Brass molds for the casting of soft metal ornaments out of britannia, pewter, spelter, etc., should be made out of brass that contains enough zinc to produce a light-colored brass. While this hard brass is more difficult for the mold maker to cut, the superiority over the dark red copper-colored brass is that it will stand more heat and rougher usage and thereby offset the extra labor of cutting the hard brass. The mold should be heavy enough to retain sufficient heat while the worker is removing a finished casting from the mold so that the next pouring will come full. If the mold is too light it cools more quickly, and consequently the castings are chilled and will not run full. Where the molds are heavy enough they will admit the use of a swab and water after each pouring. This chills the casting so that it can be removed easily with the plyers.


Molds for the use of soft metal castings may be made out of soft metal. This is done with articles that are not numerous, or not often used; and may be looked upon as temporary. The molds are made in part the same as when of brass, and out of tin that contains as much hardening as possible. The hardening consists of antimony and copper. This metal mold must be painted over several times with Spanish red, which tends to prevent the metal from melting. The metal must not be used too hot, otherwise it will melt the mold. By a little careful manipulation many pieces can be cast with these molds.


New iron or brass molds must be blued before they can be used for

casting purposes. This is done by placing the mold face downward on a charcoal fire, or by swabbing with sulphuric acid, then placing over a gas flame or charcoal fire until the mold is perfectly oxidized.


A good substantial mold for small castings of soft metal is made of brass. The expense of making the cast mold is considerable, however, and, on that account, some manufacturers are making their molds by electro-deposition. This produces a much cheaper mold, which can be made very quickly. The electro-deposited mold, however, is very frail in comparison with a brass casting, and consequently must be handled very carefully to keep its shape. The electro-deposited ones are made out of copper, and the backs filled in with a softer metal. The handles are secured with screws.