Small flat axe

Found: Stadskanaal, Groningen
Age: 2000BC

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The model to make the mould is made from clay and sand. Although this shape is easy to carve into the mould, a model is a great help in preventing mismatch of the mould halves.

Material: clay & sand, baken

A small flat axe has to be the easiest item from the bronze age to cast. It's relatively short and voluminous, making it easy to fill. Also not much bronze is needed, so it's far from the limit of the amount I can get liquid. Flat axes are despite, or perhaps even because of there simplicity very attractive. Therefore this definately recommended for who just starts casting, or just want a sure cast. 

Casting result
And this was therefore also a direct succes with the first attempt. There are a few charcoal inclusions, so it's not as perfect as the orginial. Still, it's a good cast. The mould is still good, so I'll try and cast more later.

The feed and flash have been removed for the most part. The remains of the flash I'm working away by a combination of hammering and griding on a piece of sandstone. The hammering flattens the irregularities, but also roughens the surface, which makes the grinding easier. 

Finished axe
Quite a few hours of grinding, hammering and polishing later and the axe is finished. The cutting edge has been hammer-hardened. I've left most of the surface as cast, with only polishing it to reveal the bronze color. If I cast another without charcoal inclusions, I'll polish that one completely smooth. I won't haft this axe, although I believe it would make quite a decent functioning axe. 

Second casting

Casting result
The mal was still good, so I've done another casting with it. This time I had a perfect axe, without charcoal inclusions. This one I'll finish using authentic means as well. It has a slightly lower tin contents then the previous one, so that should make finishing it a bit easier.

Finished axe
Some hours of hammering and grinding and this axe is also finished. As mentioned above, the tin content is a bit lower, so the finishing went quicker. There's still a bit of scratches etc. in the surface (though not as bad as the photo may seem). But as the next casting results are waiting, I'll leave it as is.