Cast aluminum Weirwood/Heart Tree sculpture - WiP

Threads about ASOIAF art, memes, gifs, funny videos, other cool YouTube channels, as long as it is based on the books or show, it goes here!

Cast aluminum Weirwood/Heart Tree sculpture - WiP

Postby ArristanTheOld » Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:47 pm

ImageImage
This is my latest cast aluminum project. Well, one of them. The trunk still needs some polishing. I used the lost foam casting technique (ie. replacing a styrofoam carving that is buried in a bucket of sand with molten metal via magic and sheer awesomeness) to make the trunk part, and the foliage is an upside-down casting of a problematic ant colony in my backyard that I poured molten metal into. Those little creepy crawly bitey bastards never knew what hit them... :twisted:

I was going to have to dig a hole there anyhow (to bury my old dog in :( ), so this way at least I got to pull something shiny out of it first. It was a deep nest, and the ants in the deepest tunnels survived. But they moved out PDQ after the rest of their colony got vapourized and their metal-filled tunnels were dug up, freeing them. I'll give them a couple years at least to rebuild before I unleash another Doom on them. (I kid; I'm not even sure where the survivors went. Some sort of antish Dragonstone equivalent, I suppose. Or maybe just wherever ants go...)

The whole thing is made of used aluminum alloy car wheels I recycled in the hobby foundry I built about a year ago. Backyard metal casting is a super fun hobby that not too many people realize ie even a thing! But it totally is; we even have our own forums over at Alloy Avenue... Just don't try doing it without doing your homework first, as it can be dangerous and unforgiving! Fire and Blood! I have seen both in this hobby, but so far no major maimings so it's worth it.

I plan on making more Ice & Fire themed fan art castings in the near future. Maybe some house sigil and words plaques or something. Likely I will do this stuff using lost foam as well, which is what I am set up for. For now I am only casting in aluminum, an entry level metal for the aspiring backyard metal caster. But I hope to attempt casting bronze some day soon. But that will require rebuilding and/or upgrading my furnace and making some new foudry tools... But that is half the fun. Which doesn't take away from the fact that pulling a successful casting out of the sand bucket is also ALL of the fun.

It's just a hobby for the time being, but at some point I will probably have to try and sell a few pieces to help pay for the charcoal I use for fuel in my melting furnace, scrap alloy, foundry tool-making supplies, furnace maintenance, etc.

Thoughts or comments? Suggestions or ideas for future castings? Like a Florent, I'm all ears! :)
Tobho had learned to work Valyrian steel at the forges of Qohor as a boy. Only a man who knew the spells could take old weapons and forge them anew.

My videos - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyxrbU ... ENpVGbAjOw
User avatar
ArristanTheOld
Novice
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:32 am
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
House: Manwoody

Re: Cast aluminum Weirwood/Heart Tree sculpture - WiP

Postby Ash » Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:18 am

Oh wow, that's very cool!!

Sigils would be awesome, as would castles, possibly. The Eyrie would probably be pretty easy, too...Dragonstone less so.
User avatar
Ash
Grand Maester
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:55 pm
House: House Hightower

Re: Cast aluminum Weirwood/Heart Tree sculpture - WiP

Postby ArristanTheOld » Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:53 am

:)

Thanks for the kind words!

Castles, eh? good idea, it's going on my list.
Tobho had learned to work Valyrian steel at the forges of Qohor as a boy. Only a man who knew the spells could take old weapons and forge them anew.

My videos - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyxrbU ... ENpVGbAjOw
User avatar
ArristanTheOld
Novice
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:32 am
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
House: Manwoody

Re: Cast aluminum Weirwood/Heart Tree sculpture - WiP

Postby ArristanTheOld » Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:19 pm

Finished polishing & a bit of painting...
Image
Image
Tobho had learned to work Valyrian steel at the forges of Qohor as a boy. Only a man who knew the spells could take old weapons and forge them anew.

My videos - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyxrbU ... ENpVGbAjOw
User avatar
ArristanTheOld
Novice
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:32 am
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
House: Manwoody

Re: Cast aluminum Weirwood/Heart Tree sculpture - WiP

Postby Azizal » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:20 pm

Really great job! This is awesome.
Azizal
Grand Maester
 
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:52 pm

Re: Cast aluminum Weirwood/Heart Tree sculpture - WiP

Postby ArristanTheOld » Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:29 pm

Thanks! :)

It's been several weeks since I've melted/poured anything in the ol' backyard foundry, so I am definitely feeling the urge to chop up some old alloy wheels for the crucible, shovel the snow out of my casting area, and fire up the furnace to make something new. Soon.

