Bronze casting

I tried casting a couple bronze buckles using the molds we made back on December 17th. The thin backing plates I made were very prone to cracking due to heat even when they were fired. The bronze didn't flow as well as I wanted in the mold, but it flowed well enough to seize up one of my favorite pairs of pliers.

Here are the results:

I'm happy with the detail this approach produced, but frustrated with the lack of a complete buckle. There are a few things I'm going to try differently next time:
1. A larger sprew. The sprew creates pressure on the molten bronze, increasing the force into the mold.
2. Make sure the mold is warmer. One of the molds was room temp, and one cooled substantially after being taken out of the forge. It was probably about 300 degrees. I have enough space to pour the bronze in the forge, and I might try that.
3. Use a lost wax approach rather than a two piece mold. The molds are getting destroyed anyway. My challenge here is to make a good and consistent set of wax molds to form the clay around.


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