Does anyone on this forum have any experience using Durabar (continuous cast-iron) or a similar product? I machine ductile iron about once a week at work and other than than abrasive grit that passes for chips, I love the stuff. There are some pretty handy sizes available from stock and custom sizes are available. I want to machine a base, column and table from stock. If this works out, I may make some "kits" consisting of the above for those looking to build a milling machine or lathe. Let me know what you think...
I have zero personal experience.
I just wanted to say that I've heard of it though other discussions where it was recommended.
To quote one guy (Errol Groth) from rec.crafts.metalworking on usenet:
"so I settled for the Dura Bar.
Which by the way is just lovely stuff to machine. Not a hard spot or
void in it at all. "
He said settled for because he was thinking of casting it himself.
The project he was discussing is here:
My personal experience with Durabar continuous cast bar has been nothing but EXCELENT. I have no interest in that company whatsoever except as an appreciative customer. For 1-off parts made from cast iron (or?) works great.
Thanks guys. This is the kind of feedback I was looking for. The fact that this stuff can be heat-treated and precision ground after machining to size is an added bonus. Especially for parts like machine tables and bases. Machine to size, heat-treat, harden and grind for the linear ways...machine t-slots, harden and grind the table for use.
I have built machine tools out of Durabar. It machines quite well and is stable and well damped. The only downside is that it is not cheap.
Another trick: buy Durabar tubes, bolt them together into machine structures, and fill the tubes with epoxy-granite, lead shot, or even sand! Structure will be very well damped.