Pewter Casting: Horseshoe Pin

Earlier this year, our local medieval dress up group was going to hold a big event at a new site, and their logo is a flying horseshoe. Unfortunately, we were not able to hold the event this year due to all the fires in the area, but I still made a site token, and thought you guys might like to see how I made it!

I recorded lots of footage of the process, and made a short video:

The main things I wanted my new pewter token to have: wings, a horseshoe, and the ability for it to act as a charm hanger (we need more of those in our local pewter market!) I dug up one of my trusty books on historical pewter finds and found a few good references!

First, I needed some horse shoes:

Then I needed some wings (warning, mildly NSFW?)

And while looking for the references above, I found some neat pins that I thought would work well with the horseshoe shape:

And below you see my very scientific diagram of my potential future project:

I wasn’t sure at first about which direction I wanted the horseshoe to face.  1 seems to be more historically accurate, and can be hung from a necklace or hanger pin, but 2 has the ability to BE a hanger pin, which is what I really wanted.  I picked 2 in the end, after consulting friends, and mulling it over a bit.

There are a surprisingly large number extant molds with visible pins!  Fortunately, I already made a mold that includes a pin, so I am just going to recycle that one, rather than carving a new pin in this horseshoe mold.

This mold ended up finishing up faster than I expected!  It helps that I decided to work on it for an entire day, so 8-12 hours spent on a project in one day feels much faster than 1 or 2 hours spent each evening, spreading the project across a whole week or two. Sadly, that’s how most projects have to be done since that pesky day job consumes most of my daylight hours.

Slow progress being made!

Ta-da!  A flying horse shoe!

Very sadly, one of the pegs broke after about 50 casts, which means I have to drill out any future casts unless I fix it :/

It works as a hanger!  It works better if I pinch the open top ends closer to each other after inserting the pin, it feels more securely attached to the fabric that way.

Also, in recent news, I created a Patreon page to help pay for this blog!  If you have enjoyed reading about my projects, or learning from my tutorials, consider sending a dollar or two my way each month!  I have also added several new items to my Etsy page (lots of egg pendants!) if you’d like to check that out!

4 thought on “Pewter Casting: Horseshoe Pin”

  1. Sorcha says:

    Nice job! What type of pewter did you use?

    1. Morgan Donner says:

      I tend to use roto metal pewter 98, which is 98% tin, with a bit of copper and bismuth. I have also experimented a bit with using 100% tin, which seems to cast nicer, but it much more bendy when done!

  2. Marianne Weeil says:

    Hi Morgan, Loved your video on pewter casting.
    What kind of ladle do you use–it appears it has a hole on the bottom and would be very useful for delicate pours.
    If you don’t mind telling me –where I can purchase one –or instead, should I drill a hole in a ladle for lead/pewter use?
    Thank you,

    1. Morgan Donner says:

      Here’s my ladle! Casting Ladle: (Affiliate link) It has served me well so far.

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