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Best for cutting wax blocks


#1

What methods have people found best for initially cutting wax blocks
from large wax blocks? I have heard that using a band saw is good,
but have heard that the blades wander creating a lot of waste. I have
heard using a table saw is O.K., but also creates a lot of waste due
to the kerf. Are there any particular blades that are better than
others?

I don’t have any problems thinning, trueing or smoothing the block
after it is cut out, but I don’t want to waste large amounts of wax
cutting out the block from the “mother” block.

Thank you,
Kent Puntenney


#2

Kent, I just use a small back saw and saw them by hand.

Michael


#3

HI Kent,

I have used both the band saw and a chop saw. I prefer the chop saw
because it gives a smoother finish and is less tedious to clean up
all the shavings/residue left by cutting. A band saw usually gets wax
up into the saw encased portions, and after about 10 tablets I have
to go in and clean it all out. As far as wax wastage goes, I chalk it
up to the fact that wax is relatively cheap, and it is so much
cheaper to cut your own tablets from a large block than it is to buy
them pre sliced. just my 2cents

Mary Elizabeth
Blue Star Wax Carving
206-914-4052


#4
What methods have people found best for initially cutting wax
blocks from large wax blocks? 

Would a hot wire cutter work? Something like this:

http://tinyurl.com/5f3vah

or do it yourself:

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#5

I have used a regular wood hand saw (24" cross cut) and a metal band
saw. A table saw is too fast and tends to melt the wax. I wouldn’t
worry too much about the ‘waste’ when cutting your initial block.
Think about the ratio between the weight of your initial block and
finished carving :slight_smile:

Jeff
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#6

Band saw works very well. Small kerf, fast, etc. If blade wondering
is a problem, the top blade guides may be too far from the work, the
blade is too loose or the work is being forced into the blade. Also
teeth per inch may be wrong on the blade for the particular work and/
or the wrong tooth type is on the blade. A deeper (wider not thicker)
blade may help.

John Dach


#7

Al-

Depends on the wax, eh?

For blue and green carvex and you can’t do better than a good old
fashioned (and considerably cheaper) saw.

Kim.


#8

Hi Kent,

What methods have people found best for initially cutting wax
blocks from large wax blocks? 

I use a band saw to cut large blocks of wax, to cut slices off ring
tubes and slabs.

Since I am often cutting to a specific size, I made some guide marks
on the bed of the saw with a permanent marker. I have a shop vac
attached to my saw- so the inside of the saw doesn’t get stuffed with
wax shavings.

I haven’t noticed the blade drifting.

Kindt Collins (they manufacture Ferris File-A-Wax and my wax: Wolf
Wax by Ferris) also uses band saws to cut their blocks of wax.

I hope this helps!
Kate Wolf in Portland, Maine hosting wicked good workshops by the bay.
www.katewolfdesigns.com www.wolfwax.com


#9
Would a hot wire cutter work? 

I’m pretty sure that if youuse anything that melted the wax as it
went through, the wax would just stick right back together on the
other side…

Noel


#10
Band saw works very well. Small kerf, fast, etc. If blade
wondering is a problem, the top blade guides may be too far from
the work, the blade is too loose or the work is being forced into
the blade. Also teeth per inch may be wrong on the blade for the
particular work and/ or the wrong tooth type is on the blade. A
deeper (wider not thicker) blade may help. 

You can also get curves with Your band saw which might save You a
lot of time.


#11

Hi Kent,

We use a bench-top band saw, nothing fancy or expensive. It cuts nice
and straight. I would imagine we could cause it to drift if we forced
the wax block into the blade, but we don’t do that. Mostly because we
like having all of our fingers.

Mark


#12

Question for all using a bandsaw to slab carvable wax: What kind of
blades are you using? i.e. what is the tooth count and what is the
blade width 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" etc ?

Thanks…


#13

I use a lot of Ferri blue carving wax. I use my band saw most of the
time to cut it into smaller pieces. If I am cutting through a very
thick section I might spray water on the blade.

As the saw is running I take a aluminum rod and run it against the
saw blade to remove caked on wax.

Some times I use a pruning saw to cut wax. The teeth usually cut a
wide slot so that the wax does not build up on the saw.

To remove the saw marks on the wax I mount my hand piece in a
Foredom drill press. Place a large burr with teeth on the end in the
hand piece.

The table of the drill press can be adjusted up or down. The wax can
be milled to what ever thickness you desire. It is best not to to
remove too much wax on a pass under the burr.

Lee Epperson


#14

Wow! I would have thought this would have gotten answered by now,
but I guess not.

Brant from E-Wax (wax-guy at comcast dot net) creates waxes set up
for jewelers needing very precisely made ring tubes, sheets of
precise geometry for CAM, etc. BTW, his prices on wax products are
the lowest ANYWHERE, bar none and he can provide both Kerr and Matt.

Anyway, a call to him says he uses a Delta band saw, 3/8 inch blade
with a tooth count of 4.

What’s important is blade speed and feed rate. Too much and you melt
the wax and clog the blade. Too slow or too little feed, you get the
same result.

And he said it’s VERY important to have proper adjustment of the
blade guides, both top and bottom. I asked for details, he said it’d
take a book and that I should maybe take a HS shop class…and,
hey, he’s my brother!

Hope that helps…
Wayne