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Fusing Wax Wires


#1

Another question, different subject. I use very fine (22ga) wax
wires on many of my insect pieces, and it is very difficult to fuse
the wires to the wax base without melting them down. A person I
spoke with at the MJSA expo, who was demonstrating the Matt Wax Gun,
told me that it was not necessary to fuse the wires along the entire
length, but that they could be tacked in several places and that
would be sufficient to hold up during the investment process. It
would certainly make things a lot easier, but I’ve never heard of
doing that and wonder what Casting people on Orchid think of it?
Would appreciate any info. Thanks Sandra

While I’m on this subject, what do you think of the Matt Wax Gun?
Is it useful enough to consider buying?


#2
I use very fine (22ga) wax wires on many of my insect pieces, and
it is very difficult to fuse the wires to the wax base without
melting them down 

Hi Sandra, I shoot very thin wires of carving wax with the Matt Gun.
These wires are superior to purchased soft wax wires because they’re
a lot sturdier. I drill holes snug holes to receive them and since
my pieces are generally hollowed out, I thoroughly attach the wire
ends from the inside with a hot waxer tip. I clean this surface up
after the wires are secured. Then, if there are any gaps between the
wire and the base on the outside surface, I wick in Crazy Glue with a
sharp needle or smear tiny amounts of Disclosing Wax (made by Kerr
and usually used by dentists. Available from Gesswein and Rio Grande)
with a tooth pick. Any bending and forming of the wire can be done
after it’s cast in metal.

Hope this helps you out.

Donna Shimazu


#3

Sandra, I wouldn’t be inclined to do it this way. With the wax wire
only partially fused, investment would get under it and these little
fins of investment might break off and spall the casting. You would
also set up a situation where the flow of liquid metal would be
impeded by the poor contact w/ the base sheet. At very least, I
don’t think it would work aesthetically. If the base wax is thin
enough and the back accessable, I usually fuse through the back, the
wax being transparent enough for me to see the appliqued wire from
the back.

Alternatively, you could run a bit of epoxy down the length of the
wire; cyanoacrylate (crazy glue) would flow even better, acting like
water and flowing the length of the wire via capillary action. Crazy
glue will react a wee bit wierd w/ the wax, frosting it, but not
harming it over time, so due this close to investing time.

Both glues won’t hold up in water for very long, but should last
through the investment just fine. Remember that you are using the
glue as a gasket rather than a fastener.

Good luck, Andy Cooperman


#4

Not knowing what exactly you are doing with the wires here are two
ideas. You can use sticky wax on the wire, use as little as possible
and you can clean the seam using a knife point graver. Also fishing
line works great for short pieces, you can melt the area were the
wire needs to be and just drop it on. I also have used it for
prongs. I have a very fine needle that I have filed thinner and
stuck into an old paintbrush for a handle that I heat with an alcohol
lamp for attaching small pieces to my wax work. To answer your
question, yes it should work to just attach it at several points.

Good luck
Bill Wismar
www.wismargallery.com


#5

Ah… fusing wax wires… such fun… First, if the wire is not
fused all the way, it is possible for the investment to break down
inbetween the wires and cause some slight porosity problems…
Likewise, you can fuse them all the way and still have a pin hole
where the investment will creep into and then break off and give you
some porosity in a toatlly different area due to the investment that
broke off following the flow of the metal.

Some tricks that I have used… if you need to use 1 , 2 strand or 3
strand waxwire … I take metal wire, carefully solder it together…
then make a rubber mold of it … and shoot it in injection wax …
which is far easier, less affected by heat than the blue waxwire you
buy at your supplier. Now, this is easier to weld on to your wax
components… It’s also nice when you take 3 strand brass or silver
wire, weave it/ twist them etc… then solder them … then make a
mold of the lengths that you require and you can now eliminte having
to do this by hand in the future. Hope this helps. Daniel Grandi

we do casting, finishing, molds, models, and a whole lot more for
designers, stores, catalogs and people in the jewelry field contact :
sales@racecarjewelry.com Tel: 401-461-7803


#6

The wax gun demonstrator was correct - if tacking suits the look of
the legs and won’t present clean-up problems later. Think it
through. You can even glue wax in tight spots where you fear a hot
tool might damage surrounding area, using the fine needle applicator.
Make sure glue is set dry before investing. Again, consider the
clean-up. Suggest practicing on scrap to see which is easier for
you.

Love those BUGS so best of luck.
Pat


#7

The tool described for fusing wax wires as a fine needle stuck into
the handle of an old paint brush is similar to my favorite much used
wax tool. It is a fine straight pin with the ball or flat end cut off
and that end stuck into the eraser of a pencil. Then I bend it at an
angle. The wooden pencil is the handle.

Annette


#8

The smaller the weld area, the smaller the heat source. Use a
needle type tip for the wire verses the larger tip you might be
using in other areas. A bigger tip allows a greater amount of heat
to transfer to the wax conversely a smaller tip allows for less heat
transfer, thus less likely hood of melting the wire (or at least
lessening the problem/potential). As to the Matt wax tool made
wire, it is really different than any wire that can be purchased.
Also if made and used properly, I don’t think there is a problem
with any cracks thus investment flashing. The wire is "rubbery"
enough to stretch as you pull it through the hole and makes a great
fit. I saw a demo of a very complex wire basket made with the wire
being pulled through the drilled holes and it was amazing the
tightness of the wire fit. Very difficult to pull out of the hole.

Just my 2 and probably worth even less.

JD
Maiden Metals (foundry)
MLCE.net (web site)


#9

Fingernail Polish!! I use red, but don’t use opalized…it has
metallic powder which can fuse up the casted surface. You merely paint
the fingernail polish over the wire on the other wax surface. Tacking
with heat( I use an embroidery needle in pin vice) where you need to
hold wax wire in place. Then paint the entire piece with
polish…carefully!! The polish both glues the wax to the surface
and seals the spaces between the wires without destroying
the detail.


#10
 I use very fine (22ga) wax wires on many of my insect pieces, and
it is very difficult to fuse the wires to the wax base without
melting them down.

I usually solder round wires on after the piece is cast- it is
easier to clean up the casting, and the wires are cleaner. I have
also had luck using monofilament (plastic fishing line). I drill a
pilot hole and crazy glue it in place. Of course this requires a long
burnout. HTH Kate Wolf in Portland, Maine where we had a dusting of
snow this morning. http://www.katewolfdesigns.com