Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Sand Casting


Recommended Posts

I’ve been asked to come up with some custom drawer pulls and door handles for a piece of furniture. What they want is quite unique and what’s available commercially is not what they want so after a lot of looking at YouTube and such I’ve decided that casting them myself might be the way to go. Have any of you folks ever done sand casting yourselves and if you have what are some pros and cons, do’s and don’ts? I’ve got some cast brass figures that I picked up at a yard sale that I can use for the brass. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haven't done it for long enough, since College years, that I will not suggest anything more than an excellent, comprehensive book.  Metal Techniques for Craftsmen by Oppi Untracht published by Doubleday & Co.  Here is a relatively affordable copy online https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=31114758312&cm_sp=SEARCHREC-_-WIDGET-R-_-BDP-L&searchurl=an%3Doppi%2Buntracht%26sortby%3D20%26tn%3Dmetal%2Btechniques%2Bfor%2Bcraftsmen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A good quality CLEAN sand sifted over your object and well packed ( helps with the fine details ) I also used to dust the object I was casting with talc to help it release from the sand, plenty of riser holes at the far end of your spru so the air can get out when you do your pour, clean metal to melt for your casting you will want plenty of flux to draw contaminants out of your metal as it melts unless you got really good metal to start with, those were the main things that would cause me problems.

  You might want to look into investment casting instead, you make a mold out of silicone, pour molten wax into the silicone mold, pop out a perfect wax item, ( this can be done dozens of times and you can keep these molds for a long time) pour investment cement around the wax item, melt out the wax and pour in your metal, break your part out of the investment and clean it up, that’s a little simplified but not much, investment allows more intricate details and you can touch up or modify your wax castings and there is no chance of a mold collapse, you can find all the supplies on line at jewelry making sites or dental supply companies, sand is fun but a lot of work and it’s really hard to get a good detail cast, hope this helps. P.s molten brass is nasty stuff and if you have ever cast bullets you can imagine how brass can splatter at 1800 + degrees

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I investment cast these 45 cal bullets out of 99.9 fine silver, cut off the spru and did a light polishing and loaded them up, dident even have to size them they cast perfect, I did this just in case the local werewolves got upidy, I will warn you that investment casting can get addictive, you start with drawer pulls and the next thing you know you doing buckles, badges, watch fobs, silver bullets …….

B6A80437-657D-46B5-8A73-8D79A0346EDB.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Oak Ridge Regulator said:

A good quality CLEAN sand sifted over your object and well packed ( helps with the fine details ) I also used to dust the object I was casting with talc to help it release from the sand, plenty of riser holes at the far end of your spru so the air can get out when you do your pour, clean metal to melt for your casting you will want plenty of flux to draw contaminants out of your metal as it melts unless you got really good metal to start with, those were the main things that would cause me problems.

  You might want to look into investment casting instead, you make a mold out of silicone, pour molten wax into the silicone mold, pop out a perfect wax item, ( this can be done dozens of times and you can keep these molds for a long time) pour investment cement around the wax item, melt out the wax and pour in your metal, break your part out of the investment and clean it up, that’s a little simplified but not much, investment allows more intricate details and you can touch up or modify your wax castings and there is no chance of a mold collapse, you can find all the supplies on line at jewelry making sites or dental supply companies, sand is fun but a lot of work and it’s really hard to get a good detail cast, hope this helps. P.s molten brass is nasty stuff and if you have ever cast bullets you can imagine how brass can splatter at 1800 + degrees

Do you use a propane kiln or what to melt the material?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

propane kiln will melt all the way up to gray iron if its got enough btu, I made my last furnace by putting a 8" sonno tube inside a 12" sonno tube and pouring it full of refactory cement between tubes, I cast a 2" hole thru the side on the bottom and used one of those 100,000 btu brush burning wand tips for the burner (you do need to play with air holes to get it to burn well ) that setup will fit a #11 crucible and give you room for lifting tongs, it was about a foot tall if I remember correctly, melted silver and brass with no problem

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cat litter crushed and mixed with your sand will help it pack and hold shape.

 

 

2 part casting box will make details easier

 

Kiln for melting small amounts of metal for casting.

 

St

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've done sand with aluminum and lost wax for most other non ferrous metals.

 

Straight up plaster works around wax, if you have a vacuum chamber it pulls the bubbles out of it and just quenching the piece removes 99% of the plaster.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm hoping to cast some brass knife handles soon so I've been watching probably a bunch of the same videos.  Good luck and let us know how they turn out!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Texas Joker said:

I've done sand with aluminum and lost wax for most other non ferrous metals.

 

Straight up plaster works around wax, if you have a vacuum chamber it pulls the bubbles out of it and just quenching the piece removes 99% of the plaster.

I do have a vacuum chamber that I use for dying and stabilizing wood, I’ve even vacuum marinated some meat in it. Conestoga Works carry’s the one that I use. I assume you use the vacuum chamber while the plaster is drying?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In jewelry casting after you set the piece on the sprew you place it in the jar and pour the plaster then before the plaster sets it goes into vacuum to draw all the bubbles off. Vibration can assist the process

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is also centrifugal casting for small items.  Have a machine I haven't used in at least 20 years. You melt the wax out of the mold and centrifugal force drives molten metal into the mold when you trigger the arm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Clockwork? I used to have one. Before that it was a paint and chain I spun

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Spring driven, you cock it, set up and trigger it.  Made for jewelry and dental, can't recall the brand name at the moment,  The book I suggested has all sorts of methods, primitive to sophisticated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

Contact the art department at Palomar Junior College (whatever it's called these days). There used to be a pretty good program for casting.

 

For a one off this is your best bet. Lots of college students are looking for a project.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

For a one off this is your best bet. Lots of college students are looking for a project.

That’s what I’m going to do. I don’t need another rabbit hole to go down, although the casting methods mentioned throughout this thread sound very interesting. Thank you everyone for your advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.