A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
Random Tip: You can get cheap (and legal! Wink) advertising by donating a challenge prize! Go here for more info.
Total Members: 298,239
Currently Running With Scissors:
742 Guests and 34 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop


Pages: 1 2 3 4 [All]
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: Pewter Cast Pendants -- Pewter Casting Tutorial  (Read 27928 times)
Tags for this thread: tutorial  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit add to Wists
1+
 
andi_sunrider
« on: August 19, 2008 09:28:20 PM »

The preamble/inspiration: So, every spring, a group that I'm involved with (The Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Wicca) put on a festival that recreates the Eleusinian Mysteries of ancient Greece, called Spring Mysteries. I was a member of the cast that puts on the ritual theatre, performing the role of Athena and working with this archetype. Normally all of the cast members receive a token, usually made out of fimo. They're nice enough, but in the two prior years I was on cast, I always thought -- we can totally do better than this!!

So as I was researching Athena, I discovered that she's also the patron of fine metalworking. Knowing people in the SCA who do things like cast their own buttons, I thought it would be really neat to try to cast our cast token. So I did some research online, and found the basics of this, and went to town! First the photos, then below I've described how I did this!


A close-up of the pendants that really shows the detail.


Another close-up that shows three different molds, if you look closely -- the tops of the pomegranate are a bit different on each, as is the wheat shaft. Although we don't know much about the Mysteries of Eleusis, we DO know that they involved Demeter, Persephone, and her descent into the underworld, so these two symbols represent that.


To give you an idea of the quantity that I was making... There were 85 cast, staff, and crew, so I ended up making around 120-130, and rejecting quite a few to go back into the melting pot. That's not counting the ones I rejected immediately after casting them....


This shot shows a close-up of an owl pendant that I made for myself. At the festival, people come and speak with the individuals working with the archetypes of the dieties. They seek advice, counsel, and inspiration -- many people dedicate themselves to working with a diety for a year and a day. For the individuals who chose to devote themselves to working with Athena and one of her many aspects, I made tokens like this pendant -- no top, just like a coin. Something for them to take with them, to remind them of her attributes of seeing all parts of a situation, being just, fair, etc. It's modeled after the silver coins that circulated in Athens, with Her owl and the olive branch on the top corner. Unfortunately, I gave all the actual tokens away, so this is just the pendant I made for myself.

This photo also shows a tiny little pentacle I cast as well.

It also shows the back of the pendants, so you can see that it's not nearly as shiny as the front, and can sometimes be a bit rough.

I chose to start off easy -- you can make two part molds for pendants,  (and three part molds for things like buttons!) but you have to be very very patient and meticulous when making it that the two sections match up. So I started with an even surface, and just poured the melted pewter into the molds.

So, to start casting pewter, you need very little!

Supplies:
Hacksaw
carving tools
ventilation mask
wax (tealight candle is perfect)
old stainless steel spoons of different sizes to use jsut for this -- tbsp, tsp, smaller
oven mitts
old stainless steel pot to use just for this
pewter
stove top/camp stove



First, you need soap stone. This is what was often used back in the middle ages to cast simple items. If you've ever felt a soapstone carving, did you notice how it has a little sheen to it? Like, when you rub it, something almost comes off on your fingers? That is what allows this to be used as a mold with no release agents. I bought some chunks of it at the local art supply store, each chunk of it was only $2-4, it's sold by the lb, and that was enough for  two-three flat surfaces to carve into.  It comes looking like a rock usually -- but as it's extremely soft, all you need to cut it is a hacksaw! Cut it into slices, about one inch thick is fine, if you're not carving very deep. Do this outside, with a dusk mask, or with a ventilator inside (soapstone powder/dust contains silica, which can cause cancer if inhaled and it settles in your lungs). I did this outside just to make sure that no dust settled anywhere else to resurface later.

I used a linoleum cutter to carve into the soapstone. It definitely dulled the blades, and one blade has a little hole in it now. I've heard that people use things like dental tools and so on to carve -- I didn't see anything at the art store that would allow me to achieve the detail I wanted, and didn't want to spend the money and time to track down and purchase better tools for this test run, so went with what I had on hand. It was nice to have the five different blade options, especially the wide round and the tiny V one.

