Monday, June 2, 2008

Any ideas on molding and casting insects

Update 06-04-08:

We're making progress:

Thanks to Chris Dunnavant at DGIF:

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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2008, 05:37:48 PM »
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I found this but am unsure on how to get it out of the mold.

I could make a mother and then recast with this method I guess. What material should I cast the mother with, metal?

Any thoughts?


This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
How to Make Castings of Insects

The object—a dead beetle, for example —is first arranged in a natural position, and the feet are connected with an oval rim of wax. It is then fixed in the center of a paper or wooden box by means of pieces of fine wire, so that it is perfectly free, and thicker wires are run from the sides of the box to the object, which subsequently serve to form air channels in the mold by their removal. A wooden stick, tapering toward the bottom, is placed upon the back of the insect to produce a runner for casting. The box is then filled up with a paste with 3 parts of plaster of Paris and 1 of brick dust, made up with a solution of alum and sal ammoniac. It is also well first to brush the object with this paste to prevent the formation of air bubbles. After the mold thus formed has set, the object is removed from the interior by first reducing it to ashes. It is, therefore, allowed to dry, very slowly at first, by leaving in the shade at a normal temperature (as in India this is much higher than in our zone, it will be necessary to place the mold in a moderately warm place), and afterwards heating gradually to a red heat. This incinerates the object, and melts the waxen base upon. which it is placed. The latter escapes, and is burned as it does so, and the object, reduced to fine ashes, is removed through the wire holes as suggested above. The casting is then made in the ordinary manner.


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