At my university we cast mainly silver and gold. Is there equipment
we can buy to cast surgical stainless steel, or are there any
companies to job it out to? I'm new to this and want to get into
small-scale production work selling guages earrings. I'm a poor
student, so silver is out (for starting up, at least). So basically
any you may have on steel casting or fabrication would
be fantastic, Thanks!
I have used Techform, in Milwaukie, OR (503-652-5224) to cast
stainless steel and chromium cobalt. They also cast platinum, using a
ceramic shell around the wax that allows it to come out almost shiny.
BUT....casting stainless steel isn't all that cheap. It is fairly
complicated and requires special equipment. These folks do a lot of
work for the medical field (hip joints are cast in cobalt chromium,
for example). Unless you are planning to cast a lot of one piece, it
may not be economical to work in stainless. It is also a lot more
labor intensive to clean up the castings. Cobalt chromium can also be
a real bear, but will oxidize with heat to a beautiful black.
Bite the bullet and invest in silver. At least you can recycle your
mistakes, and your successes will be easier to sell. The techniques
used to work in steel are also different from working in more
malleable metals, so you may find that your training is taking you
far from where you may want to be.
33 N. Market St.
Frederick, MD 21701
Ryan: Check with your local dental laboratories that specialize in
partial denture framework fabrication. Most partial dentures are
based on a cast stainless steel metal base. Some of these stainless
steel metals can be torch cast and can be used with a water based
investment. Good luck
Mike at Lone Star Technical Service
My father is a dentist and I had a cuff cast by the company who
casts his bridges in chromium cobalt and it was about $300 - and that
was a very good price as a favor to my father - it was very expensive
compared to the $75 in sterling ... If you are looking for cheap
consider white metal - there are casters in Rhode Island and even NYC
who will cast in base white or yellow metal.
since you clain to not be able to afford casting silver, you may as
well forget casting stainless steel. It requires specialized
aquipment and it's not cheap. The material is super cheap though.
There is a company in Oregon (Techform), and they cast surgical
stainless, I'm in the process of developing a line using them, but
it is rediculously expensive. My advice is to get some information
on basic silvermithing and tart eperimenting with stainless.