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Cold Metal Casting and Reproduction for Furniture Embellishment - Part 4

16. July 2018 10:27

Cold Metal Casting and Reproduction for Furniture Embellishment - Part 4

By: Scott Grove, Furniture Designer: Scott Grove.com

Cold Metal Resin Casting can be done using a variety of materials, from urethane resin, epoxy, polyester, gypsum plaster, and even concrete. For small parts, I most often use a urethane resin like Smooth-On’s SmoothCast  Onxy, for its ease of use, low odor, and quick cure times. Metal powders are added to the resin to give it the look and feel of a real metal. I use bronze powder but brass and aluminum are also options.
The amount of metal added is completely subjective and only testing and experience will give you guidance. The metal powder is a costly component: it thickens the urethane resin (increasing the viscosity), inhibiting its ability to flow during casting.
To make a casting, mix urethane resin together; the metal is then added and thoroughly mixed in. For small simple castings, I add as much metal as the urethane resin will take and still be pourable, usually to the consistency of honey. I pour slowly in, filling up the mold in one shot. This will yield a part that emulates real metal in aesthetic and weight, which is great for paperweights and worry stones.
Another cost-effective way to apply metal is to dust the mold first with just the metal powder. Dump a spoonful of metal into the mold, brush and/or shake it around to completely cover all mold surfaces, and dump out the excess. Then use straight black urethane resin to back up the dry metal, which will absorb and stick to the outer surface.
All of these methods yield a metallic surface, and when polished with #00 steel wool, they have a wonderful luster. I like to complete my final buffing with some black or brown shoe polish, which gives the part depth and a nice aged patina.
The possibilities are endless on what can be created with this casting process. It can be the perfect embellishment to accent your work.
Join me for Cold Metal Casting and Reproduction for Furniture Embellishment on Friday, August 24th from 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


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