I thought I'd start a thread to show some of my beginning efforts at bronze casting. So far there have been a few successes and a few failures, which is fine since one learns from both (hopefully.)
I took my second six-week bronze casting class last month. Last year, I made a mast gate for the boat I'm building and a nifty jam cleat.
The class mainly deals with the lost wax process which is great, but time-consuming. Once you have your form made in wax, and sprued and gated, you have to dip it in ceramic slurry 8 or 9 times, letting it dry completely between dips.
This year, the instructor (who does teach a short workshop at the Apprenticeshop, as well as at RISD) decided to show us sand casting on the first night, using a small electric furnace. A few of us came the next week with sand casting molds made and patterns to work with, and we were able to pour that very night!
So, from that class, I made two bronze oarlocks using the two-part sand mold, and a solid corgi for my son using the lost wax process.
[IMG]IMG_0822 by Michael Owen, on Flickr[/IMG]
After the class ended, I bit the bullet and purchased a furnace. It wasn't cheap (around $600) but I hope to get a lot of use out of it.
This past Saturday, I fired it up for the first time. I was a little nervous, since it does get up as high as 2000 degrees F., but I was careful and had an extinguisher nearby. Here are some photos.
The furnace. It's bigger than a breadbox, but not by much. Here it is at 77 degrees.
[IMG]IMG_0836 by Michael Owen, on Flickr[/IMG]
The tongs for lifting the crucible out and some leftover gating to feed into the furnace. I also bought some bronze shot, which will be my main metal source. It's silicon bronze.
[IMG]IMG_0837 by Michael Owen, on Flickr[/IMG]
My home-made ingot mold for catching the leftover metal after pouring. So tiny and cute.
[IMG]IMG_0839 by Michael Owen, on Flickr[/IMG]