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December 13, 2018, 03:43:11 am
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Cuttlebone casting

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Author Topic: Cuttlebone casting  (Read 740 times)
Marty
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« on: March 28, 2015, 05:00:08 pm »

Has any members tried cuttlebone casting for settings or rings. I tried my hand at it and it is a lot of fun and easy to do. If you have scrap silver you can melt it down and cast all kinds of things. 


* Cuttle bone casting 001.JPG (2423.23 KB, 4000x3000 - viewed 23 times.)

* Cuttle bone casting 002.JPG (2879.57 KB, 4000x3000 - viewed 23 times.)
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PhilNM
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2015, 05:24:24 pm »

Nice. The problem is getting good cuttlebone.... the stores here all have small pieces.
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Marty
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2015, 05:49:22 pm »

The best way I found to buy cuttlebone is to get it off EBay in the pet section. You can find larger pieces reasonable priced in bulk. 
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hulagrub
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2015, 08:45:04 pm »

Well give us a tutorial!
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2015, 10:37:55 am »

Well give us a tutorial!

 yeah! dunno
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Marty
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2015, 10:57:41 am »

Seems you guys are interested in this! Well, let me see if I can put together a tutorial on using this casting method. Maybe I will do a simple one this afternoon and take some pictures along the way. This is a cool way to do one off stuff, but lost wax is much better for detail. Would you guys like to see maybe how to do the ring in the photo or any suggestions on something else?
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Mark
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2015, 12:02:26 pm »

When you do Cuttlebone casting, don't you get a pattern from the Cuttlebone?  Is that one of the reasons people use it over lost wax, because you get the pattern?  Or do i remember this wrong and its just another material that is easy to fabricate for a nice pattern?

I have been checking out cast jewelry, especially rings, for awhile and thinking how great it would be to cast the shape, rather than trying to solder the band together and then soldering on more details, hammering patterns, and/or grinding down the metal to the final design.  The really complex designs would be so much easier by casting and i would really like to try ti one day.

Mark
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Marty
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2015, 12:33:43 pm »

When you cast using cuttlebone you will get some pattern from the bone. You can see in the pictures a swirl wave which is from the bone. It will be more pronounced in softer bones and less in hard ones. The cuttlebone comes in different hardness so it will depend on the one you pick to use. I cut the bone in half, sand the soft bone flat on both pieces so they go together like a sandwich.  You make your impression by carving out the area in the flat area you sanded or crush in the object and remove to make the shape. You cut a sprue hole and small vent sliced areas for gases to release. Then put the two pieces together with wire around or tape to hold together and pour your metal in molten. It will stink like hell for a bit and hope for the best. Then put it under water to cool or just wait a bit and then undo the wire or tape and instant casting done. Most of the time the bone will be wasted so one off is what you can expect. Usually you will have to clean up the shape with files or saw. You can cast rods ,wire .sheet, squares and make you findings from that instead by buying premade stuff to fabricate from.
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2015, 01:05:06 pm »

Really sounds kool and one way or another, i think i will try casting this year.  I don't think that i can easily fabricate the rings i would like to make and casting seems to be the only "affordable" option.  Please post more and keep us up to date.

Mark
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Marty
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2015, 04:33:14 pm »

This afternoon after fixing my friends brake line on his Ford, I did a quick casting to take some pictures and show the process using cuttlebone. Though the casting is not perfect, mainly because I poured too slow, it will show the order of events. First pictures are cutting bone in half, sanding flat, making indentations in the bone


* casting 1 001.JPG (2736.47 KB, 4000x3000 - viewed 11 times.)

* casting 1 004.JPG (2681.47 KB, 4000x3000 - viewed 13 times.)
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Marty
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2015, 04:37:57 pm »

After this step you fine tune what you want and add cutout for pouring in metal. I used a Map gas torch  and some scrap silver for the pour


* casting 1 005.JPG (2239.47 KB, 4000x3000 - viewed 7 times.)

* casting 1 006.JPG (4325.06 KB, 4000x3000 - viewed 10 times.)
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Marty
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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2015, 04:45:21 pm »

After silver is melted good , pour quickly, too slow and it will not fill the mold before it cools as I did. Being out of practice and trying to take pictures don't help. After it cools take a look what you got , if everything is right it will turn out great. Its kind of a skill but after a few flops you will learn this quick.


* casting 1 009.JPG (3081.27 KB, 4000x3000 - viewed 6 times.)

* casting 1 012.JPG (2740.91 KB, 4000x3000 - viewed 6 times.)
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Marty
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2015, 04:50:02 pm »

Now to see what happened! Don't laugh, but it could have been better if I wasn't rushing things. Lets see what you guys can come up with down the road. The bullet was done last year same process.


* casting 1 014.JPG (3248.1 KB, 4000x3000 - viewed 8 times.)

* casting 1 017.JPG (2191.11 KB, 4000x3000 - viewed 10 times.)
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PhilNM
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« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2015, 05:37:36 pm »

have you ever tried pouring a wax first, then metal second in case you wanted a duplicate sometime down the road?
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Marty
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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2015, 05:57:46 pm »

I think wax would stick to the bone and be a big mess trying to get out. The bone is firm but has a powdery surface and is porous. They have this silicon mold putty that is in two parts that you knead together and you can make a mold with that for pewter casting that is lower temp. They sell it at craft stores. You can then take the pewter cast to crush into the cuttlebone. I have used Bondo in the silicon putty mold to get a copy to crush into the bone. You could get creative and do three to four piece molds on more complex shapes with cuttlebone too. But one thing is for sure, the lost wax casting is the best for detail and this way is very primitive but easy, fairly cheap and fun.
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