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Sand Casting - PART ONE with Philip White and Jenny Dunseath

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PART ONE - Sand Casting Process with Philip White and Jenny Dunseath in the foundry at Camberwell college of Art London. Video by Chris Follows part of the Process Arts Project - - University of the arts London:

In this video:

1. Prepare a Pattern. This must be made of a smooth solid substance to withstand ramming, for example sealed wood or plaster.
2. To prepare the Mold: divide the flask (wooden box, made of 2 parts- (top) Cope and (bottom) Drag). Turn over the Drag Face down on a board.
3. Place the pattern in the upturned Drag. Ensure there is enough space around the pattern for Gating (room for runner and Sprue- pouring hole for the metal)
4. Dust with Parting Agent to prevent it sticking. (Parting agent is a hydrophobic material which repels moisture e.g. crushed limestone.
5. Use a fine riddle (large sieve) to just cover the pattern.
6. Use a Paddle to ram the sand, lightly at first to protect the pattern, and then harder to compress the sand.
7. Fill with sand, and ram it until full. Level off and smooth with a trowel.
8. Turn over the compressed Drag and the pattern will be immersed in sand.
9. Put the Cope on the Drag and bolt together
10. Repeat steps 4-7. Take care not to ram the sand too hard as to affect the Drag below.
11. Take Cope off and set it aside. You should be able to see an imprint of your Pattern. Depending on its location use your hole-cutter and cut a Sprue hole by placing your hand on the back of the Cope and push hole cutter through the other side, twisting slightly.

Text Information supplied by Jenny Dunseath:

Pattern Making:

The Pattern is a full size model of the part that makes an impression in the sand mold, with dimensional allocation for shrinkage and finishing.
If the casting is hollow, additional patterns called cores are used to create these cavities in the finished product.
Patterns are usually made of wood, plastic, metal, or plaster; however, other materials or combinations of materials are used if there are additional specific properties required of the pattern.
Every Pattern must have a draft angle of approximately 2° - 3° to all walls parallel to the parting direction to facilitate removing the part from the mold.
Paint the surface of the Pattern with Varnish or Shellac to make it water tight and to ensure that the sand does not stick.
For a Flat back pattern- put screw holes in the back to aid its removal from the sand.


Molding is the multi-step process in which molds are created.
In horizontal casting, the mold is contained in a two piece frame, called a Flask. The upper portion of the flask is called a Cope and the lower portion is a Drag.
First, molding sand is packed into a Flask around the pattern. After the pattern is removed, Gating and Runner arrangements are positioned in the drag half of the mold cavity and the Sprue is placed in the cope portion.
Gating systems are necessary for the molten metal to flow into the mold cavity.
Cores are also placed in the drag portion of the mold if they are needed. To finish the mold, the Cope (top) section is placed on the Drag (bottom) section, and the mold is closed and clamped together.


Two main routes are used for bonding the sand moulds:
The "green sand" consists of mixtures of sand, clay (Bentonite) and moisture. If the sand can be squeezed together and hold its shape, it is suitable for use.
The "dry sand" consists of sand and synthetic binders cured thermally or chemically.
The sand cores used for forming the inside shape of hollow parts of the casting are made using dry sand components.
Between uses, the sand is rejuvenated by adding water and mulling (mixing and smashing). If you do not let the sand dry out all the way, you do not have to mull, just add water. Sand grit is determined just like sandpaper. 150 is very fine and 50 grit is coarse. Fine sand will give good detail, coarse sand will give a pebbly or rough texture.

MaterialsMelting temperature
Aluminum alloys1220 °F (660 °C)
Brass alloys1980 °F (1082 °C)
Cast iron1990-2300 °F (1088-1260 °C)
Cast steel2500 °F (1371 °C)

Websites: spx -step-by-step.html

The Complete Handbook of Sand Casting - by CW Ammen
Metal Casting: A Sand Casting Manual for the ... - by Steve Chastain


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This moving image, Sand Casting - PART ONE with Philip White and Jenny Dunseath, by Chris Follows, Philip White and Jenny Dunseath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.