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Author Topic: Investment Casting a Tarantula  (Read 3884 times)

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MrsWTownsend

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Investment Casting a Tarantula
« on: March 08, 2015, 03:15:48 PM »

Here are pics of casting my tiger rump.  These were used in an article a gal on an artsy fartsy forum I used to frequest did around Halloween one year.  I may or may not be able to find that link...  it was a few years back.

My poor dead Tiger Rump, buttless.  He was a good little T, unfortunately males are much shorter lived than females.



Melting a wax sprue on dead T's body- this is the channel for the melted silver to flow into the cavity



In the base mount and in the flask


This the silver button, after the T has encased in casting investment and then burned out in the kiln.  You ramp up the heat over about 2 hours per temperature incrementt, to what the temperature of the metal you are using is in it's liquid state then let the flask soak in the kiln for several hours.  You have to make sure whatever is inside has enough time to burn out completely before you try to cast- most organic things can be used.  Often times skulls tend to have a thicker area that does not burn out which will leave an area inside the investment cavity where metal can not flow and/or the liquid metal will encase the leftover part, probably leaving some of it exposed.


The cast tarantula, after it has had the majority of investment removed.  Basically, you give the flask time to set, until you see the metal button has cooled to a non-glowing state, then you quench it _we use a 10 gallon trash can) and the bulk of the investment boils off in the water.


Using my Foredom, I cut the cast piece from the sprue and grind down and blend the gate, then depending on the item I have cast, tumble it in stainless steel shot or use my ultrasonic tumbler (designed for preserving detail, it uses basically small pieces of guitar string for the tumbling media).  In this case, I use the ultrasonic tumbler and burnishing liquid.


Then of course, give my T a butt and he is memorialized forever in sterling silver.



Well I found the page on the forum where I originally posted pics back in 2009 but I can't find the lady's Halloween blog article.  Oh well.  :)
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Enchantra

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Re: Investment Casting a Tarantula
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2015, 04:05:46 PM »

Awesome!  Thanks for posting this Gina!  I remember when you first posted this online.   :headbang:
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Bentiron

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Re: Investment Casting a Tarantula
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2015, 05:42:03 PM »

nice job on the spider :headbang:
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iceopals

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Re: Investment Casting a Tarantula
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2015, 06:36:17 PM »

I love it!  Still need me one of those!
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wampidy

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Re: Investment Casting a Tarantula
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2015, 11:39:11 PM »

Wow, that is way cool. Can you make one of my brother? He is still living, would that make a difference?
Jim
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iceopals

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Re: Investment Casting a Tarantula
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2015, 06:53:38 AM »

Ha!  Yeah, I've got a brother that needs...  No, never mind.   :LOLOL:
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Enchantra

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Re: Investment Casting a Tarantula
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2015, 07:04:04 AM »

LOL!!!!
I created a forum of wise crackers!  I love it!   :LOLOL: :LOLOL: :LOLOL: :DRUNKS:
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A man wearing a helmet defending his country should make more money than a man with a helmet defending a football!!!  (From an email message I received - so true!)

MrsWTownsend

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Re: Investment Casting a Tarantula
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2015, 01:47:15 PM »

Wow, that is way cool. Can you make one of my brother? He is still living, would that make a difference?
Jim

I will need a bigger flask

and kiln

and crucible

but once he is in the investment he will probably stop moving  :)  it could be doable
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PhilNM

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Re: Investment Casting a Tarantula
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2015, 02:39:45 PM »

Hi. great..... but a couple questions....
Did you pre coat the T with anything pre investment?
And you skipped the wax impression completely so the silver melted and birned out the organic matter for a one time piece?
Thanks!
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MrsWTownsend

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Re: Investment Casting a Tarantula
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 08:26:09 PM »

Hi. great..... but a couple questions....
Did you pre coat the T with anything pre investment?
And you skipped the wax impression completely so the silver melted and birned out the organic matter for a one time piece?
Thanks!


Hi Phil!

I did spritz the T with an anti-bubble solution prior to investing.  This is a one shot deal- how it works is, the organic matter actually burns out at a lesser temperature than what is required to heat the flask to in order to allow the metal to flow through the investment, so during the time you are ramping up the kiln and allowing the invested flask to soak in the kiln, the wax or whatever you have encased in the investment burns out.  I am doing centrifugal casting, so at the time I take the flask from the kiln to slam that molten silver into it at the speed of liquid metal light (:D), there is actually an empty cavity which is [hopefully] perfectly formed to the shape of what was once inside it.

This is why it is important to assure that whatever you encase in the investment isn't too thick to not burn out at the melting point of your chosen metal- skulls, for example, have an area where the bone is too thick to burn away completely, that is the same reason why after cremation they have to pulverize the remaining pieces.  A mouse skull would probably burn out...  Leaves, wax, fabric...  I have never tried like a plastic thing- I am not sure that would work out well either...  It would stink, that's for sure...

When I do the scorpions, I sometimes use super glue on the leg joints to sort of reinforce their little legs as they are posed when the investment is poured over them.  I use the anti-bubble solution on everything that I can if I am sure it will not ruin the piece, to prevent air bubbles from sticking to it.  I keep it in a spray bottle and apply it that way.
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RxScram

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Re: Investment Casting a Tarantula
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2015, 08:40:53 PM »

Very cool!
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iceopals

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Re: Investment Casting a Tarantula
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2015, 07:11:00 AM »

Aha!  So you are not using your original casting to create molds?  I just assumed.  Sorry!  I did some casting years ago.  I have all of the rigs, vacuum casting, mold making.  But I went chicken-shit.  (I can say that here, right?). I was heating the metal before casting and apparently my hose had a micro-leak near the torch.  My hand lit up and I was known as the blister queen by the Dr. and hospital.  It covered the entirety of my palm, one blister.  So I have been afraid to go back.  I really want someone who is comfortable with casting to come hold my hand a few times.  Oh well, eventually.   :glasses9:
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MrsWTownsend

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Re: Investment Casting a Tarantula
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2015, 01:32:55 PM »

No.  While I do have the technology, I have not actually made any vulcanized rubber molds. 

Really sorry to hear about YOUR experience!  How horrible and painful that must have been!!!  :(
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PhilNM

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Re: Investment Casting a Tarantula
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2015, 01:50:39 PM »

Thanks. all the lost wax casting I've ever done (very little) used molds to create many wax "masters". Nice to know for things that would be difficult (like hairy spiders, crickets, other insects, etc) I can "go direct".
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Sandsave

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Re: Investment Casting a Tarantula
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2015, 03:42:58 PM »

Great info, I was trying to figure out how you replace the t with metal. So they have to be dried out first? Or be small enough to burn up?
I can't think of anyone I want a cast of lol
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