Experiment 3: Zinc Ring Casting

So I have been interested in metal casting for a while and have made some blobs and large ingots, but I wanted some real results.  I made some casting sand using 1 part ground cat litter (try to find one that only has Bentonite clay in it) to 9 parts regular play sand.  I ground the cat litter using my mom's kitchen blender; if you do so, wash it out well or she will murder you with a butcher knife.  I probably should have used fine silica sand, but play sand was what I had on hand from building my large metal-melting furnace.  Regular play sand will give you coarse results.  I added enough water so that it stuck together but was not sopping.  I then basically followed this, but I did not add any vents/air holes for the casting.  My flasks were made by cutting a frozen juice can in half; you can definitely improve this if you do this experiment.  Having made my ring mold (using my dad's wedding ring), I used a soup can as a crucible and a propane torch to melt some zinc pennies (date after 1982) and skimmed off the copper coating.  With a smooth action, I poured the metal into the mold.  I am exceedingly happy with the results.

The image at the top of the post is the newly removed casting.  I cleaned it up with a Dremel tool and a hand file and then sanded it smooth.  As you can see from the two other pictures, the ring actually resembles a real ring and looks fairly nice for a first casting.  It even fits on a finger and does not irritate the wearer!