I expect different people have their own ideas of what is
appropriate in a casting studio. I will outline the setup I have.
Casting machine: I have chosen to use a benchtop vacuum casting
machine which comes with a bell jar vacuum chamber for debublising
the investment and a casting chamber I have 3 90mm flanged perforated
flasks and a 120 mm flask. In addition to the supplied silicone
rubber flask gasket I use a special high temperature gasket which so
far has lasted four years.
Crucible furnace: I use a small propane fired crucible furnace with
a graphite lined ceramic crucible. It usually takes 20 minutes or so
for the first melt but subsequent melts are much faster. The burner
is connected to a 9 kg gas cylinder.
internal capacity of 300 mm cubed. This is larger than most people
would need but I share it with my partner who works in ceramics.
Theoretically I could fit 8 of my 90mm casting flasks in this unit by
putting in a shelf but at the moment I only have 3 flasks. The power
consumption of the kiln is about 12 amps at 240 volts. It runs on a
separate 15 am circuit.
litre bucket for quenching, digital scales (accurate to 1 gram) for
weighing out investment powder and mixing water, various plastic
containers (ice cream tubs) for mixing up investment and
debubblising, rubber sleeve for the flasks, and a respirator to wear
while I’m handling investment powder
These are all in my “dirty area” in an outside shed
In my “clean” studio space in addition to the normal array of tools
jewellery making I have a temperature controlled wax pen for heat
working the wax, a mould frame for making RTV silicone rubber moulds,
a wax injector, and a range of wax working tools including scalpels,
probes, wax burns, gas flame
You only need the wax injector and mould making equipment if you
intend to make wax replicas from a master. I was fortunate to obtain
the wax injector cheaply with a job lot of tools. If you choose to
use a centrifugal casting machine you won’t need a crucible furnace
but instead need a fairly large melting torch. I managed for some
time without a wax pen instead using various probes and an alcohol
burner, but I wouldn’t be without my wax pen now
As for books the most useful I have found is Tim McCreight Practical
If you would like to discuss further send me a personal e-mail
All the best
Tears of the Moon Artisan Jewellery