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Thread: Home casting white gold ring project

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    1

    Default Home casting white gold ring project

    Hello to all, a newbie here.

    I've found snippets of info over the web but thought it better to get some focused answers from a trusted source.

    I'd like to embark on probably too adventurous a project for novice: Cast 18kt white gold ring, quite primitive aesthetic, casting into a two piece wood mould i.e. ring shape and runners and feed carved into both sides of mating piece of wood, accidental results and the unforeseen welcomed. With the resultant surprisingly well turned out ring, I would like to then set in, probably flush, two 1/1.5mm diamonds. In addition to that, cut and polish myself a piece of Blue John, larger than the diamonds but still small, and set that proud using a technique that may not exist, which is:

    With some experience of art casting, chasing and finishing Bronze, I have before taken a ring shaped off-cut of bronze and with a HSS (filed) spiked punch, chased a dent/hole with raised thin walls i.e. starting from a point chased outwards very carefully creating a crater which can receive a stone and have crater walls closed around it. My hope is to be able to do something similar with the cast white gold, probably taking advantage of existing pitting/hole/crater/relief of experimental cast. It is my hope that you will all tell me the cast gold properties will allow this manipulation, along with all the advice and tips needed to achieve it! First things first though, casting.

    The bronze casting I've done before has been in a well facilitated environment and was mostly lost-wax. In this instance I no longer have access to this environment and it is important for this project that the mould be carved from wood. I'll be using map gas and melting dish. I was looking to use the ALL000 white grain from Cookson due to lower casting temp but was not clear about any necessary quenching annealing criteria with it.

    For now however I have been messing about practicing with Copper which doesn't seem to flow well at all, which is seems obvious now - hence brass and bronze! So as I have some brass I'll try that next but waiting for more gas in the post. All seems well with seasoning dish with borax.

    Advice to start with:

    • Best type melting dish to use.
    • Best metal to practice casting before gold, similar casting properties? Or at least to see if moulds work, best ways to cast any given common cheap alloy?
    • When casting with small quantity of metal and torch, how to judge best casting temp of practice alloy and subsequent gold?
    • As I'm prepared to experiment with all aspects, would I run into problems recasting the white gold over and over?
    • Suggestions for appropriate runner/riser system for mould in wood? (I've seen some in sand with none at all, just the ring shape and feed!?) Additionally appropriate thickness for carved channels of mould to allow good flow bearing in mind shrinkage and that a slender slim ring is desired?
    • Any other advice.


    I'm aware that I'm asking a lot of you all, and not least of myself, but thank you for any advice you can offer, it is greatly appreciated.

    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Romsey
    Posts
    4,785

    Default

    The only advice I can give is build up to it.

    I wouldn't suggest 18k white gold. Try silver for learning basic small scale casting - it flows far more readily than copper.
    I've not chased bronze in solid form so I can't really comment on the comparison with 18k white - but I'd drill a seat for the stone rather than work hardening the metal before you've started on the setting.
    I wouldn't suggest wood for moulds. A Delft clay (petrobonded sand) system is a far better bet - carve a master, then bed it into the sand for casting. Another alternative would be cuttlefish casting (if you can stand the smell). None of those are really suited to slim or delicate though. Or carve it in wax and send it out for casting.

    Finally, please don't repost just because no-one has answered. What you're trying to do isn't something many members would be attempting and while your experience with bronze is useful and transferable it'll still take time to learn the handling of different metals both in the liquid phase and the solid.

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