What is a Metal Caster?
A caster works in a foundry, which is a place that is specifically designed to handle hot metals. There is a central fire area or forge that allows for the heating of the metal to make it liquid. A caster then takes the molten liquid metal and pours it into casts or molds to form metal shapes that are then sanded, grinded, and polished before being finished. A caster works with all types of metals and different molds. Some casters make their own molds or casts from different materials such as metal, wax, and sand. Metals casters work with all types of metals to produce different molded shapes.
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What does a Metal Caster do?
A metal caster works in a foundry, which is a place that is specifically designed to handle hot metals. There is a central fire area or forge that allows for the heating of the metal to make it liquid. A caster then takes the molten liquid metal and pours it into casts or molds to form metal shapes that are then sanded, grinded, and polished before being finished. A caster works with all types of metals and different molds. Some casters make their own molds or casts from different materials such as metal, wax, and sand.
The caster must work with different types of metals and understand the different methods of liquefying them. Some metals are softer and melt at a lower temperature and some metals like iron and bronze only melt at very high temperatures. An expert caster knows the differences in metal types and is able to work with them in different fire ovens to get them to the correct temperatures for casting.
A metal caster may work with large pieces for industrial molds or something as small as cast jewelry from gold and silver. A metal caster can work in all types of industries, allowing for different options in career choices.
The caster is responsible for measuring the amount of metal to be heated. They then heat the metal in the fire and regulate the temperature to keep the metal at a certain pouring temperature. Casters are responsible for making sure that the mold is clamped and secure so that the molten metal can be poured into the mold. The caster pours the molten metal into the mold via a ladle or other device. Once the mold has cured, the caster uses different tools to grind down the metal piece and polish it.
A metal caster works with all types of machinery and tools including:
A caster is also responsible for the molds and their maintenance. They must make sure that the molds are clean and smooth so that they can accept the liquid metal.
What does it take to be a Metal Caster?
The main education requirements for becoming a metal caster involve having a High School diploma and then attending a vocational school to complete a training program to gain the necessary skills to work with all types of metals. While not all companies require training programs, most do. Some companies allow employees to learn the trade through on-the-job experience. In this type of training, the employee starts off by working under an experienced caster. They may help to operate the machinery or bring the metal to the caster. As they gain experience in watching a caster, they are given the opportunity to begin working with the different aspects of casting. Once they have trained for at least one year, they are able to begin casting on their own.
Many companies now require casting certification through an exam. This exam is required after the completion of a training program. Not all states and countries have the same requirements, so it is important to check with the local standards in one's own area.
A caster must have knowledge of the different types of metals and their melting temperatures. This is one of the most important parts of the job, as melting metals is so dangerous. Without the proper understanding of metal temperatures, the caster can ruin the metal pieces and even put themselves in danger.
A caster must also have some math skills for the weighing of different metals. Along with math skills, good hand and eye coordination is crucial. The caster must be aware at all times while they are working with molten metals.
What is the workplace of a Metal Caster like?
The workplace of a caster is a very hot environment. With the fire ovens and molten metals, the environment can be extremely uncomfortable for those who cannot handle heat well. The caster must wear protective clothing and sometimes head gear. This can make the environment even hotter.
A metal caster works with very dangerous materials. The molten metal alone can cause serious burns, but the caster also works with all sorts of machinery and tools that can be dangerous. Cutters such as knives and grinders can cause serious injuries if they are not operated properly.
The chemicals in the air of most casting environments can cause breathing difficulties for some. Most factories have air purification systems in place, but while the caster is heating and pouring the metal, they can be exposed to airborne chemicals.
How much does a Metal Caster earn?
Most metal casters start off on an hourly wage at around $10 US. Experienced casters can earn as much as $25. Those who have become masters in the craft can earn a salary of as much as $35,000 to $40,000 per year. This amount can vary greatly depending on the country, state, and the amount of experience a metal caster has.
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