Casting in pewter

A friend has some very detailed antique buttons and would like to
make cast copies in pewter. We talked to several silversmiths and
they all said the same thing: “send the work out; pewter and silver
casting are very different.”

Any recommendations from Orchid members on how to make detailed
pewter castings? Also text references. And, as a last resort,
companies where we can send the work. Thanx.

re pewter casting, two alternatives come to mind: On the East Coast,
I believe Danish Silversmith in Rhode ISland does casting in pewter.
On the West Coast, Tierra Casting in Sonoma County, in California. I
will try to locate the phone numbers for each and post them but think
that they probably each has a web site. Good luck! I talked to
someone at Tierra a few years ago and they couldn’t have been nicer
and seemed very professional. I see their ads in Ornament on a
regular basis.
Shael Barger

 Any recommendations from Orchid members on how to make detailed
pewter castings?  Also text references.  And, as a last resort,
companies where we can send the work.  

Hi, We do reproductions for some of our customers in Pewter,sterling,
gold ,Bronze and we also can gold plate, silver plate and rhodium
plate any items that may be necc. to do this way.Pewter is basically a
volume oriented form of casting that is done in round rubber molds
that can have as many as 30 cavities in a single mold.Depending on the
size of the items being reproduced, this will determine the mold size
. The smallest molds we use is 9" in dia.x 1" thick and as large as
12" dia x 4" thick for small statuary items. If you are interested in
casting these buttons in pewter, please give me a call or an email at
the following adresses.Visit the workshop on the website for some
ideas. RaceCar Jewelry co. Inc. tel:401-461-7803 Attn: Daniel Grandi Email: 52 glen rd, Cranston RI. 02920

Cast them yourself. You can use High Temp Silicon rubber molds, melt
pewter on a hotplate, pour your buttons. Get pewter from metal
suppliers (in San Francisco, ROTO METALS), mold rubber from mfgrs. or
other suppliers (Michael Knight has materials
that would do fine for you), cast iron pot to melt in, cast iron or
other steel ladle to pour the molten metal. Books are available from
jewelry suppliers on casting pewter, I am sure you could find
something at Amazon or one of the other book sellers on the net. If
you are looking for companies, I might be interested, but also look at
Thomas Register on the net. Ask metal sellers, ask jewelry suppliers.
Terria Cast in Santa Rosa CA might be interested or Baker Art foundry
in Oakland, CA (ask for George). Pewter and silver are different.
Pewter is lower melting temp. (about 600 F), softer, harder to solder
(if you don’t do it a lot). Silver hast ot be investment cast, pweter
in high temp rubber of investment. Pewter is about $7.00 per pound.
Many formulas for pewter, some are high in lead (not in the USA but in
other parts of the world). Pewter is mostly tin, with small %'s of
Antimony or lead or ?? to make the time behave differently for
different applications.

Hope this helps. Have fun and just try it.

MidLife Crisis Enterprises
C.T. Designs
Cynthias sculptures are at:

Maiden Metals,
A small bronze foundry, not web site yet!!

White metal casting (which is where pewter is included) is actually
really easy. For historical pieces, I’ve cast in well dried plaster
moulds, in moulds carved from soapstone, in sand, and once in a carved
hardwood mould for a one-shot piece.

All of these alloys melt below 600F. Most books that discuss casting
at least touch on the subject, including Complete Metalsmith,
Metalwork and Enamelling, and many others.

A lot depends on the degree of detail, and whether there’s undercuts.

Ron Charlotte -- Gainesville, FL OR @Ron_Charlotte