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Thread: Cast Bronze Gas Lantern

  1. #1

    Cast Bronze Gas Lantern

    Here we go again! Not being the type that can really sit still, I've been chewing on an idea that I want to try! Owing to my recent good fortune casting the little jewelry box in bronze, I want to try something bigger and more complicated. While I did enjoy building that set of gas lanterns out of steel, it's not really where I want to take this whole gas lighting thing. I want to create extraordinary gas lighting that will survive easily along the seaside. Stainless steel is too industrial and sterile for my taste so this could only mean BRONZE! For this project, I have envisioned crafting the frame from Chavant LeBeauTouche' in a treelike appearance with small leafy details. From there, a silicone mold will be made and the wax poured and shelled just like the little jewelry box. I haven't decided yet if the lights will be 4 or 6 sided and if they will be rectangular sides or trapezoidal. I do know each side will actually be identical and cast individually then tig welded to each other. This will ease the countless hours of artwork necessary for something of this scale. (I hope) The door of each of the lanterns will be the same as the sides with a handle cast into the surface and will be easily added during the wax phase. The tops will be cast in one piece and I still have to work out chimneys too. The last PITA to sort out will be the mounting setup. They will need to be really strong to support the weight of these lights. I have a sneaky feeling they will have to be hollow or the brackets alone could weigh 20-30lbs a piece! YIKES! I MAY consider actually forging some bronze square stock into some kind of scrolls to wall mount these things to. When finished, these will have to go up on the market to recover the crazy cost. I expect the final weight of these things to be 50-60lbs each! By comparison, my little jewelry box was almost 5lbs! And I was careful to watch the wax thickness last time and will have to work even harder now due to the size of these things. Rough dimensions of the boxes I estimate to be about 17" tall so I'm glad my junk kiln is a big one. I feel running a thread of this build will help poke me along to hopefully see this to completion. Why I torture myself like this is still a mystery? Thanks in advance to you guys that I know will chime in with wisdom and guidance. Your comments are appreciated and welcome!

    As the dirty smith says.... LETS DO THIS!
    Here is the Plasticine I am using. It stays pretty hard under normal temps and works easily when hit with a tiny bit of heat.
    LeBeautouche.jpg

    Dorking around tonight at 3am, if ya don't start like this, you'll never get to the end I suppose!
    I don't know what to call it, so let's start with the tree lantern. Looks like I'll need a bigger piece of glass to work on. :-)
    TreeLantern.jpg
    WWW.TheHomeFoundry.org
    Visit me: WWW.HandcraftedLanterns.com
    "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war"
    -- Donald Trump --

  2. #2
    Ambitious project! I look forward to seeing how things progress.

  3. #3
    Administrator Site Admin
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    I made some thin castings some years ago
    for this piece. Those hair braids. I cast them
    individually.

    Most of her I cast with Everdur, but it didn't
    do so well for those braids. Everdur didn't
    seem to want to flow into long thin spaces
    very well. And I suspect the (relative to red
    brass) narrow solidification temperature range
    caused shrinkage problems.







    Here is one set of braids. The alloy I used
    was one I mixed up from bronze lathe scrap.

    I had it analyzed.

    77% Cu
    10% Zn
    5.5 % Sn
    5.7% Pb
    .28% Si not a good thing
    .5% P
    .6% Ni

    That's is pretty much a red brass with
    a bit extra zinc.

    The silicon didn't hurt too much, if at all.





    Some failures.

    I am not sure what alloy this was. I had
    plenty of failures with red brass as well as
    with Everdur. I didn't know what I was doing
    back then.
    When I die, Heaven can wait—I want to go to McMaster-Carr.

  4. #4
    I remember you having issues with those braids Richard. You didn't really have the option to add additional feeding to the middle of those braids due to the detail on them and the HUGE cleanup it would have created if you did. I don't care what the inside of these long frames look like, so I'm thinking, they will be poured upside down with extra feeders plumbed into the back. Good looking out, thanks for the heads up about long skinny pours. ;-)

    Jason
    WWW.TheHomeFoundry.org
    Visit me: WWW.HandcraftedLanterns.com
    "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war"
    -- Donald Trump --

  5. #5
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    Richard, that girls face is absolutely gorgeous, her expression, you certainly are an artist of the highest order.

