Can anyone help me with metal casting?

I have been working with my friend, setting up a small IT business in our local area providing some software but mainly hardware. Now that I have a furnace and it can melt aluminium my friend has asked me to cast a case for his computers. He said that he will produce a wooden copy of what he would like it to look like, then give it to me to cast. I am wondering how I can convert the wooden copy into a wax copy so that I can continue from my own knowledge.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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I can understand casting the vanity plates for the case mod.

I suggest that you buy a good vanilla PC case, make your sand castings, and screw them on.

As others have suggested sand casting is the most suitable technology for the back yard.

Use your friends wooden master.
rickharris6 years ago
I can't help think this is a project shouting out to be made from thick sheet aluminium, ideally welded and them carefully shaped to resemble a cast case.

If your not willing to sand cast your options are limited and expensive for a big cast.

Silicone will withstand aluminium but costs and has complexity with flexibility,

Lost wax on a big job will be hard to perfect, cost a FORTUNE for the wax never mind the investement plaster.

If sand casting wasn't the way industry would not use it for one off of short run castings, for anything longer run industry would die cast which is beyond your capability and budget.
A big thin casting in aluminium is very tricky for a home maker - you'll need a lot of metal in one shot to pour it, with well placed runners and risers. Be prepared for a lot of work

Don't forget that the pattern HAS to be tapered slightly to allow you to get it out of the sand, and that the pattern is BIGGER than the final job by the metal's shrinkage allowance - which I forget for aluminium

Pattern makers have special rules "for" specific metals. It pays well to check your rulers if you know a patternmaker, especially ones with a sense of humour and a love of practical jokes.

thomas9666 (author)  steveastrouk6 years ago
Thanks for the suggestion... My friend said he would prefer it not to be sand cast since he hates it when some sand gets stuck in the metal. Also if I am casting it as one whole case it cannot be sand cast as it will have air vents cut into the case. Any idea with that, or will I have to cast all the sides independantly?
You are in for some serious investment in alternatives - Lost wax for example is probably 5-10 X more expensive to do.

Good sand casting has very little entrained sand - modern, resin bonded sands are very clean working. There are exotic CO2 hardening sands too.

Grills ? Well you could cast them in too, but it would be much simpler to add them afterwards.

rickharris6 years ago
general start

sand casting

You will be best off sand casting, make the box as 6 cast  sides and then screw together.

You could sand cast an open box and then make a single side for it.

In general PC builders may need to get at both sides of the PC chassis.