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Cost of stamping, casting and wax start up?


#1

I have a friend who is willing to help me out in getting something
going in jewelry and talked about maybe giving me some work. He has a
long time established clientele around DC and New York and he sells
them award and association type jewelry. Company rings and pins,
special awards, ect. Some of his product is precious metals and cast,
much of it is non precious and stamped.

Now my jeweler friends have told me that to design and create
original waxes or metal models are at least $200 each! But if there
were 50 or more items, that’s $10,000 ! There is no way I can see
anyone paying that for these, especially when he has other
manufactures that do it already.

I have casting equipment, but no stamping equipment, and I don’t
have anything to make waxes with at this time. I would like to get an
idea of what it might cost to get into this on a small scale? Maybe
try to start with a couple hundred like items a year to get my foot
in the door ? Who makes decent stamping equipment for a smaller scale
like Im thinking, and what this might cost used, or new? Or just an
idea of where to look for the best price.

I have been learning about cad cam, and I know it will cost somewhere
between $5000 to $10,000 to get that. But is there anyone there who
can do, say a ring, similar to a class ring design, in wax or metal,
for a lot less than $200 each?


#2

I am a little confused about just what you are trying to do. Are you
wanting to create your own line of items that you will then cast and
sell on a mass produced level? Are you thinking that you will mass
produce these items and market them to whom? Is yourfriend a salesman
in the trade who specializes in award type jewelry? It is my
impression that most of this type of item is produced by a few
specialty firms. I know that they charge a fair bit of money to have
something made special because this is a highly detailed process. I
have priced some things out when working for another company, and we
paid a bit to have pins made in gold for a sorority function. Perhaps
someone out there has more knowledge than me; I would love some more

If you are going to produce a line of pieces that you mass produce
and then sell 100 rings from that mold it is only adding $2 to each
piece. That is a lot less than carving each one. AND of course there
is no way to duplicate a hand carved rings exactly twice let alone
100. Why not simply create a line of master pieces, find out what
someone wants to buy and then make rubber molds. You can pay to have
good decent rubber molds made for about $35-$45 a piece. They won’t
really create as fine as definition as metal but perhaps that won’t
be an issue on some of your pieces. If it does, then paying $200 for
a metal mold for an item you have presold is just the cost of doing
business.

If you really have the client base and or the connections to go into
full scale production of award and association type jewelry then get
some contracts and buy the molds as you need the product. Now a word
about cad. If you have never used cad and never used a CNC mill to
create your master designs, be prepared to spend a minimum of 6
months working on creating really great models. Just learning how to
use the equipment well takes practice. And you will need to pay for
lots of training. Prepare to spend $5000 to $8000 for a cad program
and $10,000 to $30,000 for a mill setup.

Model Master has a great setup as does Roland. I saw a mill in Italy
that was a German product, it was truly great. It cost abut $40,000
for the cad program and mill as a package. It was the same program
that MM and Roland can use.[I would like to get this one some day, but that is another story].

I don’t care what people say about making things the first week. Yes
you can, especially one of a kind or more organic style things; but
if you want to create class rings and other more accurate things it
will take you a while. Just to figure out how deep to cut letters for
best effect, what type of lettering you want to use, how to cut on
curved surfaces and get attractive results, etc will take lots of
milled pieces that you won’t even bother to cast. You will see your
results in wax and decide to change a letter font or add to a curve
etc. There is a pretty big learning curve on this stuff. You want to
’hit the ground running’, when you get into this type of venture.

Good luck. Dennis


#3

The last time I needed some stamped out, I sent it to company that
does that kind of work. Companies that are setup to do stamping, can
do it faster and cheaper than a home based business. There is also is
a zoning side of this, you may become manufacting under the eyes of
the zoning board, which will affect permits and insurance rates.

Jerry


#4

Sounds like I might not need to worry about making master for models
after all. He could just give me some of the jewelry to start with,
and I could make molds off of those pieces, Then its just castings. I
got the impression I can pretty much pick and choose what I want to,
and what I can make for now. I still wouldnt mind fining out about
the stamping equipment and what is a reasonable model making cost for
this, as I get the impression he is not going to fork over a lot of
money to re-invent the wheel, so to speak.


#5

I just returned from New York City. I had several waxes done. Every
one of them cost a minimum of $250.

Judy Shaw


#6

Judy Shaw

I just returned from New York City. I had several waxes done. Every
one of them cost a minimum of $250. 

Wow, I would have thought with the growing popularity of the CAD and
CAM, and the reduction in labor and time, prices would come down
more than that.


#7

Hi Daniel,

But is there anyone there who can do, say a ring, similar to a
class ring design, in wax or metal, for a lot less than $200 each? 

