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Finished palstaves and some additional notes on casting


I carved a fair amount of the first sand mold using hardwood pottery tools. They worked well, but wore down pretty quickly. I switched to a set of dental tools, which don’t wear down as easily, but don’t necessarily speed up the process. I could see making a set of bronze tools for carving the material. One of the tools has a small spoon shaped end that is perfect for cutting even and consistent flanges.
The depth of various parts of the mold is measured with a bamboo skewer. I shared a studio with a potter who used them to make sure that his pots were uniformly sized and borrowed the idea. I can make a mark on one skewer to measure the depth and then move it over to the duplicate half of the mold and place it on the mirror image of the first place. A second skewer is laid across the mold, perpendicular to the upright measuring skewer. This easily shows me how much deeper I have to carve.
The sides of the molds are scored with a hacksaw to make sure that they are properly aligned for casting.

After carving a couple molds I’ve found I can turn out a set of them in about an hour. Although they aren't permanent molds, that’s not bad considering that these molds hold up much better than the clay molds I made last semester.