SC-Castng-Frm-art - 11/1/15
"How to Build your Own Casting Frame for Sandcasting" by Lord Camlan Bayne Wallace.
This article was added to this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium, with the permission of the author.
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Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous
stefan at florilegium.org
How to build your own Casting Frame for Sandcasting
by Lord Camlan Bayne Wallace
I began sand casting by purchasing a Casting Kit. The cast iron frame that came with the kit was sufficient for casting many small articles, such as earrings and medallions. However what I really wanted to cast was Pewter Spoons & Forks but the frame was too small for that. So I started to think about ways to make my own Casting Frames. I realized that there were many different options to choose from. But affordability was the deciding factor, so I chose wood. I've realized that wood trim works very well for this and it normally can be purchased as a common wood or a hardwood such as oak.
When I started building my own frames twenty years ago, they were a little tricky to use. However I have worked most of the bugs out and now I even have a building method. So let's begin by defining what size the Casting Frame should be? This is determined by what we intend to Cast and I decided to just give instructions for building a general purpose mold. It will be large enough for an award medallion or medium size belt buckle and of course you can cast smaller items. So I thought 4 x 5 inches should satisfy the needs of someone just beginning with this adventure known as Sand Casting.
To build the casting frame I normally use lattice, quarter round and narrow trim. The lattice I chose for this frame is 1 1/8 x 1/4 inches. The quarter round is 3/4 inch and is also called "shoe molding". The narrow trim is 3/4 x 1/4 inches and is used for registration latches that hold the two sides of the casting frame together. Measure & mark the wood trim to length.
(4 pieces) 4 inches long of Lattice
(4 pieces) 5 inches long of Lattice
(8 pieces) 1 1/8 inches long of Quarter Round
(4 pieces) 2 inches long of Narrow Trim
(4 pieces) 1 inch long of Narrow Trim
(2 pieces) 5 3/4 inches long of Lattice
As you can see from the photo, the quarter round trim has grooves cut into the surface. This was done using a round file and it is much easier to do this before it is cut to length. The reason for these grooves is to hold the Sand in the Casting Frame more securely and they are in a sense corner locks.
As you can see, all the trim has been marked. Now use the saw of your choice to cut the pieces to their determined length. I prefer a saw with fine teeth because it makes a cleaner cut. I also sand the cut ends for easier assembly.
I normally just use Elmer's Glue-All multipurpose glue because it seems to work and it's easily available. However, feel free to use a different wood glue.
First glue the quarter round trim to the ends of the 5 inch pieces of lattice as shown. Make sure they are flush with the ends of the 5 inch pieces.
Once the glue has dried, assemble side "A". This is also known as the drag. Use a sheet of graph paper to assist in aligning the top with the long sides. Make sure it is squared, in other words. Check to make sure that the sides have a 90 degree angle to the flat assembly surface, use a triangle if necessary to do this.
Once the glue has dried, flip assembly "A" over and mark the side facing you small X's. This is the interior face of the Casting Frame. Use Masking Tape to cover the corners so the glue from side "B" doesn't adhere to side "A".
Now assemble side "B" on top of the interior face of side "A". The reason to assemble this in such a fashion is because side "B" needs to be aligned with the face side of "A". This will insure a tight fit between the faces of "A" & "B". The assembly of side "B" is also known as the cope of the casting frame. Check it for alignment when you're gluing it together. Mark both sides either as "A" or "B" accordingly.
Once the glue has dried, glue the long pieces of narrow trim onto side "B" as shown in the photo. These are the registration latches and will keep the two sides aligned when you are casting. Glue one set of long pieces onto the side section of assembly "B". Then when they have dried, glue the other set onto the opposite side of assembly "B". Now mark the sides of assembly "A", where the Registration latches are aligned, as shown in the photo.
Now glue one set of short pieces onto the side of assembly "A" at their specific locations that you just marked. Slide assembly "A" & "B" together and check the alignment of registration latches on this side. Once the glue has set, glue the short pieces onto the opposite side at their specified locations and align them properly as shown in the photo.
Now the casting frame is assembled. The last step is to cut an opening, as shown in the photo. This is where the sprue will be located and the molten metal is poured into the casting frame.
As you can see aft the mold is packed into the casting frame, there is an opening for the molten metal to enter the impression mold.
As you can see from the photo, the 2 long pieces of lattice molding are used as keeper slats. They simply hold the sand in the casting frame and give you a solid outer slat to position the C-clamp that holds the casting frame closed.
The casting frame is now complete. You may want to seal it with spar varnish or some other type of waterproof coating.
Good luck in your adventures of casting.
This is my design of a Casting frame and is not based upon any period casting frame I'm aware of. However Biringuccio does mention in "De La Pirotechnia" the use of wood boxes or frames. Also he instructs us to use these frames for "green sand" or "casting powders".
"De La Pirotechnia" The Pirotechnia of Vannoccio Biringuccio
Copyright 2015 by Timothy S. Chapman, 8217 Winters Lane. Mason, Ohio 45040. <tschapman1 at gmail.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited. Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author is notified of the publication and if possible receives a copy.
If this article is reprinted in a publication, please place a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.