Friday, September 16, 2011

PEZ dispensers casted in Bronze!

This text is taken from my old website, and it is originally posted in the year 1998! The image quality is poor, sorry about that. I could try to find the original diapositives, and make rescans.

PEZ dispensers casted in Bronze!

Professional handcrafters / pezheads worked one week with PEZ and bronze.

All of the images are taken in the actual working process. The lightning conditions were really bad from time to time; sorry about the dark images. The process cannot be copied with the help of these images. Some of the steps weren't photographed. Don´t try this at your home. The hot bronze is dangerous if you don't know how to handle it!

1. Preparing to the project - (1/8)
First we had to do some tests about the quality of plastic: how it melts, burns and evaporates. The results you can see on the picture 1. Poor dino melted and burned with a small light to unrecognizable dark lump, when we heated it with a gas welding equipment. Before melting and casting, all the metal objects (springs) and useless plastic pieces were removed from the dispensers.

2. Making the wax tree - (2/8)
All the holes in the dispensers had to be filled with the molding wax. In top left picture, we have stuffed wax in to Speedys neck, so that the surface would be smooth. The dispensers were then added to "a wax tree" as you can see in the pics. In picture bottom right, the wax tree is completed, with the air and gas canals (those little pieces of wax from the head to table). At last, a cardbord cylinder is taped around it.

3. Preparing the mass - (3/8)
Step three was a making a mass of plaster and chamotte. When the substances were added to water it started slowly to dry and become hard. It had to be smooth and running until it was poured on the wax tree, so we had to be quite quick with it.

4. Drying the mold and melting the wax - (4/8)
After we had allowed it to dry a bit, we then speeded up the drying process by putting the lump in to a baking oven. (+100 celsius, 12 hours, and it was ready). After drying the mold was put into a large oven which was heated with liquefied petroleum gas. The temperature in that oven was so high, that the wax and dispensers burned away! Next morning the mold was empty from the plastic and wax, and was ready for casting the bronze.

5. Melting the bronze - (5/8)
The bronze was melted with liquefied petroleum gas. It took more than three hours to get the bronze hot and running. You can only guess how hot there was in that room! In the picture (right/up) the casting is being done. It needs skills to do it right, otherwise the molds will be ruined. The bronze was hot quite a long time. In a dark room, the metal was really glowing bright red (pic left/down).

6. Breaking the mold - (6/8)
When the molds were cooled down, they were carried outside. Carefully, with a small hammer, the chamotte was broken. And every now and then, the casted object was sinked into a water bucket, so that the remains would come off more easily. You could already see how the casting was succeeded. In this case, quite well!

7. Finishing the bronze dispensers - (7/8)
Unnecessary bronze parts, the air and casting canals, were cutted of with a metal saw. In the picture on the right, we are almost done. Only the finishing touch is needed. Extra bumps were filed off, and the bronze got almost perfect shining. C3PO is in this point looking rather good!

8. Dispensers are ready! - (8/8)
Finally dispensers had their final looks. From left, the three first are still missing their final polish. But the fourth, Speedy Gonzales, has been polished and given that deep bronze color with heat treatment. And the first from right, poor Fozzie, is still in that condition, if I remember right...
We had really fun time doing these unique dispensers. They are not for sale, but if you are really interested (and some others too...) we could do another casting with the dispensers of your choice.

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