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Thread: Bronze Casting course at Wooden Boat school

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Collector, New South Wales, Australia
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    Default Bronze Casting course at Wooden Boat school

    Hi all, I really want to learn metals casting in a safe fashion as opposed to just getting a you tube video and trial and error.
    Options here in Aus are somewhat limited to fine arts, lost wax methods and many stop short of construction of a furnace and actually pouring the metals.

    Therefore I am considering enrolling in the Wooden Boat School course to be conducted in August. I am happy to pay for the travel and course if it is a good course but am finding it hard to get opinions away from the actual course page.

    Has anyone on this forum done the course and can give an opinion. I have never done anything like casting at all but have been able to pick up new practical skills easily in the past. Also would the course be suitable for a 13yo if I was to take my son as my wife wants me to?

    Thanks for any advice.

    Mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Northern NSW Australia
    Posts
    62,229

    Default Re: Bronze Casting course at Wooden Boat school

    Hi Mark, a pity you're so far from here. I do a bit of bronze casting , haven't for a while but will again this winter.
    Nothing fancy though. http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...sting-pictures
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    N.E. Connecticut.
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    5,105

    Default Re: Bronze Casting course at Wooden Boat school

    I don't know if this will be helpful at all. I cannot speak to the course, however I do know Michael Saari, who teaches it. (We happen to be neighbors, his driveway is opposite mine.) Micheal is a true metal artisan, he studied in Europe, he was the blacksmith who produced all the hardware for the restoration of "Charles W. Morgan" at Mystic Seaport (see the Morgan restoration thread right here). The Woodenboat course is not the only course he teaches, he also teaches a variety of courses locally. Michael has a website if you would like to check out some of his work ( Michaelsaari.com ).
    Again, I am not able to comment on the course, I am only pointing out that the guy who teaches it is not a "Saturday afternoon wantabee".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Everett, WA
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    24,545

    Default Re: Bronze Casting course at Wooden Boat school

    McMullen taught bronze casting courses. Now that he is in Singapore he is not too far away. Import him to Oz to tutor you.
    Gerard>
    Everett, WA

    RESIST. FIGHT THE POWER.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    13,031

    Default Re: Bronze Casting course at Wooden Boat school

    Quote Originally Posted by mwethers View Post
    Hi all, I really want to learn metals casting in a safe fashion as opposed to just getting a you tube video and trial and error.
    Options here in Aus are somewhat limited to fine arts, lost wax methods and many stop short of construction of a furnace and actually pouring the metals.

    Therefore I am considering enrolling in the Wooden Boat School course to be conducted in August. I am happy to pay for the travel and course if it is a good course but am finding it hard to get opinions away from the actual course page.

    Has anyone on this forum done the course and can give an opinion. I have never done anything like casting at all but have been able to pick up new practical skills easily in the past. Also would the course be suitable for a 13yo if I was to take my son as my wife wants me to?

    Thanks for any advice.

    Mark
    Mark,

    I took the class with Sam Johnson when he taught it at WoodenBoat. I posted a thread about it earlier that might give you an inkling about it. (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...hlight=casting) It was a good hands-on class, and while we didn't build the furnaces used, we did make patterns and in some cases, new cope/drag boxes and some of the small tools that we used in the process. We cast a variety of parts that were intended to show us methods of creating temporary sand cores and dealing with patterns that are difficult to remove from the sand molds. We were also supplied with a nice book of reference material about casting, creating furnaces and tools and the like.

    I'm not sure how Michael Saari teaches his class, but I'm sure that if you have questions, the folks at the WoodenBoat School would be able to put you in touch with him to answer questions that you might have.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Horseheads, NY
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: Bronze Casting course at Wooden Boat school

    I am in the process of building a brass foundry that will be setup to replicate missing non standard hardware for boat builders.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Collector, New South Wales, Australia
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    72

    Default Re: Bronze Casting course at Wooden Boat school

    Thanks for the replies. Have heard back from the school and the course has filled so I will look for other options maybe closer to home.

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Port Stephens
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    Default Re: Bronze Casting course at Wooden Boat school

    Mark, I'm at Port Stephens and I'd love to do a course in bronze casting. Our neighbour here also. I wonder if we could employ Sibley or someone to run a course locally? I'll make some enquiries. Perhaps you might too and we could share findings here?

    Rick

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Northern NSW Australia
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    Default Re: Bronze Casting course at Wooden Boat school

    That could happen if you can't find anyone else !
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Northern NSW Australia
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    Default Re: Bronze Casting course at Wooden Boat school

    You'd have to build a furnace Rick, mine isn't very portable. A bit of light reading , I've scanned this page but haven't read it carefully.
    http://www.myheap.com/casting-moldin...e-furnace.html
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Collector, New South Wales, Australia
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    Default Re: Bronze Casting course at Wooden Boat school

    I would be interested indeed.

    I have also started queries of the exact same thing through two of my neighbors - one is a blacksmith and the other a boilermaker. I will see what they say and let the group know. I would be happy to travel and have thought about making queries at the school in Hobart once the excitement from the boat show dies down.

    Mark

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Kingsville, Ontario
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Bronze Casting course at Wooden Boat school

    I took the bronze casting course last summer with Mike Sari, loved it, can't praise it enough. The course is taught on the most basic low tech level, perfect for the home caster. Mike was great, knowledgeable, generous with it and his time. We all had ample chances to cast objects we brought or made while at the school. If you go up to Building/repair Jason on the Floridia Beg Meil thread has a show and tell of the hardware he cast for his boat. As to a thirteen yo getting something out of the course, I think yes but you know your son's abilities. There was a high school student in our group, he moulded, cast and cleaned up his pieces, I think he had a good time.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Cambridge, NY USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Bronze Casting course at Wooden Boat school

    I studied sculpture in college and learned bronze casting. We focused on lost wax and mold making. I would highly recommend learning lost wax technique. Depending on the burnout kiln you use, you can actually make one-off patterns out of wood or styrofoam and let them burn out of the mold. If you learn to make rubber molds, you can store them indefinitely and pour more wax models as you need them. Lost wax also allows you to cast intricate shapes without being concerned with undercuts.

    It's worth taking the class at your local art school, the principles are the same and it's possible the teacher will be fine with you making boat hardware.

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