Next, carve your design! I started with carving a circle, and the top bit, and then carved the design even deeper, so that it stands out on the final cast. I found this easier than carving the background deeper so that the design sinks in, as my designs were pretty detailed. You can use a brush if needed to ensure all the dust is removed from the mold. Take the tealight, and burn it until the wax is melted, and pour into the mold. Be PATIENT while the wax sets, as if you try to remove it too soon, it will make a mess and get all over. Once it's set on the outside, turn the mold upside down, and it should fall out on it's own, releasing from the mold, once it's set. I would suggest doing this twice at least -- there will be bits of dust in the wax mold, so you may not get an accurate test until a few in.
 

This shot shows the main molds I used. You can see that I fit three individual molds onto the surface. The bottom isn't even on either of them -- I prefer to simply hold them in my hand as I'm casting, so I can just hold them level as I pour, and this minimizes the amount of time that the pewter in the spoon is away from the heat.


This shows the different sizes, and you can kind of see the thing at the top for stringing the twine onto to hold the necklace. I did some test runs, and the pewter hardens too fast to be really finicky with the top, so I simply made an indentation, with the outside edge carved as deep as the pendant face, and the centre not carved as deep. Once they were cast, I took a drill and did all the holes manually with that. If I'd done a two piece mold, I could have put this at the bottom, and it would have filled first and I could have saved myself that task, but  this was my first time! I just used a regular bit, the pewter sets hard enough to not scratch from daily wear, but will still drill easily.


The final mold I used for the pomegranate and wheat pendants. As you can see, there USED to be three on the one face, but I dropped it, luckily after I'd done them all. Soapstone is delicate! The disadvantage of placing the three on the same face, was that when I'd be casting them all at once, is that the mold gets hot fairly quickly.

Once you have a mold you're happy with, the next step is procure pewter. I purchased mine by the pound from a local place here in Surrey, BC called Purity Alloys. They ship from their website. There are probably places near to you -- look around, maybe check on a local SCA group and see if anyone there knows of anything. You can melt down pewter items from the thrift store-- BUT be very aware of what you're melting. Much of it may contain lead, which will be very very bad to work with indoors. If you cannot find any lead-free pewter where you live, and have to use thrift store stuff melted down, be certain to check the labels, and if there's a possibility that it might contain lead, use a camp stove and melt the pewter outside. On the plus side, your item may be a bit more durable if it does contain some lead (although I didn't have any problems with mine!).

Start with a stainless steel pot (cheap at thrift store), and put the pewter in it. It looks kind of neat as it melts -- see below


I put the pot on medium on the stove -- that's all the heat this needs! Wait 10-20 minutes for it to melt entirely. It will smell a tiny bit like burning as it melts, especially when you're melting the pewter for the first time, as there will be lots of spots where nothing is touching the pot, and thus the pan will get really hot there until it has some melted pewter to touch it!  Once molten, it looks kind of like how I imagine liquid mercury to look. I'm not sure what the term is, how water beads and doesn't just flatten out -- this occurs much more dramatically with pewter!

As it melts, some dull scummy stuff will gather on the top, this is the impurities in the metal coming out.

You can see it in this picture -- you need to take a spoon and skim it off the top, either taking it out entirely, or just push it to the side like I do. You do NOT want to take the pewter out of the pot when there's scummy stuff on it. Use the back of the spoon to just push it out of the way.


As the pewter melts, take your spoons and bend them at the base of the spoon. The best kind of spoon I found had a wooden handle, that kept it from getting too hot. Ideally, you want a spoon that holds about how much pewter is needed for your mold. There's a lot of room for variation here -- the pewter can hold itself several MM at least on top of the spoon, since the edge of the pewter holds together so well (Damnit, what's the term for that?!)

Once your pewter has melted, you're ready to cast some! Have a sturdy empty plate or hotpad or over mid standing by to put your VERY HOT finished items into.

Take your mold in your hand, in the oven mitt, and take one of the spoons. Skim the top, take some pewter into the spoon, and gently pour it into the mold, being careful not to splash! I got blisters from tiny splashes on my hands...

As you've done a few, you'll see that if you pour too much pewter into the mold, it will overflow on the edges (You can see what I mean by looking at the photo above with the three side by side - the one on the left has a bit of pewter on the top left that shouldn't really be there, that "spilled" over the edge of the mold.) The "surface tension" will usually keep the edges round, so I find that it's better to fill a little bit less than your mold (You can see how the back becomes rounded on the photo with the owl pendant, on the backs). If you've got a "thing" at the top, I find that it works best to pour the pewter at the top of the circle, so that it can fill the top first and then flow down into the mold.

