I put together the raising hammer mold in exactly the same way as the sea horse mold.I found that at the casting stage of this I had problems.
I think I had placed the hammer too far down and as it was a little larger than the previous hammer, I needed an air hole in there.
I rebuilt the mold in the afternoon, placing the hammer closer to the top of the mold and with two air holes in to draw out the metal.
Later in the evening we went for a second pour.
This time the piece worked really well an I was ready to clean up both my claw hammer and raising hammer.
So right now I am in Mátranovák, Hungary. I have spent the last few days sand casting hammers in brass. The first one I tried was the seahorse claw hammer.
I made the sand casting mold in the usual way. First I compacted the sand into the bottom part of the mold. After scraping the sand flat I roughly carved out a space for the 3D printed hammer.
I compacted the sand flat around the centre line of the print and then coated in talc.
I added the top part of the mold and compacted the sand with a mallet. After reaching over the top line I scraped back the top so it was flat.
I then opened the mold and took out the 3D printed plastic hammer and the tube I used for the pour hole.
I placed the mold back together and clamped the edges.
I then took the mold to the local blacksmith Laci bácsi, who helped me cast the piece in Brass.
He first smashed up lots of pieces of coal into small pieces for the furnace.
He then lit the furnace with some small pieces of wood and then added the coal.
The mold was left close to the furnace to heat a little and was turned after ten minutes to heat the other side.
The metal was left to heat for around 20 minutes before it was liquid enough to pour.
After around five minutes after the pour the metal was solid enough to open the mold.
Laci bácsi and myself were both very happy with the result.
The hammer was quenched in water and I am now left with the task of finishing off the piece.
Yesterday I sand cast my third kitchen cupboard handle. The strange part about sand casting is the pour. I find that quite often when I think pouring the metal has worked, it hasn’t and vice-versa. This time I thought it hadn’t worked, but when I took the mold apart I found that a small bit of sand had fallen from the sides into the bottom of the mold. This resulted in the handle having a large dint of missing metal in the back. Although this wouldn’t be seen I have decided to recast this to make one more perfect. I will be melting the metal to reuse for the next one.
Yesterday I cast another cupboard door handle. I have six to cast in total. They are all similar to each other however some are twisted more than others. When I poured the cast I thought it hadn’t worked properly. It wasn’t until I opened up the mold that I was happily surprised. I spent the afternoon cleaning up the piece with my files. I have four more to cast and then I will solder on threads to the back of then so as they can be used for the cupboard doors.
Last week I cast one of the door handles I 3D printed a few weeks ago. I decided to use bronze as the melting temperature is less than brass and it is less toxic to cast. I may still cast them in brass in the future.
At first I tried melting the bronze using two torches. I wasn’t able to get a high enough temperature to make the metal liquid enough. I then moved on to using the electric crucible which melted the metal with ease. The first pour I made a mold of the door handle and a smaller version that I may use as jewellery.
After taking apart the larger mold I found that the pour hadn’t worked. I think this was either down to the fact I pored with a hesitation or maybe the mold was too big. It was still in tact enough to try again. The second pour went well. I sat the mold at a slight angle for the pour and also added air holes in to the mold.
I have started to clean up the handle. I have cut off the sprue and started to file some areas. I might leave some triangles textured and some polished. I plan to add a threaded post so I can fit it to the cupboards.
Today I 3D printed some handle ideas I made in CAD a few days ago. They are designed around they way honey is found in cliffs in the wild. I was thinking that it would be good to have slightly different handles on each cupboard so as they are all unique and will also emanate the differences in form and shape in the wild.
I decided I wanted to smooth down the 3D prints before casting to see if the final sand casts would also be smoother. I placed the prints into a container with acetone in and a covered lid. I drilled small holes in the prints so I could stand them on a nail in the box elevated above the acetone. When I checked them after an hour there was little change to the prints. I added a little more acetone and left them for another hour. I noticed that some areas had smoothed out and others hadn’t. I tried balancing them on their side in the container and left them for another hour. When I got back some areas had smoothed out too much and other areas still hadn’t.
The smaller of the two prints was very melted and bendy at the end. I think I will reprint them and try using the acetone on a hot plate. I have watched video’s on this and it seems to only take ten minutes at the correct temperature. I think this may have a better effect in smoothing down the entire object.