Project No. 14

Material: Special Casting

This project makes use of a special casting designed for this purpose. The complete set, including the chips, can be found on sale in the better shops at prices ranging all the way from ten to twenty dollars, depending on the trimmings and the chips. The latter are cut from rod, and constitute a power-tool job, but the rack itself, pictured in Plate 3H can be made entirely without the aid of machinery, and makes a very presentable project, and a cheaper grade of chips can be bought ready-made.

The special casting has all of the "wells" shown already cast in it. Making it, aside from the question of the handle, is entirely a question of sanding and polishing. The "flash end" of the casting is on the bottom, since it was poured up-side-down, and the first step is to grind this off. Plate P shows this being done on a power belt sander, where it becomes but a moment's work, but by using first a fairly coarse sandpaper fastened to a hard smooth surface, and rubbing the poker set casting back and forth on it, the flattening of the bottom is not particularly laborious, especially since it does not have to be polished, but is left rough and a piece of felt attached to it with cement or rubber-cement. Enough of the solid bottom of the casting is left on to provide a closure for the bottoms of the wells in which the chips lie.

Finishing consists of sanding and rubbing all of the exposed surfaces. If it proves difficult to obtain a high polish on the inside of the chip-wells, these can be left dull-finished, as they are covered by the chips, anyway.

The handle is the only part offering any difficulty, and this can be designed in any number of different ways. The most common seen in the stores is a metallic ring, which is screwed into a hole drilled in the casting, top center. If such a fitting cannot be found on hand or taken from some object on hand, a very acceptable handle can be contrived from plastics, and attached either with cement or screws. If cement only is used, the joint must be strong, close-fitting and well-made, as such a handle stands considerable strain due to the weight of the block when loaded. With a little care and thought however no difficulty will be encountered, as a properly-made cemented joint is as strong as the material itself.