Introduction: Cast Metal Bookmark Using a Clay Mould

Picture of Cast Metal Bookmark Using a Clay Mould

Having never tried my hand at metal casting I thought I would have a go.

I decided to try first on a small project to minimise expense.

Most of the "ingredients" I had lying around the place, the end result, while not perfect is, I think, a good start and I will use it as a learning experience -- ie watch this space for something more ambitious

Step 1: The Moulds (or Molds If You Are American!)

Picture of The Moulds (or Molds If You Are American!)

I used some modelling clay that (allegedly) sets in air without baking

I pressed in a small model of a dolphin to leave an impression, I then cleaned the impression up as needed with a small craft knife. (I also made a shark shaped one but more of that later)

You know I said that the clay air dries, well it doesn't so I baked it for an hour at 100C

Step 2: The Bookmarky Bit (OK I Don't Know What You Call It!!)

Picture of The Bookmarky Bit (OK I Don't Know What You Call It!!)

So I cut a few pieces of scrap stainless steel into triangles and bopped (technical term that!) a few holes in it for purely aesthetic reasons, and polished them up a bit

Step 3: Casting A.k.a What Could Possibly Go Wrong!

Picture of Casting A.k.a What Could Possibly Go Wrong!

So I gathered the bits I needed.

The moulds

the bookmarky bit (still don't know what to call it)

some lead free plumbers solder

a Butane torch and a lighter

I melted it on a ceramic tile to protect the table surface

Step 4: Popped Them Out of the Mould

Picture of Popped Them Out of the Mould

They look a bit rough (and tbh the shark looks nothing like a shark!) but we can fix that

"Igor - fetch the Dremel"

Step 5: A Little Bit of Dremelizing

Picture of A Little Bit of Dremelizing

So attacked with the dremel to shape and polish a bit

The shark has become a cod, or a pirahna or something but the dolphin is still dolphiny

Time to try something bigger and put the lessons I have learnt to good use

Vote for me 'cos I'm lovely!! ;-)


Penolopy Bulnick (author)2016-09-08

Thes look neat! So, you melted the solder into the molds and stuck the bookmarky bits on top of them?

Yup - that about sums it up! I will make some nicer ones now I have figured out how it works (I'm thinking a semi submerged hippo)

loubee2 (author)2016-08-28

Sorry,...major safety tip!! I forgot to mention the tin can gets EXTREMELY HOT & my Dad used pliers to hold the can & then pour the lead with it for the soldier mold.

buck2217 (author)loubee22016-08-28

As I said in the text "what could possibly go wrong" ;-)

loubee2 (author)2016-08-28

This brings back old memories. My Dad used to cast lead soldiers for us to paint (w/oil-based Testor's enamels back in the 1950's). He used a metal 2 part mold, melted the lead on top of the stove in an empty can & then slowly poured it into the mold. I'm not sure, but he may have pre-heated the mold in the oven so the "pour" reached all parts of the mold well.

Your clay mold idea is brilliant, but I was wondering if, instead of needing a propane torch, it would be easier & cheaper to use your stove. Although, I'd put the tin can in an old baking pan in case there are any "leaks".

buck2217 (author)loubee22016-08-28

I guess I could probably do it on the stove, but was in the shed for this as it was a bit of an experiment, now I know it works (without me setting fire to the kitchen) the old ball and chain may let me in the house!

chickenmatilda (author)2016-08-27

So the cast portion of actually made of solder? Very clever! (You might want to add a warning for folks with young kids to use a lead-free solder?) Thanks for posting. :-)

buck2217 (author)chickenmatilda2016-08-27

Thanks , I did put that in the text but maybe I should highlight it

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a Marine Engineer in the RNZN (39 years done in various navies) and am looking forward to retirement!!! so I can do more ... More »
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