As someone who was a master model maker for 17 years, and also hired
model makers to do work for me, $200 for a decent model is a bargain!
(Knowing what goes into being able to produce a good master model,
reading posts like this make me glad I am not doing this for a living
any more we pay our car mechanics $65 an hour, but often want to pay
a good jeweler $15 an hour.)

-Kate Wolf in Portland, Maine hosting wicked good workshops by the
bay http://www.katewolfdesigns.com


#8

Hi Judy;

I just returned from New York City. I had several waxes done.
Every one of them cost a minimum of $250. 

Were these CAD/CAM models? I seldom charge more than around $100 for
a wax, as there’s not much that takes me more than a couple hours. I
could imagine spending 5 hours on a wax, but that would be one hell
of a wax! I’ve been feeling guilty charging $50/hr for waxes, even
though that’s the going rate for a lot of carvers. Of course, NY City
is an expensive place to operate in. But I doubt they’ve got a
monopoly on top-shelf model makers.

David L. Huffman


#9

Ive been reading and from what I understand there are Ink Jet type
printers that print a wax model in very good detail and quality.
Depending upon the resolution, parts can be “printed” in wax for
about $10-15 per millimeter of height. I don’t know much about this
yet and am eager to find out more, but wonder if this could work for
what I want. I can make the wax ring shank and have the more
detailed parts “printed”. The coin type medals could probably be
"printed" all together. And I suspect it would be so much cheaper
than $200 each piece. Does anyone know about this type of model
making? It sounds like this is doing what technology is suppose to
do, and that is make it cheaper to produce to help make things more
affordable. I like that. Im really excited that someone who has seen
my work and knows me, thinks I have what it takes, and I really want
to try to make a go at this. I first tried to get a friend involved,
but I get the impression he isnt that interested. t, I cant blame
him. So I want to see if I can make this work on my own.

Dan


#10
we pay our car mechanics $65 an hour, but often want to pay a good
jeweler $15 an hour. 

That’s 31K a year, who can live on that anymore? Then they wonder why
they can’t get good help or why their bench jeweler quits and opens
his /her own shop. And before there are any angry replies, I am
making allowances for any shops that are just barely making it and
truly can’t pay any more.


#11

Kate,

reading posts like this make me glad I am not doing this for a
living any more we pay our car mechanics $65 an hour, but often
want to pay a good jeweler $15 an hour.) 

Im all for paying someone for what they do. Its just that in this
country where capitalism and “what the market will bare” is the
mantras of those who make the rules, as well as technological
advancements that make jobs so much less labor intensive, I would
think this would be more competitive and I would be able to find
someone who would be able to make it for a lower cost somewhere. Not
like in the days where everyone held within a certain price range (
sometimes called price fixing) and such of the past.

I have never paid $65 dollars an hour for a mechanic, plumber,
carpenter, ect… If you don’t know any better I guess you will,
but what I cant do myself, I shop around and I have found many places
that do a great job, and back up their work with less hassle than
dealer shops do, at $25 and hour + parts cost. Sure, I would like to
get $65 dollars and hour for my work, but who would pay that if they
can go down the street, across the country, and now, across the
world, and get the same and some times better work, for one third the
price? Im not happy with the state of things either, but this is the
world that our leaders of industry and countries have made for us,
and many eagerly followed along and supported them on it. We deal
with what we got, and try to make the best of it. Besides, this
friend is giving me an opportunity, and he surely doesnt expect to
pay more than what he is paying now for the bulk of his merchandise.
He has been doing this for over 30 years, and is a 2 million plus a
year business. He is a good friend and giving me an opportunity, but
he is not going to take a loss over it either. If others can do it,
then I need to at least try to match thier price, or find some other
opportunity. Just the way I look at it, Im not whining or asking for
something for nothing. I just want to TRY to compete. Everyone from
Wal-Mart to the Mom and Pop store has to do the same.


#12

Hi Daniel,

I've been reading and from what I understand there are Ink Jet
type printers that print a wax model in very good detail and
quality. I suspect it would be so much cheaper than $200 each
piece. 

This type of machine is called RP (rapid prototype) machine. It’s a
3D printer, “print” very very thin layers to form a 3D object.
Technically we can use it to print anything, even undercuts,
overhangs or cavities. In today’s market, using CAD/CAM doesn’t mean
the price should be much cheaper. When we save two hours on the wax
carving, we may spend same amount of time on the computer to build
the 3D model. Plus the high cost of software and hardware, the price
cannot be very low. CAD/CAM is good for some type of design, ie
geometric shapes. But if you want to make a flower, personally I
would prefer to hand craft on the wax. We don’t like to public our
low prices on the web site. If you want to get price lower than $200,
contact me at @vicky. You have option to choose from
CAD/CAM (RP machine), hand carve, or mixed.

I just returned from New York City. I had several waxes done.
Every one of them cost a minimum of $250. 

If you live in NY area, I can refer you to someone. The price should
be better than $250.

Vicky
www.raisingintl.com