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

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latten casting

Take latten from skillet pans, used to make baby’s cereal, which is doulx and apt for the cast. Some people say that counter from Germany contain a lot of calamine. However, when they are tempered, calamine evaporates, calamine mixed with melted latten always evaporates, because latten becomes red again, thanks to the reiteration of melting. However, fresh calamine and only fresh calamine, which is blended with remelted latten, makes latten run, and allow a clean cast. Because calamine which is added to remelted latten is half—damaged compared with its natural state. This half—damaged calamine make latten porous and agitated because it has a tendency to evaporate. Thus add only very fresh calamine to melted latten. Make sure to cast your mold very hot, you mold must become red—hot, like molds to cast gold, silver, copper and metal. If you pour fresh calamine, avoid its smoke which is pernicious. To cast a medal, I took thirty counters from Germany and xii clous de rosette made of doulx latton, like for claires medals which are made of soft latten. This matter contains a lot of calamine like all kind of yellow latten, and make a lot of smoke which prevent latten from running, and make it porous, that is why it is necessary to make many vents and to cast very hot, latten must be as white as water, or as melted silver or as a polished mirror of steel. The second fusion will come out much better because evaporated calamine does not make as much smoke. If you use a molding frame that does not break and holds its own, the second [casting] will come more neatly out of the mold, because the frame is impregnated with the smoke of calamine. If you add sal ammoniac to your latten, this latten will be clear and shiny, but will be even more shiny with huile tingente. Do not use another sand than the above mentioned to mold a noyau, and the mold must become red—hot, like a mold to cast gold. Make a lot of vents. If you cast yellow latten with the prepared tutty you will not get any smoke.

at left top margin of folio 136v

This metal is capricious to cast because of the smoke of the calamine. Do not leave it out of the fire, as some do with silver. Because when air or wind touch it, the mold gets cold at once. When you cast it, this metal always leaves burrs, like when casting glass. Foundry workers do not usually use this very yellow latten as much because of the calamine which is heated. They cast red copper and turn it yellow with fresh calamine, or with some prepared tutty. Before casting, clean it with charcoal with a quere made of copper or iron. Then cover it with a cloth soaked in lard blended with saltpetre, or sal ammoniac, in order to protect it from wind, which would cool it down.