Ancient Anchor

That is certainly a possibility, Gabe, but I would have to take a look at them to make sure in my own mind. For those not familiar with foundry practice, when you ram up a sand mold for a casting, you use a two-part casting flask consisting of a cope and a drag. The two parts of the flask split in the center to make working on the mold, inserting cores, and removing the pattern easy. The last thing you do prior to setting the flask on the casting floor is insert gates for introducing the molten iron into the mold and vents to allow the air and hot gases to escape. As the iron cools and becomes solid in these openings—and particularly the gate—the iron extensions are still attached to the casting and are generally referred to as sprues. Many of you may recall the same word from the days of your youth when you assemble plastic model kits!

However, even if they are sprues, how did they ever end up where you found them? When I worked in a foundry—back in my much younger days—the sprues all went right back into the crucible with the next furnace charge. Why would anyone transport the sprues out of the casting facility?

More mystery!!

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 
I always called them "flash" (the plastic bits left on the model parts)
Ben:

On a model kit or other plastic casting, flash is the super thin flat plastic—often with an irregular edge—attached to the sprue or castings. It stems from the liquid plastic molding material that managed to work its way into the split between the two mold sections during the injection-molding process. It can happen in metal casting work as well, but usually occurs only when the casting material is injected under pressure, such as powdered-metal castings, and castings made from zinc, aluminum, or magnesium.

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 
Apr 6, 2004
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I came across this excerpt from an article written By Henry Charlton Beck:

Beck said:
Then, along another area of the river, Fred has found another place, he told me, where quantities of molten metal seem to have been spillled on the ground to cool, and where the ends of molds, used to fashion cannon balls perhaps, were discarded by the river.

Hmmm...

http://www.njpinelandsanddownjersey.com/open/index.php?module=documents&JAS_DocumentManager_op=viewDocument&JAS_Document_id=136
 
Gabe:

That is really good information from Beck and I am glad you found it!! It sounds just like what you found. However, I still say it makes no sense whatsoever to take iron that had been processed through the furnace and throw it along the riverbank instead of recycling it back into the crucible for reuse—even it only represents the “excess” iron taken from the gates and vents. The only thing I can think of is perhaps this particular batch of iron failed in some way due to improper chemical composition. But if that was the case, did they also dispose of the poor-quality castings?

I will continue to mull over the situation and see if I can posit a possible answer to this dilemma.

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 
Apr 6, 2004
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Jerseyman said:
However, I still say it makes no sense whatsoever to take iron that had been processed through the furnace and throw it along the riverbank instead of recycling it back into the crucible for reuse...
What if these pieces represent the last blast of the furnace?
 

Furball1

Explorer
Dec 11, 2005
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Anchor

I was upstream of Atsion Lake with Tom M. when my grandpop's anchor snagged on a root, had to cut it off---that was around '74 (1974, not 1774), could it be possible these are the remains??? It was a miniature of anchors you would see on the big battlewagons, only 10 lbs instead of 50 tons. I always wondered where that anchor got off to. Thanks for finding it.:D