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Cruxandreams 01-21-2012 10:36 PM

casting Bronze porthole rings
This is somewhat a continuation of my last post, but I thought it may be a good idea to start a new thread since it is a much more specific topic than before. Any-who, I have decided I will be casting some bronze exterior porthole rings for a set of six bronze ports I picked up, and am looking for advice. Is there any special bronze I should use? Does anyone know of a good source for the sand I will need to make the mold? Also if anyone has any tips or pointers in preforming this casting process with bronze I would greatly appreciate it.
I am planning on using a blacksmiths forge to melt the bronze in a large iron ladle then pour it into a "sand box" that's probably not the correct name for it, but I think people who are familiar with casting will know what I'm referring to. I was thinking off using two separate holes to pour the molten bronze in to evenly fill the oval void, is this a good idea, or will this create a seam in the cast..? what do I need to watch out for? It seams like a simple enough process, but i'm sure there's things to know and watch out for. all info is welcome, Thanks so much!

P.S. Man are we lucky or what to live in a time where we can learn about anything we want with the click of a couple buttons! The internet sure is a miraculous tool.

WDS123 01-21-2012 10:42 PM

Don't try this at home.

We used to have a foundry way back when - serious know how required.

Southron Spirit 01-21-2012 10:47 PM

there are about 500 videos on you tube on how to do what you talking about ,everything from building the forge to pouring the metal

Cruxandreams 01-21-2012 11:15 PM


Originally Posted by Southron Spirit (Post 819674)
there are about 500 videos on you tube on how to do what you talking about ,everything from building the forge to pouring the metal

yep, Just found that out. guess I don't need any advice after all. FALSE ALARM! sorry guys.

UncleJim 01-21-2012 11:53 PM


Originally Posted by Cruxandreams (Post 819679)
yep, Just found that out. guess I don't need any advice after all. FALSE ALARM! sorry guys.

Would be interested to see how these come out. I for one would prefer to make something myself rather then ordering it from the internet.

SloopJonB 01-22-2012 12:00 AM


Originally Posted by WDSchock (Post 819670)
Don't try this at home.

We used to have a foundry way back when - serious know how required.

We were taught small scale casting in junior high school shop class. My grandfather was a patternmaker as well (as an aside, have you ever seen a big pattern for a ships prop or such? Pure art or sculpture but done to a machinists standard of accuracy - I wish I had more time with him).

I disagree about serious know how being required for casting small parts - it is a fairly simple process. Serious CAUTION is required though since you will be dealing with MOLTEN METAL at temperatures in the THOUSANDS of degrees. That is as serious as a heart attack.

You need to have high quality protective gear - that cheap plastic face shield won't cut it if you get splashed with 2K degree molten metal. Bronze vapours are pretty toxic as well - I'd wear a respirator, not just count on ventilation.

At a MINIMUM, you should have a full welding apron, heavy boots, such as worn by welders, heavy gauntlet style gloves, a quality full face shield and a respirator. NEVER wear any clothing made from man made materials - they are plastics of various kinds and will melt into your skin if you spill molten metal on them. Checking with your version of Workers Safety & Compensation to find their requirements for foundry workers would be a good idea.

Finally, stick to bronze - don't try casting stainless steel, aluminium etc. at home. Starting with lead for practice might be a good idea - it's easier to work with - much lower temps etc.

TunaNugget 01-22-2012 12:41 AM

I've never cast bronze, but I've cast a few aluminum parts, basically for the fun of it. You may want to look into "lost foam" casting, as you may find it easier to make the mold that way.

Casting metal can be dangerous, but so is sailing, so read up on it, be safe, and have fun.

aeventyr60 01-22-2012 05:18 AM

I had the same idea...went to a foundry instead, found out the cost, then made them out of teak.

zeyang 02-16-2013 01:12 AM

Re: casting Bronze porthole rings
hi, we are doing some test of trying to cast in alloy.
Its not that easy, so we need some mroe testing first. Since we need 20 of them in different size we hope it would be easier to learn to cast them than trying to get them from china. (and more fun) Probably spend another week or two shaping up the skills a little.

see youtube video on the first process.
Sailing the farm - porthole casting - YouTube

SirRedemption 02-16-2013 03:09 AM

Re: casting Bronze porthole rings
Bronze is VERY hard to work with. Make sure you follow all of your safety stuff. I do a bit of Lead smelting to recover lead from gun ranges etc and lead is nothing compared to some of these other metals such as bronze.

Your mixture needs to be REALLY good or your part is going to fail prematurely. You also should expect to have to repour because pours go right about 25% of the time

Make sure you properly condition your crucibles before you start smelting your material. I can not stress how important this is. Stone can explode if not conditioned properly its no joke take it super serious.

Make sure you do your research on materials to use as far as stock metals. and lastly consider having them made via CNC you can get the same casted look by having it cnc made then lightly sandblasting (little more expensive) but you will be able to ensure that the alloy is up to manufacturing standards.

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