Almost as soon as the pewter hits the mold, it will start cooling. You will see this effect, the pewter goes from super shiny molten to a bit duller. You will tend to see the cooling move towards the centre, and the centre will sometimes be a bit rough where it cools, depending on how many impurities are in your pewter, and if you skimmed the top before taking the pewter into the spoon to pour.

As soon as the back turns slightly duller, flip the mold upside down onto the plate/oven mitt, and it should fall right out. DON'T pick it up! It's super hot! Use a spoon to flip it over and take a look. You've cast pewter!! You'll probably want to cast some more -- I cast more than I need, and then choose which ones I want to keep. Gently put the rejects back into the pot (remember, splashing molten metal isn't good! It WILL blister!), and melt them down for future projects.

Once the soapstone gets really hot (ie, if you've cast quite a few), the pewter pieces may become cloudy and not as shiny on the good side. This means that your mold is too hot. Take a break and let it cool down before continuing.

If the front looks awesome, but the back is a bit rough, take some sandpaper and sand down the rough spots. I think I started with around 110, then 220, then finer, especially if it'll be next to your skin.

Feel free to ask any questions and I'll try to answer them! I don't claim to be an expert, just wanted to share my experience with this great do-at-home activity!
« Last Edit: August 19, 2008 09:30:18 PM by andi_sunrider - Reason: adding to title to indicate tutorial. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

LusciousPearl.etsy.com
I'm a sewer, and artist, and generally all-around creative person with more fabric in my stash than I know what to do with!
Dreambelle
Beta Sigma Phi
Offline Offline

Posts: 1023
Joined: 18-Nov-2007


View Profile available for personal swaps
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2008 09:54:30 PM »

This is absolutely amazing! I was fascinated while I read the whole tutorial.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Dragonflower
Ecraftic
Offline Offline

Posts: 2545
Joined: 05-Aug-2006

YAY!


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2008 10:10:34 PM »

Wow, you are adventurous! I'd never have thought to do this myself, but you make it sound so easy I may have to try. I'd love to make tokens for the women in my circle.
Your designs are lovely, btw- especially Athena's owl.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

In the end, only kindness matters.
kaleesi
Craftaholic
Offline Offline

Posts: 3614
Joined: 29-Jan-2005

Rae'Lynn Grace - 5 months old


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2008 04:38:13 AM »

Fantastic job!!! I'm very impressed!  I never heard of using soapstone as a mold before!
I love these!!!
I've tried working with pewter before and gave up because it was too hard - but your way looks a little bit easier than my way. Maybe I'll try again - I love pewter!!!

Thanks for the tut!!!!!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

I have a gorgeous granddaughter Smiley

Not allowed to craft without supervision Wink
God is big enough.....
grendelsmom
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2008 05:11:03 AM »

Wow, that's a terrific tutorial and a lovely end product!  Thanks so much for the instruction!  The cast-casts are beautiful, I'm sure your (large!) group was thrilled with them.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Jenni74
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2008 08:26:58 AM »

What an amazing tutorial! I'm sooo tempted to run out and try this now! Thank you so much! Your tokens came out wonderful and I'm sure everyone loved them!

THIS ROCKS   Logged

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~ Scott Adams

www.ErkNJrkCreations.etsy.com
www.AJCreation.etsy.com
Stephaniemonster
Offline Offline

Posts: 35
Joined: 07-Aug-2008

Finds herself to be far funnier than she really is


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2008 09:25:09 AM »

Thanks for such an awesome tutorial!  Do you sell your pieces?  Persephone is my patron deity and despite how popular she is, it's hard to find decent jewelry pieces for her.  Beautiful work!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Tanita
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2008 09:29:08 AM »

 Grin Wonderful! I Hope the moment to make something like this. Thanks.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Tiny_viking
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2008 09:51:19 AM »

you ROCK! Cheesy Im deffinatly going to try this! I tryed it this summer at a science fair but havent got round to doing it at home!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
lobsterchicky
What's Up, Science Bitchezzzz?
Offline Offline

Posts: 431
Joined: 13-Dec-2006


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2008 11:12:41 AM »

These are unbelievable.  I'm constantly shocked by all the new stuff I learn from Craftster. 
THIS ROCKS   Logged
andi_sunrider
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2008 12:00:40 PM »

Thanks for such an awesome tutorial!  Do you sell your pieces?  Persephone is my patron deity and despite how popular she is, it's hard to find decent jewelry pieces for her.  Beautiful work!

