Unusual green sand

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Unusual green sand

Post by mocklane » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:28 pm

Hello all fellow casters:

I was having trouble locating a source of bentonite clay, and the proper sand. I had a chunk of modeling clay lying around. I shaped it into a block about an inch by one inch by two by six inches. Then I let it dry thoroughly. At this point I took a piece of all-thread and used it to file the block into powder. I walk a good bit and I had found a large pile of black sand along an old unused railroad bed. (anyone have any idea what kind of sand it might be, by the way) I added the sand to the clay. I had to experiment with the proportions to get the proper ratios. When I made the first casting with this homemade clay I was expecting absolutely nothing. I was floored, it was the best casting I had ever made. The sand has a different feel from the sand I've used before. I'm not sure if it's from the fact that I didn't use bentonite clay, or that I used an oddball type of sand. I would appreciate any input at this point. I am fairly new to casting. So if anyone would see any issues that need to be addressed, please tell me. Safety is a big concern to me. Sometimes a little bit of knowledge is dangerous. In this hobby it can be downright deadly.

Thanks for reading............Good day all....Mocklane

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Re: Unusual green sand

Post by Harold_V » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:31 pm

Interesting report!
I wonder---could the black sand be a man made product? It is common for slag from smelting operations to be crushed and sold for use in sand blasting.
Pictures? (Resulting casting and sand, please!)
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Re: Unusual green sand

Post by steamin10 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:33 pm

It would be my guess you are right on Harold. They make a processed slag material here called Black Beauty, that is such ground glassy slag from the steel Mills here. It would be very sharp, and use little binder. Two good qualities.

It should be noted that there are many sand formulae, it depends on what you have to work with. In the Civl war, 1860's, the South melted church bells for the brass cannon they needed, and cast them in sand and Equine manure molds. Must have smelled wonderful when cast. They had wraps of burlap outside, and those stayed in the surface of those barrels. Castings can be made in natural sands, oil sands, plaster and concrete sands, to name a few. It is just learning what do do with your material. Oh, they used the crystals of the horse pee and local chamber pots for the nitrate to make black powder too.
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