For the latest aluminium melt, I build a new two part flask and tried casting a couple of letters. After a trial run putting the sand in there was an issue with the sand falling out of the cope (the top half) so additional battons were put on the sides (see below).
This was my first attempt at casting with a two part flask and the problems with the sand lead to the closing up of the gates. The gates are tunnels that join the sprue (filling hole) to the hole left by the pattern. The end results were one half of the pattern did not fill at all. This could also have been that the metal had cooled too quickly but that seems unlikely given that the other half formed correctly.
All was not lost though as my wife took a shine to the droplet formed and has asked for it to be turned into a pendant. The sprue also should have a use once I’ve machined it into a small rod. I also formed a small ingot with the excess which with either be machined into a block as previously or it may just be used for the next melt.
Here’s some closeups of the resulting Beta.