I don't sell them, although I thought about it, because I wanted to keep these designs for the festival itself. The pomegranate was really really easy to carve -- I used the half circle blade of the linoleum cutter to make the main part of fruit, and the tiny V to make the top crown part.

Wow, you are adventurous! I'd never have thought to do this myself, but you make it sound so easy I may have to try. I'd love to make tokens for the women in my circle.
Your designs are lovely, btw- especially Athena's owl.

I wish I could take credit for the owl design, but alas, it belongs to whoever made the coins in Athens!

It would definitely be a cool activity if your circle ever does crafty activities together, because it's super easy, really. Start off with gifting them with one, and then they'll see how easy it is and can make their own!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

LusciousPearl.etsy.com
I'm a sewer, and artist, and generally all-around creative person with more fabric in my stash than I know what to do with!
julea
I think not, thanks.
Offline Offline

Posts: 113
Joined: 11-Jun-2008

I less than three you. <3


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2008 01:20:13 PM »

There's a lot of room for variation here -- the pewter can hold itself several MM at least on top of the spoon, since the edge of the pewter holds together so well (Damnit, what's the term for that?!)

Surface tension *goes back to lurking* Cheesy
THIS ROCKS   Logged
GoldfishGirl
Offline Offline

Posts: 1106
Joined: 19-Feb-2005

Amorphous Big Red Monster


View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2008 02:13:23 PM »

That is so cool. I am in awe.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

My Wists:  http://www.wists.com/goldfishgirl

I'm always up for Personal Swaps! I can knit and sew. What can you do? Let's trade!
stitchintheditch
Offline Offline

Posts: 21
Joined: 18-Jul-2008

You've got that crafty look in your eye...


View Profile WWW
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2008 07:34:58 PM »

This is the most incredible instructable I've ever read.  It's more than cool. 
THIS ROCKS   Logged
raptorgrin
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2008 09:05:13 PM »

wow, this is amazing!
how hot does it need to be to melt the pewter?(like a candle would be too cool?)
would lead in the pewter be harmful to wearers, such as children?
and, can any excess pewter be left in the pot to cool, as in, it can just be remelted later on?
THIS ROCKS   Logged
mcbenno
Pronounced mc.ben.no, not mc.bean.o ;)
Offline Offline

Posts: 1298
Joined: 12-Jan-2008

It's a guineasaurus rex!


View Profile available for personal swaps
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2008 09:27:49 PM »

meniscus.

at least i believe that's the word you are looking for.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

kingfrancebald
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2008 09:45:34 PM »

Silica and lead? precaution time! This is amazing, though, and something I need to do! Great tut!!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
andi_sunrider
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2008 10:06:57 PM »

wow, this is amazing!
how hot does it need to be to melt the pewter?(like a candle would be too cool?)
would lead in the pewter be harmful to wearers, such as children?
and, can any excess pewter be left in the pot to cool, as in, it can just be remelted later on?

I'm not sure what you mean by how hot. Are you asking, if you put a piece of pewter in a candle, would it deform the pewter piece? A candle wouldn't be hot enough to melt the pewter in the pot (although while researching this process, I did hear of a person who melts the pewter in a ladle, using a blow torch, and then just pours from the ladle into the mold.) I've just put one of the three pents into a paraffin tealight to test if the heat of the candle will melt it.

I'm not an expert in the lead, to be honest, I just felt that I should warn, that if you're using "reclaimed" to be careful if there's no label indicating content. It definitely would come off in the mouth (hence why kids toys with lead paint are recalled), I'm not certain how much would transfer into the skin. Definitely wouldn't recommend if for anything for kids or women who want to have children, as wiki says that's bad. Lead free pewter is available, so it's not as though this is a toxic project! Lead-free is $10-15/lb, so for the safety, if you can find a supplier, I'd spring for it. I got mine from http://purityalloys.com/Pewter_Alloys.php; they only charged me $10/lb for paying cash. They do have a large min. order, though, for shipping -- if you find a local place, they might sell you a lb or two, like my local place did. If you google Pewter Casting Supply + USA or whatever your country/continent is, you should find some online suppliers, too. I would say that a lb does about 10-20 of the smaller pendants, at least -- my sister used a bunch of it, too, so it was hard to tell exactly, especially just leaving the pewter in the pot...

