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Thread: The PITA that is WAX

  1. #11
    Senior Member Zapins's Avatar
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    That's looking great. I like the surface finish you have. Quite even.

    I am interested to see how you sprue yours. I did mine internally which was rough to clean up. Probably spruing it underneath would be easier.

    I haven't tried denatured yet. That stuff always makes me wonder if it is toxic in some way. It smells terrible. I'm also hooked on the butane torch, makes everything easy.

    You should pick up one of those benzomatic soldering/heat gun tools. The 20 buck ones you refill with gas. Fantastic for flame polishing and getting a mirror finish on the wax without melting anything under the surface layer. They sell them at home depot.

  2. #12
    The only real tool I've found working for me is a razor blade. I've been dragging it across the surface and shaving my ass off. Small amounts of heat to smooth and drip wax in the low spots. Rinse and repeat. lol I have no idea yet how to sprue this thing. I was going to ask you! lol The bottom sounds like the best place... I can see how cleanup work inside would suck. This thing is only about 5inches long.

    Whoops.. did I buy the wrong torch? This is the one I have at the moment. It can still go back to HD... Love christmas time, easy to return all your old used tools for nice shiny new stuff.

    torch.jpg

    Hey here is a shot of the top of a bronze box I own. This is the look I'm going after.
    Not this extreme on this little box, but kinda the goal in front of me...

    design.jpg
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  3. #13
    Senior Member Zapins's Avatar
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    I sprued internally because I was alloying my own bronze and the castability of it was extremely variable. Internal sprues let me reach every wall and ensured the last part to cool would be the sprues. I also branched off about a dozen thinner sprues behind each one of the thicker designs. I basically had to carve out the middle with my dremel and cut off wheels.

    If I was going to do it again with everdure I would sprue it underneath, 4 sprues to the walls and 1 to the middle of the floor. Same for the lid.

    I'm not sure about that torch I haven't used it.

    The one I have is like this https://goo.gl/images/nHH2SB it let's you shoot out hot air without a direct flame touching your wax.


  4. #14
    Thanks for the suggestions Zap. I'm a ways off from sprues, but I'll keep it in mind. Here is some shots from tonights farting around with my box. I found some great sculpting tools at hobby lobby. They are making life easier. Then I realized It was tough to see the small details in my garage. I picked up a magnifier glass with a light on it from horrible freight for 30bucks. This thing is awesome! Really gives the eyes a break. http://www.harborfreight.com/fluores...amp-60643.html I would put this thing on the list of HF tools that dont really suck. ok, the clamp sucks, I just drilled a half inch hole in the workbench top and stuffed it in the hole.

    Tools.jpg

    Here is the first decorative piece for this box. This level of detail should show up in bronze, right?
    floral.jpg
    Visit me: WWW.HandcraftedLanterns.com
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  5. #15
    Senior Member Zapins's Avatar
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    Wow that's a really nice flower design! Weren't you telling us a few months back that you couldn't sculpt things?? Seems you were holding out on us!

    The flower design will definitely show up including every scratch mark that isn't flame polished or buffed out. You'll get an exact replica down to a hair's width.

    I have a set of wax tools just like those, but I've found I rarely use them often. I use a pairing knife from Walmart (the type with the really thin blade, not the thicker one that looks similar) exactly like this:



    and a pintool like this for almost everything.



    Looks like a nice magnifying tool. Luckily my close up vision is very good. Too bad I can't see past my elbow without glasses.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Spelter's Avatar
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    I did wax work for years, more at the industrial end of the spectrum, injected preforms subsequently tooled, as opposed to one off builds. Our primary pattern wax was toughy green, pretty plasticy; your microcrystaline wax looks more pitchy. But most pointers should hold.

    Scrapers make for the fastest accurate smoothing. They work best warm, say 110F, not hot. Constantly changing the angle of the scraper is essential to prevent washboarding. Done right, the wax extrudes as a curl like a ribbon of wood coming out of a plane. Two form of scrapers, one more like a cabinet scraper, one like a thick bladed knife. Photos tomorrow.

    Hard to beat an optivisor for seeing, a 3 diopter lens gives a reasonable depth of field.

    A wax pen allows welding heat adjustment on the fly. I kept mine cranked to max, used a foot pedal switch for trimming.
    "The former lives of objects need not interfere with their current use."

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
    Wow that's a really nice flower design! Weren't you telling us a few months back that you couldn't sculpt things??
    I can't. I'm learning as I cheat my way through this. lmao. Too bad there isn't more wax carving stuff on youtube. I can play monkey see, monkey do like a champ!

    Wood Pattern Applique
    woodpattern.jpg

    Painted wood to seal
    inpaint.jpg

    Plaster mold
    mold.jpg

    Lifted from mold before cleanup
    inwax.jpg
    Visit me: WWW.HandcraftedLanterns.com
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  8. #18
    Senior Member Spelter's Avatar
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    Some tool photos:IMG_20170102_113040.jpg
    The scrapers are made from slitting saw fragments about .8 mm thick. The hole in the triangular one improves the grip. They are sharpened by running against a bench grinder vertically forming an equal bur on each face of the edge. I use them unwarmed. There are slight striations left in the wax from uneven-ness in the grinding process, but they dissapear quickly in flame polishing the wax.
    Knife tool and scraper
    IMG_20170102_113208.jpg

    Looking along the length of the knife blade from the heel end.IMG_20170102_113802.jpg
    The knife shaped tool is used in a scraping action and is quite stout, made from a 1/4 inch diameter O-1 rod banged out cold. The body of the blade is about a thirty degree included angle that rolls in to about a sixty degree angle as it gets to the edge. This tool is used warm and gives a near polished finish. The thickness limits washboarding chatter marks and gives mass to hold the warmth for a while.The width increase just back from the edge helps keep the blade from diving in. The curve between the point and the heel of the blade allows keeping the blade ends to keep from digging in.
    "The former lives of objects need not interfere with their current use."

  9. #19
    Senior Member Jammer's Avatar
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    I have a couple tools that are basically a small ball on the end of a shaft. Does anyone know what these are? I'm looking for a few larger ones, I have a tiny one and one about 1/16th of an inch. I would like ones about 1/8th to 1/4 inch. They work great for joining 2 pieces of wax together with a little heat. I want larger ones for fillets. I could make some but I just wondered if anyone has seen anything else. Well, I answered my own question. I had tried some descriptions and got nowhere, then I put in ball tool and these came up. Probably have to remove the plastic and put some kind of insulation on them.

    ball.jpg
    Last edited by Jammer; 01-02-2017 at 05:55 PM.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Spelter's Avatar
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    I made ball tools for clay work out of ball bearings gouged with a carbide dremel bit and silver soldered to music wire. Tiny ball tools are easiest made by melting the end of a piece of music wire in a welding flame and letting surface tension round the droplet.
    "The former lives of objects need not interfere with their current use."

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