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Decent wax pen


#1

Hi, I have two different questions concerning wax pens:

A) I am considering getting a decent wax pen. I am unhappy with the
level of control I have over the flame heated tools, and discarded
the idea of a soldering iron as having the tip too far from the grip
area and thus too little control (if there is a way of fixing that
this would be a viable alternative). I would like something that you
can have precise control of and that it is relatively easy to make
your own tips for. Price is a consideration, but I would prefer to
spend a little more and get one I will be happy with. I have mostly
looked at the Giles Precision Waxer, the Kerr Mastertouch, and the
Pepe Touch-a-matic (I was advised that I should get a known brand so
I could get replacement parts as needed) but I am open to others as
well. So, ideas on the following?

-pros and cons of different units
-how they compare
-precision and control
-ability to make your own tips
-general durability and longevity
-personal preferences
(feel free to answer any or all)

B) I currently have a Max Wax battery pen, and have been
unsuccessful in making new tips for it. Has anyone done this
successfully? I begin to suspect the white plastic thing is necessary
for functionality.


#2

Hello my dear Heather,

I am using a wax pen since last many years now,it is light weight,
my wax pen is a micro soldering iron which works on 6 volts - 5watts
as mentioned in its manual,for precise control of temparture i
attached an electronic light dimmer in seires, and it works fine,
from room temperature to 250 degrees centigrade.

I made different tips from sterling silver wire of different
thicknesses, starting from 0.5mm, 0.9mm, 1.5mm.

These micro soldering iron costs any way from $15 to $20, do not bye
the regular soldering iron which are of 15 to 20 watts of power and
runs directly on 120V or 240V.

Hope this helps.
May all be peaceful, healthy and happy
Umesh


#3

Heather, I have used about all the types of wax pens on the market
and my choice hands down is the master touch. I have an older model
and I make my own tips out of nichrome wire and computer jumper pins.
You can make new tips for almost any waxer using coper tubing and
silver wire or nichrome wire. Match up the diameter of the insert
prongs and attach the tips using the copper tubing crimped to hold
the the tips to the prongs… also check out your local computer parts
supply house for all sorts of little electronic connectors and
plastic holders for pin connectors. Kind of tough to explain without
pictures but if you want to contact me off forum I will be glad to
email you scans of what I am talking about.

Frank Goss


#4

Heather,

I have used (and attempted to maintain) Giles Precision Waxers for
too many years, so my impressions might be dated. The fat hand pieces
are OK, the slim aluminium ones more temperamental, but the control
box is not a nice piece of work. More of a first basement
construction attempt :slight_smile: What I use now is the hand piece powered by
my plating rectifier (an idea from a friend). A 1cm piece of.75mm
sterling hard soldered to a standard tip gives me a fine point. I’m
sure that there are other, probably cheaper options, but this has
suited me well for years.

Jeff
Demand Designs
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#5

I have the PEPE touchomatic and the Kerr Ultrawaxer. I’ve noticed
some differences with nichrome wire style pens versus soldering iron
style pens.

Nichrome wire units:

Pros-

Really good at cooling down fast, thus allowing wax extrusions such
as wax prongs or spanning structures between parts of wax carving.

Hottest place is at the very tip, which is nice for build-up style
since liquid wax is like solder and wants to flow to hottest point.

Cons-

Have not been able to control heat as precisely as with Ultrawaxer.

Nichrome wire tip must be a loop, which means can’t get nice sharp
point or knife edge out of tip. Makes it harder to feather in melted
wax for low melting point wax wires (knife edge), and can’t produce
as small a wax bead (sharp point) as can be done with soldering iron
style units.

Soldering iron type units (Ultrawaxer):

Pros-

Excellent heat control, can program just enough heat for various
style waxes.

Tips come with more variety; beavertail, knife edge, pointy things.

Tips can be modified easier without damaging ability to get hot.

Found it easier to get into really tight places without accidently
melting the wrong structures

Cons-

Big heat sink, won’t change temperature as rapidly, thus extrusions
are more difficult (blow air across wax instead).

Hottest temp is not at very tip, thus when charging pen with wax, it
tends to spread out a bit. This can be overcome by manually pushing
the wax around with the wax block or another tool, but can be
irritating.

I like and use both units, but bottom line is I reach for the
soldering style Ultrawaxer more often.

Ben Steiger