Pewter & Casting Alloys

Britannia Metal

This is not a specific formula, but a general term for tin hardened with from 5 to 10% antimony. It frequently contains a small amount of copper. It was used as a base metal of ornamental plated goods. Typically it was about 93% tin, 5% antimony, 2% copper. Our lead-free pewter ‘93/6/1’ has 1% more antimony and 1% less copper for better casting properties.

Casting Alloy

SPIN-CASTING ALLOYS, JEWELLERY CASTING ALLOYS:

The consistent high quality of our alloys is the reason spin-casters favour our metal, whether they make jewellery, badges, key-rings or souvenirs. Because the alloys never vary, casters can work out the optimum temperatures and other variables for their design, and can rely on consistent results because every batch of alloy is strictly to exact formula for each grade. This can save the cost of re-working or additional finishing which is necessary if metal differs. Our CA grade is the best-selling alloy, suitable for jewellery, or larger items, and with an excellent surface for plating favoured by electro-platers! Discuss your requirements with us to determine the most suitable alloy for your design and your budget. We have several grades and price ranges.

Home or Hobby Casting Kits

Suitable for melting small quantity of metal for casting sinkers, projectiles, model soldiers, fishing lures, diving weights. The pot holds from 5 kg of lead to 7 kg of tin (which is less dense).

Supplied separately or discounted as a kit (with 3” ladle) for $350.

6" Pot and windshield - $226

Gas burner with hose and regulator - $64

Ladle 2.5” - $25

Ladle 3” (holds 1kg lead brimful) - $29

Ladle 4” (holds 2kg lead brimful) - $35

Thermometer 6” stem 2” dial - $48

Jewellery Casting Alloys

SPIN-CASTING ALLOYS, JEWELLERY CASTING ALLOYS:

The consistent high quality of our alloys is the reason spin-casters favour our metal, whether they make jewellery, badges, keyrings or souvenirs. Because the alloys never vary, casters can work out the optimum temperatures and other variables for their design, and can rely on consistent results because every batch of alloy is strictly to exact formula for each grade. This can save the cost of re-working or additional finishing which is necessary if metal differs. Our CA grade is the best-selling alloy, suitable for jewellery, or larger items, and with an excellent surface for plating, it is favoured by all the electro-platers!

Discuss your requirements with us to determine the most suitable alloy for your design and your budget.

Ladles for Home Casting

Durable, foundry-quality ladles with a good pouring spout and 40 cm handles, suitable for use with any of our alloys.

2.5” - $25 including GST

3”   -  $29 including GST

4”   -  $35 including GST

Linotype

Northern Smelters’ linotype is 5% tin 11.5% antimony 83.5% lead. Originally formulated for use in the hot metal printing industry, this is a hard alloy which casts with very good detail.

Linotype is as an excellent casting alloy where low cost is important. It is often used in model soldiers, badges and decorative items that will be electroplated, or fishing lures. It is a fairly brittle alloy, so may not be suitable for castings with very thin sections, but detail is excellent and it plates well.

It also is very suitable for hardening lead for casting projectiles because the tin and antimony are in a ratio that is very suitable for mixing in equal parts with pure lead, or with less lead if a harder alloy is required.

In the printing industry linotype was used to cast lines of type, monotype was a harder alloy often higher in both tin and antimony. As the name says, mono- type was used to make single letters. Stereotype varied considerably. Within each group there was no set formula because printers each had their own preferences. Often scrap dealers, and people seeking scrap, are unaware of these differences, which can make a big difference to the suitability of an alloy for a particular purpose.

Low-Melting Alloys and Fusible Alloys 

Gammashield: Low-melting cadmium-free alloy is recommended for use in hospitals for casting of shields used in radiation therapy. Available in 25 kg boxes, in rounds of 65mm diameter, it has melting point of 96 degrees C.

 

Lipowitz: Also known as Woods Metal, a cadmium-containing alloy which melts at 74 degrees C – suitable for pipe-bending or fusible links.​

Chamber Casting Alloy: Used the same as the U.S.-made alloy known as Cerrosafe. It is used to check gun chambers. Initially it expands, and then shrinks during the first 30 minutes after casting. At the end of one hour it is EXACTLY the chamber size. Other uses include supporting work pieces while machining. It starts to melt at 70 degrees C and it is fully molten at 87.8 degrees C. Can be re-melted and used repeatedly - $28 per 500 gram stick.

Melting Pots for Home Casting

Two sizes now available, larger sizes made to order:

 

6” diameter - designed to hold up to 6kg of molten lead-based metal or 4kg of tin-based alloy -  pot and windshield is $226 incl GST. 

 

7” diameter – suitable to melt up to 14 kg lead-based metal or 9.5 kg tin-based alloy - pot and windshield is $280 incl GST.

Ideal for making jewellery, model soldiers, sinkers, projectiles, fishing lures, chess sets...any hobby that involves melting tin or lead alloys. 

Designed to sit over a simple 2-ring gas burner, at the optimum height above the flame, with a shield to keep the flame and heat where needed. The bottom of the pot is fully rounded so metal can be easily scooped out with a ladle, and there is a bracket to hold a thermometer if required.

Normally a ladle is used to cast from the pot. However, if emptying metal from the pot for storage, you can heat it without the windshield and pour directly from the spout into a mould or tray placed in position. No need to lift it from the bench - just let it rest on the two front legs and use the third as a handle to tip it forward to pour.

 

These simple pots will last a lifetime and the temperature can be controlled more accurately using a thermometer than with a thermostat which may cut in and out with greater temperature variation than can be maintained by manually adjusting the gas flow.

Model Metals​​

These are recommended for use by Prince August for use with their moulds www.princeaugust.ie,

The low melting temperatures prolong the life of all silicon moulds.

 

Model Metal – ideal where low melting temperature is preferred, and made here at the request of Prince Auguar Moulds in Ireland as a service to their Australian customers. This melts at just 138 degrees, gives good sharp detail, is not brittle, and flows freely. The low melting point prolongs the life of black rubber moulds.
260 gram (approx) per stick     35cm x 1.5cm diameter (approx) - $12 per stick

 

High Tin Pewter for models – ideal if you require a lead free alloy: 

This melts at 233 degrees C, very good flow properties, good detail and surface. Good colour, may be polished to a fine pewter finish if required. High Tin pewter is available in sticks of approx 800 grams measuring 35cm x 2.5 x1cm - approximately $36 per stick ($45 p/kg)

Prince August's "Standard Alloy" for models – ideal if economy is most important:

Melting range 183-212 degrees C. Good detail, flows well, strong, and with shiny surface. Available in sticks of approx 150 grams measuring 30cm long and 7mm diameter - price is $21 p/kg or $4 per stick.

 *If necessary, sticks can be cut to smaller size with a side-cutter or similar tool. Alternately, the stick may be supported (wearing a heat-proof glove!) until sufficient metal has melted in ladle or pot and the unmelted portion set aside until needed. 

Model Soldiers - the most popular alloy for these is EK with 45% tin and no brittleness.

White-metal

This is a generic name given to alloys of tin, lead and antimony and all copper-zinc alloys containing more than 60% zinc. It includes pewter, soft solder, Britannia metal, type-metals, antifriction alloys, bearing alloys and Babbitt metal.

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