Casting / Foundry of small brass antique musical instrument air key

Greetings. I have a brass air key from an antique musical instrument which I would like to see if I could have some sort of appliance made
to duplicate it myself. The part is small ... ~5" long, formed brass ... looks like a spoon. Can anyone please make recommendations for a casting set (punch & die?) to put in a hydraulic press? or perhaps a cast iron "hammer form". The part is ~140 years old, and is not replaceable, so perhaps I could make a mold of it, or prefereably find someone to take on this type of project in the Maryland or surrounding states (to which I would be willing to drive). Someone told me that the Amish have foundrys and are resonable in the costs ... ? All help, suggestions, etc., are greatly appreciated. Andy
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It doesn't make sense to cast one part. Most likely a good craftsman in brass could duplicate the part from brass sheet. If the design is such that it can't be made from sheet (has a big block in one spot, like the hinge, for instance) then it might be made in two pieces and joined. Experts in this type of fabrication can make hard solder joints you can't even see.
Guessing at what the part looks like, investment casting might be the only way to cast something long and thin, and such parts are often quite difficult.
I'm not sure what you mean by "casting set (punch & die?)". You cast molten metal in a mold, choices are such as sand casting, lost wax and investment. A punch and die would stamp a piece out of sheet metal. You can form the metal with a punch, too.
Jon
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Thank you for your reply Jon. I appoligize for my incorrect terms. What I was trying to describe is a two part set of ? what ever the term would be? that had the profile of the air key, where the bottom portion would be the underneath of the key, overtop of which would be laid a sheet of .032 brass, overtop of which would be the matching top portion of the profile (less the thickness of the brass sheet. I was hopeing that this rid could then be put in a hydraulic press, pressed together to form the key, and I would be left with only triming, filing, and drilling, etc. to finish the piece. With the hammer form concept, the bottom profile would only be made, and I would need to use harwood punches to "tap" the form into the piece. I don't know what lost wax and investment are, however, once I finish with this post, I will do some research. Thank you again.
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In article

You might consider taking some photos and putting them up somewhere available to the public. Put a scale in the photo somewhere. (Images won't work on this newsgroup.)
Joe Gwinn
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Thank you for the suggestion Joesph. I posted three pictures at the following URL:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyacc /
I worked on this some last night, and thank God, I think that this is do-able with just some bending and dapping. However, I'm not there yet ... although I did get a crudely fashioned piece.
I will post another question, however do you know of an easy way (I don't have many tools, or much money :-) to anneal the brass strip I am using. The portion of the long "spoon" that attaches to the round disc cracked as I formed it. I am hopeing that if I can properly anneal it, that I should be able to get this done.
Thank you in advance.
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I forgot to give dimensions of the brass strip ... ~ 5" in total length (the part I wish to anneal is only one end ... maybe a 1" portion) ~3/4" in width (to be trimmed later) 0.032" thick
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Hammering and forming will work harden brass. Heat it up and quench it, as you would harden steel.
John Martin
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Heat to red and quench in water. Yes, this is the opposite of what one does to anneal steel.
Books on artistic metalworking and jewelry making go into how to handle brass at some length. I'm sure the original manufacture of this instrument involved dapping into a maplewood form.
Joe Gwinn
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