Introduction to Crucible Casting – Safety and Techniques

NOTE:  I HAVE ADDED SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE TEXT OF THIS LECTURE.  MAKE SURE YOU READ THROUGH IT BEFORE MONDAY!

Extra credit (up to ten points) will be given to anyone who posts what they think the significant additions are to the lecture.

401 Crucible Casting Procedure and Safety

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About skaad

Professor Laura West, head of Sculpture at Fresno City College, has been casting iron since her undergraduate studies at Southern Illinois University in the late 1980's/early 1990's. This is where her first iron furnace was built. Professor West continued her studies at Idaho State University and then became part of the teaching staff at the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture before moving to Fresno, California. Although Professor West has run and built furnaces of a wide variety of sizes, types and situations, she specializes in smaller furnaces and beginner crews. Laura is known internationally for her iron casting skills. Her small tap out iron cupola which melts 100 lbs/7minutes and has been used in classrooms and workshops from coast to coast. This furnace alone has seen over 30,000 pounds of iron flow through it. Professor West was even a member of a small crew of people who poured iron north of the arctic circle in Alaska. Laura's work has been exhibited internationally and focuses on the placement of cast figurative elements within installation and environmental formats. In the past several years, her work has expanded to include the use of digital technology and rapid prototyping. This research focuses on the use of digitally produced molds and patterns for use with cast metal.
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4 Responses to Introduction to Crucible Casting – Safety and Techniques

  1. Beth says:

    What I’ve noticed:
    Most notably: The red note about pre-heating the metal on top of the furnace (otherwise dangerous explosions)
    Instructive pictures of how the crucible sits in the furnace relative to the heat, where the crucible should sit in the shank, and how the lip of the crucible should be relative to the shank when pouring
    A bit on checking the fitting a crucible to shanks and tongs
    Keeping the crucible full of metal to reduce the metal’s exposure to air
    What to do if you wind up boiling your metal
    At the end of the pour, scrapping the crucible with a skimmer
    Post-processing – removing unwanted metal and applying a layer of wax or acrylic spray to seal

  2. Adam Stone says:

    Knowing when to pour the metal (slide 7), The skimmer is the captain and has lots of responsibility for the entire pour team (slide 14), Removal of molds, removal of gates and vents to finish the casting, adding a patina and sealing of the bronze (slides 17-20).

  3. Will Scheurich says:

    -Images for furnace preparation.
    -Melt metal preheat warning.
    -Crucible cracking warning.
    -Image of perpendicular crucible lip.
    -More detail on pour team responsibilities.
    -Excess metal made into ingots.
    -Cleaning of the crucible.
    -Slides on cleaning and finishing the casting.

  4. Brandon Pomeroy says:

    In addition to the slides Adam mentioned, the Furnace Prep (slide 2), the “Furnace Lid is closed…” (slide 6), and slides 9-11 were added. The drawn diagrams were also added.

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