Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Breaking The Mould .

Thought I'd give you a glimpse of my home casting set up . Nothing fancy , a Calor Gas twin ringed camping stove - which as my wife points out ominously "if we go camping again - that's going to take some cleaning up !". I did try an electric portable hob but it didn't seem to have the heat to melt the casting metal .

I usually put the mould ready for casting in an old saucepan half full of sand - so that it captures any spillages - which when cool can be re-added to the melting pot . I find each mould has its own characteristics and some need more tapping as you pour in the metal to get it to circulate than others . Some are a joy to use with perfect castings most of the time and others have you pulling your hair out and using very bad language !.

To my right I have the assembly area were I prepare the moulds and remove the finished castings - yes tidiness is not one of my strong points !. The talcum powder is for the moulds to help in getting the castings free , the boxes of various shapes and sizes hold my moulds .

With the Nürnberger Meisterzinn metal moulds I try to angle them to one side as they usually have several vent holes and this should help to expel the air as you pour the metal in .

And when it works you get this : ) !

And when it doesn't - you get this : ( ! . The German moulds are definitely harder to use, after successfully casting four figures one after the other yesterday - today I struggled to get two figures cast before retiring into the house for tea and a cake . The Goddess of Home -Casting is very capricious !


  1. Fascinating glimpse into the world of home-casting.

  2. Certainly well set up Tony for production - Yes, hand casting can go well - though at times it can have You in a complete frustration of bother!- best to turn everything off and let everything cool down and go and have a nice long cuppa - or in my case a smoke or two- or three! Regards. KEV.

  3. It's good to see someone else's set up. I use a single burner camping stove with mini gas canister sitting on an old baking tray. That makes it easier to scrape up the drops and drizzles.Have you tried making your own moulds yet? That's even messier.

    1. Have been tempted with mould making - but never got around to it yet , Tony

  4. Tony
    I cast my figures using a milk saucepan on the kitchen gas stove. I have a piece of old worktop which I use to protect the work surfaces under the moulds, and the back door and extractor fan on full blast to extract the fumes. I talc the moulds out on the back patio (which is straight out from the kitchen), as I find this makes the most mess, so no casting on rainy days.
    Apart from a smell of rubber which disperses in a few hours I find it does not really make any mess - however I do still find it better if my wife is out.
    The real problem is if you melt figures with paint on - that really can make your eyes water - so definitely no wife around!
    Also, I use elastic bands rather than clamps, but always use at least 3 or 4, otherwise it gets exiting when one breaks.
    (See http://lacewarsintin.blogspot.co.uk/ post 27 March 2014)

  5. Recycling lots of old figures I've come across that paint stench as well ! , yes the fairer sex are best absent when casting - they become anxious with molten metal around , Tony