Casting Silver Paw tags is a very labor intensive and time consuming process. Our tags are cast and poured at a foundry here in Maine, using a special stainless steel alloy, duplex 2205, by way of the centuries old lost wax casting technique. As you can see from the video, casting Silver Paw tags is a highly labor intensive process involving many costly steps.
An aluminum die is made on a CNC machine for each tag. Each mold tag cavity takes many hours to complete. When the molds are ready they get injected with wax over and over and adhered to a wax tree. The tree full of wax tags is then covered in several layers of ceramic slurry which hardens and forms a crust. The wax inside the crust is burned out and the ceramic vessel is ready to receive molten stainless steel. The steel is poured at 3000 degrees F and when cooled the tags are ready to be released from their casing with a jack hammer. The tags are removed from their metal trees with a plasma torch and ready to go to the Silver Paw Shop for finishing.
Every one of our tags is handled over and over again at the casting facility and inspected several times before they are brought to the Silver Paw shop for finishing and engraving. The finishing process is also involved because the metal is so hard. Stainless scratches and imperfections are difficult to remove and must be put through four different stages of grits on a sanding belt before the final polishing. There a many reject castings in this phase due to imperfections that haven’t become apparent earlier.
We’re so proud to be keeping our operations here in the US and in Maine in particular because of the superior work. This foundry supports some 25 employees who all take their jobs very seriously and do a detail oriented, quality job.
We extend a sincere thanks to New England Castings for allowing us in to shoot the footage for this casting Silver Paw tags video. The casting environment is one fraught with hazards, noise, and heavy equipment. We were privileged to be allowed into the normal workings of a foundry, whose workplace we surely interrupted…