Backyard Foundry E-Zine
       Skull Cast in Brass

I haven't gotten an e-zine out for a while....I have been foundry area has gotten over grown with tomato plants and is a sad situation!


I was talking to someone about metal casting and he asked if I would make a shifting knob for him if he made a pattern.  I said sure....and here is the process.

This is the pattern he make out of wood:

I used a molding gell I got from the local craft store called 3d gel. 

I put the pattern in a can to pour the 3d gel around it.
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The gel is very soft and wet.  I cut the pattern out with an exacto knife and then poured wax into the mold.

Here is the wax pattern:

Then, I put the wax pattern in a new metal can/flask, poured plaster investment around it, burned it out in my kiln, and poured it with brass.  Here is the skull as poured:

Next, it got sand blasted:

Then I used gun blueing to give the indented areas a black finish.  I buffed it and put some Increlac shellac on it and here is the result:

Wes loves it.....but there is one is too heavy!  He is afraid it will make his truck pop out of gear...So I am going to make him a new one out of aluminum...It may be a while though!  I may try to sand cast it this time....or maybe do it using sodium silicate and sand  cores for a three or four part mold.  I will keep you posted.  Join this e-zine if you want to get future project updates.
Here is the final brass casting in a larger picture.  Looks "wicked" huh?
Here is my foundry after a good day of casting!  I did four pours that day.
If you would like to see any of these pictures in a larger size, you can see them in my photobucket album.  CLICK HERE
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Update: 11-25-2011
Well, I finally made it out of aluminum!  I coated the wood pattern with silicon caulk

...then made a waxed pattern which I coated with a thin coat of drywall mud, then put some chicken wire around it...and put another coat of mud on it.   Then did a quick burn out in the kitchen oven and burried it in sand to pour.  The burn out should have been longer and hotter because it bubbled and spit a bit, but it turned out fine.....and it is a lot lighter.
Here it is painted black.

Then I sanded most of the paint back off and sealed it with increlac.  Here is the final result: