Metalworking (rec.crafts.metalworking) Discuss various aspects of working with metal, such as machining, welding, metal joining, screwing, casting, hardening/tempering, blacksmithing/forging, spinning and hammer work, sheet metal work.

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Marin
 
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Default Creating very light hollow metal ornaments

I wanted to create very light hollow metal ornaments that could float
by the buoyancy of the air inside. I wanted to use metal because some
parts of the object would need to withstand an ambient temperature of
about 100-150 degrees celsius. I figured a good thickness for the
metal would be about 0.5 mm, enough to withstand moderate handling
without deforming. I'm not a craft expert, but I the best idea I
thought of would be to do the following:

1) create a master object from clay or polyclay
2) use the master to create a mould from plaster
3) use the plaster mould to make a wax copy of the object
4) apply an initial film of nickel by solution or aerosol spray
5) plated the metal of choice onto the nickel to the desired thickness
6) immerse the object in boiled water to melt the wax
7) wax can then be skimmed off and recycled

The object shape could be quite complex, for example a flower with
petals or miniture scene with a house or something. I might end up
producing small batches of a 1000 or more. Can anyone comment on my
proposed technique? Would there be a better or simpler way to do it?
How would an industrial production line do something like this? I
realise I can enlist the services of metal plating companies to deal
with some of the work. Comments please.

Many thanks,
Erik
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Hornblower
 
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Default Creating very light hollow metal ornaments

low cost method:
* for hollow metal shapes
* take a heavy block of wood, akin to an old tree stump,
* carve out a negative shape of your object,
* take thin sheet metal,
*hammer out shape into wood block.

go visit a local custom jewelry maker for ideas or contract the work out

if very complex shape make wax mould and have parts cast out of your desired
metal via "lost wax"

Little more expensive method:
* make your design in CAD
* go to tool and die shop
* make set of dies
* punch out product

If the shape is very intricate with a lot of relief you would probably be
better off casting the piece


"Marin" wrote in message
om...
I wanted to create very light hollow metal ornaments that could float
by the buoyancy of the air inside. I wanted to use metal because some
parts of the object would need to withstand an ambient temperature of
about 100-150 degrees celsius. I figured a good thickness for the
metal would be about 0.5 mm, enough to withstand moderate handling
without deforming. I'm not a craft expert, but I the best idea I
thought of would be to do the following:

1) create a master object from clay or polyclay
2) use the master to create a mould from plaster
3) use the plaster mould to make a wax copy of the object
4) apply an initial film of nickel by solution or aerosol spray
5) plated the metal of choice onto the nickel to the desired thickness
6) immerse the object in boiled water to melt the wax
7) wax can then be skimmed off and recycled

The object shape could be quite complex, for example a flower with
petals or miniture scene with a house or something. I might end up
producing small batches of a 1000 or more. Can anyone comment on my
proposed technique? Would there be a better or simpler way to do it?
How would an industrial production line do something like this? I
realise I can enlist the services of metal plating companies to deal
with some of the work. Comments please.

Many thanks,
Erik



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Bob May
 
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Default Creating very light hollow metal ornaments

Not hard to do. Make up stamping molds for two or more sides as needed and
use brass as the metal (easily soldered without problems) and solder the
parts together. Don't forget to have a vent hole which gets sealed after
the soldering of the parts together and everything has cooled otherwise you
won't be able to get a seal with the soldering process as there will be a
good vacuum inside.

--
Bob May
Losing weight is easy! If you ever want to lose weight, eat and drink less.
Works every time it is tried!


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Paul K. Dickman
 
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Default Creating very light hollow metal ornaments

The process you're talking about is called electroforming.
A nonconductive master is painted with a conductive paint and a layer of
metal is electroplated over it.

Properly done the metal reached a thickness sufficient to support itself and
can be removed from the master.

The "good" surface of the piece is usually the side that faces the mold, the
side toward the solution comes out all knobby.

While it could be done on a shoestring, it requires more equipment than a
couple of drycell batteries and more know-how than a little bit.

I would suggest, if you're not already well versed in electroplating, that
you job it out.

Paul K. Dickman


Marin wrote in message ...
I wanted to create very light hollow metal ornaments that could float
by the buoyancy of the air inside. I wanted to use metal because some
parts of the object would need to withstand an ambient temperature of
about 100-150 degrees celsius. I figured a good thickness for the
metal would be about 0.5 mm, enough to withstand moderate handling
without deforming. I'm not a craft expert, but I the best idea I
thought of would be to do the following:

1) create a master object from clay or polyclay
2) use the master to create a mould from plaster
3) use the plaster mould to make a wax copy of the object
4) apply an initial film of nickel by solution or aerosol spray
5) plated the metal of choice onto the nickel to the desired thickness
6) immerse the object in boiled water to melt the wax
7) wax can then be skimmed off and recycled

The object shape could be quite complex, for example a flower with
petals or miniture scene with a house or something. I might end up
producing small batches of a 1000 or more. Can anyone comment on my
proposed technique? Would there be a better or simpler way to do it?
How would an industrial production line do something like this? I
realise I can enlist the services of metal plating companies to deal
with some of the work. Comments please.

Many thanks,
Erik



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