Pewter Coins Casted in Cotton Putty Sand

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About: I'm a social-worker, working with 12 - 23 year-olds. I used to be a printer. In 2018 I opened a small makerspace (www.imdib.nl) in my house, where I have lasercutters, 3d-printers, Arduino's, Mindstorms and ...

Every year I go as a group-leader to summer camp. It is a camp rule that all the children attent all activities. The children in my group will all get one "joker" tough. When they give me the joker back, they are allowed to skip one activity. They can use their joker for anything (except going home after camp), even doing dishes or going to sleep. It is my goal to make the jokers so cool that no one wants to give them back to me, so they attend all activities and can take the joker home after camp. This year I succeeded in this goal with my casted pewter coins.

The method in this Ible is not my first try, but it is the method that I went for.

Supplies:

Materials:

  • Pewter
  • Cotton Putty (some kind of kinetic sand)
  • Metal rings or pipe
  • Acrylic
  • Glue
  • optional: acrylic paint, brushes and stuff

Tools:

  • Stove
  • Pot
  • Spoon
  • Straw
  • File
  • Sharpy
  • Snippers
  • Lasercutter (or makerspace)
  • Computer

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Step 1: Cutting Two Rings

From a 2,5" aluminum pipe, I cut two 1" rings.

Use a file to deburr them.

With a sharpy I mark the rings so I can align them again later.

Step 2: Design and Cut the Coin

I use Gravit Designer to design for the lasercutter.

The design has several parts:

  • The outer ring that holds the metal ring in place. (this must be exactly the outer diameter of your metal ring)
  • A spacer ring to align the coin design in the middle.
  • The front coin design.
  • The back coin design.
  • A dot in the middle of the back coin design where the sprew will come.
  • A plate to glue it on.

I added both the original Gravit and the PDF files.

The laser will engrave the coin design as deep as you want it on the coin.

Step 3: Glueing

First glue the outer ring (that will hold the metal ring later) on the backplate. I used a piece of scrap material as backplate.

Put the coin design in the spacer ring and glue only the coin design and not the spacer in the middel of the outer ring.

After the glue is dry you can remove the spacer.

Step 4: Cotton Putty Front

The Cotton Putty is just something I found at my toy store. It will probably work with any kind of kinetic sand, but this works great.

Put the metal ring in the outer ring.

Pack in the Cotton Putty with force to be sure that it ends up in all the holes of your design.

Remove the metal ring with the Cotton Putty from the design. -This is a kind of an art. If you move to slow the Putty will stick to the design and if you move to fast you'll probably smutch the design.-

Step 5: Cotton Putty Back

Pack the Cotton Putty in the back not all the way full, but leave a dimple in the middle.

Use a straw to make a hole in the middle of the dimple trough the Cotton Putty to the coin design.

Remove the metal ring with the Cotton Putty carefully from the design.

Use a toothpick or something to make some small air channels from the cavity in the Cotton Putty to the edge of the metal ring.

Join the two metal rings together. (sometimes I use masking tape to keep them together)

Step 6: Pouring the Cast

Put the mold with the dimpled site up in a fire proof tray.

Melt some pewter in an old pot on the stove. (I got my pewter from a garage sale)

BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN WORKING WITH MOLTEN METAL!!!

Pour the molten pewter in the dimple in the Cotton Putty.

Wait until the pewter is cooled down.

Step 7: Clean Up the Cast

I never wait long enough to not burn my fingers, that is because the pain of waiting is worse than the pain of burning my fingers.

Remove the coin from the mold.

Clean off the Cotton Putty.

Use snippers to cut off the worst of the sprew and overspill.

Use a file or belt-sander to clean off the rest of the sprew.

Step 8: Paint

To improve the contrast and make the coins more look like old pirate coins, I weathered them with acrylic paint.

Use a brush to fully paint them in a dark color.

Use a cloth to try to fully wipe them clean again.

The paint will remain in the low spots, while the high spots will be clean and shiny.

Step 9: Enjoy

I am happy with the result and attended camp with a big purse filled with "joker" coins.

(The video is in Dutch)

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    4 Discussions

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    kenyerStringGoddess

    Reply 23 days ago

    The mold will deform when you take the coin out, but the material is fully reusable.