Casting a ski locker vent cover for Rich's boat

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A shot of the ski locker vent cover while it was still intact. The cheapo plastic cover just couldn't handle the constant foot trafic so I'll be casting this part from aluminum.

 

BJ the dog meanders through the smelting area as the molten alumium solidifies.

 

Closeup of the mold just after the pour.

 

A few minutes later, I cracked open the mold to reveal the shiny new part.

 

The cover hot out of the mold.

 

I used my router table with a 45 degree carbide bit to machine a nice edge on the cover.

 

To accomplish this, I drilled a hole in the center of the cover, then drove a screw through it into the table of the router. I then turned the cover against the spinning router bit and machined the edge.

 

I had to make a custom sanding disk to make the top of the cover smoother.

 

To accomplish this, I bolted a hunk of MDF to an arbor and then wrapped the MDF with sand paper and stapled it to the sides. This worked very well.

 

After a bit of finish machining and polishing as well as drilling the vent holes, the cover came out perfect!

 

The after shot, all installed and ready for the lake.

 

Another closeup.