Making and Knowing
A minimal edition of BnF Ms Fr 640 in English Translation

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Wetting sand and molding the first cast

Have a porringer of leaded earth of such a size that it can hold the wet sand which will be needed to fill your mold in one go, which is better than in two gos, because if you do not throw the second load of sand in very quickly, there is a risk that while you are preparing it, the first one will take and become solid,

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and this way, while heating it again, the two casts will dissolve. Therefore, have several dishes of various sizes with a pouring beak in order to cast better. In these, pour some regular fountain water and mix into it as much as an egg # can hold of sal ammoniac water, mixed as described. If you want to cast lead or tin — because one would need more for casting gold or silver — having the water in your dish, add the sand and not the other way around [by adding the water to the sand], and adjust it with such attentiveness that, while mixing it vigorously and wetting it quickly with a wooden spoon, it does not become thicker than mustard. And in such a way cast [i.e., pour] first the clearest part, as is always at the surface, by shaking it a little higher in your mold. And doing so, since your animal is nearly covered, Once your animal is covered, blow on it very strongly to eliminate the small bubbles from your soaked sand. Then pour immediately the rest which is at the bottom and which is thicker than the upper part, fill your mold to the thickness mark you have made.

Figure at middle middle margin of folio 113v Figure And while casting do not forget to shake your mold, that way your soaked sand runs and get in through every parts. Also tip your mold up on the side of the head, which is higher than the body. That way the contents of your mold will have the same thickness, and you’ll spare sand. This being done with care, your sand will harden within a quarter of an hour. Then peel the clay contour which can be used later. Let it dry a little bit, than separate your mold from the slab of earth, and you can mold properly straight after. Cut away the extra parts with a knife, and make it mandore shaped. You can reuse the clay frame. Scrape away what’s on the back of the mold, because this part is the weakest; do not forget to make notches around it, that way the second cast would bind much better Figure at middle bottom margin of folio 113v Figure and would not move.

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Your half mold, in one shot and one mix is the best.

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or two eggs, because there is no danger if there is more. If you cast twice, just add sal ammoniac water into the first pouring.

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Make your mixture as clear as a pureed broth, or starch water, the one women use make their starch. It is not a problem if the mixture is very thin because sand settles in the bottom and water stays on top of it, which we scape as too weak and soft. It will not take long to harden, because burned things dry rapidly.

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Figure Figure If you don’t fill your mold with soaked sand at one go, do mix your second cast with the top part of the first cast, stir with a spoon, or the stick you had took to soak your sand.

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You do not need to add sal ammoniac water if you cast small molds which do not need to be reheated too long. However it is better to add some.