Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fretwater Foundry

As I mentioned in my last post, Sam Johnson, who taught the bronze casting course, showed us how to make our own foundry. Well, you can't show me something like that and expect me to walk the other way. Especially when Sam made me a screaming deal on a new crucible. Four days after I got back to Arizona I had acquired most of the materials I needed. Here I am mixing refractory cement and casting up the furnace in a used 30-gallon oil can.


Which then got its final drying cure in my oven. It is really heavy.


Harlan helped me weld up the requisite implements: tongs, a slag scoop, and a crucible grabber.


The blower apparatus is in the background here; ingot molds for any leftover molten bronze are in the foreground, sitting on some large ingots of silicon bronze.


A leaf blower from Home Despot supplies the pressurized air and lots of noise. And away we go.


Sam warned us about curious onlookers and the need for all to have non-flammable shoes and eye protection. I knew I kept that roll of caution tape for something.


While the bronze is melting we make up another oarlock mold.


Let the games begin.

 

Gratification is pretty quick in this game.


 Yup, it's an oarlock alright.


Which one is real?


Just for fun we tried to cast a piece of rope. To our amazement, it worked.


And the rest of the bronze gets poured off into my crucible-sized mini-ingots. For next time. Which is soon.

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