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Building A Steam Caster

The first step will be to obtain the supplies below and then we can build our equipment. Remember do not buy anything that you may already have. If you have something similar, but are not sure if it will work, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Materials You Need

  • $ 1.00 1 empty tuna can (mix the tuna with mayo and eat it with crackers while reading the rest of this steam casting info).
  • $ 1.00 1 six inch piece of broom handle or one inch dowel.
  • $ 1.00 1 roll of paper towels (you need 3 towels but you can use the rest to clean up your tuna and crackers mess.)
  • $ 0.10 1 sheet metal screw #10 by 1 inch.
  • $ 8.50 1 box of 10 gauge wax sprue wire (can be ordered from Rio Grande , 1-800-545-6566, part # 700-742.
  • $ 2.00 1 package of children's clay or cheap sculpting wax or a roll of aluminum foil.
  • $ 1.00 1 small tall narrow can of tomato paste.
  • $ 2.00 1 small one package of Satin Cast 20 from Rio Grande # 702-099/1 or local supplier.
  • $ 2.00 1 wax pattern, either carve one yourself or purchase one from a supplier.

Building The Caster

  1. Cut a 6 inch piece off an old broom handle or any other old round handle that you might have around the house, or buy a 1 inch diameter dowel rod from the hardware store and cut off 6 inches of that. This is the handle for your steam caster.
  2. Drill a small 1/8 inch hole in the center of the cut (flat) end. Be careful drilling this hole. The use of a vise to hold the handle would be good, but if you do not have a vise use a c-clamp to hold it down to a table while you drill it. If you do not have a c-clamp, have a real trusting friend (and I find that getting them drunk first is helpful) to hold it for you. Really, it is not that dangerous, but caution should be used so that the dowel does not begin spinning during the drilling process.
  3. Drill or punch a hole into the center of the empty tuna can bottom. Put the #10 by one inch sheet metal screw through this hole so that it is sticking out the bottom of the can. The head of the screw is in the can.
  4. Screw the can on to the end of the dowel. The hole that you drilled into the handle will keep it from splitting. Be sure to tighten the screw.
  5. Tear up three paper towels into approximately 2 inch pieces. Soak these in water and pack them into the can. Pack them in as tightly as possible. (You can even use another can that is slightly smaller than the tuna can to help you pack it tightly. Just pack the paper towels in to the tuna can, then turn it over and press it down on the smaller can until no more water can be squeezed out.) It is important that no more water can drip out of the caster. The paper towels should be damp now, not soaked and dripping.