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M1A1 butt plate questions.

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tenOCEE View Drop Down
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    Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 12:58pm
We know there were 12 positions in a tray for the casting operation of butt plates,

1) but was it a sand cast process or lost wax? Which CCNLs address this if someone knows, please?
2) Do we know how many trays of these 12 position casts were in operation?
3) Were the original USGI butt plates only produced in one location/furnace?

Curious if the differences in castings made for the same position numbers was a result of deterioration, different trays, different location using separate tools or other reasons.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote W5USMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 1:25pm
tenOCEE, CCNL 161 may answer some of your questions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote painter777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 2:34pm
Originally posted by tenOCEE tenOCEE wrote:

We know there were 12 positions in a tray for the casting operation of butt plates,

1) but was it a sand cast process or lost wax? Which CCNLs address this if someone knows, please?
2) Do we know how many trays of these 12 position casts were in operation?
3) Were the original USGI butt plates only produced in one location/furnace?

Curious if the differences in castings made for the same position numbers was a result of deterioration, different trays, different location using separate tools or other reasons.

Some info,
M1A1 Buttplates were sand cast.
Saginaw Malleable Iron (Saginaw, MI) had fine tuned their ArmaSteel methods before WWII.
The 'Wagon Wheel' was the company logo mark.
They made the BAR receivers, M1 carbine trigger housings among other cast parts from tank tracks to cannons to truck parts....... etc

This link will help understand the overall process:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote painter777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 2:43pm
Originally posted by tenOCEE tenOCEE wrote:


Curious if the differences in castings made for the same position numbers was a result of deterioration, different trays, different location using separate tools or other reasons.

Metallic bead blasting to remove clinging sand after being pulled from the mold would be one factor.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tenOCEE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 6:50pm
Thanks, guys.
Charlie I've got an Arma-steel BAR receiver cut, a BAR trigger housing and a 428 Pontiac crank--or 3.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tenOCEE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 8:04pm
CCNL numbers 115 and 161 have been consumed. So who was or is the guru on M1A1, especially the butt plate? Because There's a question or two I've had for a long time and have never encountered it being addressed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m1a1fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 8:33pm
CCNL 115: I don't see who wrote it though I might be missing a page.
CCNL 161: Written by Fred Powers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tenOCEE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 8:54pm
Forgive me, but I never was acquainted with the Club members in much of any capacity. The latter newlsetter was written in 1990. I'm short on digits but that was at least more than 10 years ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote m1a1fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 9:29pm
Can't help you there. I'm new as well compared to 1986 and 1990.

Saw a Youtube video once from a car manufacturer, I think. The end result looked similar to what is theorized in CCNL 161. It looked like 6 or 8 parts cast at one time though I can't remember if it was only one part or if they were separate parts cast at the same time. If I find it, I'll post it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjgSe5ILTjk
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tenOCEE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 9:55pm
It's the variations in results that have me asking. There have been other fakes put out since those news letters, we know that. I'm pretty sure I bought a fake from a fellow Carbine guy off of GB but where I put it is now uncertain. But that's not what I want to discuss with someone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote painter777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 10:36pm
Best I know of would be Newscotlander and BrianQ.

Here are some opinions and pictures of mostly numbers from Surps,
IDK if these will help you or not.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 10:44pm
As I understand it, the pattern would have 12 buttplate patterns attached to a frame where the sprue would channel in.

There would be a cope (top?) And drag (bottom)
The two pieces are called a flask.
Basically a production line would have workers packing the drag with casting sand. The pattern pushed into it and cleaned up. The cope put on top, filled with sand, pounded.
Cope lifted off, pattern removed, cleaned of loose sand.
Two halves put together, off to be filled with molten metal

So the pattern would be used over and over. 
I suspect only one pattern or we would see more numbers. To know for sure you would have to scrutinize several with the same number to see consistent variations.

The reason for the numbers is if there was an issue they would know where to look to correct.

This is all a short version and more to the actual process.

To answer the question that I think you are asking, it is not the pattern that wears out for the most part.
It is the sand that wears out.

After cooling and parts removed the sand is screened and reused.
Here is where you have to understand that it is not plain sand.
It is mixed with earth or clay as well as a wetting agent to get the sand to hold its form.

As the mixture breaks down or ballance of ingredients  is off the casting will start to vary.

At least this is how I understand it.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tenOCEE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 10:56pm
Ok, thanks. Wish I could save an image from Misurps. Not allowed I suppose.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote painter777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 11:00pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tenOCEE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 11:01pm
Originally posted by painter777 painter777 wrote:

Best I know of would be Newscotlander and BrianQ.

Here are some opinions and pictures of mostly numbers from Surps,
IDK if these will help you or not.



Those are great. Lots of examples.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 11:08pm
on my to-do list
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 11:14pm
@ten, the above is to your end question.
For the ones I missed if not already answered
1 sand cast
2. As stated I think only one
3. The finished flask did not go into furnace.  The molten metal was in a crucible that was in a furnace or over heat. 
They would calculate volume need for a pour, it could be several flasks, based on time anticipated so the molten metal would flow correctly.
So many flask could be made ahead of time and could be different items.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tenOCEE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2019 at 11:23pm
Yeah, that was all in the CCNLs. It left me with questions on process, but that's sort of an aside there. One pattern form for creating the molds if I'm understanding correctly, which can make many sand cast impressions for a single pour from one vessel of molten metal into the many sand impressions made from the one pattern form.

Back years ago I realized there was more than one size of stamp for square S sights. I'm locking on the possibility for more than one pattern form. Guess that's my research directive there. Not that there would be a need for more than one for more production according to the CCNL's opinion, but perhaps there would be another reason for more than one pattern.
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