Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Safely ingot pouring due hand tremor


#1

Need a solution for safely casting into ingot mould due to a hand
tremor

Hi folks, I’m dealing with a shoulder tremor which is proving to be
a dangerous problem when I try to pour metal from a crucible and
handle into an ingot mould. Has anyone seen or heard of a rest or
third hand design that would help steady the crucible during the
pouring process?

I’m good at making tools, so even a description of something could
be just the thing I need.

Any advice would be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance
Don Humphreys


#2

Hi Don,

Jay Whaley had a gizmo that was a smallish crucible attached to a
handle that also held an ingot mold. Lay it down sideways, melt the
metal, then just pick it up and tilt over, and the metal poured into
the mold. Pretty bulletproof.

I don’t know if they ever made it into production, or if he’s got
any more of them, but you might drop him a line and see. They
weren’t even particularly expensive.

(Google Jay Whaley Studio, and that’ll get you there.)

Regards,
Brian


#3

Don, are you pouring into a vertical ingot mold, or a trough
(horizontal) style ingot mold? Also, what kind of crucible pouring
device are you using?

If you are using a WHIP, with a pouring dish, you will have an
easier time pouring accurately into the ingot mold, especially if you
are pouring into the top of a vertical mold. Be sure to rest the
crucible against the top of the ingot mold as you pour your metal,
and you should be pretty stable while doing so.

Those open-style trough molds are damn hard to make a consistent
thickness ingot with, but the vertical style molds use gravity to
help compact the shape into the mold.

Good luck, and wear safety glasses!!

Jay


#4

Don,

Fabricate a V-shaped support and fasten it close to your mold. Rest
the handle of the crucible in the V to steady it as you pour.

John in Indiana


#5

The person I learned basic silversmithing was not only excellent at
her work and teaching she took time to address my specific
difficulties tremors and involuntary muscle movements.

I set up my casting table as close to the kiln as safely possible.
The kiln is set up at a height where i can open and take out the
item without reaching overhead or bending down. Smooth motion grab
it and turn to left and place down without walking. She taught me to
keep my elbows as close to my body as possible and two hand the
whatever I was removing from the kiln. it was a burn out lost wax
mold. the mold is set up on a sculptors tabletop banding wheel. Mine
is heavy cast base with aluminum banding wheel available from 7
inches on up. I place a fire bricks on the banding wheel since I was
unsure if the aluminum could handle the heat of the torch over long
term. This raised the level of pour even higher. Made it easier to
brace my pouring arm as close to body and pour better.

So raise the workspace safely so you can stand relaxed and proceed
with task making less stress and tightening of the muscles will help
reduce tremors a little. I place and emergency steel bucket filled
with water right there so if I drop it it is somewhat contained.(I
wear the clear face shields over my mask. It is easier for me to
see)

Lastly there are good days and bad days we all know this. There are
days when I say ok no knives or sharps today and I do something less
dangerous. There is always something that needs done somewhere. lol

I hope it helps it is not impossible. Oh I use a steel legged small
table to sit it all on. I am a goodwill and flea market shopper. I
got the banding wheel for 7 bucks and the table for ten. Even at
regular price a 7 inch banding whell costs 30-40 bucks amaco.com
sells them.

Teri


#6

I had a student that could not get (basically she was afraid) pouring
ingots, so we jigged a small piece of charcoal to the side of the
crucible which she used to place on the edge of the ingot mold to
steady and place it while she poured. It worked! We also used a cast
iron skillet under the ingot mold to catch the metal if they missed,
so it could be reused.

Good luck it should be easy to make a jig that works.

Lauren
LaurenSchott.com


#7

Don- A great tool for that is called an apprentice:-)

Actually I just rest the crucible on the edge of the ingot mold when
I’m ready to pour.

