Monday, May 31, 2021

another casting video...

Casting an aluminum bronze calavera (sugar skull) for sale to the tourists. A calavera [plural: calaveras] is a representation of a human skull. The term is most often applied to edible or decorative skulls made (usually by hand) from either sugar (called Alfeñiques) or clay that are used in the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) and the Roman Catholic holiday All Souls' Day. Calavera can also refer to any artistic representations of skulls. This is a full video of the making of the mold. I've revised (and refined) my casting method since the previous video to speed up the process and render even better detail. I was getting too much shrinkage which was giving me a dimple on the back so I added a large feeder to the part. I'm using petrobond casting sand. The reddish sand is fresh petrobond that gets sifted over the pattern for good detail. The darker sand I use to pack the molding flask is refurbished petrobond that has been used several times. After casting, the really burnt sand gets put aside to be sifted, oiled (I use thread cutting oil), and mulled for reuse. I call the aluminum bronze alloy that I make "220"...which I mix by using 200 grams of copper and 20 grams of aluminum. That gives me a bronze that is 9% aluminum. I chose that mix because it is easy to use those numbers for different sized batches.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

for all have sinned...

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Friday, May 28, 2021

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Shipping Dept.

Aluminum bronze sugar skulls on there way to their new owners.  
93,100,66, .24",C

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Monday, May 24, 2021


It has been almost two years since there has been enough rain in one storm for this arroyo to run (and this is several hours after it stopped raining).  A nice downpour around 9PM last night and again at 4 AM.  I almost forgot what a good thunderstorm was like.  Altogether I got just over an inch of rain.  That gave a much needed boost to my catchment tanks.  85,97,65, 1.1", B

Sunday, May 23, 2021


John 4:7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Friday, May 21, 2021

Thursday, May 20, 2021

sugar skulls

After plenty of trial and error - I finally mastered casting and etching the sugar skulls.  I have already sold 10 of them locally.  Send me an email if you are interested in buying one.  They are 2 1/4" tall x 1 1/2" wide x 3/8" thick and weight 4.5 ounces.  $48 including priority mail shipping.  92,98,68,0,B  

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Monday, May 17, 2021

marking my territory...

Took a break from melting metal to place two of my survey markers.  This is the NW corner.  It is attached to the top of an 18" long steel rod that was pounded into the ground - along with 20 lbs of concrete to help keep it all in place.  I think I am supposed to piss on it to make it official.  94,100,66,0,B

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Pandemic Saturday


FYI - the vaccine is working.  
Don't be an idiot - get vaccinated!

Friday, May 14, 2021


The laser printer method I tried for applying a resist to the metal for etching isn't working out to my satisfaction so I ordered a vinyl cutter - which seems to be the wat to go for good etching.  It this budget model doesn't work out, I may have to return it and order a better model.  Already figured out the software and have a test ready to cut when the cutter arrives next week.  83,90,60,0,B

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

new bunny routine...

Lately in the early evening, the same bunny has been hanging around near my fridge on the porch.  He knows where the carrots are... 64,75,57,0,B

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Monday, May 10, 2021



Prepped for the acid test tomorrow... 

Sunday, May 9, 2021

no excuse...

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” 18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. 

Friday, May 7, 2021

new experiment...

Going to try my hand at acid etching on some castings.  Giving the low budget transfer process a shot first.  Laser print the reversed image on glossy magazine stock.  Heat transfer to metal.  Soak in ferric chloride.  First hurdle was figuring out free software called Inkscape to create the image and successfully printing it.  Acid and rubber gloves coming next Tuesday.  86,90,64,0,B 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

kids will be kids...


Already looking to get into trouble...

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

the final frontier...


SpaceX finally nails a Starship landing...


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

something for the tourists...


First test cast of a "sugar skull" in aluminum bronze.  Working on casting this with customizable text on the back.  73,81,58,0,B

Monday, May 3, 2021

fire and metal...

My largest cast to date...which is why my pour was pretty sloppy. I wasn't used to handling this much molten metal and didn't have the crucible close enough to my pouring targets. The Harbor Freight knife has a stainless steel blade and hollow aluminum handle and weighs 1 pound. The casting came in at just under 2 pounds. Vertical casting into clay or stone molds was the primary way that weapons and tools were made during the bronze age. I made this mold in petrobond - an oil-bonded and pre-mixed moldable clay/sand mixture that I ordered from PMC Supplies via Amazon. My alloy is 91% copper and 9% aluminum. I recently acquired 100 pounds of copper ($40) and 15 pounds of aluminum (FREE). That should be enough to keep me busy for awhile...

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Pandemic Saturday

 Should you get vaccinated?