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[Seeking] [US] Reliable casting company


#1

Hi everyone,

I am new here, so I hope I am doing this correctly! I’m a
jeweler/artist living in the US Virgin Islands. I have had
consistent bad luck with casting companies the last couple of years
and am hoping someone here can point me in the right direction. My
designs are…challenging.

The person I was using on the islands was great in lead time for
production and new designs, but the casting was horrible quality:
Inconsistent, cracking, pitting, etc…etc…

I have used Billanti, and they are great and quick, but they do not
offer finishing and they are really pricey.

Last year I found Alpine Casting, who did a FANTASTIC job as far as
quality goes, great prices as well. However, the production time was
unnacceptable. Just to give you an idea, I have been waiting on 7
new designs for almost 5 months. I finally had it out with him today
and he is sending my masters and molds back with my final order.

So now the search continues. I need someone who is quick (I can
understand a lead time of up to 3 weeks or so), reliable and
consistent, and can handle tricky designs. Also someone who does
complete finishing services, including soldering on my bails and
final polishing.

Basically these pieces are the bread and butter of my business (I
also create one of a kinds and custom) so I want them to come to me,
where I can just set my gemstones and it’s done. Put 'em out and
sell them.

I’m hoping some of you have some imput and can recommend a place or
two. This last experience has been a headache and a half and I just
want my product. Not too much to ask, right?

Many thanks, and I look forward to getting to know you all and being
a part of this group!

Liz


#2

Racecar - great folks!

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/racecarjewelry

No affiliation, just a very satisfied customer.

Beth Wicker


#3

Hoover and strong would be my recommendation -
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/7x

they have reasonable rates that get beter with quantity and the
metals would be consistent with repeat orders.The minimum is low and
they work from waxes or metal models (or a variety of substrates
actually).The finishing can be contracted as well as they send it
out tumbled only but I personally prefer to do my own finishing
particularly on small runs or pieces that will get various finishes
or textures to a single design…There are a few others but i buy my
casting grain and matching solders when i don’t make them from
Hoover so I maintain colour consistency.Most raw materials suppliers
do casting as well… just check prices and negotiate leveraging one
company’s better price with a stated one if necessary most often
there will be at least a reasonable offer that is competitive…rer


#4

Casting House in Chicago
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/79

or Quality Casting in NY…
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/d1

both are reputable.

Russ Hyder
The Jewelry CAD Insitute


#5

You might try GM Casting in Chicago
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/79


#6

Admittedly i skimmed the post intially- 5 months is not at all
reasonable!-You would do better either a Thai company or one of a
number of international options that guarantee a 2-3 week turnaround
since you want additional services. - One I have used in Thailand is
american owned does quality finishing (though at a premium price) and
will tell you the guarantee date upon placing the order.

Also, you may want to consider the possibility of designing a bail
into the piece. You may come out ahead as opposed to soldering it on
after the fact… certainly it would save money and cut down on the
operations you have to pay for. tricky designs as you describe them
shouldn’t be an issue if there are minimum undercuts. If you are
sastisfied with the molds and no new company has to make them that
is a savings there as well. Any non-local company that you haven’t an
agent to visit and deal with face-to-face presents the same
challenges. You may consider sending a base metal sample or really
good copy of the mould to a number of companies to assess the
results before making a decision- it is not uncommon ( pricing varies
with the format you send). Another option is also a CAM service since
you have quality pieces you are happy with already finished- those
services take days not weeks but you have to compare prices and in
some cases supply the metals- which works to your advantage if you
can order in bulk for discounted weights of “x” karat, colour or
type of silver.

Billianti and Southeast are perhaps the most expensive (next to a
number of Pt, and CAD/CAM casting services due to the alloy or
equipment) so look around and if you want that Thai company I have
dealt with many times ) over 215 years) contact me off list…rer


#7

Try Dan Grandi

(401) 461-7803
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/racecarjewelry

I have used him several times. Quality is excellent. He has always
delivered on time.

Good luck.
MA


#8

Hi; I personally do all of the casting for a contract caster in
Albuquerque NM, we use Neutech casting machines Vacuum investing
machines Silver including a De-Ox, all karats of gold, and bronze, We
also have the ability to do silver gold and copper plating on
premises too. You will find our pricing lower than most anyone. Send
us your molds and give us a test, I think you will be happily
surprised.

Gregg


#9

Techform Casting has always done me well for platinum casting and
turn around in less than a week. I can send a model on a Monday and
have it back by Friday. Even if a send a metal model, I can have a
mold made and still returned in less than a week. (Express Mail,
USPS). I’ve yet to get a bad casting from them in the several years
I’ve worked with this company. There is a lot of info on their site:

They are not the cheapest, but for their great service and quality,
they are definitely worth it.

Tom Tilney
Belgiandiamond.com


#10

Have had wonderful service from Cranston Casting in Cranston Rhode
Island. Check their website:

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/de

They have a great video clip on their home page of their facility…
it was wiped out a year ago in a flood. Nice people and very
reliable.:slight_smile:

joy


#11

Try

WT Wilson
York Ave
Pawtucket RI
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ds

Stephen Guyot
guyotbrothers.com


#12

I would also like to recommend Dan Grandi at Race Car Jewelry.

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/racecarjewelry

Recently, I took a 3-day workshop at the Metalwerx Studio in Waltham,
Massachusetts. If you are new to casting, I highly recommend that you
take a casting course, and if you’re lucky and can find a course
taught by Dan, even better. It was a more complicated process than I
assumed. In addition to teaching about casting, he also was very
generous with his vast knowledge about every possible question
relating to jewelry making that the class could think of to ask.

Ginny


#13

Google Techform. Although not very cheap, their work is outstanding. I’ve never had a porosity issue with them and they do a high pressure process to make very tight easily polished work. “TechForm’s utilization of a sophisticated ceramic shell casting process in combination with hot isostatic pressing yields the excellent castings you need.” Turn around is usually less than a week. If they have the waxes by Monday, I’ll have it back cast by the following Saturday. That’s hard to beat.


#14

I will be very interested to hear people’s updated recommendations on this one!


#15

We do all of our work in house except for Platinum, Palladium, and steel casting. That we give to Techform. We have for many years. Their Hipping process is great for collapsing voids in castings.
We also adore Theresa Frye and all the entire crew who work there. We have never had a problem casting from them. Ever.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
-Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#16

The obstacle is finding a caster who finishes and assembles. Most don’t. What you’re looking for is a trade shop. They will, but finding one who does consistently excellent work year after year is extremely difficult. So difficult that when people find one they won’t tell anyone else about them. If they did tell the increased volume of work might ruin the good thing they’ve got going. Selfish humans!

To get that excellent quality finishing and assembling most do that work themselves, only jobbing out the actual casting and often doing that in house as well.
Mark