My younger daughter and I have continued our periodic shop time I have entitled Home Eng. See here for a bit more information about the concept. We don’t manage to get into the shop every weekend, but we have kept at it. We also watch maker videos online sometimes, from channels like Peter Brown, Drew Fischer, and Pask, and I think that counts, too.
Anyway, we just finished our third project, which was a pewter casting of a pineapple. Why a pineapple? You’d have to ask her, because I have no idea. I just proposed that we go online to find a model of something, 3D print it on my SLA printer, make a silicone mold of it, and then cast it in pewter. She picked a pineapple. You can see the results in the pictures in this post. I’m quite pleased with them.
The pewter we used has a relatively low melting temperature of around 550ºF, and so is pretty easy to work with. I bought a cheap “electric ladle” style melting pot which made it fairly easy for her to melt the pewter and pour it into the mold. We did have one failure where the metal leaked out, but the result was a pretty good mold of just the top half of the pineapple, so we kept it. And we made two molds, so we had a backup we could try on right away while the other one cooled.
School ended for my daughter this past week, so I asked her if she wants to keep going with our shop sessions. She said yes, which tickled me. Our next project is going to be doing some simple pottery, as I recently bought a tabletop furnace that can be used to fire clay. I also plan to use it to do more casting, using a lost wax or lost plastic method, in aluminum or brass.