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08 . . Hood Ornaments

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GlenPettit    1,289

No Hood Ornaments available at this time, in the process of learning how to cast them in Brass and then having them "Mirror Chrome Plated".

Will post here when they are done, The process is taking much much longer to learn than I ever expected.


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GlenPettit    1,289

December 30, 2011
My supplier source changed the formulation for the Epoxy Urethane that I use, "improved formula", I cast over 100 virgin Horse Head Hood Ornaments (plus the standard ones), sent them all to the Chrome Plater. They are unable to Plate this new material I sent them, new epoxy can't take the heat and then bubbles, all 25 tests all failed.
The real Chrome Plating looks so much better than just using spray paint.
The two on the right are the 'Chrome quality' objective (the last pair I have), upper left is spray painted Silver, lower left are results with "improved epoxy", I will succeed on getting perfect Hood Ornaments, in time, and will post them here first.

By the end of this year I plan on trying to cast them in Aluminum, using the "Lost Wax Investment Casting" method (Ornaments will be made in wax, coated in layers of plaster, placed in sand, burned out and, Aluminum poured in then polished). We'll see what the results will be, probably about February, 2012. It is far too expensive to have a custom mold made ($2,500-$5,000) and then have a foundry to make a minimum run (250 at about $50@).

- - - -
February 13, 2012
On the "Horse Head" Hood Ornaments that I'm in the process of making; they are coming, very slowly.
What I'm doing is like a Jeweler does in making "Lost Wax Castings" of rings & such, but a lot larger,
and like a foundry does, but much smaller and more detailed, so I'm in-between the rules & materials.
I do have perfect Wax casts made, trying to get the plaster (investment) to embed the wax cast, then I
will melt out the wax*, then burn out the residue**, then melt Aluminum*** and pour it into the hot plaster.
Sure sounds simple, learning a whole lot in the process. Final price will likely be up in the $40-50 range.
I will also be making some "horseless", 'like-the-original' Hood Ornaments in Aluminum; both styles of
hood ornaments will have a black rubber base, studs & mounting nuts. Aluminum can be buffed up or
Chrome Plated. Both are about 30% larger than the original base. Results are still be a couple of months off.
*250ºƒ **1000ºƒ ***1400ºƒ

update: June 15, 2012
Chrome Plater wants me to use Brass for the Ornaments, its melt temp is 1925ºƒ, and I will try it, want these perfect and very best they can be, Brass should give us a nice Mirror finish when Chrome Plated, and be stronger than AL. Personal target date for the first ones is September 01, but I am at the mercy of the Plater.

update: September 07, 2012
Did not make my September deadline. I have the Brass raw stock now, wax original "mothers" are coming out perfect, Kiln and Foundry are in position. Need to get some tongs and foundry tools (thank gosh for eBay), will start real soon. Still have not found a local Chrome Plater, that can Chrome these for a 'lower' price if I do 50 at once, (locals want $30-50 each, even if I pre-clean & then buff), and within an hour or so drive for me. Hopefully, when I have them made and the Plater can see/touch them, we can work on a much lower price.

update: January 15, 2013
Still working on learning to how to make perfect Brass castings, problems are being too rough and some air pockets, each try gets better. Takes quite awhile for the brass to melt and to get the plaster mold up to the same temperature at the same time, plus can't do it when the humidity is too high.

update:  It's April 14th now,

Made some practice casts, having a lot trouble with small pitting where it should be smooth, hundreds of pits all over, way too much to buff out. It is the humidity that is causing this, tiny bits of moisture "exploding" at 1900º.  I'm pre-heating the mold and sand to over 1000º but it's what's in the air for that 2-3 minutes before I pour that gets trapped on the walls of the plaster.  Need some very dry days now.


update:  February '15,

No new progress, haven't done anything with the Brass casting in the last 12 months.  Just on hold, darn it.

Edited by GlenPettit
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