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Hand Casting Crucibles

In the near future I’m planning to try some new variations with my
sand casting gear. I’ve mostly been pouring pewter in the past, but I
wish to expand my metals to more brass, bronze and silver.

These are primarily duplications of antique costume accessory
elements so the finer grain sands I’ve been using have been giving
very good results from pewter and the few bits of brass I’ve done.

My question is regarding the two main crucible designs for torch
melting; the standard open dish, and the covered “burno” crucible. I
have one of the burnos (used for brass), but need to get more
crucibles for the other metals.

Does that little half lid really add any benefits, or would my money
be better spent on the regular open topped pouring dishes? Ron
Charlotte – Gainesville, FL OR @Ron_Charlotte1

Ron…As an aside, have you tried portland cement (no sand or gravel
in it, just the grey powder) mixed with motor oil for your green sand?
It is very smooth, packs well and good cast surfaces. John, J.A.
Henkel Co., Inc. Moldmaking, Casting, Finishing.

Mr John Henkel In an article that you wrote as a reply to Ron,
concerning to what kind of sand would be recomended for hand
casting you sugested the use of Portland cement with motor
oil,as a sustitute. my question is. Does it has to be used or
brand new oil? And in what proportion.? Tanks. Marco.

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Hi Marco, New oil is best. Old oil has metal filings in it that
can react with you cast metal. It is similar to making biscuits.
Start with a cup or two of the dry powder, then start adding a
few drops of the oil knead together until you can grab a
handfull, squeeze and it stays together. If it is to dry it will
fall apart, then add a little more oil and work it in. If it is
too oily you can work some powder back in. John

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Hi John I have been trying to make some castings in portland cement and
oil. but I have not gotten good results, cause the metal gets cold in
the funnel and does not go all the way in the mold getting balled up
and consecuently producing an incomplete casting. Let me tell you that
I’m trying to learn about sand casting. Considering this fact, I can
justify myself for such mistake.

I wouldn’t like to give up , cause I like the method and I know it is
feasible. I have seen it before and a friend of mine used to make it
regularly. Even when I used to cast in my centrifuge,I know sand
casting has its advantages. can you tell me how to convince the metal
to get into the mold? Thanks. jonathan. Silverado custom jewels

Hello Jonathan,

I’m not John but I want to let you know that you have to preheat
your mold with the mixture so that your molden metal doesn’t freeze
when you poor it into the mold.So for that purpose it needs to be
placed in a kiln untill it reaches it casting temperature.Good luck.

Regards Pedro

Dear Jonathan

I’ve been teaching sand casting for the last few years and have also
seen some students with same result. Most commonly it it caused by:

  1. the molten metal not being hot enough, 2. by not heating the melt
    during pouring, 3. insufficient size of sprue/funnel, or 4.
    insufficient air escape ‘sprues’.

Try to heat your metal a little more, let the torch play over the
metal when it is poured and have a sprue of 5 mm and 3 - 4 air vents.
Actually last week I had a student who did a 125 gram casting in
sand. First time she did not succeed, but when we tried afterwards
with more ‘vents’, she had a very nice casting.

Hope this helps, but let us all hear.

Kind regards
Niels L?schal, Jyllinge, Denmark
phone (+45) 46 78 89 94