Which leads to: You can definitely leave it in the pot to cool! That's what I do. The photo above of the melting is actually melting down from a previous batch, not virgin ingots of metal alloy, so you can see on the unmelted part that it's all smooth on top when it cools, and it contours to your pot (although it can fall out if you turn it upside down once it's cool -- watch out for toes and/or tiled floors!). It makes funny sounds, too, like cracking, as it cools -- freaked me out the first time!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2008 10:09:04 PM by andi_sunrider » THIS ROCKS   Logged

LusciousPearl.etsy.com
I'm a sewer, and artist, and generally all-around creative person with more fabric in my stash than I know what to do with!
eternallyeve
Tutorial Contributor

Offline Offline

Posts: 1420
Joined: 04-Jan-2005

Live - Love - Create


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2008 12:47:33 AM »

I had no idea it was so easy to melt pewter! OMG! This tute is fantastic, I can just imagine all the possibilities, suddely custom Christmas ornaments come to mind... lol. And I love pewter anyways, especially as jewellery.

Your tokens and pendants came out beautifully, and I love the detail you have achieved
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Come visit me Smiley
Website - Gallery - Blog - Tutorials - Store

Our collaborative craft blog!
Hand Made-n's
wanderingskopos
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2008 06:18:29 AM »

I especially love how they look so "period", like something you'd find on an archaeological dig!

As far as supplies go, I don't know about the America(s) but in the Nordic countries we have a New Year's tradition where we melt tin in a sauna or on the electric stovetop and toss the molten metal into cold water where it solidifies into different shapes, then tell fortunes for the next year from the shadows made by the tin blobs and their shape and surface patterns (a boat means you'll be taking a trip, and if the surface is rough, that means money, etc.). New Year's tin is often sold in horseshoe shape (for luck!), and I'm thinking it could be used for this kind of projects, at least for practice as you can get it for cheap. Tin is really soft. Of course, you always need to be careful of the fire hazards when handling extreme heat and molten metal!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

AeonGoddess
Meme-queen
Offline Offline

Posts: 256
Joined: 26-Mar-2006

I dare you to make less sense.


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2008 08:32:59 AM »

That is a fantastic tutorial! I've cast silver with the lost wax casting technique before, but it never occurred to me that it would be so easy to modify casting to do at home. Thanks so much for posting. Your pendants look fantastic, and it's so inspiring! You have a very fortunate group to have such an artist in their midst. Smiley
THIS ROCKS   Logged
punkmandi
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2008 10:56:22 AM »

I love this!  I was just telling my cousins how i wanted to learn how to make charms from pewter, and thanks to you, i can try that now. 

I think the word you were looking for (for when the pewter holds itself in the spoon thinger) is "meniscus"  (I THINK).  Or the skin of the pewter... or. OHH!! its the surface tension!!!  YAY!  (I <3 Science).

Anyway, these are amazing.  Nice work!!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Weezie13
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2008 11:03:40 AM »

I want to THANK~YOU for taking the time
to write this up first, there's alot of work put
into doing those......

Your work is beautiful...

Someday, when I don't have so many pokers
in the fire, so to speak, this is the very first
thing I want to get into..
I love this work...

Cudo's to you for everything./
THIS ROCKS   Logged
andi_sunrider
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2008 12:00:20 PM »

Thanks for the compliments, again, everyone!

As far as supplies go, I don't know about the America(s) but in the Nordic countries we have a New Year's tradition where we melt tin in a sauna or on the electric stovetop and toss the molten metal into cold water where it solidifies into different shapes, then tell fortunes for the next year from the shadows made by the tin blobs and their shape and surface patterns (a boat means you'll be taking a trip, and if the surface is rough, that means money, etc.). New Year's tin is often sold in horseshoe shape (for luck!), and I'm thinking it could be used for this kind of projects, at least for practice as you can get it for cheap. Tin is really soft. Of course, you always need to be careful of the fire hazards when handling extreme heat and molten metal!

What a neat custom!! The lead-free pewter is actually usually around 90% tin, depending on the type, so that might work really well! If they're straight tin, like you said, it might be a bit soft, but give it a try!

I had no idea it was so easy to melt pewter! OMG! This tute is fantastic, I can just imagine all the possibilities, suddely custom Christmas ornaments come to mind... lol. And I love pewter anyways, especially as jewellery.

