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Cheap Bronze casting setup


#1

I’m hoping someone here has done bronze casting on a tight budget
before.

If so, please advise me.

I need to replicate some small oak and holly twigs in bronze, and
possibly some acorns.

The twigs won’t need to be longer than 6" each, and most will be
around 3" to 4" long. These will be one-off pieces, so it’s ok if
the method involves the twigs being burnt up.

I’m currently planning on using Rio Grande Ancient Bronze Casting
grain. Heating will have to be done with my existing Oxy-Acetylene
torch. Budget is as small as humanly possible.

I doubt I can do it for $50, but under $100 would make me VERY
happy. I would prefer to stay away from having to carve wax for this
project, as I’ve not previously messed with carving wax and I want
as realistic a result as possible.

Result can be rustic, as it will have a nice dark patina with brush
finished highlights. One option I’ve been considering is Delft clay
casting.

If anyone has experience with this, please let me know if you think
it would work.

Another option I’ve considered is having someone else cast the
twigs, as the most complex part of the project will actually be the
assembly of the pieces into a crown, and making the leaves, which is
something I can accomplish with my current skills and tools. If
anyone here has the setup for doing the casting and is interested I
would welcome off-list email with a price quote.

Thanks in advance for any help, Lindsay Legler
Dreaming Dragon Designs


#2

First, I doubt that you or for sure I could/would do this for under
$100.00. Casting organics is not difficult but there are a few tricks
i.e. how to get rid of the ash… Not difficult but a "learning"
experience. I would suggest that you do NOT use the accent bronze
alloy (a copper tie and silicon alloy) as the tin makes welding
somewhat difficult and for a first time attempt, you are most likely
looking at problems. It is a beautiful color and pours well but
welding is problematic as well as “modern day” patinas do not often
work well on this alloy. Patination of the accent alloy will be
different that is using current, common alloys that most patina
formulas are made to work on.

I will/would work but $100 is low and if you have never done such
work, I would question that you will be happy with your “first
attempt results” though you could get lucky.

John Dach


#3

The local casting house should be able to burn out twigs and sticks,
I had a casting house burn out a plastic tommy gun, which was
replicated in sterling silver. It didn’t cost that much either.

Regards Charles A.


#4

This is just a thought.

One time I had to reproduce a leaf but had no way to do it in metal.
I made a mold using dental casting material, cast the leaf in
plastic, and painted it to match. It was a cheap and quick
work-around and for my purpose it was OK.

John