could someone give me a place, near maryland, that will cast two
rings for me? they are two wedding bands, and i don’t want to
make any mistakes on them doing them myself. one is to be gold,
14k, and i have the metal for it, the other is to be sterling,
which i have the metal for that too. supplying the metals myself,
how much would it cost to get both casted? and how long would it

thanks, alfred.

Hello alfred,

I cast quite often for other jewelers, If you want I could cast
them for you, normally I’d charge $30.00 minimum but I’ll knock
off 20% for Ganoksin members. That would make it $24.00 for both
rings. It would be about one week turn around time. I’m
located approximately 30 Miles South of Louisville Kentucky not
too far.

If you Want to see some samples check out my web site at: *Note Click on sterling
silver to load a scanned image.

Email directly if you are interested. And we will work out the


Ken’s Gems and Jewelry

I read part of a post yeaterday and it was kind of bugging me today. Someone
said if you can’t maintain your hard drive you won’t be a sucessful caster,
or words to that effect. I have to disagree. I don’t think casting is such a
frightening or difficult thing. And you don’t need to be a techno-dweeb to do
it. There are very clear, well published procedures to follow. We cast
several flasks pretty much every day and its certainly not brain surgery. We
have little or no pitting and no miscasts.
All I am saying is don’t be freaked out by people who imply that the odds are
against you being able to cast with good results. Anyone who can do a little
problem solving can do it. If something goes wrong ask the list and we can
Happy casting.

Mark P.

I agree with you Mark. I have had very bad experience with people
who believe that casting is like brain surgery.

I used to do casting at a county school, where one of the monitors
would not let me do casting in 22K gold. Anyway the other two monitors
didn’t believe her and they would always let me cast in
22K. The other monitor to this day still scares other new jewelers into
believing that casting is the most difficult thing in the world. She
actually has some of the students believe that they need to take
casting classes a minimum of six times and some of her students do
actually take her classes for six times. The funny thing is every time
I see students take her class over again they are actually learning
and spending all the class time in carving wax designs rather than
casting. All the casting is done in just sterling silver and if they
are very very very very lucky then some student will bring in 14K gold
to be cast and all the students will be raving how wonderful she is.

Mark: that was me who made that statement. I think to be a successful caster
you do need an analytical mind which I’ve got by God and still wouldn’t call
myself a successful caster. I think that people who cast articles that
aren’t of substantial weight or cross section and cast things like those
ugly wax-built up rings with alot of texturing in it will have fewer
problems. I tend to cast more bulky items in silver with smooth surfaces
that have to be polished down. If you’re not polishing something down then
you got a “good cast.” I’m fighting subsurface pits and having some success
with vents to outside the flask but still perfecting where to put them. I’ve
read every book I can get my hands on about casting and there sure are alot
of variables that can affect the outcome. Not to mention alot of conflicting
Someone with little patience or problem solving skills might
learn by hands-on with someone personally leading them through it might work
but I am learning by myself and trying to get as much from this
incredible forum as possible. Everytime I cast again I got Orchid notes for
something new to try. I don’t cast often enough but really love the process,
there’s something primal and ancient about the procedure that I love.
Anyway, not trying to scare people off from trying it out as its a great way
to make metal art, but then again it does require a learning curve that I’m
still on after almost two years. My first casting experience was with a
retired jewelry teacher (high school) and both waxes I made cast into silver
swiss cheese and really ticked me off. I think I finally figured it was
because he cast silver at 1000 degrees F flask temperature which probably
did it. I think alot of you are casting gold too, which if I understand is
alot more forgiving than casting sterling. My three cents…Dave
Crystalguy Art Jewelry, Magical Art Jewelry for the Enlightened Mind

Brain surgery–part II

We used to think something was tough if it was like rocket
science, but after the Hubble and the Mars shot here at JPL, we
now say, “Rocket science isn’t rocket science.”

Dear Mark and Surbhi,
Even brain surgery isn’t brain surgery. I know. Even a farmer
with a Black and Decker drill can save a life when there is
intracranial bleeding, and they do!. Most brain surgery is quite
crude. Brain surgery was performed by the Egyptians at the time
of the pyramids, even without HMOs and health insurance.

Don’t let the hot shots intimidate you. After all, if what they
do isn’t so difficult, they couldn’t be experts.

A little behind …However,

Casting is still an art form for me. Success is usually about
65/70 %. Don’t know why. Continue to read and try to master the
art of vacuums casting!!


Business needs more orders from customers and fewer from the government.

I feel compelled to put my .02 in here, although since I’m a
Canuck, I guess that really means my .0165… :slight_smile:

Although I am just a student, I have done centrifugal, vacuum,
steam, sand and cuttlefish casting. Kudos to the program director
for exposing us to so many different perspectives… cuttlefish
was easy, quick and had great results, sand was kinda sucky (in
my opinion) as the detail level was close to nil, steam had great
results (a really dense casting… no pits! Whee!), vacuum also
was extremely successful, and centrifugal was not quite as
successful for me as vacuum (I had porosity something fierce in
all three centrifugal castings).

I’ve done all of these methods at least three times (which is by
no means a reasonable proof) but it seems to me they all have
their advantages and disadvantages. I personally like vacuum
casting better than centrifugal; by the same token, our vacuum
machine at school has had to be taken apart three times in the
last week to have silver removed from the line, as the vacuum
pulled the plaster right out of the flask. Who knows? All I know
is what works for me, which seems to be vacuum. I like pouring
the metal in. I like the fact that I don’t have to finagle the
flask into the cradle, I can just set it right down from the

This discussion has gotten relatively heated… but why? My
wonderful professor David MacAleese said it best: “When you’re
working for someone else, their way is best. When you’re doing it
yourself, your way is best.” I think it’s good to know how to do
all different kinds, but of course you’re going to prefer one of
the other. If it works for you, do it. :slight_smile: It’s all a matter of


Hello Kieran:

Reguarding your trouble with centrifical casting: If you had
massive porosity, I would suspect that your crucible was not
clean. Always keep it covered when not in use. Concerning your
last statement, I agree wholeheartedly. It’s all been said and I
just wish this thread would stop.


 Reguarding your trouble with centrifical casting: If you had
 massive porosity, I would suspect that your crucible was not
 clean.  Always keep it covered when not in use.

Dear Steve, Now this is something I hadn’t thought about (I’m not
the best housekeeper and it can be months between castings). For
the next time, if I heat up the crucible first, before adding my
metal, will that get rid of the dirt/dust or do I need to run it
through the dishwasher?

kathi parker

Awww-c’mon…how much effort does it take to rinse out a
crucible? Tools should always be free of extraneous material if
you want to avoid unnecessarily botching a job. Some of those
particles might be more than ordinary house dust and could
contaminate your work. >D<


Some years ago, I was using a shop vacume conneted to my
polisher with the foolish notion that I was saving money. Rather
than having a healthy working enviornment(both for my lungs and
hearing!) I was spewing rouge into the air. It landed on
EVERYTHING. About the time I began doing this, I purchased a new
centrifical casting machine which had no lid. I had perosity you
would not believe! Dorve me nuts trying to figure out why I was
having this problem when I seldom had it before. I eventualy put
2 & 2 together and replaced all my crucibles & began covering
them with aluminum foil right after I had finished casting. No
more perosity! The foil works great as it’s not effected by
heat, molds around and seals the crucuble from dirt & dust and
it’s cheap. I tried burning out the crucibles as you suggest and
it made little difference. So…there you are. My experience on
the subject. Hope it helps.

Best wishes;
P.S. Pardon my spelling…It’s been a long day.