Your tokens and pendants came out beautifully, and I love the detail you have achieved

Make sure you've got a sturdy tree, for ornaments!  It's surprisingly heavy. That would be really neat, though!

As for the detail: I want to try making molds with, I think it's called a vulcanizing compound, it's like a clay that you press designs into, and then it sets, and you can cast into it. I haven't tried it, but want to! I did carve three little pomegranate seeds into the first mold (on the same piece as the owl), but they didn't cast consistently, so I made the other three without it. The metal has to be really hot to get the small details, so I got some with it, but casting so many, I grew impatient!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

LusciousPearl.etsy.com
I'm a sewer, and artist, and generally all-around creative person with more fabric in my stash than I know what to do with!
Saturn
The Ditzy Gypsy
Offline Offline

Posts: 1110
Joined: 29-Jul-2005

Dance first. Think later.


View Profile available for personal swaps
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2008 07:14:11 PM »

Beautiful work!
And thank you so much for breaking down this process in such detail! I'll have to attempt this in the future :-)
THIS ROCKS   Logged

I am currently in:
WWP Round 29 Lughnasdagh 2011 swap!
Date to send item by: 07-25-11
I Sew Cute
Jewelry and Trinkets Moderator
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

I'm a Fanatic Friend of Craftster!
Offline Offline

Posts: 7622
Joined: 08-Apr-2008

Take me to the kittens!!! >^.^<


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2008 05:04:05 AM »

Fabulous!!! Love the owl best! You're so kind for sharing the tutoral with everyone!

I like knowing how things are made whether I'm ever going to try it or not...it's like solving a mystery for me! Wink
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Check out Trinkets & Jewelry! Wink
pinterest
blog
twitter
etsy
KiSKi
« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2008 02:22:58 AM »

I did some casting years ago and have been wanting to get back into it, but figured it would have to wait until I had a bigger place with a dedicated workshop (and the $$$ to go with it, lol), but wowwwww!! Thanks to your tutorial I can get back into it NOW!! Thanks!! Cheesy
THIS ROCKS   Logged
SweetPeaDesign
« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2008 04:51:10 PM »

I am a bit late reading this but THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for posting this. 
I am in the enviable position of having about 100lbs of reclaimed pewter at my disposable for about $1 a pound (which I KNOW is lead free) and can not wait to try this.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
DeepSeaPurl
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2008 10:10:59 PM »

Can I just say how incredibly generous you were, in taking the time to put together that amazingly detailed tute??  I, for one, am totally inspired, and plan to embark on this before the end of the year - it's actually perfect for what I'm trying to achieve w/other media.

If you don't mind, I have a few more questions, just for clarification.  I want to make sure I'm understanding everything when I start!

1)  What purpose does the melted wax serve?  To clean?  As a sample cast?  If you need to clean the just-carved stone, can you use say a used toothbrush and water, then super-dry it (like w/a hairdryer, to ensure no molten drops spatter when vaporizing water)?  I can see using polymer clay to check if the carving's coming along, although one would have to clean the stone to make sure none of that oily residue lingered.

2)  I have some of that 2 part RTV silicone putty - is that what you're talking about ("vulcanizing" mold)?  If so, will it really stand up to that amount of heat?  I'm amazed!  But it sounds like the pewter would have to be heated super hot to get fine detail - which is what I'm after.  Do you know how high the molten pewter would need to be?  Wonder if a candy thermometer would be good to get an accurate temp - maybe just a regular digital probe?  Would the molten pewter stick to those things?

3)  How could you get that oxidized look on pewter?  Can you use liver of sulfur, or Win-Ox?

4)  Have you noticed shrinkage, and if so how much?

I know, so many questions!  Sorry to bug you, but you seem like the most accessible/knowledgeable person out there re: this topic.  I googled, but was only able to find one other page on pewter casting in soapstone (or anything else for that matter) for the layperson, and you had already covered the vast majority!  So again, THANK YOU!!   Cheesy

P.S.  SweetPea - if you need to unload ANY pewter, please let me know, I'd be more than happy to barter/buy!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
DeepSeaPurl
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2008 10:50:34 PM »

Alright, I'm a dork - just didn't know the magical Google words to get better search results.  Still!  Your tute's the best I've seen for layfolks. 

