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John Page

Otherworld

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Let me preface this by saying that I have next to no idea what I am doing when it comes to casting. That being said, I delved into this wonderful art last week with the intent of learning enough to begin the fittings for the Claymore I am working on. At the end of the day, I poured the entire crucible's worth of refined aluminium into an attempt at water casting rig. This was the result.

 

More on the experience here.

 

For those of you out there, what might I be doing to make such unusually shaped 'ingots'? Is it a product of too much water in the bucket I pour it into, or something else entirely? I was operating on the fly using what I remember of Jim Kelso's presentation at Ashokan last fall. As far as I know, mostly copper is water cast. Could that be my issue?

 

Anyway, here are a few pictures of the result. Thanks for looking,

 

 

John

Brass smaller.png

Otherworld smaller.png

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its probably the metal kind of mixing and sloshing around because of the surface tension, some metals will do that, kind of like pouring wax on water, only it sinks.

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Hi John.

 

your water is too cold.

 

it is best to imagine that you are not trying to cast into water, but instead, you are trying to cast into super heated steam.

 

did you have a cloth? or did you pour straight into a pan?

 

the importance of the cloth is to keep the hot metal off the bottom so more hot water can "gas quench" the alloy being cast.

 

you must have the water extremely close to the boil as this is the point where water becomes gas. the nessesity of having it close to 100 is to reduce as much as possible the amount of energy the water needs to cross over to its gaseous state at the point where it comes into contact with the liquid alloy. If done correctly, the alloy wont be in contact with liquid for quite sometime, until the very last moment where there is often a small eruption of water. sometime known as the "roar".

 

you want a few inches above and below the suspended cloth. the weight of the water above will prevent the entire volume of liquid overheating. its a pretty delicate ballance.

 

there must be no air bubbles under the cloth as this will prevent the cloth from being quenched and thus the alloy will burn straight through it.

 

on side note, I personally dont think that the gas in contact with the hot alloy is even steam anymore. Ive got no research or evidence for this but it seems likley to me that the amount of energy in the hot alloy could be enough to "break" the water into its constituent parts of hydrogen and oxygen so you are quenching infact super heated gas.

 

its a fascinating method.

 

have fun!

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There was certainly some sloshing around, visible as I poured it in. I did in fact use cloth suspended on a small cut off of pipe. Near the end of the last pour, the water was very near boiling, but I do not think it was close to hot enough at the beginning. Josh, I had an inkling that I might want the vapour jacket, but was not entirely certain. This is all very interesting, and I cannot wait to try it again. Hopefully this time, I can produce better looking, or at least more consolidated, ingots.

 

John

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