Sorry to hear about your shoulder. I’ve had both of mine freeze and
had to have one surgically released. Although I’m perfectly happy to
get old, it doesn’t stop me from complaining.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#8

Even without a tremor I think a stand that supports the handle of
the crucible as close as possible might be handy for any of us. I see
a homemade tool that is a V at the top of a vertical member attached
to a base that could be either screwed temporarily or clamped to a
table at just the right height, of course. Or it could be hung from
above. Made out of metal or wood, because it would not be exposed to
much heat. Just set the crucible handle in the crux of the V and
twist the handle to pour. The handle on my crucible is a relatively
thin rectangular band of steel. To make the turning of the handle in
the act of pouring more even, one could take some large dowel, larger
diameter than the handle, rip a short length in half and fasten it to
the handle where it would lay in the V of the assist stand. This
would make the turning of the crucible in the act of pouring smooth
and even.

Dennis Fisher


#9
Fabricate a V-shaped support and fasten it close to your mold. Rest
the handle of the crucible in the V to steady it as you pour. 

Or for about $10 you could buy a plastic boot-removing aid and use
its fork to rest your wrist or the crucible in. Mine is from
Solutions, is light enough to prop vertically between books, though
plaster of Paris as a base would be more permanent.

Lorraine


#10

I saw something recently where a guy had a firebrick with a well
carved into it as the crucible with a trough the shape of the ingot
you want also carved into it, shallower but joining the crucible.
Put another fire brick or charcoal block over the trough only so you
can still heat the metal in the crucible well. The two blocks are
held together, could use wire or get creative cause all you have to
do now is melt the gold and tip up the bricks to vertical and the
molten metal flows right into your ingot. The nice square edges if
the firebrick would help steady yourself as well as the ease of not
having to pour. You carve in the shape of the ingot so you don’t get
limited to the usual useless shapes that come with ingot molds. I
will get around to doing this myself just cause it looks so easy. SD


#11

First, I’d like to thank everyone for all the responses. Based on
all the ideas, I’ll try making a small adjustable stand to rest the
Whip in, and use an iron pan to catch any spillover. A charcoal
block beside the mould may be just what I need too.

I do use a vertical mould so I need a rest of some sort. I’ll
experiment and let you know. The ergonomics is really important for
guys like us.

This forum is absolutely fantastic. Well done to everyone working
inside the Ganoksin world!! We all benefit from this.

cheers
don


#12

Here is the guy with the tipping brick up method. A little more
elaborate than I thought but could be simplified.

Watch till he pours the ingot after he melts the first time


#13

Hi

good video on hand made ring. But I don’t understand when something
is as labour intensive as this, why would you not just buy the ring
fully finished? A fully finished ring like that one would cost me
about $400. Give or take the metal weight. And only take phone call.

Then I would be able to get onto setting the diamond.

OK if someone wants their gold re-cooked I get it otherwise I don’t.

When I bezel set sapphire solitaires into 18 kt I get the customer
to choose the ring from the AGS catalogue.

And then set the bezel into the ring band.

Although I was taught to hand make we were also taught not to do
what a machine can do better.

Still a great example of craftsmanship. I just wonder about the nuts
and bolts economics.

Richard


#14

You are correct about the nuts and bolts economics, I as a handmade
only jeweler can not compete with the CAD/CAM, and other mechanical
/ automated systems on a level playing field. I, fortunately, do not
rely on my art to support me. However, for me the esthetic of making
my one of a kind design and servicing my customer is the driving
force. You are providing your customer with a good service, and an
economic one. I just enjoy what a I do and will continue doing it.

John


#15

I didn’t say he was a genius. I did like his little ingot setup
though.

He spends a lot of time on that stupid band. It would be a good
exercise for a student.


#16

You are correct about the nuts and bolts economics, I as a handmade
only jeweler can not compete with the CAD/CAM, and other
mechanical/automated systems on a level playing field. I,
fortunately, do not rely on my art to support me. However, for me
the esthetic of making my one of a kind design and servicing my
customer is the driving force. You are providing your customer with a
good service, and an economic one. I just enjoy what a I do and will
continue doing it.

John