I have seen aluminium cast in an almost globular shape in an open steel
mould, by deliberately over-filling the mould, and exploiting surface
tension in the liquid aluminium. It requires a very steady hand pouring the
metal, rather like pouring a pint of Guinness. Can something similar be
done with liquid bronze? This would produce a symmetrical biconvex section,
rather than the plano-convex section you might expect. Liquid solder
certainly forms globular drips.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Haseler" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 12:16 PM
Subject: [BRITARCH] Flat bronze axes - tooling marks or restoration?
>I had the first chance yesterday (thanks to the Hunterian Museum EOP), to
>look at their collection of flat bladed axes.
> I entered the building very confident I knew how such age axes were made,
> I left very confused and uncertain.
> What I mean is that I expected to find that any tooling marks (ie filing
> or "sanding") would indicate that they had been cast in a one sided mold
> and perhaps even some evidence as to the nature of that mold (as in micro
> samples of the mold melted onto the axe). In actual fact I came away very
> Although some of the axes had clear filing marks, these were not
> consistent with the kind of marks I expected to find on a one-sided molded
> axe. By the very nature of the mold, a single sided mold has a flat side
> and a curved side, a cast side and an open.
> 1. Though some blades had a "rough" and "less rough" side, under a
> microscope the surface appeared to be pitted between small fragments of
> original flat surface (or were these flatter areas simply restoration
> 2. I'm not surprised the blades were apparently symmetrical but I was
> surprised that given the obvious nature of some of the filing marks, there
> was no similarly obvious marks to indicate the kind of hammering I needed
> to bend my own copper re-heated axe produced in this fashion.
> 3. Also, because the mold is asymmetrical, the flashing would be
> asymmetrical and therefore one would expect the filing marks (if any
> remain) to be asymmetrical which they weren't.
> I would be grateful if someone could put me out of my misery and confirm
> that pristine condition flat bladed axes do show some indication of being
> produced in a one side mold and/or confirm my hunch is that the majority
> of marks that I observed were not part of the original manufacture but
> were likely introduced by over enthusiastic "restoration".
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