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Tim Scarlatti

Casting with stone settings

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Hey y'all,

Have any of you ever made a casting with a stone or metal inclusions protruding from the final piece?

How would one go about this?

I am thinking about casting tiger eye, agate, or what I think is lapis lazuli in silver. Do any of you know anything to help me? I have plenty of extra stones sitting around, so it's not a problem for me to

experiment, I'm just worried about explosions, cracks, and that sort of stuff. I feel like different rocks will react different ways. Would casting in aluminum first be close enough? How about copper since it has a melting point closer to silver?

Thanks

Tim

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i think there are some stones that can be cast in to some metals but i would have to google that info

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While not an authority , I have looked into this and I have never heard of casting a piece with the stone. As far as I Know, DragonCutlery is correct. You make a setting with silver or gold soldering, then place the stone in the setting and using a burnisher close the setting around the stone. I would imagine the average semiprecious stone would probably explode if encased in hot molten metal. Not 100% sure but I would definitely research much before an attempt at that!

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There are a few stones that can be cast in place. Diamonds, rubies, sapphire, and possibly garnets come to mind. Most stones, however, will just be destroyed. Here you go: Shor International

 

~Bruce~

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Thank you all so much. So it'd probably be impossible to casting something like

 

Men_Semi_Precious_Stone_Ring_Jewelry.jpg Oh and Norris, I know about Shor International. That seems to be the only resource I can find on it.

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Well, you could cast the ring without the stone in place and set the stone afterwards the way that one was done. That's why you can buy waxes of all sorts of ring patterns from the jewelry supply places. It's not difficult to set cabochons like that. Heck, if I can do it anyone can! :lol: And I didn't even cast the ring, I made it from half-round wire and .024" sheet. It's easier to size the bezel to the stone than cast one and hope you got the shrink factor right.

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Well, you could cast the ring without the stone in place and set the stone afterwards the way that one was done. That's why you can buy waxes of all sorts of ring patterns from the jewelry supply places. It's not difficult to set cabochons like that. Heck, if I can do it anyone can! :lol: And I didn't even cast the ring, I made it from half-round wire and .024" sheet. It's easier to size the bezel to the stone than cast one and hope you got the shrink factor right.

Well thank you all for that, but what about say casting a piece of steel in aluminum?

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I don't see why not, lots of knives have cast-in-place aluminum parts.

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Well thank you all for that, but what about say casting a piece of steel in aluminum?

 

Here's a little more of what I was talking about, sorry for the delay in getting the pics:

 

moonstone side.jpg

 

moonstone back.jpg

 

This is sterling silver and moonstone. There was no casting involved with this piece, it's all fabricated from 6mm half-round wire and .024" sheet. Took about two hours, and that long only because I left extra silver to file off around the outside of the bezel when I soldered it to the baseplate.

 

The only tools used were a jewelers' saw, needle files, jewelers' silver solder (medium flow grade, 1620 degree F), an ordinary propane plumbers' torch, sandpaper,steel wool, and a felt wheel on a dremel tool with red rouge compound. Oh, and a toothbrush handle to use as a push stick to close the bezel. And a ring mandrel/sizer and tiny jewelers' hammer to fair up the curve of the band. I promise that's it, unless I used a knife blade to start spreading the arms of the band after I cut the slots...it's been a few years since I made that (thus the dirt and scuffs and dents), I may not remember every little tool. :rolleyes: The point is it's fast and not complicated.

 

If you are serious about doing stuff with jewelry techniques, and I think we all should know how, get a copy of The Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight. There are more in-depth books, but none that make it so easy to get started.

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Wow, so i saw this post about a month late but i just finished a semester long casting class and one of the assignments was a stone cast in place. lab created stones tend to hold up very well, but some students tried with varying effects on natural stones. one student even cast around quartz without it completely shattering however it did have nasty cracks. when researching casting with stones in place, most of the jewelery resources suggested a long slow burnout for your wax mold, and placing the invested mold back in the kiln to slow cool after casting. we took the molds up to 500 over a four hour period and then up to 1000 over another four hours, cast, replaced the flasks back into the kiln and let the kiln cool down naturally... this method left a surprising amount of natural stones still intact without visible stress fractures. i hope this is helpful and not too late.

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Also @Alan Longmire your ring looks great, you did a wonderful job soldering and cleaning the joints

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