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In-house casting


#1

I’ve been reading the thread on casting machines for all of you
who want to get into casting in your own shops and I’m curious
about one thing…why? It seems to me that the cost of in-house
casting, between the energy used in burnout ovens, the cost of
your time, the fumes created, and the frustration involved in
getting consistently good results, makes it more economical to
send out pieces to local (or not-so-local)casting companies. I
have to admit that some of the ‘cruder’ methods of casting can be
fun, like cuttle bone casting, but unless you have major
production runs, why not farm it out?

Sharon Ziemek
GoldStones, Inc.


#2

Well, I do not know, how it works on the other side of the
drink, but here, if you take some of your unique designs to a
local caster, your design will not be unique for long, as they
will copy it, for sure.

Sad, but true…
Tibor

Tibor Kiss <@Kiss_Tibor


#3

agree with you, Sharon, why would you WANT to do your own
casting?–which is why I’m asking, if anybody saved the address,
for someone to send me the posting that was on here the other day
about will do casting for folks-- I’ve searched posts for the
last three days and can’t locate it. Did anyone else get it?

Anne Stickney


#4
I've been reading the thread on casting machines for all of you
who want to get into casting in your own shops and I'm curious
about one thing...why? 

I do my own casting for several reasons:

I pay no mark up on the gold other than what the refiner charges
me, even less if I alloy it myself.

I can cast when I need to, and not have to wait for the mail, or
anything else.

The quality of my casting is generally better than anywhere else
I send it.


#5

You were reading my mind, Sharon! I had somebody smack me
upside the head once and ask me why I wanted to go to all the
expense of outfitting my studio with casting equipment, use up
the space, take the time, etc., when there are many people out
there who would be happy to do it for me! I have used a casting
subcontractor since. They sprue 'em up, invest, burn out, cast,
quench, clean, desprue and tumble finish. All I have to do is
attach findings, set stones and polish.

Unless you’re doing a lot of casting, let the experts do it…
it’s more economical, efficient and clean. You’ll also get more
consistent results! Lots of people in the classified section of
Lapidary Journal… call around, as some people charge per flask,
others strictly on finished weight.

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC


#6

Sharon, I totally agree with you about farming out the casting,
however, that is also a constant headache. I dread the day
that one of my casters has a fire, goes out of business, or
raises his already outrageous prices. There is also the idea
that one part of the process is totally out of your control for
part of the time. And any mistakes by the caster (not that we
don’t make mistakes) can cost a great deal of lost time,
etc.–such as casting your wax in the wrong metal, using dirty
metal, overheating, etc.

Do you have a consistently great caster that you can recommend?
I live in the Los Angeles area, and although there are literally
hundreds of jewelry casters downtown, I need one that can do
sub-foundry sized work, in the 4-10" size range, in sterling,
gold, or bronze. Thanks for any suggestions. Ruth


#7

You will be always copied one way or the other. You just have to
be one step ahead of the copiers!

Gabriella


#8

Anne,

I use an outfit called Candia Enterprizes, located in Candia,
NH. Phone: (603)483-2545. Run by Brent and Kathy (not related).

Sharon


#9

i do my casting at home, in my basement, and then do everything
else in my room. i don’t have a lot of money to spend on things,
so most of my stuff is improvised, but they still turn out good.
i wouldn’t learn anything from sending it to a professional to
get it casted, and i wouldn’t have enough money for that.

-albert


#10

Anne,

We would be interested in giving you a quote.

John

John Dach and Cynthia Thomas
Maiden Metals
a div. of The power it there - - - -
MidLife Crisis Enterprises we only have to plug into it!
PO BX 44
Philo, CA 95466
707-895-2635(phone/fax)
@John_Cynthia_MidLife


#11

Ruth,

I would be interested in soing this sort of casting for you. We
cast our own jewelry (Cynthia is the jeweler, 30+ years of
experience) and I do the base metal work and run the foundry.
Give us a contact if you like. We are about 3 hours North of San
Francisco.

John

John Dach and Cynthia Thomas
Maiden Metals
a div. of The power it there - - - -
MidLife Crisis Enterprises we only have to plug into it!
PO BX 44
Philo, CA 95466
707-895-2635(phone/fax)
@John_Cynthia_MidLife


#12

Sharon:

Over ten years ago I bought a used centrifugal casting setup at
a flea market in Tesuque. NM. I didn’t have a clue how to cast. I
suppose I would have done better in the short run to job out my
casting. However, by diligently teaching myself the ins and outs
of casting (I am still learning) I now have added considerably to
my income by building and managing my own small in-house
production casting setup.

This helps me to be competitive in a tough market and provides
work for the local work force.

