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Casting Chandelier Arms - Step by Step

I begin by placing a pattern board on the drag half of the flask.

I raised the pattern board by placing two 3/8" square pieces of wood on either side between the pattern board and drag 
frame. They are used to raise the pattern in the sand bed so that the mold will be more evenly split between the cope 
and drag.

 

I then flipped the drag over and placed the pattern inside. The original pattern was made of cast iron. I'll be making copies in zinc. The pattern is placed on a pattern board
with an additional small piece of wood to help hold it level and steady.  

After lightly coating with parting dust, sand is sifted onto the pattern using a kitchen sieve. The drag is filled with more
sand until full and rammed firmly. I'll show this in more detail when we fill the cope.

A light sprinkle of sand and the drag is ready for the bottom board. The sand helps distribute the weight of the drag on the bottom board when the pair is flipped over.

Here the bottom board is in place...time to roll the drag.

Now we see the pattern board and can remove it to proceed. The two 3/8" spacer sticks are visible on either side.

Again, note the spacers which can now be removed. Also remove the small piece of wood that was used to steady the pattern on the pattern board.

Now we start to clean away the sand down to the parting line of the pattern.

I like to use a small flat trowel and compressed air to clean away the sand from the pattern.

Here are several of the small tools I used on this project to clear the sand from the intricate scrollwork. It was very hot and dry when I was working on this project...I put extra sand on the mold to keep it from drying out too much while focusing on the slow intricate clean up.

A closer look at the tips of the tools I used. The sand must be firmed down evenly in all those spaces.

I used the rubber mallet to lightly tap the pattern piece to loosen the pattern. More on this later The other tools point to specific areas of interest.

I formed a ridge with the sand which will form a gate later in the cope and provide a place for the metal to run.

This is another mold I made...you can see several of the ridges  that will form troughs in the cope.

The other tool points to sand that has broken free from the pattern as a result of tapping with the mallet. This is a way
to tell that the sand has not quite been cleared down to the parting line.

<Next - Molding the Cope>

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