I’m working on a new knot (well, it’s probably ancient, if one but
knew) and I need to find a material that will do certain things for
me. What I’m looking for is something that is hard and durable, but
capable of being removed from inside the work with a minimum of
trouble. It occured to me that some of that requirement describes
lost-wax production, where you have to hold a shape long enough to
make another shape around it, then get rid of it.
I haven’t touched the type of wax used in lost-wax casting in so
long that I can’t remember what it’s like, but it seems like a good
possibility. It has to be really hard, though, so I can bend wire
around it and pull it tight.
Are there grades of wax, in hardness or melting point or solubility?
I want to be able to get it out without going anywhere near red
heat, so I won’t have to go back and temper the metal after getting
the wax out of it. The last traces have to come out and leave the
metal clean and bright, preferably, so maybe something that would
yield easily to an appropriate solvent?
What about something that can be tough and unyielding, but which can
be made frangible and broken into dust with minimal effort? I don’t
know if anything like that exists, but it’s another notion that might
I hope this makes sense . . . if anyone has suggestions, I’d be