Kenneth Gastineau
@Kenneth_Gastineau1


#13

I do my own casting because I can be relatively sure of my
results. I can more closely control my alloys. When necessary, I
can sprue, burnout and cast a small job in less than two hours.
If I need to redo a job, I am prepared to. I am not living at the
mercy of any out of town casters. I do, however, send out platinum
castings at this time, but one day I expect to pick it up.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
e-mail: @Bruce_Holmgrain
http:\www.knight-hub.com\manmtndense\bhh3.htm
snail mail: pob 7972, McLean, VA 22106-7972
phone:: 703593-4652


#14

Whoever wrote about casting at home, the above from Sharon is
something to seriousuly consider. I’ve been casting awhile and
its a very intense learning curve and as she said results are
often inconsistent. If you’re not the kind of person who is very
meticulous and likes to solver problems then its not for you. If
your computer runs terrible because you don’t enjoy or aren’t
interested in learning to manage your hard drive and the
utilities it takes to keep things running clean then casting is
not for you. I’m still working on getting out all the bugs in my
casting procedure and the latest was to get a computer controller
for the kiln to standardize my burnout procedure and to get me
out of the house while it does its thing for eight or more hours.
An inexpensive kiln will work but you’ll be constantly checking
it throughout the procedure to see that the temperature hasn’t
gone up or down, as it will. Take a casting class if you can to
see what you’re getting into. Casting silver also is very
difficult, more prone to problems than gold. Dave

Art Jewelry for Conscious People
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html


#15

Hi Dave,

I am terrible on the computer and make wonderful castings.:slight_smile:
When casting small flasks, ie: up to 2 1/2" in diameter and
using a quality investment such as Kerr LustreCast( I used it
for 15 years, I now use Jelenko Complete), I let the flask stand
for about an hr. I put it in the oven( I have both a Ney
computer and a Jelenko dial) set the dial for a mark I have
pre-determined on the dial(trial and error) turn the oven on and
cast in 1 3/4 hrs. What are you burning out that takes 8 hrs!
Is it an engine block? Most investments, in my experience,
start breaking down after 3 hrs. in the oven. I will grant you
that larger flasks(casting rings) need longer bench setting
time, but when they are cooled off from the exothermic reaction
of the investment set, they are ready for the oven. You need to
increase burnout time for larger flasks, but 2 1/2 hrs., at
temp, should be sufficient for anything short of an oven with
more than 2 flasks of 4" dia. and 6"length. I only use 2 stage
burnout when I am using that injection molded wax, and I see
precious little difference if any in the castings.

Don’t scare the people. This ain’t rocket science!:wink: E-mail me
if you want to talk. I’m a dental tech and make quite a few
castings.

Regards,

Skip

                                  Skip Meister
                                NRA Endowment and
                                   Instructor
                                @Skip_Meister
                                06/10/9708:45:03

#16

Skip: Hi, sure I’d like to swap some ideas with you. I have cut down my
burnout schedule to a five hour program on the controller. I did meet one
jeweler who tells me like you do that he puts the flasks in and sets it for
1350 and takes it out two hours later. The thing is I cast fairly bulky
pieces (40 grams of silver in the final piece and 80-90 grams of silver in
the crucible) and worry that a fast rise in temp like that might steam some
investment into the mold, or so I’ve been told.

My primary frustration is getting rid of those damn subsurface pits. I’m
having some success using vents to the outside of the flask but now I’m
finding that where the vent connects to the piece and where the silver
rushes in from the main sprue creates porosity from the coming and going of
the metal. I’m venting off the piece near the top of the model (button being
"up" in this case). I saw that in a book and now I’m thinking I should vent
from the bottom of the model and curve the vent piece back up to the top and
out of the flask. I’m using Ultravest but about to run out of it and bought
the investment Gesswein is now selling for silver, its probably just as
good. I use 2 1/2 inch flasks and usually burnout two or three of them at a
time. I cast in silver and currently bought a stash of fine silver casting
grain I got for cheap and alloying it with copper in the crucible. I’m using
a cheapo torch with propane and oxy and the torch takes a damn long time to
melt that much metal. Maybe I’ll go back to using my Smith acetylene/air
torch , it has a bigger flame. Any tips would be appreciated. I’m also using
a Neycraft Spincaster if that helps any…Dave

www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html
Crystalguy Art Jewelry, Magical Art Jewelry for the Enlightened Mind


#17

Just a quick note to all who are interested in experimenting with casting
stones in place. I have been working on this for awhile now and have had
pretty good luck.
Anyone who is interested in the procedure can E-Mail me and I will send you
the process and specks I use…
Ken


#18

Hi Ken, I’m interested in the specs on casting stones in place. Thanks


#19

Just a quick note to all who are interested in experimenting with casting
stones in place. I have been working on this for awhile now and have had
pretty good luck.
Anyone who is interested in the procedure can E-Mail me and I will send you
the process and specks I use…
Ken

Thanks in advance for any info Ken.

                          Darryl

#20

Just a quick note to all who are interested in experimenting with casting
stones in place. I have been working on this for awhile now and have had
pretty good luck.
Anyone who is interested in the procedure can E-Mail me and I will send you
the process and specks I use…
Ken
hi ken,
of course we’re interested. thanks in advance.

best regards,

geo fox
e-mail: @GeorgeDebbie