Casting Slugs


This is my casting station. Backdrop, vent hood, light, etc. The level of the casting pot shelf is about chest high for comfortable working while standing. The shelf I work off of is about waist high for comfort.

This is the wooden "Knocker" I use. I can pick it up and set it down very easily and quickly. It's just a dense pc. of hardwood.

These Guide Pins are critical. Touch a candle to them every 8-10 slugs. When you close the mold, sort of "Feel" them engage. Don't just click the molds together or you'll prematurely wear the holes these 1/4" pins engage into.

When I preheat the mold, I dip the bottom of the aluminum blocks in the lead for about 8-10 seconds. I also open the wing cutter and heat the wing in the lead. See residue on wing.

I "tap-tap-tap" gently to jar the slugs loose. Tap as if driving the wooden handles tighter. I use the wooden "Knocker" for this.

This is the end with the two cavities. The wing cutter gets transferred to the other end to cast that end. It's set up to pour the outside holes for the double end and the center hole for the single end. Works well.

This machine screw goes in the hole where the wing cutter was (when you change ends). It does two things. first, it keeps lead out of the threads in this hole when you dip it for pre-heating. Second, it acts like a "leg" to stand the mold on when pouring.

As soon as the lead "freezes", you just push the wing around forward with the stick. If you do this as soon as the lead freezes, you don't have to beat on things to cut the sprues. They just shear effortlessly.

Tap-tap-tap with the handles just alittle apart in your hand - the slugs loosen immediately. If they don't, wait a couple of seconds longer before opening. They shrink as they cool. If you really rush, you just have to wait anyway. They must shrink enough to loosen.


And the drop out. I drop them onto a heavy leather welding glove.

The single end drops just by opening most of the time.

These are the three slugs this mold casts. The cavities are numbered.

You see here the infinite shapes you can cast that you could never swage. You see what I was telling you - these only touch the bore on the outer rings. Those rings can bite deep - give good control, and still not make the slug too tight in the bore.

Hope all this helps.

Please ask if something isn't clear. I know you are a good craftsman but asking always is better than ruining something.

Most common error would be to not wax often enough. Wax the guide locator pins and the wing (both where it hinges and where it rubs the top of the mold block). The wax will not hurt anything. It will "bubble" the texture of a slug if you get too much in the cavity.

You don't have to change the handles to turn the mold over. I've gotten so I can change the wing cutter to the other end with the mold hot (I use a "T" handle hex wrench in the socket head screws).

If the other end has lead and crap on it, just rub it with the candle - the lead and stuff will float off.