The silicon bronze used by Heartland melts at approximately 1850 deg F. Ingots and scrap are preheated on the lid to help remove all excess moisture from the piece. If the piece were not preheated, the moisture in the metal would rapidly expand causing the ingot, and a pot of molten metal to explode, ruining the furnace and causing possible serious injury.
Bronze is pulled from the furnace at a temperature in the range of 2000 F to 2100 F. The crucible is removed with a pair of tongs operated by two people and placed in the ring of the shank. The shank (pictured above) locks onto the crucible and is used to pour the bronze. It consists of the stick end (left in the picture), and the driving end (on the right).
The job of the person running the stick end is to help support the weight and provide a stable point for the person on the driving end to work from. The job of the person running the driving end is to position the crucible and control the flow of the metal. The third man in the pour team is responsible for skimming slag which forms during the pour, watching for problems with the shells, and removing the cap from a piece during pouring.
Once the pour is complete, the shank is placed on the pour deck next
to the furnace. A small stack of wet papers is placed in the furnace where
the crucible is to sit. This forms a carbon layer which helps keep the
crucible from welding itself to the pedestal. The crucible is then placed
back into the furnace.
Heartland Art Bronze Inc.
11628 254th Street
Lawrence, Kansas 66044-7331
Phone # 785-842-3626
Fax # 785-842-7011
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