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I Made My First Sig Coin


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I posted a while ago about making your own sig/geo coin/bug, using plaster for a mold and solder for the coin material. Someone asked me to provide pictures. I'll post one picture of the finished product, and a link to a PDF explaining what I had to do to make this thing. So here's the 'pretty much finished' coin.


EDIT: Removed gian broken picture


Yes, I know its ugly. But I made it, and to me thats what counts. Heres a link to the PDF file with more pictures and details of my mishaps making it. (actually I made 2)


EDIT: Removed useless link


You'll need adobe acrobat to read it.

Constructive criticism is welcome.


(BTW - the coin dimesions is 2.5 in point to point, and weighs 5 oz, its pretty heavy) Need to make the next ones smaller.

Edited by SilverLynx
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That's a prett cool looking coin! Now tell us how you made it?


El Diablo

JoeFrog posted a link to the pdf file in which I describe my misadventures making it. I did some research, and have a few ideas on how to make them better. Eventually I will come out with a step by step guide on how to make basic coins, instead of the basic 'how I did it' guide linked above.

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That's a prett cool looking coin! Now tell us how you made it?


El Diablo

JoeFrog posted a link to the pdf file in which I describe my misadventures making it. I did some research, and have a few ideas on how to make them better. Eventually I will come out with a step by step guide on how to make basic coins, instead of the basic 'how I did it' guide linked above.

Yer welcome! I sent you an email, don't miss it.



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Ok I read the guide and I'll add one thing you might want to look into.


You can use a microwave to melt metal. I've read an article on it and the person who heard the rumor tried it out with variying degrees of success depending on the metal he was trying to melt. It may or may not prove useful and you would probably have to buy a microwave at a garage sale since you wouldn't want to try it on the one in the kitchen.


Edit: The guy used firbricks in the microwave and other specialized tools. So it's not as simple as nuking a buritto....

Edited by Renegade Knight
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Thanks for the nice responses!


After I get some soapstone for carving the mold, and use real pewter, I'm sure the next ones will look alot better. Sharper, more defined lines, and a smoother, less pitted surface. It was fun trying.


I'm also looking into alpha/numeric punches to put our team name and small message on the back.


I'll continue to use this mold until it falls apart (probably 2-5 more pieces)


I'll start placing them into eastern Connecticut (my area) caches soon.




EDIT: Renegade Knight - Thanks for the info!

Edited by SilverLynx
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Can you make double sided versions easily?

You can using the 'lost wax' method. That was my original intent, but things just started going wrong, and ended up with me smashing the mold to retrieve my wax model, and getting 3 cups of plaster scattered all over the kitchen. This was is easier and the mold is reusable (for a while). Using the 'lost wax' method, the the wax model is burned off when you pour the molten metal down a small hole into the mold. Generally the mold can only be used once, and need to be remade each time.

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Hi lynx,


I think it looks cool! I've been working on one of my own and have had some success, as well as some major hassles...I'm planning on stealing some ideas from the pdf on how you did it, but wanted to offer one piece of advice that might be a help...


Get a piece of soapstone from an art supply store, and dremel out the shape you want. Soapstone is great for this type of casting.


Good luck with your future coins!



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Gorgeous! I really like the pitted look. This is the sort of thing I WOULD trade for in a cache. Thanks for sharing.


For others considering making similar items (albeit plastic instead of metal) check out this site. For $25 I got the sampler kit (silicone version). What a blast! I've made a couple of dozen small items just from the sampler kit. It makes a soft rubberlike mold into which you pour the plastic compound which hardens in less than 5 minutes. And the molds are reusable.

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not too shabby dood -


Silver solder is likey not too cheap either -


I read your doc - nice job there too -


a couple suggestions - you could get better rusults from the plaster if you make it rather thin to start with - then vibrate it to get the buttles out.


I think part of your problem with the original mold was melting the solder IN the mold. I used to do lead fishing weights - the only way to do it properly is to melt it in something else and pour it into the mold. It also helps if you can get the mold good and hot also so you are not dumping hot metal into a cold mold.


HA! guess that was your first time melting wax or making 'candles'. been there dun that! weird huh?


If you are really serious about this I'd get a little gas oven made for the purpose and a crucible to melt and pour from. One think I learned from a shop class in college - we poured aluminum - is that your mold has to have relief - that is bigger on the bottom and smaller on the top - like a pyramid - not a lot but enough to let the piece come out of the mold. Otherwise you lock it in the mold and have to destroy the mold to get it out.


You can also make your own forge from an old freon can - there was a web page on that - maybe I can google and find that.


wow that was easy -




there is two to get you started - I just googled on - freon can forge

the second one is really nicely done.


thanks - you gave me some neat ideas - pewter sounds neat too - they do use lost wax for that - but then you have to have a wax mold to duplicate them too.

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Check out: Pewter Supplies for instructions and supplies for making your own castings. Use the RTV mold compuond to avoid having to keep making plaster molds. If you want to make your own molds it would be better to use casting investment because it is more durable than plaster.


You could also try sand casting the coins. There are plenty of resources about that on the web.


Using solder as a casting material is not a good idea for several reasons. It is expensive, it's not designed as a casting material and many solders may contain metals like cadmium which gives off toxic fumes.

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A quick suggestion for melting the solder or whatever metal you decide to use:


My hubby used a small metal measuring cup to melt lead weights for a pinewood derby car. He measured the amount of weights, went outside, and used his butane torch as a heater to melt the weights. He now has a MAPP torch for a plumbing project, so I think that would work really well, too. The measuring cup is probably made out of stainless steel (it was a coffee scoop, I think) and was not affected, except for discoloring it. Of course, we never used it in the kitchen again! :laughing:

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