I suppose something Valentinesy would be the smart move... But more ASOIAF-casting is definitely coming up when I get a chance. Mrs. TheOld has read the books, but only once, and I sometimes detect a little bit of eye-rolling when I start ranting and raving and making obscure GRRM references; I don't think she's ready to understand how romantic a burning heart w/crowned stag plaque would actually be.
Tobho had learned to work Valyrian steel at the forges of Qohor as a boy. Only a man who knew the spells could take old weapons and forge them anew.

My videos - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyxrbU ... ENpVGbAjOw
User avatar
ArristanTheOld
Novice
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:32 am
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
House: Manwoody

Re: Cast aluminum Weirwood/Heart Tree sculpture - WiP

Postby ArristanTheOld » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:00 pm

I found some video of the anthill casting pour that eventually became the foliage half of my metal Weirwood:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RiJhbHk7k7A

Actually, all the videos (yup all 3 so far) on my channel are somewhat Ice & Fire related - one is of my dog Sandor, one is the Weirwood foliage pour, and the other is the first few cast aluminum pours from the new melting furnace I spent my free time building over this past summer:
Image
Image

If the reason I gave it that name isn't obvious, here's what the inside of it looked like right after I fired the lining with the waste oil burner I built for it...
Image

I linked to my channel in my sig, for anyone who is interested in having a look.

Hope everyone had nice holidays and a happy new year!
Image
Tobho had learned to work Valyrian steel at the forges of Qohor as a boy. Only a man who knew the spells could take old weapons and forge them anew.

My videos - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyxrbU ... ENpVGbAjOw
User avatar
ArristanTheOld
Novice
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:32 am
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
House: Manwoody

Re: Cast aluminum Weirwood/Heart Tree sculpture - WiP

Postby ArristanTheOld » Mon May 02, 2016 9:30 pm

Haven't posted here in a while, but I have a new asoiaf-related metal casting project on the go.

I will be making a bronze axe, like the First Men used when they came over the arm or Dorne to subdue the children of the Forest and take over Westeros. It's as good an excuse as any to upgrade my backyard foundry from just dabbling with lost foam casting, to add sand casting capability. Sand casting is more reliable in terms of the number of successful castings I'll be able to pour (based on my ghetto lost foam methods anyhow), and has the bonus of being repeatable. Instead of destroying the Styrofoam original as in lost foam casting, I can remove a wooden pattern from the mold before pouring, and then it is still around to make more molds off of.

Enough talk, here are pix...

Core box made:

Image

Image

It's a plaster mold taken from the axe pattern's "core prints". It will be used to make a hardened sand core that sits in the mold preventing molten metal from filling up the hole where the axe handle gets installed. The reason it is taped up in one pic is because I jumped the gun and cut it to fir the blade pattern too soon, ie. before making the core box. The tape worked though.

And I attached it to the blade pattern:

Image

Image

I jumped the gun here too, started painting the pattern before the core prints were attached. Now that they are, after I finish painting and sanding it a lot more until it is super smooth, when I make the mold and remove the pattern, the protrusions from the core prints that are left in the pattern will lock the hardened sand core in place to keep the handle-hole hollow. It's sort of hard to explain, put it this way - the red parts will be bronze, the unpainted parts will be a hole through the metal. The pattern is split in two to make molding it easier, one half of the pattern will be molded in each half of the final mold.

It'll be bronze, so first-menny, so I was thinking about carving the runes for "honed" and "ready" on either side of the blade, a not to House Cerwyn heraldry. But that would mean all the axes I make using this pattern would have those same runes on them, and part of me thinks that's too cute in the first place, and wants me to either leave it blank or find something else to carve in it that I care more about that house Cerwyn, who really only have an axe as a sigil going for them. Open to suggestions...

Also I have built the tools I need to lift and pour my big crucible, which I will need for melting bronze. The one I use for aluminum is just welded up steel pipe and plate, but ceramic crucibles need harder to make tools, and bronze is hot enough to make a steel crucible le good upkme a soggy waffle. I wound up buying a cheap welding machine from Princess Auto, Canada's answer to Harbor Freight. Here are my new crucible tongs (left) and pouring shank (right):

Image

Hopefully you can see the real ght side of all these photos; on my phone they seem to be getting truncated.
Tobho had learned to work Valyrian steel at the forges of Qohor as a boy. Only a man who knew the spells could take old weapons and forge them anew.

