Sand Casting Equipment

Here's all the equipment you need to create fantastic sand castings!

Some of the equipment that you need for sand casting is specialist - the casting rings are a clear example of this! Many other tools, however, are taken from other crafts or from around the home, and you may be surprised at how much you've already got. Let's have a look at what you need!

Sand Casting Equipment

To create a sand casting mould you will need:
Casting rings - I prefer side-pour rings as these can be used for both top-pour and side-pour set ups, and if you're not sure that they are have a read of this blog post. Several different types, sizes and shapes of casting rings are available on the market. I prefer these aluminium ones and generally use 60mm and 82mm diameter rings from Casting Clay Sales.
Casting sand - there are different brands available and they all work really well. For the best detail in your moulds look for the finest sand. Again, I buy mine from Casting Clay Sales.
Baking Tray - to help try to contain the sand as much as possible, although I warn you, it will end up on the floor and your work bench as well!
Metal Ruler or baker’s dough scraper - used to chop the clumps of sand up and create a level surface on your mould.
Hammer - used to help pack the sand tightly inside the rings
Craft knife - ideal for helping to form a funnel in the sand to allow the molten metal to flow into the mould.
Corn flour or talc - to prevent the two halves of the mould from sticking together.
Petroleum jelly (vaseline) - the secret ingredient when casting stones in place!
Tweezers - for placing stones and removing hot casts from the mould. You won't be able to wait until they've cooled down to see if your cast has worked!
Wooden stick - small dowling or coffee stirrer or similar for use with the vaseline.
Short piece of brass rod approximately 3mm diameter - I use this to help start the sprue.
Needle tool - perfect for creating air vents, and also helps to remove items from the mould.

found object for sand casting

You will also need objects to cast:
there are so many things perfect for castings and you will soon be hunting through charity shops for old buttons and brooches and picking up twigs and acorns on your forest walks! We regularly use shells, acorns, twigs, buttons, Lego pieces and beads in the studio, a small selection of which are shown above.

Sand Casting equipment - torch, safe working area and crucible

To cast the metal into your mould you will need:
Safety glasses, plus tinted safety glasses if casting copper - absolutely essential! You only have one pair of eyes, don't risk them.
Crucible - several different designs are available but they all have two things in common - they have a thick ceramic dish in which the metal is heated and a long handle that safely and securely holds the crucible without getting hot. I use the WHIP system with thick wire handles that spring tightly around the crucible. Use the smallest crucible that will hold your metal otherwise you will spend too long heating a large crucible up! Crucibles must be seasoned with flux to prevent the molten metal from sticking to the ceramic. Watch this video to see how I do that.
A safe area to work in, preferably a shielded fire-proof area. This has been built from soldering sheets.
Soldering blocks to support the crucible and hold the casting rings securely.
A torch - all the projects in my Sand Casting ebook were cast using the MAPP gas torch pictured here, and these are available from any good supplier of plumbing tools. Propane torches such as Sievert and Smiths Little Torch are also ideal and are available from good jewellery suppliers, some of which are listed here.
Heat proof gloves to safely move hot casting rings.

a safe working area for casting molten metal

Here's a closer look at my casting area. Setting up your casting area safely is an absolute must - after all, you are pouring molten metal into a relatively small funnel! Make certain that the area you use for casting is clear of flammable materials, that your casting rings are securely placed, that you are working on heatproof surfaces and that you are, of course, wearing apron and safety glasses. I have built a casting shield from soldering sheets that protects the surrounding area. It also has a raised edge to make sure that nothing can spill or roll off.

Now that you've found out what equipment you need for sand casting, get started and create your own wonderful cast work!

My Sand Casting ebook takes you though everything you need to know,

and includes all the tips for adding textures and stones that I share in my studio workshops,

plus how to finish your casts beautifully.

Click here to find out more!

Sand Casting: including adding stones, textures and more

Categories: : casting, getting started, jewellery making tips, jewellery tutorial, tool talk

Joanne Tinley

Tutor and Founder of The Jeweller's Bench

The Jeweller's Bench is run by Joanne Tinley. She has been making her own jewellery for as long as she can remember and left her first career as a school teacher to set up business as a  jewellery designer and tutor nearly 20 years ago. She is
self-taught and like many people started with wire and beads. Learning how to solder, however, opened up a whole new world of jewellery making,  one that she is keen to share!