As USMCPOP said Ruger has a specialty business devoted to high quality lost wax casting. They are especially good at alloy steels and stainless.
Ruger Investment Casting
There is also Thompson Investment Casting of Thompson/Center fame.
Thompson Investment Casting
I have seen many examples of their work at EASTEC and it is pretty impressive. I think Ruger casts most if not all of their pistol and rifle frames and actions. I have no idea if they do small runs of 100-200 pieces nor what they would charge. All I know is that they know how to do it.
I have done lots of investment casting of gold and silver and platinum but no steel or iron, I was trying to get some parts cast in steel and I had made all the molds and patterns and just needed the castings, the prices that I was quoted for stuff that only weighed 2lbs was around 150 dollars in stainless I only needed 2 of them so I guess I was lucky they would even consider it. I just hoged them out from the solid it was much cheaper.
Investment Casting Institute Look up this site and search in the memberlist for investment casters
Best of luck, Dave
If you need more information or you need any molds made, let me know. email@example.com
Not at all true for your example. I've even made them from true magnesium "billet". Fresh out of Norsk Hydro's bulldozer.
Originally Posted by willbird
Try Post Precision Casting. They are in Strausstown PA. Thats all they do. I service the machine shop. Molds are made out of aluminum. They cast almost any type of material.
I had small quantity of cast steel parts made many years ago. I must have found the shop in the Thomas Register since it was before I had any internet access or maybe before the internet as a common thing. I made the pattern and they did the rest, mould (so it would fit their wax injector), the waxes and the casting. These were also cylindrical parts and I should have talked to a machine shop first before commiting but I still made out okay on the job. I also talked to Pine Tree and to Thmpson Center as they have a contract casting shop as well, or at least did then.
I've CNC'd the female shape directly into 6061 alu alloy die halves for lost wax casting of stainless steel with considerable success- very cost effective way of making tooling.
There's several large foundries which do only their own work in my home town, but a small foundry which does jobbing work is happy to do short run work at very attractive prices, if the tooling is made to suit their wax injection station, and if they can drip-feed it into their schedule, to supplement gaps in 'trees' of larger parts.
Jet boat impellers in stainless for custom race boats is one of their mainstays, and maybe you could track down such an operation somewhere close to you.
One neat thing about lost wax is that it is relatively easy and accurate to incorporate machined subitems (like axles) into the wax, by fitting it into registers in the female tool. This way, the casting may not need any machining at all, even though it has journals or bearing bores.
One of the large production foundries here is Hamilton Jet, who as it happens invented the jet unit for marine propulsion.
Their biggest jet unit, which I helped out with (in a very minor role) at the detailing stage, could fit a rugby team in the intake housing, and they handle up to 3MW each (fitted three or four to a 'boat')!