Aluminum Casting Scratch Mold Workshop

This is an opportunity for participants purchasing scratch molds to carve them, see them poured in aluminum, and keep the resulting hexagonal aluminum tile.  The series of photos below show the process of making a tile.

trilobite mold

You would start with a sand mold that is a blank hexagon.  The picture shows one of theses after I carved a trilobite into it.  I did this with a spoon and the head and the tip of a screw. Participants purchasing a scratch mold would be able to carve it on site with various hand tools like these.  The consistency of the mold is like soft sandstone.

 trilobite with graphite

After it’s carved, it is painted with an alcohol/graphite mix to make the finished piece smoother. 


Then a cover and a pour cup are glued on with core paste. 

Pouring the molds:

melt aluminum

grab crucible



The furnace is started, and aluminum is melted.


The body of the furnace is lifted off, and the crucible with molten aluminum is grasped with tongs.


The aluminum is poured into the sand mold.


The molds would be quenched in water, and opened so the participant could see the result.   I would cut off the pour cup, and grind the cut flush.  Depending on volume of business, tiles poured on 10/6 would be available for pickup at the end of the day on 10/6, or on 10/7, or could be mailed for an additional charge.  Those poured on 10/7 would likely need to be mailed.  Patina and sealer would also be an option for mailed tiles.  The basic cost of a tile would be $40 - cutting off the pour cup and grinding flashings is included.  Shipping charge would reflect shipping cost, so would be dependent upon shipping address.  Patina and sealer would be $15.

Wheaton Map