form of the rammer, and the force of the blow. For ramming moulds that are upon the floor a rammer as shown in Fig. 7 is used. It is usually made of iron and its weight depends upon the depth of sand to be rammed. For ordinary work this weight should be about 9 pounds. One end is flattened and from 3 inches to 4 inches in diameter. The other end is wedge-shaped with a rounded edge. The wooden rammer shown in Fig. 8 is for bench work. When such rammers are used one is usually held in each hand. It is, therefore, used for light ramming of small work on a thin body of sand.
The tools of the moulder's personal kit are small, light and simple. First he should have a liberal supply of vent wires of various sizes. These should be from 1/16 inch to \ inch in diameter. They are made of ordinary stiff iron or steel wire flattened at one end and filed into the shape of a spear head as shown in Fig. 9. His next implement is the trowel (Fig. 10) ; this tool is in constant use. Each moulder should have at least four of different sizes. Its blade is square or with a rounded end. It should be stiff with a perfectly smooth flat surface. The lengths should be from 4 to 7 inches. Such a trowel is used for slicking off flat surfaces. When it becomes worn and pliable it may be used on curved surfaces. Another form of trowel is of the heart-shape (Fig. 11). The blade of this tool should be about 3 or 4 inches long. It is used for slicking off comers that cannot be reached with the square trowel. A combination form of heart-shaped and square trowel is shown in Fig. 12. This is usually a light tool with blades from 2 to 3 inches in length. Smoothers with the handle set at an angle as in Fig. 13, serve the purpose of the trowel where the mould cannot be reached by the latter. They should be from ½ inch to 2 inches in width. Sometimes they are made with loose ends that can be screwed upon shanks.
Lifters, as shown in Fig. 14 are important tools. They are used for sleeking and smoothing such portions of the mould as cannot be reached by the trowel. Their name is derived from their use, that of lifting out portions of sand that may have broken oft from the mould. A modified form of smoother intended for rounded surfaces, and called a bead tool is shown in Fig. 15.
Still other forms of smoothers are shown in Figs. 16 and 17. These are for working into and over corners. Sometimes they are made with a concave or convex surface as shown in Figs. 18 and 19 and 20.
These are the principal types of tools used. They are of almost infinite variety of shape and design dependent upon the class of work. Where a moulder is engaged exclusively on one class of work he will need special tools, of the above general forms. These can best be designed to meet the necessities of the work in hand.