View Full Version : Bronze Casting original steering wheel

David Knight
03-10-2002, 11:50 PM
Does anyone have information or direct experience having an art studio (and not a large commercial operation) handle a casting for a boat part. I am looking to get the original wheel (steering) of a runabout cast in bronze, and then wrap the outside of the wheel in mahogany. Is silicon bronze much the same in handling as statuary bronze such that a studio or technical college (if provided the silicon bronze) could handle the project?

03-11-2002, 04:52 AM
Are you planning on making up your own pattern or using an exising wheel as a pattern .I would suggest that any of the bronzes would be OK ,with gunmetal probably being the easiest to pour.

03-11-2002, 08:21 AM
Alot of studios these days use silicon bronze for thier work...it's a great metal for casting, but for your application many bronzes will work. Before I got my furnace set up in my shop I had several good experiences with David Cambell Plaster and Iron out of middlebury VT Very profesional and extremely good work...and he pours in silicon bronze. I always rented time in his space so I am not sure how his prices would be on something like this...It won't be cheap, one off castings never are. good luck

03-11-2002, 08:28 AM
While it's not exactly in your neighborhood, it's closer than VT...

Argos Foundry, Brewster NY. 845 278 2454

They've done a number of one-off castings for us (architectural elements) straight from our soft-clay positives. Great folks to work with, and we've never had a problem with their prices.

03-11-2002, 08:34 AM
When it comes time for a sculpture to be rendered in bronze, the artists GO to a commercial operation. I've met only one sculpture who casts his own stuff. They are two different arts and two different sciences.

I had three parts that needed to be reproduced in bronze. Two of them were complicated and required some precise machining. They were elaborate, angled, through-hull fixtures for depth and speed sensors and required a precise tube and outside threading. They ended up costing about 50% more than ordinary straight bronze fixtures from the manufacturer.

It is not likely that your art studio is going to be able to machine the hub and keyway for your wheel.

Bob Cleek
03-11-2002, 09:34 PM
Don't forget, your casting is going to shrink and the casting will be a tad smaller than the pattern. Probably won't matter much, but something to think about, especially if you are going to recycle any parts or trim off the original.

[ 03-11-2002, 09:36 PM: Message edited by: Bob Cleek ]

Todd Bradshaw
03-12-2002, 02:18 AM
When I was a sculpture major in college, we cast all of our own bronze as did our instructors. It was all silicon bronze. The only stuff that was shipped out was the really big stuff like statues that the instructors were doing. The program would have seemed kind of lame without actually learning how to do the job from start to finish. If you can find a school that has the equipment, there is no reason that they shouldn't be able to do the job. Whether they are allowed to do castings for cash, rather than just their own stuff is another question.

03-14-2002, 08:31 PM
If, you find someone to do the work, I was thinking of doing the same thing for a wheel. If you can get the project done cheaper for two, let me know and I will go in with you.