Cast Iron Collectables

 

Series of 50 collecting info

#47 of a Series of 50

 

Comparing good and bad casting

Comparing Good and Bad Casting

 

BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW IF IT’s OLD?  

In order to understand the difference between an older piece of cast iron and a newer piece (reproduction), you have to somewhat understand what cast iron is and how it’s made. Especially cast iron Collectables and antiques.

Very general rules

In the olden, golden days talented wood craftsmen would have carved out the perfect shape of a item with fine detailing and then heated up molted metal to around 2000 decrease (give or take) and pour it into the mold. When cooled the two or more parts of the mold are separated and wa-la, the shape of whatever you designed is made. Most wood molds are generally only used once due to the heat.

Cast or casting is generally referring to a mold. People that do ceramics in most part use molds and they blow hot glass into it to get it’s shape and what it’s going to look like is determined by the shape of the mold.

Cast iron is the same

Now having said that, cost effective reusable molds would be made of sand and water Solutions, which are referred to as “SAND MOLDS” They’re more widely used especially on smaller items, such as toys, banks etc.

THE FINER THE SAND THE FINER, SMOOTHER AND DETAILED THE ITEM WILL BE. THE COARSER THE SAND,AND ROUGHER TO THE TOUCH, THE DETAIL AND QUALITY WOULD BE GONE,  “you get the idea”.

I never understood this part of today’s technology. By far our way of casting exceeds the casting from 50 or 200 years back. But the cast iron parts made today are coarser to the touch, crudely made, and in most part, in my thinking, not really attractive looking. In other words, they’re cheaply machine made, especially on reproduction antique and collectable Parts.

Cast Iron Collectables

So if we’re talking old cast iron money banks, cast iron door stops, door hammers, even cast iron toys, frying pans anything that has been molded, check the surface for fine or rough texture.

When I’m referring to casting, once you make that mold, you could theoretically pour molted aluminum instead of iron. That would make it cast aluminum. Many everyday items are cast aluminum.

If you look at any bottle, (pop bottle to beer bottle) look at the side from the bottom to the top, see and feel the 2 lines, one on each side of the bottle. That’s from where the two half’s of the mold met and separated to make the bottle.

That’s one way of telling how old the bottle is, but that’s a different subject all together.

There are many things that are made from molds. Fiberglass boats and cars parts, to name a few, are made from molds. So that technology is widely used today.

BUT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CAST IRON. Eh!

By the way, iron is a very cheap “metal” by-product of steel.

Seven fast ways I check the age of cast iron.

  • Check the smoothness of the piece.

    POOR CAST IRON REPRODUCTION bank

    REPRODUCTION ROUGH CAST IRON

  • Check how parts fit together, tight with very little to no gaps, that’s a  good thing. Remember craftsmanship, real people assembled these pieces not machines.
  • Check inside of the part. Sometimes the casting is reasonably smooth on the outside but very coarse on the inside. That would be a red flag.
  • Check the quality of paint. In most cases, depending on the manufacturer, they dip the items in paint, which makes the paint thicker. Today items are sprayed on with very low quality paint and thickness.
  • 100 year old paint would in most part still look like last week’s paint job.
  • Check the screw or screws holding the sections/parts together. Older items before and around the industrial evolution were slotted screw heads, and, don’t get me wrong
    Slotted Screw HEAD on old cast iron banks

    WHAT A SLOTTED SCREW LOOKS LIKE IN AN ANTIQUE

    (that’s not saying the screw was not changed), but it does devalue the piece no less and could just throw you off from thinking it’s not an original.

  • They say compare the size of the part to a known authentic WHAT EVER. The reproduction one would be a different size than the original. There are some reference books that will give you measurements and  that’s only if you’re really concerned or paying large dollars for the item.

Once you get used to a few simple tricks, you might have a better understanding what to look for. There are more good reproductions of cast iron parts out there than the old authentic ones.  But you will at least  be armed with a few general things to look for.

Note.

By the way, small cast iron items such as banks, toy figurine, kitchen ware, skillets, anything small are good sellers, or on the other hand, just good collector items. Just remember, collecting cast iron “anything”, doesn’t take up a lot of room.

I’m not an expert by any means, This is just a simple guide on how I check, “anything cast iron”. Do your research, and learn more

Please check out my post on Collecting Space Age Toys.

Collecting Space Age Memorabellia.

This is part 6 of 

“THE LEAST YOU SHOULD KNOW” 50 series.

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Expert in Collecting Antiques?

Series of 50 collecting info

# 49 of a Series of 50

Keady Farmers Market

Famous Keady Farmers Market

  I asked this guy …what makes you an expert? “Because I say I am”

I read an article about an antique dealer on the hunt for unusual things, and he came across this fellow at an antique market who was highly recommended, but this dealer was taken by surprise as to how young he was and how he was so into collecting antiques.

This person was about 20 years old and said he was an expert in collecting antiques.

I asked this young guy what made him an expert. “Because I said I am”… Little on the smart ass side, but I was young once.

hit and miss engine

Antique hit and miss engine

Was he really an expert?

Nobody asked him what school he went to, college or university degrees he had and in the end, did it really matter? Everyone just went to him and trusted his area of expertise.  There are no better credentials then all your peers in the Antique community saying, “if you want to know anything about …………..  Then look up this “John Doe” fellow.  He’s an expert in that field.

If you’re thinking of getting into Antiques or Collectables for a hobby, investment or, like my wife and I (Mercenaries) That is a person who buys and sells, and doesn’t get attached to the goods. Learn all you can about your choice of interest.

