Pewter Casting Tools

Written by david bello
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Pewter Casting Tools
Pewter is a grey-coloured metal that can be moulded relatively easily due to its material softness in raw form. (pewter jewerly box image by nutech21 from Fotolia.com)

Casting pewter is done by pouring the molten soft metal into a mould and letting it cool. Though this is similar to other types of metal casting, there are a number of tools involved in any metal casting project. Remember to take care while handling hot, molten pewter as with any such project.

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Moulding tools

In order to cast pewter, you will need to carve a mould into a softer material such as wood or soapstone. To do this, you will need a knife to carve into the material and sandpaper to smooth out the edges of your mould. You might also want to use a hacksaw to cut a single piece of the wood or soapstone into the halves of your mould. Once you have created the mould, you will want to make sure that there is a place for your pewter to be poured into the moulded area. This is called a sprue, and may be drilled into the halves of the mould, connecting the moulded area to the outer surface of the mould so that the molten metal will have a way into the mould. When you are ready to pour the pewter into the mould, you will also want to use clamps or wire to hold the two halves of the mould together while the metal cools.

Melting tools

Melting pewter into a pourable liquid form can involve incredibly high heats and a great amount of risk if it were to spill. Make sure to wear a protective visor while handling the liquid pewter and leather gloves while touching any material that has come in contact with the heated pewter. These safety materials are highly important tools in the pewter casting process, as they may save you a trip to the emergency room with severe burns. More practical tools involved in the melting process include a propane torch for heating the pewter to its melting point, a steel ladle for holding and pouring the molten pewter, and a tripod to rest the ladle on while you are not handling it.

Refining tools

Once you have poured your pewter into the mould, you will have to wait while it dries. However, drying is not the last step in that process, and you will need a few tools to refine your moulded pewter afterward. When you remove the two halves of your mould, there will be a piece of pewter sticking up from the mould and coming up through the sprue somewhat. Use pliers to bend this piece of metal off if it is large enough to require them. If not, you may wish to simply file down the sprue remnants and sandpaper down any other imperfections in your pewter casting.

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