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Carving on cast silver


#1

Some of my carved wax pieces did not come out well when they were
cast. I think the incising that I did was not deep enough, and I
would like to deepen the lines so that the patterns show up better,
whether oxidized or not. I have tried to work the lines but find the
metal too hard. What would be the best way to carve into the cast
silver? Should the piece be annealed? Whats best to use with the
flexible shaft? I’d appreciate any suggestions.

Sandra
Elegant Insects Jewelry


#2

Hi Sandra, Castings that need textures and such sharpening up are
best done with chasing tools, for small castings I have also had
success at sharpening imagesby using a hammer head attachmenton my
flexshaft, I grind the removable hammerheads to the shapes of my
chasing tools. I have enclosed a photo of my hammerhead and shaed
hammerhead tools as an attachment, perhaps Hanuman will add it to
this note.

peace and good health to all
James Miller FIPG


#3

Sandra,

I would get in touch with a master wax carver rather than try to
learn how to correct by carving into silver. Google Kate Wolf in
Portland, ME. She teaches in many locations including in Tucson and
ME. Kate is patience, practical and a master wax carving instructor.

Good luck,
Mary


#4
Castings that need textures and such sharpening up are best done
with chasing tools, for small castings I have also had success at
sharpening imagesby using a hammer head attachmenton my flexshaft, 

James is talking about chasing, which is a method of deformation -
moving and bending metal. Good advise… If you want to talk about
~carving~, there’s a pretty fundamental thing that’s kind of an
"AHA" moment for most. All carving is the same… Wood, stone,
shell, wax, metal, makes no difference in the end. Imagine a carving
of a dog or pick something else. That dog in all of those materials
is carved in almost exactly the same way (almost). The difference is
that you need to use material-specific tools - wood chisels for
wood, files for silver, probably wheels and grit for stone, unless
you’re doing hammer-and-chisel scale stone carving.

Beyond that, a good carver can carve anything - there’s just a
learning curve of how the specific tools differ. But that’s about
it. Carve your silver with silver tools - not wax tools - and it
will be fine. Or take up chasing, as James suggests.


#5
would like to deepen the lines so that the patterns show up
better, but find the metal too hard. What would be the best way to
carve into the cast silver? Should the piece be annealed? 

I’m not sure about the annealing actually but diamond burs, wheels,
knife edge discs or tungsten carbide burs carve silver well, some
pics

http://www.lascodiamond.com/products/tnt.htm
http://www.lascodiamond.com/products/discs.html
http://www.circofile.com/product2.html


#6

I am not sure what your problem is. If the lines are filled in and
the fill material is rouge on the surface the investment in the
engraved lines broke away. Think of the investment that fills in the
lines of a wax model as dams. The investment in the engraved lines is
very thin and susceptible to breaking if the flow of the metal is too
strong.

Most all of my work has many lines all engraved close together and
at least one mil deep. Every now and then a line will fill in. This
occurs usually where ever the molten metal flow hit’s a line which is
next to a sprue. At this point the metal flow is the strongest.

Sprues must be placed so that the metal flow is not directed against
the engraved lines.

I use a Foredom hammer tool tip grounded to an engraving edge
mounted in a Foredom hammer tool to cut the fill material out of the
original engraved lines. It may take several passes to re-cut the
line as deep as the original.

The investment that was in the engraved line will be floating in the
mold. That broken off investment may cause damage to the model some
where down stream of the break off point. The investment may be
embedded in the casting on show up as a depression on the surface of
the model.

I am not sure it does any good but I shake all my flasks with the
sprue end down before placing them on the vacuum pump. I hope that
any loose investment will shaken out.

Lee Epperson