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Clay like soft wax


#1

Hello- Novice here- Is there a wax that is very soft and can be used
almost like clay? I would like to make some components and send them
off to be cast, but don’t think I want to work in a Subtractive or
carving manner. Is there a product like this? Thank you all for your
sharing. Cherie


#2

Hi Cherie, There is a brown microcrystalline wax use by sculptors,
and it might be what you want. It becomes soft and pliable at room
temperature, or slightly higher. I seem to recall the wax comes in a
bulk (block) form. I’m not sure where you could find it, but a little
investigation through art suppliers or schools might provide a lead.

All the best,
Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#3
 Is there a wax that is very soft and can be used almost like clay?
I would like to make some components and send them off to be cast,
but don't think I want to work in a Subtractive or carving manner.
Is there a product like this? 

Greetings Cherie, You could make your models in clay, have a cold
mold (RTV- room temperature vulcanizing mold) made from your clay
model. This mold could be injected and cast into a variety of metals.
HTH, Kate Wolf in Portland, Maine- hosting quality workshops
http://www.katewolfdesigns.com


#4

Cheryl, As I understand it, ancient casters used beeswax for lost
wax casting. I see no reason you couldn’t do it with that . I
imagine you would have to be really careful how you packed it for
shipping however. Jerry in Kodiak


#5

Cherie, You can use boxing wax, utility wax or sculpting wax. The
first two are made by Kerr. They’re red and not quite as sticky as
the brown sculpting wax. I believe all are available from Rio Grande
and other supply houses. You can stiffen them up a little by dipping
them in ice water or soften them by dipping in warm water. You can
press softened pieces together and smooth with fingers or tools. You
can also use electric waxers and other hot tools to blend and
reinforce joins. Because they’re soft, they don’t carve or file.
You can, however, cut away with blades, especially if you stiffen
the wax in cold water.

One thing with these waxes, they’re more prone to collecting dust
and contaminants on their surfaces so keep your wax creations in a
dust free container. Also, they are fragile since they’re soft. My
sister used to ship little soft wax models to me in plastic film
cannisters filled with water.

HTH,
Donna


#6

Cheryl, As I understand it, ancient casters used beeswax for lost
wax casting. I see no reason you couldn’t do it with that . I
imagine you would have to be really careful how you packed it for
shipping however. Jerry in Kodiak


#7

Cherie, You can use boxing wax, utility wax or sculpting wax. The
first two are made by Kerr. They’re red and not quite as sticky as
the brown sculpting wax. I believe all are available from Rio Grande
and other supply houses. You can stiffen them up a little by dipping
them in ice water or soften them by dipping in warm water. You can
press softened pieces together and smooth with fingers or tools. You
can also use electric waxers and other hot tools to blend and
reinforce joins. Because they’re soft, they don’t carve or file.
You can, however, cut away with blades, especially if you stiffen
the wax in cold water.

One thing with these waxes, they’re more prone to collecting dust
and contaminants on their surfaces so keep your wax creations in a
dust free container. Also, they are fragile since they’re soft. My
sister used to ship little soft wax models to me in plastic film
cannisters filled with water.

HTH,
Donna


#8
    Hello- Novice here- Is there a wax that is very soft and can
be used almost like clay? I would like to make some components and
send them off to be cast, but don't think I want to work in a
Subtractive or carving manner. Is there a product like this? Thank
you all for your sharing. Cherie 

Hello Yes it’s called Sculpt wax and it’s great. However, for
making things like jewelry it’s tricky absolutely everything shows
up in the castingfingerprints, lumps and bumps. . Rio Grande
carries it, as do other vendors.

Laura.


#9
    Cheryl, As I understand it, ancient casters used beeswax for 
lost wax casting. I see no reason you couldn't do it with that . I
imagine you would have to be really  careful how you packed it 
for shipping however. Jerry in Kodiak 

I vaguely remember reading somewhere that vapourized beeswax is
quite toxic. It seemed like an odd fact which I guess is why it stuck
in my mind.

Rita.


#10
     Is there a wax that is very soft and can be used almost like
clay? I would like to make some components and send them off to be
cast, but don't think I want to work in a Subtractive or carving
manner. Is there a product like this? 

Ferris makes Mold-a-Wax (at least they used to), a black wax that’s
moldable when warm and hard and brittle when cold. You have to work
either under warm water in a bowl or under a heat lamp but when soft,
it is alot like clay and when cold, it is pretty hard and tough and
not sticky. It is brittle, however, and thin sections can shatter.
It’s carvable when cold but too much friction tends to warm it up and
then it gets stickier and tends to gum up your tools.


#11
      Is there a wax that is very soft and can be used almost like
clay? I would like to make some components and send them off to be
cast, but don't think I want to work in a Subtractive or carving
manner. Is there a product like this? 

You can soften most any waxes with Vaseline, mineral oil, non
detergent motor oil, etc to get the consistency you like. Start
with a micro crystalline wax rather than paraffin (candle wax) and
the MC waxes are not as “brittle” or fracture prone as the candle
waxes. Bees wax will work but it tends to be tacky but sometimes one
likes this as adding on is easier. I use over a dozen different
waxes (some bought some home made) in my small foundry and my wife
the jeweler has at least this many different waxes in her studio.
Some are used MUCH more than others, but all get used in their
place.

Experiment a bit to find out what you do and do not like with
different wax mixtures. Buy some or make some or both. Kindt
Collins (1-800-321-3170) will have some good on waxes
and possibly they would have a “sample kit” for you to try.

John Dach


#12

Rita, You may be right that beeswax fumes are toxic, but then so are
the fumes that come from burnout of the other waxes we use. For
that matter, so is woodsmoke, the fumes that come from hot pickle ,
investment dust and just about anything else that’s breatheable in
the studio. That’s why good ventilation systems are so important.
Jerry in Kodiak


#13

Cherie, I don’t know what you had in mind in terms of components, but
what about using Precious Metal Clay instead of casting? The metal
clay is composed of fine particles of pure silver or pure gold in an
organic binder. You work it just like clay, then fire it in a kiln.
The binder burns off, leaving behind pure metal.

There are several different types of metal clay: Precious Metal Clay
comes in three versions, one of which can be fired with a torch, and
Art Clay comes in several with similar properties, as well. There are
also folks out there who will do the firing for you for a very
reasonable price, if you don’t have access to a kiln and/or you don’t
want to fiddle with torch firing.

For more about PMC, visit the Precious Metal Clay Guild’s web site
at www.PMCGuild.com. For more about Art Clay, try
www.artclayworld.com.

Good luck!
Suzanne
Suzanne Wade
writer/editor
Suzanne@rswade.net
http://www.rswade.net
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (928) 563-8255


#14

Cheryl, Sculpture wax available at http://www.maxpages.com/twainwax
Code TSW3 Price US$ 8.00 per kilogram (2 lb). Has the properties you
require. Regards, Ed