To continue our metal theme for the past few days we have used a sand mold to create an aluminum drinking horn mount for our neighbors at Roth Brewery. Etsy Meet-up is hosting a contest on Tuesday, October 11th at the 7pm to create the best drinking horn. That gives you most of August and all of September to perfect your designs! Winners will receive free beer at Roth. We are explaining how to design and create here. What are drinking horns your might be asking ? Well, drinking horns are steer horns that have been hollowed out and treated with a food safe resin that makes it so you can drink from them viking style.
The steps to create a drinking horn holder are:
Step 1: Create a clay mold. Sounds simple but its probably the most important step because there are a lot of things here that could cause problems later on when you go to put it in and take it out of the sand mold.
First your mold needs to be able to be placed in the sand and pulled out of the sand without disturbing the sand around it. This means things that while you can have a lot of detail, if you want to make a figurine you are going to have to find a way to segment it so that it wont disturb the sand when being pulled out of the mold. Second you can't have any side that is completely 100% straight. All sides need to have a sort of angle the bulk of the detail so that when it is pulled out of the sand it doesn't disturb the sand around it. Our clay mold is for the drinking horn mount so it is a flat shield shape with the brewery's logo in the middle and a viking hat so to complete the viking theme. There are also 2 rings that we wrapped around the horn to create a cast that would fit it perfectly but as you will see later we didn't follow the a fore listed rules and the rings don't make it thru the sand molding process. Yours will need to rest a full drinking horn up-right on the table between tastes.
Step 2: Let your clay dry this takes 2 to 3 days on average.
Step 3: Next, place your clay on a flat surface and place your two part mold over it. Begin filling with sand. While you are filling it with sand, make sure to compact as you go.
Step 4: Place a piece of wood over top of the completely filled mold and flip it over while holding onto the base, sounds complicated but its really not because the sand should be really compact and stay where you put it. Think of this part as building a sand castle once your fill the bucket up you always have to flip it over and dump the contents out, except in this case you just have to flip it over DON'T dump the sand out otherwise your mold will be ruined and you will have to start all over again.
Step 5: Place the second part of your two part mold over top of the piece your flipped over, your base. Fill this piece with sand similarly to the first part compacting as you go. Once you are done you will flip this piece over as well.
Step 6: Use a pipe to pull out a tunnel from the top mold that you just flipped over so that when you pour your metal it can go thru this tunnel into the mold, you should also create shallow tunnel that will help lead the metal to the designed piece on the base. Your tunnel should not be situated directly on top of your mold but rather to the side so that the rushing in metal has a chance to slow down on its way to the mold as to minimize damage. This hole will slow the metal down so that it doesn't destroy the mold as it flows thru.
Step 7: Flip the top piece back on top of the base so that the tunnel and hole match up
And you have now finished the super confusing part!!!From here on out I promise it is much easier to follow and it has to deal with fire and molten metal so it should be more fun.
Step 8: Heat your forge and then place a metal bucket containing the aluminum in it inside of the forge so that it can melt and achieve the desired temperature.
Step 9: Once the aluminum is melted use the proper tools to remove the bucket from heat and quickly pour the metal into the mold until just a little begins to flow from the top of your mold. Here it is important that you don't pour too fast or slow. If you pour too slowly, the metal will begin to cool while you are pouring. If you pour too fast and cause your molds to float apart from each other.
Step 10: Wait 5 to 10 minutes for the aluminum to cool and then pick up the top part of the mold and break the sand out of it into a bucket. Your aluminum design should be attached to this sand so use metal tongs to break the sand apart, find your pieces and submerge them in water so to cool it completely.
Step 11: Pull your piece out of the water and voila you have your aluminum cast piece! From here you will see that using a saw or a hammer if you are so skilled to break off the tunnel from the designed piece is what you should do next. Sand and insert your drinking horn.
Easy, right? And now you can try your hand at making an awesome drinking horn stand for the horn at our October 11th Etsy meet up! We hope to see you soon!
PS-This is Ella, the intern making her first official blog post.