Methods of casting that can be used for camp/teaching /modelmaking

To Michael Parkin I don’t know what age you will be teaching at
camp… but a very inexpensive method of casting is cuttle fish
casting and Delft clay casting …I would consider it dangerous
to let young children cast silver/bronze/gold and i would think
that it may pose a problem as far as insurance issues for the
camp is concerned. Cuttle fish and Delft clay casting can be done
using Pure tin or a non lead white metal alloy that melts at
around 400 oF .(this can be melted over a campfire with the
following material. My suggestion would be to get a stainless
steel whitemetal ladle from the contenti co. 800-343-3364( a
small one will do …2" dia. )… have them attach a wooden
handle to it…if it does not have one.This ladle will last a
life time at camp… You can buy a few(small) bars of tin
/pewter from oster metals in Providence RI. The delft clay system
is available from the Gesswein co…800-544-2043 and they may
have cuttle fish available as well. casting pewter/tin in this
method is an excellent project in the sense that you can take
anything from small rocks…cut pieces of tubing (for rings) to
small wood carvings that the kids might make themselves and
convert them into a metal that is easily filed and smoothed using
inexpensive tools . it is not neccesary to use metal jewelers
files to work on this metal… you can buy the cheapest files
available and they will work well.For final finishing…use steel
wool and you will get a finish akin to a fine satin finish. This
metal is also available in sheets of various thickness and can
be soldered with a 45watt soldering iron (if the item is not too
large).(contenti co) and white metal solder and flux. I prefer the
delft clay casting system as the clay can be reused. There is
also a small sand casting kit available from some suppliers as
well.This kit has a larger frame than the delft system and can
be used for more projects. Contenti carries a silicone rubber
(2part mix…self curing in 16+hours…)that you can cast directly
into with pewter, but this gets expensive for a camp situation at
$17.00/lbs. For those who are interested in using this for other
purposes than teaching… as in model making…this metal can be
molded in Vulcanized rubber to be used to make waxes of your
items for lost wax casting in Bronze,Silver and gold. In this
manner,you can buy the sheet stock ,a soldering iron, flux and
tin solder, some files and a saw and you can begin making models
that you can send to casting houses and have your pieces
reproduced or you can cast them yourselves. This is a very cheap
way to begin making your own jewelry !!! I hope this helps out
Daniel Grandi

Thanks Dan,

The kids are in the 13 -16 year old range, and the camp is
actually well equipped for jewelry, hollow ware, and some
casting. I like the idea of using pewter casting for at least
one project, and the delft clay method seems to yield better
results than even very fine sand. Also, it seems to me that
there is little that we do that seems more magical than casting.
at least from a beginner’s point of view. MP

Also, it seems to me that there is little that we do that seems
more magical than casting. at least from a beginner's point of
view.  MP 

Maybe. But my most magical moment was watching Cindy Eid make a
spiral with a folded length of copper. It knocked my socks off!

Kathi Parker