Frequently Asked Questions
1. I’m not sure if my part can or should be made as a casting. Can you help me?
Very often a customer will approach us with a sample part that has previously been produced as a fabrication (multiple parts welded together), or machined from a stock block of material. Castings have many advantages over these two methods of production. Most features that can be seamlessly incorporated into a casting for little to no cost would be too time consuming and expensive by other means. Also, raw material costs can be minimized by paying for material only where you need it. We will work closely with you to carefully adapt your part to the sand casting process. We know it’s the small details that make a project a success, so we will devote our 70+ years of experience to make that a reality.
2. I only need a few castings made. I have a sample, but not a foundry pattern. Can you work without a pattern?
This is very common in our business. Maybe you are restoring a car or boat, fixing an obsolete machine, or you are an artist or architect. Many times a customer can get a sample of what they want but cannot afford the cost of new foundry tooling because of low quantity. We can cast from these samples directly, often with little or no preparation. This not only makes many jobs possible, it also reduces the lead time significantly.
3. We need tooling and castings for samples as soon as possible, but we are not sure if the shape will change once we have a working model. Can you work with us?
Very rarely is “price no object”. Since we always assume cost is a large consideration, we first establish a customer’s priorities and abilities.
Do they have a sample or 2D prints?
Does the customer have CAD files capable of being used for machining or the rapid prototype process?
Does the customer have machining capabilities?
How soon will production be required after samples are approved?
Questions like these can help us understand a customer’s actual parameters and tailor an appropriate pattern.
4. We are not sure what metal the original piece is made from. What do you recommend?
Customers require certain physical and chemical properties for their particular casting projects, but many non-ferrous alloys may be acceptable. Mystic Valley Foundry has three generations of experience in finding what metals are most appropriate for castings used for submarines to fences, semiconductor manufacturing to maple syrup processing.
– When you show us the wear points on a gear, we can recommend a metal with better hardness or lubricity.
– If the sailboat deck hardware you are purchasing is bending under load, we can recommend a metal with better yield and tensile strength as well as corrosive resistance.
– If you have machining difficulty on aluminum bases, we can offer additional features to facilitate fixturing or recommend metal or heat treatment modifications.
Mystic Valley Foundry carries most of the common nonferrous alloys in stock, and we can provide castings in any of the commercially available alloys with short lead times and proper documentation.