Reply To: Old English Longcase Clock

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Bob Tascione

    Hi guys,
    Sandcasting was used a great deal by past clockmakers. If you want just straight sided weights then you can make a cavity by pushing a bar or piece of sealed pvc pipe into a bucket of simi damp sand (there are special sands used in casting but regular sand should work fine for this) This would leave you with a mold to pour the lead into. Would probably need to remove sand as you work the bar down for something this big or maybe just work sand around a bar that’s placed vertically in the bucket and then remove the bar. You could then suspend the wire over the mold and pour the lead around it or make a channel to pour into that would guide the lead into the mold. People even cast solid slugs like this by digging holes in the backyard!
    If you wanted something with curves or different shapes then you would need to use a split mold and special sand and possibly a core if you needed empty spaces in the piece. You can probably find some good tutorials on sand casting up on youtube. It’s fun to do and good for clocksmiths to know.
    Not trying to talk you into doing it this way I just wanted to mention this as learning sand casting can be very helpful when working with old clocks. Also for making tools!
    Also a warning and disclaimer here: To anyone who may read this and want to give sand casting a try…hot metals can splash and in some cases molten plumes of metal can shoot out of the crucible and cause severe burns so approach with extreme caution and do some research to learn the hazards of working with molten metals and of course the danger of inhailing the dangerous fumes (especially with lead) these molten metals emit!

    Enjoy and please be careful,