Top Secret Revealed!
It is time to take the wraps off of some of our secret weapons. Mike Mirman our casting volunteer and Harrison Casting Company, Inc., Johnston RI. Mike creates wax molds for individual parts and rubber molds for repetitive parts and Harrison Casting does the actual bronze casting.
I’d like to publicly compliment both for the hard work and exquisite castings. Thank you so much!!!
Mike takes the Herreshoff drawings and as you can see in the pictures, reduced them to our scale size – 2″ to 1 foot or 1/6th scale. Hence a 6″ piece is 1″, and a 3″ piece is 1/2″ on our model. From the pictures provided by Mike, you can see size comparisons of parts to quarters, nickels and pennies. Tiny! He and Harrison Casting have many more than a 1000 such fittings to cast!
I should also note that Mike takes the bronze castings and grinds them to finished size and then buffs them to brilliance. We joke about this, since contemporary pictures and our museum’s collection of castings show that HM Co. was more concerned about functionality than polished brilliance! It was after all a racing yacht not a pleasure boat. But we’re not sure that our viewers want to take off their sunglasses.
Some of these castings will be given to Roger Williams University’s School of Engineering for a collaborative project we’re doing. As part of their review of our model’s structural integrity and design of the display cradle, they’ll take representative castings for destructive load tests of the model’s rig. We’ll give you an update on that project at a later date, perhaps to include a picture or discussion of the testing scale in the Museum’s half hull room.