The web, even though it’s an information overload, does supply you with a valid intake of good quality information as well. Do your research!

So, yeah, this young fellow was an expert, so age, looks, and schooling did not play into the equation. He just studied everything there was to know about his fancy of antiquities and in this dealers eyes, he was a highly respected (smart ass) expert in his field.

             “Remember KNOWLEDGE is power”

We can’t know it all, but we can be real, real good at certain things of interest….. And hopefully make money too.

Excellent local antique newspaper paper. 

If my posting is not correct, please go to this link.

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Antique Because You Love To

  • So, you’re a collector of old things or just have a fascination of the past

Maybe you’re a history buff or just occasionally go down memory lane.  Maybe you just want to decorate your rec. room/man cave with unusual things, well, …  then you’re not alone.

Collecting unusual items from your past and collecting Antiques are the latest crave.  We all love artifacts that we see, touch and remember from days gone by like that heirloom broach grandma gave you, you know, the one that was handed down to her from her mom. Ah …  ”There’s one just like it”!

Look at that Roy Rodgers cowboy suit. I remember wearing one when I was a lot, lot younger.

So here’s a story of a  lady walking down the aisle at a Big Antique Mall. She looked like she was a little distressed so I asked her if there was anything I could do for her. She turned around and said that she was having one of those memorable moments from years gone by, and a few tears ran down her cheeks.

  • Now there’s a lady that had a good childhood, so yeah, some things do have a good effect on people.
  • It’s healthy to jog the good memories of your days gone by.

       The Hard Work

Look at how simple the machines were made back then. No computers to do the math, lasers to form, shape or cut out your parts. They were all calculated by slide rule (you know a tool that looks like a piece of wood with numbers on it. How could they have done that?

Did you ever look at an Apple Peeler from the early days?  The machine peels one apple at a time, not 50…….ONE at a time!!

Look at those ordinary house nails. Before the industrial revolution, they were made one at a time, hand forged, shaped …. one nail at a time and not a thousand nails an hour … but one nail at a time.

These handmade square shank nails are a collectible item on their own. In 2017, they were being sold for $1-$2.00 a nail.

Look at that big sturdy looking antique picture frame. You’d have to mortgage your house for it today and look how solid that kitchen table is for being 100 years old.

How about that porcelain service station sign. That would look good in my Man cave/garage!!

But you have to dig real deep to buy those signs. They are really pricey.

  • Collect because you want too.

Some people collect because it could be a good  “investment”, but most collect because of the beauty, the history, or stories these antiques and collectibles could tell.

Whatever the Reason,

Collect and buy antiques because you enjoy the hunt, the fun, the nostalgia, and the memories, and let’s not forget the hard work that went into everything made in those days.

                             so …  “HUNTAWAY”

REMEMBER WHAT THEY SAY

“If you have any more than 3 items the same,

“You’re already considered a collector”.

If you find any problem with my wording, check out my link.

 

Antique Furniture and Recycling

The least you should know

# 50 of a Series of 50

∞∞∞ What does Antique Furniture and Recycling have in common?

Acres of tree cut down

Acres of tree cut down

When it comes to wood, well, up to the 20th Century it was plentiful but since then, we’ve been cutting trees down faster than they can grow.

The industrial revolution changed the way we make furniture modernization, assembly lines machine-made products, faster, let’s use more.

Quantity and not quality was the thinking [and that’s not all a bad thing]

Recycling some of that old furniture,( heritage, history) makes a lot of sense in many ways.

Century-old furniture, in most cases, would still be good for another 100 years if they weren’t being discarded, thrown out and in some cases,  just because we need a change.

With a little imagination, you can save many destined pieces of furniture from an unworthy demise and you are doing your part with the carbon imprint problem and overfilling of the landfill.

Breathe new life into something that was built to last, from hard-working, caring people.

If you are a true blue recycler then consider what it takes to make new furniture, the imprint it makes … needlessly.

Just one furniture company, and we’re only talking one, uses 1% of all the global wood a year, mashes the wood up just to make particle board, and that’s how they make their line of furniture.

[Real Wood vs. Particle Board] ??? Google. Particle board for more info.

Trees aren’t getting big enough before they are harvested and the lumber is getting smaller, so they have to find creative ways to do the same with less.

trees cut down

trees cut down

This BLURP is not about industrial revolution, but recycling items from the past with history & personality, and let’s not forget [in most cases quality]

I’m not talking about furnishing your whole place of residence with the old/new refurbished furnishings but if everybody considered a few pieces, it would make a big difference.

With all the colors of the rainbow [paints, stains] at your disposal, with love, care, pride, and imagination, you will end up with a fine piece of furniture that you saved …. And that’s what they call

“RECYCLING”.

Never forget the money factor…..check prices online for the item you’re looking for, ….  a small (student) secretary desk …. curio cabinets, etc and bonus,  you would pay a fraction of the cost compared to a newly made of press-board,

skids made into furniture

skids made into furniture

If you have never considered antiquing before, you might be pleasantly surprised how reasonably priced good old solid furniture is worth.

Please check Reno these sites … Refurbished Furniture … there’s truly a lot of good ideas how to decorate your home with some older furniture that are some cases pieces of  “ ARTWORK”

Let your imagination flow.

antiqur storeCheck out your local ..Antique Markets, Estate Auction, Downsizing Sales  Auctions, Garage Sales etc.

Remember antiques older furniture have History, Personality and some have good stories to tell V/S Machine made, NO personality & NO history

I’m not an expert by any means, but we all are trying to do our part …Right.

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Pay through Secured PayPal
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