Ramblin' Dan's Workshop

The Sanctum of Fine Art and Invention

50 Yr Class Reunion

This project has a very long story. I started working on it more than a year ago. So I will try to make a long story as short as possible.

The event is my and my wife gloria's 50 year high school reunion. Yes we were in the same high school and in the same year. We graduated in 1964. And yep, we are high school sweethearts, married in 1968 after I came out of my Navy military service and went on reserve duty for the next four years.

I wanted to make this medallion in pewter (to keep the cost down) and make enough of them as a souvenir for the reunion. Keeping the story short, I made at least a dozen tries to get successful casts in pewter. I started with high temp rubber molds and eventually tried CNC carving of molds from aluminum plate.

I had varying grades of success, some fairly nice, but none of them good enough for me to feel they were suitable for the intended purpose. It was probably good fail as there were about 180 classmates that came to the reunion. That's a lot of work... the design (and I) never made it to the event.

During this years time experimenting with casting hot metal, I learned a skill in lost wax silver casting and now that is my passion. I dug out the pattern and improved it a bit. I made it thinner as this was to be cast in silver. As it turns out, it is 33.6 grams finished. That slightly over the 31.104 grams for a Troy ounce.

I have given this souvenir to my wife as a reminder for the handmade quilt she donated as a fundraiser for the reunion. 

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 This medallion was drawn from scratch using Vectric Aspire software.  The Taig micro-mill is running the CNC program. Here the mill is set up for four axis. I only need three axis to run this model.
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 A four jaw chuck is being used as a wax holder. A small shim is used on each jaw to allow space for cut through. There is a chuck holding bracket underneath bolted to the mill table.  This was a 3 hr 10 minute run time for the carving. The profile cut was about 0.001" from cutting through. It worked exactly as planned. I have been overdue for some good luck. :)
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 A minor bit of file work on the tabs and the medallion is ready for spruing. All it needed was one simple sprue.  Just out of the acid pickle after casting and you can see I got a very decent cast.  A few extreamly small flaws most people will only see if they know for what to look.
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 Sprue filed off and polished up a bit and the medallion is finished. between the size of a US 50¢ piece (remember them?) and a silver dollar - only this is a solid troy ounce+ of sterling silver.  

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