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Hard wax sheet

Here is a technique for making hard sheet wax from .5 mm to about
1.5mm thick. I use file wax because it is not sticky and can be worked
well with tools after forming into a sheet. Using a double boiler,
melt some file wax, now pour it onto a piece of Plexiglas or heavy
plate glass or micarta about 4"x6" that is lying flat on a steady
surface. I usually just apply a portion down the center of the plate
that is1/2 to 3/4 the length of the plate and about a 1/3 of the
width. Now while the wax is still good and liquid place a second
sheet of plexi, etc. on top of the wax and press down firmly .The wax
will spread across the surface of the plate. Depending on the wax
temperature and how hard you press the thickness of the finished sheet
will vary. Let cool a few seconds and separate the two pieces. The
sheet of wax will lift right off the smooth surface of the plexi-glas
etc. I like to remove the wax while it is still warm. Remember the
surfaces of the two plastic or glass plates must be clean and shiny.
The wax will duplicate whatever the surface texture is(texture hint).
Do not try and use soft wax as it usually will stick. If the wax does
stick use a silicone separating spray or throw it in the freezer 'til
it hardens. The surface of the wax will be nice and shiny (if your
plates are) and the thickness will be surprisingly consistent. I do
not recommend using steel plates as the temperature change between the
wax and the plate makes for inconsistency in the the surface of the
wax and condensation on the steel plates, the plates also seem to cool
the wax faster and leave a ripple effect (another texture hint). You
now have wax sheet that is firm and carvable and works well
under tools. Frank Goss

I’ve used Frank Goss’s technique for making sheet wax when I needed a
special thickness. One problem I ran into was how to get a uniform
thickness. The way I solved it was with a few coins.

Frank mentioned how to melt some wax, pour it onto a piece of
Plexiglas, and press another sheet of Plexiglas down on top of it. My
tip is to first put 3-4 coins (or spacers of the right thickness) on
the bottom Plexiglas. Then pour the wax and press the top sheet down

Fast and accurate

  • Brad Smith