• Announcements

    • Alan Longmire

      IMPORTANT Registration rules   02/12/2017

      Use your real name or you will NOT get in.  No aliases or nicknames, no numerals in your name. Do not use the words knives, blades, swords, forge, smith (unless that is your name of course) etc. We are all bladesmiths and knifemakers here.  If you feel you need an exception or are having difficulty registering, send a personal email to the forum registrar here.  
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Scott A. Roush

bronze casting with delft clay

19 posts in this topic

Has anybody used these delft clay casting kits for casting knife/sword fittings? http://www.ottofrei.com/store/Delft-Clay-Casting-Kit.htm

 

I understand that I will probably have to mill a tang slot.. but it seemed like an easy way to give myself a little intro to casting.

 

Anyway... if anybody has any experience with this.. that would be great. My first thought is that the casting frame that comes with the kit will be too small for sword fittings...

 

Also... if anybody has a good source for larger blocks of wax for carving I would appreciate it. I keep finding the smaller stuff for rings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Scott, i've used the Delft clay for the same reasons you're interested in it. I bought the large and small frames. My initial reason was as you said, to get start on casting with the hopes of making habaki. While posible to make habaki this way, i ended up learning how to form them by hand rather than casting. Casting has issues with shrinkage and fit up that wasn't my cup-o-tea.

 

I think having the ability to cast small parts is great in the shop. A friend had an antique door lock that the thumb turn broke on. I was able to cast a new one for him in less than a day. I've done a few fittings with the Delft for knives and such, just not the japanese swords. Another option to look into is steam casting. More supplies needed, like wax and and investment, but better detail and posibilities.

 

Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don used that for years...showed me his method some 13 years ago when I stopped by his Jasper, AL shop.

 

The video of the simple casting methods is a good viewing. They used to sell the video...may be on youtube now for all I know.

 

Ric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use it a lot. There are definite advantages and disadvantages to it. The advantage is that you can get really detailed castings really quickly. The disadvantage is that if your shape has sharp angles to it, creating ridges in the casting sand, you'll get small bubbles in the cast. You'll notice them as you grind away metal. If the shapes are nice and flowing in design, you won't get that, or if you don't do much grinding you won't expose the bubbles. The bubbles also make deformation after the cast more difficult, as it will crack more easily.

 

I wouldn't buy this kit though. The method with the aluminium rings is rather cumbersome. Using a rectangular frame and putting the casting feed along the separation plane, rather then through the sand, and setting the mould upright works much easier. You can make your own frame, even out of wood works fine. Plus the kit is far overpriced. For that money, you should easily be able to get about 25kg of the casting clay (or sand, however you call it).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeron is right, that stuff is horibly expensive. for that amount of money, you should be able to find honest to god investment for lost wax casting. I've read of folks using a mix of sand and plaster for investment, but I've personally never tried it. If you're sword fittings aren't too detailed, just regular greensand will work quite well, it's easily made as well.

 

Zeb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's 50 pounds of comercial investment ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/CASTING-INVESTMENT-POWDER-JEWELRY-MAKING-CASTINGS-/190511093564?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c5b58973c ) If you reused your grog from the fired investment, that 50 pound bag should last quite a few sword fittings. I may just order some and give lost wax casting a try, I've never done it myself, but fittings would be a perfect use for it.

 

Zeb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys.. this is why I posted this. Does anybody have pictures of a homemade casting frame? And Jeroen.. I can't quite picture your method of placing the casting feed. Can you explain further or point me to a relavant source?

 

I had a feeling that kit was over-priced... but it has a video showing exactly how to do it. Seems like plug and play!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zeb... Did you see the shipping cost for that bag! :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, I'm sure that shipping is a killer. When I get home tonight I'll take some pics of my little flask. You can kinda make it out in one of my videos

Aluminum bronze is a pain to get a good casting from, but normal bronze works alot better

 

Zeb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Zeb.. that would be great.

 

They have a regular sand casting kit too that comes with a 2 piece frame... but it's $90. Includes a crucible, tongs, sand, borax, stuff.

 

I'm trying to look into steam casting... but my google abilities are failing me on that one. I keep getting hits for commercial scale stuff...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scott, hit Youtube and search for 'steamcasting'. There's a part one and two demonstration. Weird video but shows the basics of it. There used to be a great step-by-step on the 'net' with pictures and everything. I'll see if i can find it.

 

Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys.. this is why I posted this. Does anybody have pictures of a homemade casting frame? And Jeroen.. I can't quite picture your method of placing the casting feed. Can you explain further or point me to a relavant source?

This is not a homemade one, but the same principle:

 

05310025.JPG

 

For the homemade ones, I use two rectangular wooden frames, with a hole cut out at the top for the feed. You need some guides to ensure the two frames will be positioned exactly the same way after the model is taken out. For larger castings, I also add planks to the backs, to prevent the sand from being pressed out of the frame due to the pressure of the metal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scott, do a search for metal casting, home metal casting or something like that. I did a search a few weeks ago and found links for sand and deoxidizers, additives that you can mix with sand to make your own green sand and examples of cope and drags (casting frames). Probably should have book marked one or two but they shouldn't be too hard to find again.

 

Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for the long response, here are a few pics of my flask, IIRC i used a 1 x 5 pine board ripped in half. You need to make sure that you have something to locate the two halves, and having a little ridge on the inside helps keeo the rammed sand in the mold whild removing the pattern.

IMAG0297.jpg

IMAG0298.jpg

 

I've got more pics of it's use on an sd card, I'll dig those out and post them.

 

Zeb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot folks....

 

Still trying to decide the best route to go. Now I just heard about 'bronze clay' which seems even more simple that the delft. Too simple. Any opinions on this stuff?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used the stuff a fair bit, as a matter of fact I met the guy who invented it, he was a couple of years ahead of me at the school where I trained as goldsmith.

The biggest problem with the stuff is $$$$$$$$ but I have stuffed around with casting sand and mixed it with hydrolick oil and had some good results.

As for casting flasks is conserned I have used old tin cans etc.

 

Hope this helps for future projects.

 

Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0