Monday, July 27, 2009

Last night's casting . . .

Last night's casting session was AWESOME!!! Here's a pic of my centrifuge. The white thing is the crucible, behind the crucible (the dark colored metal thing) is the flask. The square piece of metal you see on the right is the counter weight - it helps balance the centrifuge and keeps it from shaking.

Here's a close up of the crucible and flask. The silver has already been slung into the flask.

Two flasks that have been cast. You can see the metal "button" - AWESOME!

After the flask has cooled a little bit, it is dunked into a bucket of water. The water shocks the investment and causes it to bubble like crazy and break apart. The investment falls out of the flask and reveals the rings (or whatever item was cast). I then use a tooth brush and small screwdriver to remove most of the investment that clings to the casting. Then the rings go into the ultrasonic to get the remaining investment out of the little grooves. :^)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Invested and ready to go . . .

The rings/flasks have been invested and they are dry and ready to go into the oven. The little pink/red thing you see in the middle is the base of the "wax tree". I even invested them before I had coffee, isn't that awesome! :^)

And here are the babies fixing to take a long hot bath in the oven! Yipeeee, I will be casting 5 flasks tonight!!! Hot digity!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wax day . . .

Today I played with wax . . . lots of wax . . . wax in the form of 'plays with fire' rings. :^) I did some final clean up on them, then I sprued them up. First thing tomorrow morning I will invest 5 flasks then cast them in the evening after they have sat in the burnout oven. Man I'm tired.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Test Cast SUCCESS!!!

Woohoo - I'm doing the happy dance! My test cast was successful!!! The new torch tip is AWESOME!!!
I did get some bubbles, but that's an issue with investing. Do you see the little balls of metal stuck on the rings? That's were the bubbles didn't rise to the surface during investing/suction. I think I will need to buy a little machine that will dislodge the bubbles and allow them to rise properly or reduce the time I mix the investment. It did start to set up a little fast, maybe it's the humidity. Anyhow, those little bubbles will cause problems if they get stuck in the lettering so I need to take care of that problem before I do any mass casting.
I'm just thrilled to death that the casting process went so smoothly! Woooooooooooohooooooooooo!
I think I will have them available in about a week and a half. :^)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What's sitting on my bench ...

My new casting tip is scheduled to arrive on Monday, the 13th. Of course I have to work Monday and Tuesday, not sure about Wednesday??? So I probably won't get to test cast until Thursday (or Wed. if I don't have to work). I just hope it fits the handle that I already have. I can't tell you how stressed out I am over this darn casting torch. Grrrr...
So while I'm waiting for my golden package to arrive I've been melting glass. I have a handfull of heart pendants in the works, here's a shot of my jewelry bench top. :^)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bummer ...

The test cast didn't happen. I got my new casting torch from Rio, the one that says it's specifically for gold and silver. Well, lemme tell ya, that thing is HUGE! The flame is HUGE, the handpiece is HUGE, the tip is HUGE. Complete overkill. I think it would be a great torch if I wanted to melt a bucket of silver, but I only want to melt a few ounces. We can't get a small flame off of this torch cause it pops every time we try to adjust the oxy. I officially despise this new torch. I'm completely uncomfortable with it. I'm just gonna have to buy another one. Here's a pic of the hag, look at how small my hand looks compared to the torch. Nope, not happening.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Test Casting...

Today I'm doing a test cast to make sure my new casting torch is going to be hot enough. Last month I did a test run using my old torch and it barely melted the surface of my casting grain. I had to pull my glass torch off of the bench and use that to finish the job and even then, I barely had enough heat. My new torch will run on acetylene and tanked oxy - woohoo! HEAT!!!

Here's a pic of the rings sprued onto the rubber base:

Here they are with the metal flask around them:

And here they are invested. :^)

My burn out cycle is about 10 hours long so I will be casting around 1:30 in the morning, woohoo!!!