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Suggested metal for models?


#1

I was inteding to cast some models in brass, but I have been warned
against this. I am seeking your suggestions for good base metal
alloys for casting metal models.

One person suggested peweter to me, but I have a preference for
copper if I can not use brass.

Your opinions are appreciated.

-Vera


#2

Vera,

You might think about using 14 ct allow (PM West #34 14 ct yellow
gold alloy) straight to keep a good gold color and have a near base
metal casting material. It doesn’t tarnish badly either. Call your
metals supplier or call PM West at 800.999.7528 and talk with their
technical support folks and ask them what they would suggest that
you use. You can also look them up at
Http://www.preciousmetalswest.com

We have used them for years and they have always done well for us
and our requirements. They are small enough to get to know the people
there and big enough to do their job well. We do not have any
relationship with them save or being a long time, happy customer.

John Dach


#3

Pewter has a very low melting point and can be gravity cast in
moulds made with dental plaster, it is easy to finish and takes a
high polish on a linen stitched mop with a polishing soap.

Sam.


#4

Sterling works well for cast models.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#5

The best metal for models is sterling silver - the worst metal for
models is pewter. Why? Because you can solder on silver, either now
or later. Plus you will get clean, crisp edges. Pewter is fine if you
have the mechanism to cast it, and you absolutely know that you will
never, never ever want to alter it in any way. There a some, I’m
sure, who are skilled with pewter soldering, but the temps are just
too close for me - one little bit too hot and your model is a puddle.
Plus it is quite fragile - one extra turn on the vulcanizer and it is
crushed (this I have seen). There’s really only one reason not to use
brass, and that is black molds - when you vulcanize, the sulfur in the
rubber and the brass will turn the mold these wierd colors. However,
it really doesn’t affect the mold quality. The same issue of
soldering arises, though. If you are only doing waxwork, brass is OK,
but modelmaking quickly enters the sphere of soldering - repairing
marginal castings, adding things, alterations. In the beginning,
though it should be ok for you, though you might go to sterling for
all the reasons I list above. Copper is considered “uncastable”,
though that is not strictly true. It will be so soft, though, that
you’ll find yourself battling it constantly. Sterling is ideal in
many ways for model making - and you’ll be able to rework your pieces
over the years, too.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#6

If these are production models then use sterling silver. Pewter is
too soft for a model and brass is a pain to cast and not as workable
as sterling.

Brett
Freedom Design & Contracting


#7

I made a compromise and purchased Nickle Silver to cast my master
models to save money. Any thoughts on this alloy?

Thanks to all of you for your suggestions. I will report back once I
have done my first few casts.

Vera


#8

I usually use 14k even if I am manufacturing in silver. I find that
the gold is easier to finish with nice crisp lines and gives a better
mold in the end. I tried bronze but found it harder to work with in
the initial casting, ie. I had more failures than with 14k gold, and
when you or espcially your partner has spent 10 to 14 hours carving a
really smashing model you don’t want a screwed up casting, and have
to start over…

Owen
www.walkergoldsmiths.com


#9
I made a compromise and purchased Nickle Silver to cast my master
models to save money. Any thoughts on this alloy? Thanks to all of
you for your suggestions. I will report back once I have done my
first few casts. 

I am afraid you will be quite frustrated with this choice. Nickel
silver is very difficult to cast due to its high melting temperature
and high zinc content. Nickel silver is basically a brass with
nickel added to it, so all the problems associated with brass casting
plus the high temperature properties of nickel. You have been given
some good advise by several people n the list as to suitable alloys
for models there are good reasons nickel silver was not included in
that list.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#10
I made a compromise and purchased Nickle Silver to cast my master
models to save money. Any thoughts on this alloy? 

Boy, you just can’t win this week. Nickel is devil metal. Many people
are allergic to it. And, at least in sheet, it’s really unpleasant to
work with.

I remember you said you wanted the brass color. Would bronze be
okay?

Elaine

Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


#11

I just made a model out of aluminum. I didn’t cast it. I sawed and
filed out the shape, which went pretty well. I usually work in
silver for models, but since I didn’t have any 2 mm sheet, I thought
I would try it with a scrap of aluminum someone gave me. Don’t use
your fine files if you try it.

Stephen Walker