Had a lot of fun making this one. I got rainbow sparkle acrylic from Inventables, and made cloisonnes (retaining walls) with black acetal (unbreakable plastic). Added some red acrylic for accent.
If you order from Inventables by midnight tonight (Small Business Saturday) with an American Express card, AmEx will pick up $25 of your tab.
We’ve spent some time making new illustrations on the kraft packaging chipboard. It’s a challenge to design images on non-white paper, but we’ve chosen to stick with the unbleached 30% post consumer stock. Let us know if you like the new packaging on Facebook.
I’ve collected old brass keys for over 20 years in anticipation of melting them down and casting them one day. Today, I have that power thanks to NYC Resistor
I got a PID for our kiln and struggled with the translated instructions. Installing and programming the PID would not have been an easy task without help from many knowledgeable members at NYC Resistor.
The key brass, which is most likely yellow brass (copper 67%, tin 1%, lead 3%, & zinc 35%) is liquid around 1850°F, but pours better, I later found out, around 2050°F. I poured it a little bit cold as you can see inside the shank with the errors.
I didn’t know anything about brass alloys when I started to collect keys. I just wanted to cast something shiny and yellow. There are many copper based alloys to choose from. Each has its own characteristics for pouring, weathering, machining, and applications. Copper is used in jewelry to balance out gold and silver. Rose gold has a high percentage of copper. Sterling is .925 silver and .075 copper for hardness.
It turns out that red brass pours much easier, but it has a higher lead content — which helps it flow better, but is less good for the caster. I’m going to switch to silicon bronze for the rest of the casting exploration phase on recommendation from Steve Chastain in his great two volume series Metal Casting: A Sand Casting Manual For The Small Foundry
You can pick up your own sand casting kit from Metalliferous
and give this a try. You’ll need a kiln or hot torch (i.e. hotter than propane or butane) to melt the metal. I know this because I never got the included casting grain hot with my propane torch.
The wood patern was left over from my laser cut wood rings. When I got the PID working predictably, I looked around for something to cast and this was right there. I may refine it for working with the sand in the future, but there are so many possibilities to explore in pattern making with the laser that refinements are not necessary at the moment.
This concludes the 5 borough series. I hope you’ve enjoyed your little island adventure — and your little burros.
The borough where innovation is blossoming in so many ways. It’s the borough of NYC Resistor and MakerBot. It’s the borough where the Museum has a community mission and the Garden is easy to get to. BBG’s koi pond is relaxing to visit. So is the humid room. The museum has an amazing and free community night on the first Saturday of every month (tonight!) as does NYC Resistor every Thursday night.
…and who can forget Betty? (Don’t tell my wife.)
I ♥ BKLN