So I made a metal thing! (metal casting)

I was so inspired by Joker’s post that I had this delivered today :slight_smile:
My brain is spinning with all kinds of ideas, but I really have no clue what I’m doing. This was my first attempt and I used some wood with heavy grain to get and interesting texture and I also tried low LPI on some plywood to see what it would do. It took a few tries to get a decent piece, but I’m pretty pleased with the results. I’m burning some draftboard molds to test now.
(@joker, hubby says thanks a bunch for sending his wife on another maker tangent. He just kinda shook his head when $100 worth of metal ingots arrived :laughing:.)

So those in the know, can I sand the metal (pewter) to flatten the back and clean up the edges?
How do you polish it? Any other tips? (I know, I should have asked these questions before I jumped in, but I never do…)


How would this help exactly? It may only serve to deter! Make first ask, questions later unless you think it will hurt, kill, maim something or someone!

BTW - thats awesome!

Did you order that set up on amazon? That might be next!


I so agree with this philosophy! Just forge ahead and ask questions later. :laughing:

Amazon for the machine and rotometals for the supplies. You can get rotometal on Amazon as well but they really jack up the price and the same ingot was $10 more per bar. Free shipping from there site if you spend enough and it was pretty quick.

Something to pay attention to is what metal you want to melt. You can’t do zinc in this pot becasue when heated it has a chemical reaction and will burn through the carbon steel pot. (I had no clue this was a thing until I researched it!) Luckily you can get zinc free pewter etc and it wasn’t an issue for me.


Some of my best work started from a total mistake. And of course learning from it. :innocent:


This is really cool, I can’t wait to see what all you do with it!

So did you pour the metal directly into your wood engraving, or did you make a silicone mold as described in the other post? Really interesting process!


Awwww, man, I’ve always been interested in metals and now you’re giving me the itch. Great project and thanks for the links!


That looks like a ton of fun. Thanks for the links for the melter and the supplies. I may add this to the mix. :grinning:

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You can get started pretty cheap doing this: crafsman did a coin with a spoon and a blowtorch.


I have no information on this. My husband will thank me if I simply try to ignore that I’ve seen another cool thing to love!


I have worked with casting low melting temp metals. Yes, you can sand and polish them, just be sure to wear breathing protection. The metals in those alloys can be pretty nasty!


I prefer a course file to take it close to my final surface. Then a smoother file /sand paper will work just fine.

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Love the CrafsMan videos.

Glad I could provide a little inspiration! Great result for the first attempt, I’d say. Yes, you can sand and polish those metals pretty easily. I’ve used both sandpaper (maybe 150 grit to knock down texture and then you can move up to 600/1500 for a more polished approach). You can also use a steel brush or steel wool to give some metal texture to the final piece.


You can indeed sand it. Some of your samples look a bit rough - start with a file instead as it won’t load up to the point you need to throw it away like sandpaper.

To polish it use a buffing wheel & jewelers rouge or compound. You’ll find red & white compound for stepping up the polish until it’s a mirror. Lightly load the buffing wheel - too much will just cake up on the piece as it heats up and melts onto the metal. This is a case where less is more.

You can use a 6" grinding wheel with a buffing wheel (about $50 at Home Depot) or even the little buffers in a Dremel.

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Oh yeah, don’t forget gloves or at least a safer way to hold onto your mold than I came up with. WTH, who new molten metal was so hot!? :joy::raised_hand::fire:




I bet you won’t make that mistake again.


Oweee… I worked in a bakery for many years and just looking at that brings back painful memories!


It really doesn’t hurt (which is weird) so I’d wouldn’t count on it. :laughing:


Haha, well we’ll keep our fingers crossed.