After all the discussing about casting I thought I might just
start a weekly posting of how to do steam casting for any one
that does not do casting now. I believe that there might be some
lurkers out there that would like to do casting, but do not want
to spend the $1,500 to $2,000 to set up vacuum and centrifigal
casters. Of course, if this is not good use of the list and I get
flamed I will leave. Please let me know as I do not want to
offend too many people, a few I can live with, if it benefits a
few others. Of course the delete is a quick tool if you get
Steam Casting by Don Norris
(Please if I want this to turn in to a book or article, I will
publish it. Please consider it copywrited.)
Steam casting does work and in my opinion as good as vacuum
casting. If you want to give it a try, round up these materials.
Next week I will start explaining how to use it. By the end of
the month you can start a buisness casting! I promise! Even if
you know nothing about silversmithing or casting! You can start
this buisness for, lets guess, around or less than $170.00. This
will include a caster, kiln, small tools and even a dremel tool
So lets get started, here is a materials lists. Buy what you
need, but use what you already have. If you have a torch, do not
buy one. If you have a kiln do not buy this junk, Ok! But this
junk will do everything you need to cast 10 to 20 things a week
in you spare time. i am rounding the cost up to the nearest
$1.00. Most jewelry supplies can be purchased at your local
jeweler’s supply or through the mail from Naja or Maroon Bells in
Denver, or the Rio Grande Co. Just call for their
$ 1.00 1 empty tuna can (mix the tuna with mayo and eat it with
crackers while reading the rest of this steam casting info.
$ 1.00 1 six inch piece of broom handle of one inch dowel.
$ 1.00 1 roll of paper towels (you need 3 towels but you can
use the rest to clean up your tuna and crackers mess!)
$ 0.10 1 sheet metal screew #10 by 1 inch
$ 2.00 1 6" clay flower pot
$ 2.00 1 roll of aluminum foil
$ 0.00 1 coat hanger
$17.00 1 single burner propane campstove
$ 3.00 1 propane tank
$10.00 1 propane torch from Ace Hardware, if you press them
they can get one on sale for $10.00 with two tanks!
$ 5.00 1 soft fire brick available from Maroon Bells or Naja in
Denver or the Rio Grande Co. in Albequerque.
$ 3.00 1 tweezers from Rio Grande spring loaded shut and bent on
$ 2.00 1 copper strip 1/4" wide by 10 inches from a hardware
store for making copper tongs.
$ 5.00 1 small package of Pickle Safe or Rio Pickle for Rio
$ 2.00 1 pryrex dish
$ 8.00 1 box of 20 mule team borax soap. You will only need
about 1 cup for a year or two, but I do not know where you can
buy a smaller amount. Of course if you have a jewelers supply
close you can buy some powdered borax flux from them.
$ 2.00 1 package of childens clay or cheap sculpting wax.
$ 1.00 1 small tall narrow can of tomato paste
$ 2.00 1 cheap one gallon platic bucket
$10.00 1 small package fo Satin Cast 20 from Rio Grande or
local supplier (I am quessing about this price. The more you
buy the cheaper it is.
$13.00 2 ounces of sterling silver in any form that you can
$10.00 5 to 10 commercial waxes of your choice or email me and
I will send you some that I know will sell. I will even send
you more waxes if you follow all these instructions and do not
get good castings, as good as a vacuum caster can do! I will send
you 20 proven good sellers for the
$10.00 just to get you started. If you like hummingbirds, and who
would admit that they didn’t. I have a pendent that only weighs
aout 2 grams that with a chain is easy to sell for $15.00 to
$35.00 1 Dremel tool (Target prices) with very few accessories.
You do not need one with 50 accessories!
$ 5.00 1 stick of white diamond polishing compound (Rio Grande)
$ 3.00 1 stick of zam polish compound
$ 7.00 misc dremel polishing wheels (4 1" yellow wheels, two
mandrels, 10 briteboy wheels from Rio Grande
$20.00 10 to 15 sterling silver chains-light weight chains-20"
from Rio Grande.
$170.00 I think is the total, not bad to start a business.
That’s it! With the stuff above you can cast 10 to 20 small
pendents that you can sell for $10.00 to $20.00 each. Take that
money and buy silver and waxes and do the same thing every week.
Take the extra money and start buying better equipment. I will
give you a priority list later.
By the way, I do not work for any of the above supply places. I
teach private classes in my two class rooms in Boulder and
Loveland, Colorado. I hope they do not mind that I give them as a
source for materials.
Please visit my web site for about my self and my
PO Box 2433 Estes Park, CO 80517