David D. Arens wrote:
This discussion about the merits of centrifigal vs vacumn is very interesting.
I’ve gotten lots of good ideas from it.
It points out the fact that BOTH methods will do an outstanding job provided the
craftsperson knows what they’re doing & follows the directions. Many an
experience person has their own ‘pet’ way of doing something, but that was
learned by experience. It seems to me the easiest & most trouble free path to a
given objective for the novice is by careful study & application of what you’ve
Then after you’ve gained some experience (maybe a bit more knowledge also) you
can begin to think about ‘doing it your way’. Remember, there were an awful lot
of folks that went before you that were successful with both methods. Only a
poor craftsman blames his tools!
Actually which way is better (for you) may depend on many things not related to
the quality of the finished piece, assuming both process produce acceptable
That’s my $.02 worth.
Of course you are right about study and that a person should not blame
tools for what is the designer of the tools fault.Both vacuum and
centrifuge…The problem with casting is that there is an awful lot of
false that is just not true out there.About half of it is
put out by the manufacturers of various types of systems for the purpose
of selling their products first and foremost and the other half is put
out by people who do not want more people in this business perhaps.I
know the last part sounds like it is not true but believe me “trade
secret” is a term many individuals/companies seem to think applies to
any system they happen to use…Let others learn the hard way is all
too often the attitude of experienced people.
Here is some advice for beginners:
Don’t trust any that you get from someone that sells a
product or machine related to casting.Their first objective is to sell
you their product…Get a good text book such as"Jewelry Making for
Schools,Tradesmen,&Craftsmen" by Murray Bovin ISBN 910280-01-0 …LCCN
67-20040 which is the one I recommend as a first book…It costs around
$25 but is well worth it…Remember that if you are getting a vacuum
system for removing air from your investment that most will convert to
do casting…Get good quality equipment especially when it comes to your
furnace(kiln) in end you will save money even if the cost of the
machine is higher to begin with…Think small as it is the tendency for
beginners to think in terms of large flasks and large numbers of rings
etc.start with the smaller flasks and one or two items…Gavin