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All items handmade in the U.S.A.

Exhibiting Members of the Craftsmen's Guild of Mississippi

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by Robert and Debra Shinn

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Sandcast Ankh

Step 1
Set up the flask.

The drag (left, inside face down) and cope (right, inside face up) of the flask are set on a smooth, firm surface. These are made from unpainted 1"x2" spruce wood aligned by a hardwood pin and fastened by small draw catches. A deep groove has been routed along the interior for the sand to grip.
Step 2
Position the pattern.

The pattern, an ankh cut from a sheet of 1/8" Plexiglass acrylic, is placed with its flat back on the smooth surface inside the drag.
Step 3
Fill the drag with casting sand.

The casting sand for this job is made from 75%, by weight, fine sandblasting sand and 25% bentonite driller's mud, with enough water added so that it will hold its shape as shown. Crumble the sand and sift it over the pattern until the drag is full. Go slowly and carefully until the pattern is covered; filling the bulk of the drag may be done faster. Build it up into a small mound over the drag, then press it down firmly with the heel of your hand.
Step 4
Level the drag.

You should have some sand left above the level of the frame. Use a wood block to press the sand down a little more, then scrape off all above the frame. The top of the sand should be firm and without voids.
Step 5
Turn the drag over.

If the sand has been packed firmly enough, the sand should remain in place after the drag is turned over. There should be no voids around the pattern. If there are, you may fill them now with a tiny bit of sand smeared around the edge. Make sure no sand is on the pattern's back!
Step 6
Dust with parting powder.

The inner face of the sand-filled drag and the back of the pattern must be covered with a dry parting powder. Generic baby powder made from talc works fine. Around the pattern is the most important area as more sand will be added next.
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Disclaimer: All techniques described are performered by professionals in a professional workshop. These techniques work well for us; we do not warrant them for anyone else. We cannot be responsible for anyone's property, profit, or safety. If you wish to make beautiful objects, pictures and text are no substitute for a good class.