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Fragile Wax Pieces


#1

Hi all!

I have been making my own shape cutters with metal and then cutting wax pieces. I am using the very thin and fragile pink wax. Afterwards, I am doubling them into a sort of fan shape. It ends up making the pieces dimensional. I use my heat gun to fuse them together, but this is not working well enough. They will never make it through shipping no matter how well I pack the box. Even then I worry some will get broken before the caster can make a mold, even if they would somehow survive the voyage.

My solution is to melt down some blue or purple wax into 16 gauge sheets and use them instead. (Won’t they be stronger from these waxes?) Then superglue the pieces and use the heat gun.

So my question is, will my solution work, or does anyone have a better one? It’s necessary that these pieces remain very thin due to weight.

Thanks!


#2

I can’t answer your question about the wax… Sorry.

What you need to know though is that superglue is composed of cyanoacrylate. When burned or heated to beyond the point of vaporization it will break down and create cyanide and cyanide compounds. If you are using a hood with a good exhaust system and small quantities of glue this probably doesn’t matter. If you are using a heat gun to heat the glue in a confined space you could end up very sick or dead. Don’t do it.
(When you’ve seen TV shows where they are getting finger prints off of objects it is always in a glass/plexiglass cube with the vapor extraction running.)


#3

If shipping is your biggest worry the solution would be to make your own molds. This will entail learning how to cut a mold, but with the new cold-curing, transparent rubbers this should be simpler than it is with opaque rubber molds.
There are many mold cutting tutorials on youtube.
Here’s a cold-curing transparent rubber from Castaldo.
http://www.castaldo.com/english/products_eg/lg/lg.html


#4

If they are too thin to ship are they going to be too thin to cast?


#5

The casting house told me they would be fine. I am a newbie, so naturally I have doubts!!!


#6

Thanks for supplying that info! I contacted them and they gave me a list of dealers near me. :slight_smile:


#7

It would be in a big place with ventilation and vapor extraction. I actually wrote and asked after you said this, because I was terrified of making them sick!! Thanks for the heads up though, I will keep it in mind when I start casting things myself.


#8

I knew a jeweler that semi retired on a sailboat in the Carribean. He would do all his wax work on board and ship the waxes back for casting - in a jar full of water with the wax floating in it. Obviously the jar was well protected for shipping. Hope this might work for you.


#9

I’ve made a few specialized containers to hold various odd shapes using expandable foam from homedepot/lowes/hardware. Layer of foam - tissue/cloth - object - layer of tissue/cloth - foam - something of light weight while the foam is expanding. This will allow the foam to cradle without damage. Takes longer to explain than to actually do it.

I originally did this with a set of my toy Cowboys and Indians from my youth. You remember the rubber ones ordered from the comic books. As a gift for my only grandson I invested them - burned out - cast - and finished them in sterling. Yes the burnout was long and smokey. When done I did the foam in an OLD wooden cigar box using a layer of velveteen below and above the 8 pieces. Wala a safe way to ship AND a nice display case
Aren’t youthful memories grand!!
regards RLW


#10

I thought about a cigar box! I just invested in all of the mold making materials and it is making me miserable. Wish I would have just gone with the box idea. :smiley: Yes youthful memories are grand! In total agreement.


#11

That idea is so amazing!