My videos - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyxrbU ... ENpVGbAjOw
User avatar
ArristanTheOld
Novice
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:32 am
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
House: Manwoody

Re: Cast aluminum Weirwood/Heart Tree sculpture - WiP

Postby ArristanTheOld » Tue May 03, 2016 10:10 am

Yup, truncated here on my work PC too, the worst casualty is my pouring shank pic, so here is another:

Image

The square tube (actually 2 pieces of an old bed frame welded together) attached to the L shape on the top slides back and forth along the main pole/handle to let the crucible get in and out of the pouring shank; its purpose it to stop the crucible from falling out of the shank when upended during a pour.

Dammit, also truncated in the post preview, but at least you can see enough to get an idea. Here is one more, showing both crucible tools at a distance, in with the "clean" half of the shed where I work on this stuff:

Image

The band saw on the bench is new (to me), as is the oscillating spindle/belt sander on the top shelf on the left, you can just see the red & yellow on-off switch. Both were essential in making the axe blade pattern. And the welder in its box underneath the bench actually is new, not just new to me. It's how I made the crucible tools, when it came on sale I realized it would not cost very much more than paying the guy down the road to do just this small amount of welding, plus I'd still have it next time something like this comes up, so that was a no brainer. It has juuust enough power to do this sort of job, and doesn't require any expensive inert gases or anything. Don't try to look closely at my welds; I have no real training in this, so up close they look like they were done by, well, I'll be honest: a soft-handed fantasy nerd who programs a mainframe computer for a living... :)

You can see the old temporary spare tire/wheel I cut the ring part of the shank out of there in the back ground, to the left of the workbench. :) I try to use what I have on hand to build this stuff without spending any more money than I have to, I never know what I'm going to find buried out back in my other shed, it's still half full of junk left behind by the house's previous owners. As a bonus, eventually I will have more space to work. But not as much old junk to work with... And of course part of the tongs is an old garden rake. I like that they look a little like jaws with deadly sharp fangs - someone mentioned to me how that seemed appropriate for working with a metal-melting furnace with a name like I gave mine. :)

Image
(wheels are from a "chipper-vac" (aka scary looking lawn care machine) that I found in the same shed-o'junk! :) )
Tobho had learned to work Valyrian steel at the forges of Qohor as a boy. Only a man who knew the spells could take old weapons and forge them anew.

My videos - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyxrbU ... ENpVGbAjOw
User avatar
ArristanTheOld
Novice
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:32 am
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
House: Manwoody

Re: Cast aluminum Weirwood/Heart Tree sculpture - WiP

Postby ArristanTheOld » Wed May 04, 2016 11:23 am

Hmm, forum won't let me "edit", guess I will have to double post...

Got one of the molding flasks sets I need mostly built, this one is sized for casting my new sand rammer. Top half is called the cope, bottom half is called the drag. No idea why.

You can see the rammer pattern here too, the black line is where it will be cut in two - one side for each half of the mold. That line represents the parting line of the mold, where the two halves of the flask will meet. I made the pattern out of an on-sale stair railing baluster that I cut up and glued back together in the configuration you see here. The wedge-shaped end of the rammer will be used to pack molding sand into the corners of the flask, then the wider end will be to ram up the rest of the mold. This doesn't need to be a casting, but I want a *shiny* one in hand when I make the mold for my First Men axe. :) The rammer will be cast in aluminum.

The flask halves still need alignment hardware built and installed. That means adding alignment pins to ensure that once the pattern gets drawn out to make room for molten metal, the flasks halves will close back up in the same position relative to each other as they were in when the mold was rammed up. Enjoy the pix, this is not really an asoiaf image, but it will be used in the making of some castings that will be.

Image Image

I will build another flask for molding the axe blade, it is wider but not as long, so at best using the same flask would mean ramming up more molding sand than necessary, and at worst there might not be enough extra space in there widthwise, which might cause the metal to run out the sides resulting in a failed casting, a charred flask, and some colourful language.

Building this flask really reminded me: I have a lot to learn about woodworking. But most of the corners are fairly square and the halves seem to fit together nicely enough, so I am satisfied - it's good enough for amateur foundry work.
Tobho had learned to work Valyrian steel at the forges of Qohor as a boy. Only a man who knew the spells could take old weapons and forge them anew.

My videos - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyxrbU ... ENpVGbAjOw
User avatar
ArristanTheOld
Novice
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:32 am
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
House: Manwoody

Next

Return to Images and Videos of Ice and Fire

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron