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El Cheepo mold


#1

John, The curiosity about your El Cheepo mold (technical term I
suppose :slight_smile: ) for pouring little round ingots for rolling into wire
got to me. So tell us all how about it. Is it sold by the El Cheepo
mold company in NZ? NET


#2
John, The curiosity about your El Cheepo mold (technical term I
suppose :-) ) for pouring little round ingots for rolling into wire
got to me. So tell us all how about it. Is it sold by the El Cheepo
mold company in NZ?  

No: the El Cheepo Company NZ makes all sorts of things from bits and
pieces, ( read, ‘junk’) but doesn’t sell anything. Nobody’s buy it.
However, the ingot rod moulds in question are very similar to the
bought ones. But here goes anyway:-

You will need a drill press, and a drill vice. Take two pieces of
steel each about 1 cm thick and 5 cm x 9 cm It’s best if they are
both the same size Clamp the plates together, edges in register… At
approx. the centre at top and bottom, drill tum holes right through
the top piece and about halfway through the other. Get some rod very
slightly thicker than the holes, and cut off pieces that will be equal
to the thickness of the two plates in length and thin down the end of
each rod so that it will become a neat slide fit into the blind holes,
then drive the rod into the through holes. leaving enough of the
thinned ends to register into the blind holes. Got all that? Well,
let’s get on anyway. Clamp the two plates together again so that the
registers fit. Fasten the two plates into the drill vice vertically.
Now put a 3 or tum drill into the drill press, and using a cutting
oil, drill down exactly between the two plates lifting the drill often
to remove the swarf… Having drilled as far as you can, you could move
the drill further out of the chuck to drill the final bit But don’t
of course, drill right through… (Or break the drill! Take it easy)
Open out the top of each hole with larger bits and finish with a
countersink bit to make a pouring funnel. And really, that is all,
except for coating the inside of the two plates in soot from a candle
flame to stop any metal poured in from sticking. Two things occur to
me: no professional jeweller would want to waste time (it’s money)
when a similar mould can be bought. The second is that I think these
instructions might confuse, so I will try and scan my mould and put
it on the FTP site. Incidentally, I use the same plates back to back
with that bit of tum square U shaped rod I mentioned in a previous
note, clamped between then to make a mould for a flat ingot. Have a
go, you impecunious amateur jewellers. Cheers, John Burgess –

        /\      John Burgess
       / /
      / /      Johnb@ts.co.nz
     / /__|\
    (_______)

#3
Two things occur to me: no professional jeweller would want to waste
time (it's money) when a similar mould can be bought. 

Wanna bet? You can make a better one this way than the commercial
molds. The commercial molds don’t have the registration pins, and the
ingots almost always then have a nasty flange. Maybe not on the first
pour, when with cool molds you can carefully align edges, but the
second and subsequent ingots get poured into a mold a bit to hot to
comforably handle with your fingers. Those registration pins make it
a lot easier. Plus, the commercial wire molds like that are rather
short, if you want a longer ingot… Fine for the quantity of gold I
usually pour, but with silver? My home made mold lets me make a
serious amount of wire in one go. The time it’s saved in working
better has long ago repaid the few hours it took to make. One note.
I did the registration pins different, drilling a through hole right
through both plates. Then with a very slighly larger drill, I opened
up one hole a tad, enough so that the hole started as a tight jam fit
to the pin, and ended up on one plate as a smooth slip fit. Then the
pin was driven into the tight side. I feel this is quicker than
grinding a taper on the pins.

     Incidentally, I use the same plates back to back with that bit
of tum square U shaped rod I mentioned in a previous note, clamped
between then to make a mould for a  flat ingot. 

Herbert Maryon describes much this same type of mold in his classic
book, metalwork and enameling (which should be in every jewelers
library. The dover reprint is cheap, and the info wonderful.) He has
one use a strip of sheet metal as wide as the desired thickness of
ingot, bent to a channel the width of the desired ingot, the open ends
flared a bit. Sandwich the both between smooth charcoal blocks and
hold with binding wire. You can make one of these in minutes, to give
you just the thickness and width of small custom ingot you might need.
Great when you need a rather small ingot for, say reusing some
customers gold, or a bit of some unusual alloy. And if you don’t
want to make it, Frei and Borel imports a nice little German ingot
mold that does much the same thing. side plates, a variety of inserts
with the channel, and a wire frame handle to hold em. Small, handy,
and not too costly.

Peter Rowe