Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

File-a-wax & ionic cleaners


#1

I was just told by a person who has considerable experience in
casting that file-a-wax or carvex (hard waxes) cause difficulty in
the casting process. To this point most of my waxes have been
built-up waxes, using sierra red or injection waxes so this is
entirely new to me. Can anyone shed any light on this question?

Another question is in reference to ionic cleaners: do they work
and how do they work? I checked the Gesswein catalog which said
ionic cleaners are safe for fragile or delicate stone, but didn’t
give any more info than that. Are they safe? Thanks Kevin Kelly


#2

casting that file-a-wax or carvex (hard waxes) cause difficulty in
the casting process. Kevin, I’ve cast with file-a-wax for 25 years,
and have had NO trouble.

Another question is in reference to ionic cleaners: do they work
Sort of, I bought the mini model and it’s good to have around, but
have to clean things with a brush first and then keep hitting ON
botton, as it just cleans for about 60 seconds. Thomas Blair


#3

Hi Kevin, About the waxes… I’m not a casting expert, but wax
melts/burns out. I can see having trouble with other organic,
non-wax models, but differences in the relatively low burnout temps
of various waxes should be negligible. There might be some fine,
hair-splitting difference in the result of a casting, but I think
only someone with “considerable experience” could tell.

I have a SpeedBrite unit mounted on my ultrasonic. I can either
’sonic, ionic, or both. This is different than the standalone
SpeedBrite with its own tank. It really rocks when I do both,
especially when blasting off White-out used as an anti-flux. It’s not
a miracle cleaner, but it does a pretty good job for tarnish and
"crud." It’s also good to know it’s safe for all gemstones when used
with the “Gem Sparkle” solution provided (without the 'sonic
running).

It’s great for touching up sterling chains, and such, which have
tarnished a bit while waiting to be sold. I love to take the unit to
shows where I have electricity because I’ll pull pieces from the
cases during the day and clean them while the show is in progress. It
also helps build good will with other (non-jewelry) artists who drop
by occasionally to beg a cleaning for a piece they wear. :wink:

For a better, and more technical description, visit the SpeedBrite
Web site:

Bit of a disclaimer: I’ve met Jim, the inventor/manufacturer of
SpeedBrite, who has a well-established jewelry shop in Salisbury, NC.
His daughter, a skilled artisan, runs the jewelry operation now,
while he invents new gadgets. Really nice people… and not someone
from outside the industry trying to capitalize on the gullible
jewelry community. He’s “one of us.” :slight_smile: If you’re still lurking
here, Jim, why not introduce yourself?!?

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


#4

Hi Kevin, I’ve been carving hard waxes and casting them forever
without any problems. As a matter of fact, I think they produce
cleaner castings. I never heard of their being a problem. Hope you
are well. My hellos to Lynn. Mary Ann Archer


#5
    I was just told by a person who has considerable experience in
casting that file-a-wax or carvex (hard waxes) cause difficulty in
the casting process.  To this point most of my waxes have been
built-up waxes, using sierra red or injection waxes so this is
entirely new to me.  Can anyone shed any light on this question? 

I have no comment on the ionic cleaners, but I have been casting
from green Ferris wax (the hardest) for over 20 years with great
results. I often wonder, when I hear things like this, if the person
has a bad casting and blames the materiel instead of the technique.
If the wax did not cast well, would thousands of jewelers continue
to use it? For my money, Ferris green is the gold standard of
carving/casting waxes.

Spike Cornelius
Portland, Or.
RC ArtMetal


#6

Kevin, The file-a-wax type products melt a good deal hotter than do
injection waxes, and when they melt, are considerably less fluid.
As such, you can’t steam dewax them for example, since they melt too
high for that. Also, eliminating the wax from the flask is a bit
harder on the investment because the stuff doesn’t flow out the
sprues as well, and more of the wax ends up just boiling away in the
mold cavity. That’s why these types of wax are harder on
investments, and can sometimes cause problems, usually rougher
surfaces. Casting investments are quite capable of giving good
results with carving waxes, but you may need to be a little more
conservative in investing and burnout to get good results. Don’t use
too “liquid” a water/powder ratio, since you want a fairly strong
investment mix. More water makes investment more permeable, but it
also makes it weaker, so try to stay between 38:100 and 40:100
ratios (for Satin Cast 20. Other products may vary). Then, make
sure the flask has set long enough after investing, before putting it
in the kiln, so it’s had some time to cure. With injection waxes,
one can often get smaller flasks into the kiln an hour after
investing. With carving waxes, I’d suggest two hours for small
flasks, and maybe a bit more for larger ones. And your initial
heating should be a bit slower, allowing this thicker wax more time
to melt and try to flow out of the mold. If you ramp up the temp too
quickly, you’re more likely to get some roughness to the surfaces.
And since there’s likely to be a bit more residue that remains in the
mold cavity that will carbonize and need to be fully burned out, you
may find you need to spend a bit longer with the flask at full
temperature, to get a fully burned out flask.

HTH
Peter