Conservation experts that were restoring a 400 year old cannon from an English shipwreck approached Premier Castings to reconstruct the cannon.
The “Queen Elizabeth”s Lost Guns” programme followed experts who found and raised the ships cannons with the aim to demonstrate the British naval dominance of Queen Elizabeth I. As we had cast numerous live-fire cannons before, we were well placed to create an exact, working replica of the 9 foot cannon. While the principle for casting the cannon is the same as it would have been all those centuries ago, the technology involved is now very different. The team historian pointed out, back in the 16th century the gun would have been cast vertically in a pit, but the end product is the same.
“The furnace which holds the molten pig iron, which is made from a base of scrap including car brake discs and carbon, isn”t heated by charcoal and stoked by water-powered bellows, as it would have been centuries ago, now it uses an electromagnetic field to raise the temperature, similar to a microwave oven.” Although modernised, the process of bringing the pig iron up to the correct temperature to be poured into the moulds cannot be rushed. Mr Lees said: If we try and force the process there are problems. It takes as long as it takes . . . it”s still nature”s way. And so, under the watchful eye of excavation leader Mensun Bound and Nick Hall from the Royal Armouries, the molten iron was poured into the mould. All the team waited with bated breath for the cannon to cool down and be removed from the casing.