I'm still curious re: questions 1 and 4.  I'm figuring if there's copper in the pewter alloy you can use a chemical oxidizer, but not sure if the alloy doesn't contain copper what will happen - just have to try it!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
andi_sunrider
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2008 09:44:32 PM »

Can I just say how incredibly generous you were, in taking the time to put together that amazingly detailed tute??  I, for one, am totally inspired, and plan to embark on this before the end of the year - it's actually perfect for what I'm trying to achieve w/other media.

If you don't mind, I have a few more questions, just for clarification.  I want to make sure I'm understanding everything when I start!

1)  What purpose does the melted wax serve?  To clean?  As a sample cast?  If you need to clean the just-carved stone, can you use say a used toothbrush and water, then super-dry it (like w/a hairdryer, to ensure no molten drops spatter when vaporizing water)?  I can see using polymer clay to check if the carving's coming along, although one would have to clean the stone to make sure none of that oily residue lingered.

2)  I have some of that 2 part RTV silicone putty - is that what you're talking about ("vulcanizing" mold)?  If so, will it really stand up to that amount of heat?  I'm amazed!  But it sounds like the pewter would have to be heated super hot to get fine detail - which is what I'm after.  Do you know how high the molten pewter would need to be?  Wonder if a candy thermometer would be good to get an accurate temp - maybe just a regular digital probe?  Would the molten pewter stick to those things?

3)  How could you get that oxidized look on pewter?  Can you use liver of sulfur, or Win-Ox?

4)  Have you noticed shrinkage, and if so how much?

Make sure that you post a link to what you make!!
1) The wax is indeed for testing the mold, as once it has set, it pops out quite easily. I would avoid using the polymer clay, because it tends to "stick" to things that should be easy release. It can't be removed with really hot water like wax can be, and the wax has a surface tension similar to the pewter, and you don't have to worry about any oily residue that might affect the soapstone's own release feature. Also, although it's mainly intended to test the mold, the first two or three casts do catch dust from the carving, so I usually throw them out. Wax from tealights is a lot cheaper than polymer clay, and my paranoia would prevent me from baking them with the dust in them. Of course, I haven't tried it with the clay, those are just the reasons why I didn't use the clay. Experiment and see how it works for you!

3)I've never tried to oxidize them, honestly. One  of the festival participants has worn his pendant since the spring, and the sheen has definitely diminished, it looks like tarnished silver, darkened more around the outcropping bits, etc. I'll try to get a photo of it when I see him next weekend.  I'd suggest experimenting, and posting your results!!

4) Not sure what you mean by shrinkage. Like, it gets smaller as it cools? None that's noticeable to my naked eye.

lemme know if you still want input on #2, it seemed like your last post indicated you'd found the answers....

Yay for more people pewter casting!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

LusciousPearl.etsy.com
I'm a sewer, and artist, and generally all-around creative person with more fabric in my stash than I know what to do with!
DeepSeaPurl
« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2008 01:20:13 PM »

andi, you're awesome Wink  It really helps to get live input from someone who's doing the craft, you know? 

For sure, when I get the studio all set up, I'll post some pics.  And I agree w/you on all your points re: wax vs polymer clay for sample casts - it's just easier and cleaner. 

From what I've read re: using RTV silicone putty to make molds, you have to make sure you get one that can sustain high temps, otherwise the putty can soften too much.  I'd like to try it, b/c I can impress the original piece into it, and it can take really good detail.  I can't find the site where I originally read also that besides temp tolerance, you can choose putties such that one will be more durable, but won't be as flexible if you're casting something with undercuts (such that you need to peel the mold off/around the cast) - or vice versa.

Interesting about the darkened pewter!  Naturally oxidized - I'm betting it's the copper, unless someone can correct me?

Thanks again for your input, andi!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Threads you might like:
Pages: 1 2 3 4 [All] Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
 
Jump to:  



FacebookTwitterPinterest
only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search



your ad could be here!

How-To Videos
How to Make Rainbow Hot Dogs
How to Upgrade Your Burger with Pimiento Cheese
How to Make Slow Cooked Ham and Eggs
Daphne Oz’s Mexican Breakfast Sandwich Recipe
Perfectly Pretty Lace Pancakes Recipe
Latest Blog Articles
October 29, 2014 Featured Projects
Craft Challenge #103, Foodie Frenzy 2 Winner
Tute Tuesday: Upcycled Car Trash Bag with Liner

Comparison Shopping




Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies
Comparison Shopping

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...
Moderators

Follow Craftster...






Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2014, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.