Metal Casting- Main Page

Welcome to the metal casting shop!

We have a vacuum casting setup with a kiln, vent hood for investment mixing, and an oxy-propane torch and Electro-melt for metal melting. To use any of these tools, you must be signed off by the shop lead or a tool tester!

Shop Rules

  • THE #1 RULE OF THE CASTING SHOP- ABSOLUTELY NO CASTING ALONE! You must have a buddy for casting, and that buddy must be at least signed off for flask handling.
  • You may not use any shop tools if you have not been tested on them.
  • Always wear appropriate protective gear- dust masks for investment, safety glasses (tinted if working with torch), aprons, closed-toe shoes.  Run the vent hood during burnout and casting.
  • Only approved materials in flasks; wax and PLA are approved- absolutely no ABS or other toxic substances. If you aren't sure, ask the shop lead!
  • Only approved metals for melt/cast: aluminum, brass, bronze, silver, gold are all fine. Ask shop lead about anything else.
  • Sign in when you use the shop, and make sure you schedule the kiln.  Leave your info/phone number on the sign-in sheet next to the kiln in case emergency contact is needed!
  • Clean up after yourself and shut down the torch properly- leave the shop nicer than you found it!

Tool Testing

Currently, we are asking new users to take a class to learn proper operation of the tools. The class teaches safe operation of shop tools, but does NOT certify you to use the shop independently.

  • To get signed off on investing, you will need to complete one investment cycle safely with shop lead/tool tester present.
  • To get signed off on torch casting or Electromelt casting, you will need to cast three times safely with the shop lead or a tool tester, without needing any feedback from the tester at least one of those times.

You can email the shop lead (casting-lead -at- artisansasylum.com) to arrange tool testing.

As of March 2019, we're requiring re-certification on the tools due to there being no previous list of signed-off individuals. If and only if you have previously taken a casting class at the Asylum, this will take the form of doing one cycle of investing + casting with the shop lead present to ensure proper safety procedures and tool usage. Email the casting lead  (casting-lead -at- artisansasylum.com) to set up a time (usually during office hours) to get signed off.

Kiln/Shop Reservations

Certified users can register for time in the shop or kiln reservations here: https://artisans.skedda.com/booking

If you can't see the shop for sign up... you aren't on the certification list.  Email (casting-lead -at- artisansasylum.com) or the mailing list for help.

Mailing List Info

If you're going to be using the shop, you must be signed up for the mailing list: Casting Mailing List

This is also the right place to report if something in the shop is broken/malfunctioning, or to report any shop accidents.  There are lots of people on the list who can help out if you need information or a casting buddy, or if you run into trouble!