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Steamcasting and other for beginners


I have begun a new list for beginners, rockhounds, small shops,
small casters, at home businesses, teachers, and anyone
interested in sharing concerning jewelry making,
silversmithing and silvercasting for the above groups of people.
It will be a place where you can safely ask the even simple of
questions and answers with out any fear of being flamed, told to
get a clue, and dah, having someone answer you comments that just
want to flame and not educate. It is NOT a place for large
volumne casters, with vacumn casters that only cost 2 gs (last
time I heard 2 gs, someone ask me to kill someone in Chicago area
almost 30 years ago, so I think that still means $2,000.00). Most
beginners trying to figure out the best method of casting for
them do not want to spend that much to get started. It will not
be a place for building egos, “I’m better than you, I’m smarter
than you, I do more than you” ego crap.

It is unfornuate that many luckers to Orchid have emailed me
privately asking for on steamcasting because they
were affraid to ask on this list.

I will continue to participate on this list, but do not wish to
bore the entire list with things just for beginners and the small
people, like my self. I have learned a lot in the short time
since I joined this list and I thank everyone for that. I look
forward to learning even more.

If you would like to join my list just email: On this list we will even talk about

Don Norris
PO Box 2433 Estes Park, CO 80517


I disagree with you Don, I am a beginner and I have asked
relatively stupid (naive) questions without anyone flaming me or
feeling that I am being talked down to. I find this list very
helpful and not at all intimidating. I must admit that I’m a bit
of a “lurker”, but I don’t have much to contribute in terms of
practical experience yet, so that’s fair enough. I would rather
not subscribe to a second list, but I would like to see the rest
of your steam casting exercises.

Alex Ball
Electron Microscope Unit
The Natural History Museum
London SW7 9BD

Tel 0171 938 8973/9348
Fax 0171 938 9268


I have a suspicion, Don, that like me, most orchidians are
always interested in everything folks have to say, I never know
when I’ll learn something or not. I don’t think you have to worry
about fuss, or critique, just sharing is good enough
for most of us I think. Charles

Charles Lewton-Brain
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada


You know Don N, you seem to have a serious problem because you
think people are attacking you.Nobody has attacked you, but many
seem to be trying to help educate you.From your posts, you made
statements about vacuum casting that thousands of casters who do
vac will disagree with.The reason that they disagree with you is
because they have incredibly good success with the process…
you on the other hand have stated that you did not have good
success with it and blatantly put the process down.All i tried
to do is give you info on what to check for so that you would
have better success at it! If anyperson on Orchid would like to
know how to make their Vac castings better, all i have tried to
do is to explain and educate on what to look for when they have
problems and in this manner,help them to get far better castings
than they previously could.I believe that this is part of the
essence of the Orchid list.My experience from years of
troubleshooting for small casters to very large casters.This is
what I do. I don’t believe that what i have previously stated has
anything at all to do with ego. I think its a great idea to post
to orchid about steam casting… ( i did some when i
was much younger).Also , orchid is for people interested in all
forms of Jewelryand manufacturing processes from small to large.
However, you are expressing yourself with a lot of RAGE in your
wording from the very beginning of the subject which is not
called for. If people are emailing you privately and you don’t
like it, then tell them so …PRIVATELY. obviously , they wanted
to let you know what they thought without "flaming you in public"
by putting what they wanted to say on orchid. So, lets all sit
back…take a deep breath …meditate… and go back to what
this list is all about. Helping each other. sincerely, Daniel G.
Ps People are emailing you to find out how to do steam casting
because they want to know how to do it… not because they are
afraid to post on orchid. People have been emailing me directly
all along asking questions and i Know that theyare only trying to
get answers .


Hi ! my name is Mike, my background is 45 years in the trade and
I certainly agree with you, ego should be what motivates us to do
the best we can and if some body is more talented than I, It is
my hope that he or she will help me, I try to live up to this

I have a suspicion, Don, that like me, most orchidians are
always interested in everything folks have to say, I never know
when I'll learn something or not. I don't think you have to worry
about fuss, or critique, just sharing is good enough
for most of us I think. Charles

Here here Charles…Or is that Hear hear? Either way, well
said. I have gleaned a great deal of useful info from everyone’s
posts throughout the time that I have spent on Orchid. I would
like to emphasize that I have never been afraid to ask a dumb
question…as many of you will attest to :-), nor have I ever
been ridiculed for doing so. Some may have a distinctly different
experience from others, but it has been unusual for anyone to
flame anyone else for an opinion…until recently, and if they do
flame, you can always refer them to the Orchid FAQ, (recently
reprinted), to remind them of the gentle and polite manner in
which the list is supposed to operate. Usually, when list
respondents get excited, they are just helpfully trying to
prevent a perceived disaster, and that may well be what is
happening, with all of the recent casting posts. I would like to
personally suggest to one of our newest posters, (Don), that he
read that FAQ before flaming anyone else, or insulting the rest
of the list any further. I love hearing about the steam casting,
its been very interesting, and informative, but I, for one, am
pretty tired of the unwarranted vitriol that has accompanied
much of it. Funny thing, sometimes the number of years of
experience one has, is irrelevant. Just because we’ve been doing
something forever, doesn’t mean that we’ve necessarily been doing
it right. I think that goes for all of us. I’m here to learn, so
thanks to all of you, who’ve passed on their knowledge,
(Hey! customer is thrilled about the Rhodium plating!),
without which, I at least, might have fallen flat more than once.
End of unrequested lecture. :slight_smile:

Lisa, (pouring rain, and my son didn’t bring in enough firewood yesterday…rotten
kid), Topanga, CA USA


As a resident lurker and novice jewelry person I second what
Byzantia has to say. If I want to ask a question, I will when I
have something to ask. I enjoy learning from this list. I
congratulate you Dr Aspler for the patience you must have to put
up with some of the flaming egos that surface from time to time
on this list. I would be tempted to delete a few postings of
the not so polite type if I were the moderator. Signed Joan Tatum


I am very much a novice, haven’t been here on orchid long, but
long enough to have asked a few of the ultra-novice questions –
and have never been answered rudely, flamed, or made to feel
inadequate (except by myself when, reading others’ questions, I
realize how much I don’t know enough about even to ask.) Yet
I’ve found only courtesy, kindness, enormous helpfulness – even
members donating time, email, photoes, to help me understand. I
must have missed something, because I don’t know what all this is
about concerning rudeness. I can only thank my lucky stars I
found this list, and Dr. Aspler, and all the members. ryr