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Thread: The PITA that is WAX

  1. #21
    I'm on the prowl for some ideas for adding texture to slabs of my wax. What secrets do you guys have?
    I came up with this one last night, nice and random. I took the flat edge of my blade, slightly warmed on the flame and laid flat on the wax. After a very short time, this is the result. It's a good look, but I'd like some more ideas in my arsenal.

    texture.jpg

    I'd like to figure out how the texture surrounding this rose was made. (up in the 12th post of this thread) Any thoughts?
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  2. #22
    Senior Member Zapins's Avatar
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    That's a good question. I usually try remove texture from my pieces.

    I imagine the best ways to apply texture are with fabrics that you put onto a warm wax surface and either press them in or let them stick and pull them off.

    Another way might be to make little metal rollers with the pattern you want.

    Or you can make a tool like a rake or hack saw blade and drag it across the surface. Or use a chisel, hammer or other shape to peen the surface many time for texture.

    Can also drip wax onto the surface of warmed wax at different angles and heights to get different shapes and textures.

  3. #23
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    I like your texture that you made with the knife blade a whole lot better than that rose background. Good job.

    If you are serious about this art metal casting, which obviously you are, you will find that it's not unlike the other arts: you have to be looking all of the time for ideas and materials. If you see a texture you like on something, make a plaster cast of it and put it in your mold library. Then when you want the texture in wax you can soak the plaster in water for 10 minutes and pour on some wax.

    Richard
    When I die, Heaven can wait—I want to go to McMaster-Carr.

  4. #24
    Thanks Richard.. Here is some more texture ideas i found online. Couple good ones in there. http://userblogs.ganoksin.com/leessi...009/10/08/203/
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  5. #25
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    That is a great tutorial. I now know ten times as much about texturing than I did ten minutes ago.

    Richard
    When I die, Heaven can wait—I want to go to McMaster-Carr.

  6. #26
    WOW this wax thing is a humbling row to hoe! Tonight after reshaping this thing, I was pulling it out of cold bucket of water and I DROPPED IT! YUP, broke into 3 pieces. After a few choice words and some careful stitching I got it back together. I textured the top and the box and attached the top decorative piece. I think I came up with a slick idea for feet for this thing. See the flower branch up above? I am going to mount the 4 of them on the sides of the box sticking up. The bottom of the branch will protrude UNDER the box and serve as the feet. The rest of the flower stuff will then be wrapped up onto the lid. The trick will be to get them looking symmetrical. Wish me luck and no more butterfingers.

    DROPPED IT.jpg

    Stitched.jpg

    Stitched2.jpg

    Top.jpg
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  7. #27
    Senior Member Zapins's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good idea with the legs.

    I'm surprised it only broke into 3 pieces. The wax I use it would have totally shattered into nothing. I've learned the hard way to move very slowly and deliberately around finished waxes.

    Keep the updates coming!

  8. #28
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    The wax I use doesn't break. Why on Earth are you using such hard wax for an investment casting? Up North there in the winter, Victory Brown is a good general purpose casting wax. Down here in 90 + degree heat Victory Brown is too soft. Or maybe it's the cold weather that makes your wax break and I don't know what I'm talking about. That's a possibility. Either way, soften it up a bit. Add some Vaseline to it.

    Richard
    When I die, Heaven can wait—I want to go to McMaster-Carr.

  9. #29
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    I'm using casting wax which I think was formulated to melt out quickly and not expand or transfer heat too deeply. It isn't microcrystalline. So it is less ideal for modeling. I still make do though. I should probably sample a few other types of wax.

    I didn't like victory brown. It is extremely oily/slick. and sticks to your fingers with a weird film. Easily malleable though. But they stopped making it a while back and the price went through the roof for the real stuff.

    Jammer gave me about 30 lb of old microcrystalline wax which I should try out, but it needs a lot of cleaning/refining before using. I haven't had the time yet to refine it back to a usable state. Perhaps in march I'll do that when I next go home.

  10. #30
    Try your dirty wax in the panty hose trick... Do you need the info for the place in AZ where I bought the wax on richards recommendation? It's about 55degrees in my garage tonight so I know my stuff is hard as a rock. Gentle heat and the occasional water dip in my bucket keeps me pluggin away. Here is what I've got tonight. I had to cut my doodad on the lid off and made another. It still needs tons of work and the more I look at it, I'm not sure I like it. (It was the end of a curtain rod I found in a goodwill junk store! Richard said look in weird places for inspiration) Spacing was a royal bitch wrapping these leaf thingys up the sides and onto the lid. Compound curve too because of the oval box. I burnt the crap outta my fingers in the sink blasting them with hot water, got some movement and slowly formed them to fit. Hit with cold water and the shapes held. I didnt lose too much detail from the pressing, but it will need some more attention. Now my lid is trapped under the leaves and after sticking them down good, I have to come up with some way to slice them in half so the lid comes off. Any suggestions? I'm thinking really thin jewelers saw maybe?

    leaves.jpg

    leaves2.jpg

    leaves3.jpg

    Topleaves.jpg
    Visit me: WWW.HandcraftedLanterns.com
    "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war"
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