  6. #6
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    Thank you sir. She sits on my desk and watches me at work. There are some things in life that you look back on, and you just can't really believe you pulled them off. She is one of them.

    Richard
    When I die, Heaven can wait—I want to go to McMaster-Carr.

  7. #7
    Some small progress working the frame today. Been working a lot lately, in the door, out the door and repeat. This frame is about 15" tall and I think about 7" wide. I'm still scratching myself trying to keep in mind I will have to weld the long corners of these frames. So this might mean 45degree sides maybe? hmmm... Clay is SOOO much easier to work than wax so far.
    frame1.jpg
    frame2.jpg
    frame3.jpg
    WWW.TheHomeFoundry.org
    Visit me: WWW.HandcraftedLanterns.com
    "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war"
    -- Donald Trump --

  8. #8
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    Youre stepping it up jagboy, I like it!

    This is an ambitious project but from what ive seen with the jewellery box i think youre up to the job.

    Rasper, running that bronze down those braids was a serious accomplishment, well done. Im going to have to have a look back at that thread to see what ive missed.

    I dont think jagboy will have the same issues getting the silicone bronze to run that far as the ceramic moulds will be hotter than traditional investment when cast.

    As for the clay being easier to work, for the blocking in stages i find this too. Although i usually struggle when the detail starts to creep in. I know a few artists that can take a model from start to finish with the same medium but i just cant seem to get the effect i want with clay on details. Possibly i havent spent enough time trying but i have the feeling its my 'old dog, new tricks' approach that keeps me going back to wax for the fine tuning.

    If you find a similar thing with your piece there is a figurative sculptor on youtube that sometimes combines different materials within the same model to get the effects he needs that you might want to check out. His name is David Lemon and he has a lot of content. I have found some of his tips and tricks useful but there is a lot of stuff to go through. Using a pasta machine to roll out consistant thickness clay/wax is one i got from him.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BPRuzhhxCvs

    Looking forward to your next update.

    John

  9. #9
    Thanks John. I am seeing EXACTLY what you are saying know about media. Last night late while dorking with this, I attempted to make the frame look like a tree trunk. Didn't work too well. It's funny how wax does certain things better than clay. And I thought it was just me now that I'm modeling in clay. I have seen david lemon before and need to get back to his channel to learn some more. That fat guy is seriously talented. His town looks boring as hell, but I wish I had 1/10 his skill. Pasta machine?? Time to hit up the local goodwill/salvation army junk store. I'm such a cheap ass. lol
    Jason
    WWW.TheHomeFoundry.org
    Visit me: WWW.HandcraftedLanterns.com
    "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war"
    -- Donald Trump --

  10. #10
    Roses and leaves..... HUGE PAIN IN THE ASS!!!!!! I've squared up the frame (after all this is mechanical as well as artsy fartsy) and am trying my hand again at adding leaves and doo dadds...
    You can see here in the photo, the top leaf is one I did on my own. It sucks! Then I remembered the old man that lives next door to me has a bunch of rose bushes! Out into the night I go to steal some leaves. The bottom leaf is a direct copy of a leaf. BINGO, much better! Having the actual leaf helps me position it before I stick it down. I'm still having trouble getting details the way I want. It's tougher right now for me than in wax. Still contemplating doing a silicone mold of just the frame and heading straight to wax. It will mean a second silicone however. :-/ I'm finding a little inspiration from "the Captain" never hurts either. ;-) I'm open to any suggestions anyone has to shape leaves. I did buy those little sculpy balls on a stick today. These have silicone tips on the other end. They are helping a lot. Thanks to whoever said get them. (John or Zap I think)

    Frame4.jpg
    frame5.jpg
    frame6.jpg
    frame7.jpg
    frame8.jpg
    Last edited by jagboy69; 04-10-2017 at 07:28 AM.
    WWW.TheHomeFoundry.org
    Visit me: WWW.HandcraftedLanterns.com
    "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war"
    -- Donald Trump --

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