You need a way to melt metal, a way to make molds, a way to pour the metal in a mold, a way to finish the cast, and a way to test for flaws. Why do you think it’s so impossible?
Forget it. Clearly this is the wrong forum for this discussion. I’ll keep my hobbies on more practical machinist boards.
If you can link us to any hobbyist’s site that describes how they cast engine blocks, or something of similar size/complexity, we’d appreciate it.
I’d be surprised if you could find anybody in the world that has done what you describe.
Here’s a Youtube showing you how to cast an engine block…All they’re doing is the pour…Creating the casting (which is the hard part isn’t shown). Please note the special suits they’re wearing…that alone will tell you how dangerous and foolish this is for the amateur. Don’t do this in your bedroom…Any spill will end up in the cellar.
Here’s another article about engine casting…
For what it’s worth, I’ve got a small mill and a small metal lathe in my basement and while I’m not a journeyman machinist I’m proficient enough to be able to manufacture, so to speak, a lot of widgets on my own so I’m aware of how much time even some comparatively small things take to whittle out.
My hat’s off to you for thinking big but I don’t think you would ever live long enough to dent a project like this.
Here an example. Back in the 50s there was an accessory item offered for Harley motorcycles and a number of police officers would use them. This item was a cooling ring that fit around the front brake drum and would dissipate heat which led to brake fade. I decided to whittle one of these out and while I did not log in how many hours were involved (say 10 or 12) let’s just say that it took several full evenings to cut this thing out of a block of metal and make it fit as required.
Pic as it came off of the lathe.
This part was cut out of a block of T-6 aircraft aluminum and in the scheme of things was comparatively simple and made of easy to work material. I cannot even begin to fathom how long it would take to turn out a single transmission unit, let alone any metal hardening processes and the huge expense of machine tools.
(Regarding cast iron engine blocks, a retired neighbor friend of mine who still does machine work in his shop used to machine engine blocks for industrial equipment along with many other parts. After the blocks are cast they’re tossed outside and allowed to ripen like a tomato for several years before they’re even considered for cutting.)
Tycho, as this thread progresses I’m beginning to believe that you know you’re reaching for the stars but want to try it anyway. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders, more than avarage knowledge of the challenges you face, and the ability to think through the problems. I salute you…and with a bit of envy.
I too have a dream project, but I’ll probably never try it. Mine is less ambitious. It involves mating a Honda Goldwing engine, an MX5 tranny, and an MX5 rear end together, attaching it all to the back of a Triumph Spitfire, and creating a custom rear body with dihedral doors the shells of which wrap up to a center longitudinal support (like a T-top), and incorporate removable roof panels above sliding windows. All to be trailed by a power rear widow that goes down. The car would have a low center of gravity, a direct drivetrain, mid-engine balance, and it could be run as a coupe or a T-top with an open rear window.
Regarding the CNC accuracy, the machionery has to be more accurate than the part it’s producing by a factor of 10. If you’re cutting to 2.000+/-.005 (std machine tolerance), you want something accurate to +/-.0005 at least. No less.
I’m in support of your project. I sometimes have to remind myself that the country was built by people who others said were crazy, people doing the seemingly impossible. Keep us informed as you proceed through your various projects in doing this. I, for one, enjoy seeing someone accomplish something others thought was crazy.