Sunday, April 22, 2007

This Got Me to Thinking.....

It started with beads.

I need some one inch transparent beads for a pair of ray guns. Fumbling through the internet, I finally found a site with beads that almost met my needs; they were made of resin.

This got me to thinking. I've had friends that have cast resin. I could make some molds, and just cast the beads that I need.

I ran some searches on how to cast resin. It looks easy, and wouldn't cost too much. The trickiest bit would be creating the mold.

This got me to thinking. If I'm going to go to all of the trouble to make molds for casting, perhaps I could cast more parts for the rayguns, like handles, sites, triggers, and finny bits. In fact, I could use found objects to help create molds, cast the rayguns in multiple pieces, then join everything together.

One interesting technique is called 'cold casting'. Metal powders are mixed with resin, and poured into a mold to coat the interior. The rest of the mold is filled with foam, resin, or resin mixed with iron or lead shot. The effect is to look like a metal casting, until you touch it. I know that there is an extension to this technique, which involves sand blasting the surface of the finished piece to erode the resin and expose the powdered metal. The metal can then be burnished, which joins the metal particles.

This got me to thinking. I already have gas fired kilns, and equipment like tongs and gloves to use when handling orange hot pottery. If I was going to make molds to cast resins, and wanted to make pieces that looked like metal, how much harder would it be to just melt metal and pour it into molds?

Surfed the web. Looked up 'brass casting', and ran across an interesting site.

So, now I want to scavenge scrap aluminum and brass from the neighborhood on trash day, and melt it into ingots using recovered cooking oil discarded from restaurants, then recast the metal as rockets, dragons, and rayguns.


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