metalcasting

DiResta: Skull Belt Buckle

DiResta: Skull Belt Buckle

On this episode of DiResta, Jimmy casts a skull buckle from delft clay and a tin alloy to make any metalhead swoon.

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Lindsay’s Technical Books Ships Last Catalog

Lindsay’s Technical Books Ships Last Catalog

I think I was fourteen or fifteen when I received my first Lindsay’s catalog, ordered from a print ad in the back pages of Popular Science or Popular Mechanics—I don’t recall which. “Build Lightning Bolt Generators!” it trumpeted. “Melt Metal! Rediscover Lost Technology!” I clipped along the dotted line and sent $3.00, cash, through the US mail. I’ve been a regular buyer ever since.

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How-To: Homemade Castable Refractories

How-To: Homemade Castable Refractories

Two easy DIY recipes for high-temperature cement: one starts from ready-made stove repair cement, and another uses only bulk mineral products.

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How-To: Make a metal cracker

How-To: Make a metal cracker

New York artist Herbert Hoover, aka Makers Market seller Snacks & Bones, presents a tutorial on how to cast your favorite Saltineâ„¢-type cracker in shiny pewter. Hoover’s iconic, numbered crackers are sold in Art-o-Mat vending machines around the country, and the Cracker Tracker collects photos of crackers and their proud owners from around the world. If you don’t have the tools or the time to make your own, and you can’t find a nearby Art-o-Mat, Hoover will gladly sell you one online for $15.

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Make: Projects – “Pepakura-cast” metal pyramid puzzle

Make: Projects – “Pepakura-cast” metal pyramid puzzle

The idea of a hollow card or paper form buried in plain sand as a sacrificial mold for poured metal parts interested me. As the internet papercraft explosion has taught us, paper is really not a bad medium for 3D design, especially for the cost. Software like Pepakura will convert any 3D digital model into a papercraft one that can be printed out, cut out, folded up, and glued or taped together to make a reasonably accurate real-world replica of the original. What if, instead of using the paper as a positive representation, one were to use it simply as a negative space–a volume, supported by dry sand, that would survive just long enough to impart its form to molten metal poured inside?

As a first experiment, I designed a paper template for the pieces of a classic put-together puzzle often called “The Four Piece Pyramid.” The challenge is to use the four identical pieces to form a symmetrical three-sided pyramid. I chose this as form, first, because I think the puzzle is elegant; second, because all four pieces are identical so only one template design is required; and three, because the pieces are fairly simple, geometrically, and thus so are the templates.

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All hail Dave Gingery

All hail Dave Gingery

If you hang around makers long enough, especially older ones, sooner or later somebody will mention Dave Gingery. And then everybody within earshot will either A) genuflect or B) look around in confusion at all the people who are genuflecting. For those in the latter category, here’s an explanation I wrote for Supernaturale awhile back: […]

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