Pewter is a metal alloy composed primarily of tin and copper that has a low melting point, making it an excellent choice for casting. Pewter casting involves placing melted pewter into a mould to create a shape.
The moulds used for pewter casting can be made from a variety of materials including sand, steel and medium density fiberboard (MDF), reports informational design and technology website Technologystudent.com. The interior of the mould may be shaped using hand tools or a computer numerical control (CNC) machine.
In small projects, a metal ladle containing a piece of pewter is held over fire bricks. Heat is applied to the ladle with a torch until the pewter reaches its melting point, around 230 degrees Celsius.
The actual casting occurs when the melted pewter is poured into the mould and allowed to cool. The mould containing the metal is typically held in a container filled with sand, for safety purposes.
Depending on the quality of the mould, there can be excess metal around the edges of the final product, in addition to a spoke of metal from where the pewter was poured into the mould. This excess can be easily removed with hand tools.
Any melted metal is dangerous and should only be handled with the proper safety gear. Appropriate gear includes a face shield, leather apron and gloves and leather leggings, reports Technologystudent.com.