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Thread: How to cast this?

  1. #1

    How to cast this?

    A friend of mine is a stained glass artist. She wants to do a stained glass Doctor Strange window. For those of you not familiar with the movie or the comic book this is what she wants me to cast for her.

    Doc 1.jpeg

    Here's my problem. She wants the circle to be two foot in diameter and about 3mm thick. It also needs to be out of a metal she can solder to. In her case that is probably going to be a low melt metal like pewter.

    I don't think ceramic shell would be a good fit because of the type of metal and the fact that it needs to be flat. Also my burn out kiln isn't big enough to hold that.

    I was thinking sand casting might work. The only problem is this mold is going to have to be around 2 1/2 feet square. Will the sand stay in the mold if it's that large a flask? Is there a way to add support of some kind for the sand if it's needed?

    I was planning on buying "real" green sand rather than make it if that makes any difference. I haven't had much luck making my own green sand.

  2. #2
    Moderator DavidF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Wilmington DE
    If your using a low temp alloy, you might be able to cast it directly onto or into wood.
    Have not tried it myself, but there are members who have done it successfully.
    A calm sea does not make a skilled sailor...

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Buffalo, NY
    Pewter has pretty wicked surface tension and requires a lot of head pressure to fill properly. I've cast it a closed wooden mold before. One board had the cavity cut into it with a router and the other board was flat. I clamped the two together and poured from the end with a relatively large pouring cup for head pressure. It was nowhere as large as what you're looking to do, nor was it that thin. I wonder if you could do it in segments and solder it together. That would sure save a lot of grief not having to deal with such a large mold.


  4. #4
    I seem to recall a post last year by a long time member (maybe he had been away fora while?), he did a VERY LARGE cope & drag for cast iron table legs. Complete success, they turned out perfect. It was greensand cast I believe.

    Anyone else recall who that was? His method would help Ardor.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2015
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Please post pics when it's done. I did stained glass for 11 years and would live to see what you all come up with.
    "Success is 99% determination"

  6. #6
    I didnt think stained glass typically had a frame such as this. I thought the frame is created during the joining of glass pieces with the foil stuff.
    I have never done stained glass, I'm saving that hobby for when I'm 80!

    If your arteest friend does stained glass, what does she say the frames are made of? Maybe she has a trashcan full of this mystery metal you can remelt into that funky circle thing.
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  7. #7
    Doesn't pewter melt in an oven? I think my home oven goes up to 550C? What about sticking an open mold in and put in pieces of pewter around the mold and let it melt into it? Just a crazy idea hehe

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by rtsquirell View Post
    I seem to recall a post last year by a long time member (maybe he had been away fora while?), he did a VERY LARGE cope & drag for cast iron table legs. Complete success, they turned out perfect. It was greensand cast I believe.

    Anyone else recall who that was? His method would help Ardor.
    It was indiscriminate scavanger.

    Im almost positive that they make the frames on the glass itself so that it sticks itself to the glass. They usually used some type of alloy that contained indium I think, which allows the metal to wet to the glass.

    The part, being done in sand will cool long before it gets to fill a mold that big and thin. If it were me, I would probably do it in a metal block or a wood block, and just flow the metal into the grooves carved into it with a heat gun. Wood does do pretty well for casting stuff into, and harder woods like maple/oak tend to hold up better with hot alloys, but pine works fine for one offs.

    Another thing you can maybe try is to make it in a metal box as two parts, and cast the pattern in plaster of paris mixed with sand inside of that bottom half with a sprue on top half. I know you can get plaster pretty much red hot before it starts disintegrating, so it should be able to add a funnel to the top half of the mold to hold the metal, and heat the whole thing in a camp fire or something like that. It would melt the metal down in and flow throughout the cavities filling the mold. Just clamp the two halves together and seal it up with some drywall mud at the seams to seal it up.

  9. #9
    Having just finished a 36" aluminium sign, you will not cast a metal with a lower melting temp with out a LOT of trouble & I mean a LOT.
    It's simply going to freeze way too quickly.

    If it were me, I'd also look at the plaster of paris way. If yoh can heat it mold and metal as Cae siad goo but id stand it on it's side and pour slightly to one side so as to force the metal in one side and air out of the other.
    you better post photos, mor else.
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  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Eastern Blowville Heights, Ohio
    I'd consider having that frame profile cut with a CNC plasma cutter or waterjet, much simpler than pattern making and casting.

    You will need a .dxf file of the frame shape.


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