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[help] Creation of similar pendants


Hi all! I’m making a pendant (wax model) which I’m going to send
to get a mold made of and have about 35 (total) cast in deox.
sterling silver. The problem is that I want some of them to have
a stone in the center, and some of them to have a silver design
in the center. What I was thinking of was making the part in the
center a bezel for the stone and then making the center design
the same diameter as the stones that will go in them. I’m not
sure if I’m explaining this correctly, but the center is an 8x8
mm bezel.

What I want to know is if it would be a better idea to make one
model with a bezel in the center, and then set the bit of silver
in the center as though it were a stone, or if it would be a
better idea to make two, almost identical wax models, one with an
open bezel, and the second with the center (silver) part as part
of the cast piece.

I want to keep the cost down a bit, and am worried about the
additional price for having 2 pieces cast instead of 1. Of
course, if I do the small 8x8 piece as another cast piece, that’d
defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it?

If anyone can give me suggestions, I’d greatly appreciate it. If
you want to see a picture to better understand what I’m talking
about, just e-mail me and I’ll direct you to a webpage where I
have my sketches up. (I don’t have the url with me at the moment
or I’d send it now)

Thanks for your help!
-Cortney in Pittsburgh, PA


Cortney, As you’re working in silver, and not something with a
high material cost, you might find it saves a worthwhile amount
of time and effort to have them all cast with the metal center -
and then remove the excess material on the pieces you want to
bezel set.


Peter B. Steiner - TripleRock Lapidary - Buffalo, NY, USA - Pallasite on AOL IM


Well to me it sounds ok to place a small bezel on the peice
after it has been cast. As for the silver design peace, you
could do that by fabricating it, But i’m sure it would be easier
to cast it. To get multiple casting there would have to be two
molds made, a bit more cost, but if you think you want it
that way, I’d say it’s worth the cost. Amanda


Cortney: Make the design the same size as the stone but a
seperate piece. Make a seperate mold of the center design also
and then add it to the waxes you want before you send them to the
caster. If the caster is doing your molds and waxes have the
caster add the center pieces. Two full models of the same piece
is wasted work. I often combine pieces from different molds to
make a series of different designs along the same line. Frank


Hello Cortney, I would suggest making your 1st wax as a
master… In other words , make sure it is thick enough to be
cast and then make a rubber mold of it and cast 2 or more
pieces.From these castings ,you would make into your final
Production models and molds. This allows you to make as many
variations of the item as you would like. Please send the URL so
that i may offer further advice. Danile Grandi we do casting , mold making and
finishing for people in the trade


Dear cortney,

I would keep the process as simple as possible. Make you first
model as nice as you can. Make this one for the stone. I would
make a silicone mold of it for there is less model damage than
with the gum rubber.

Now take the model after the first model has been made and fill
in the part you want changed. You can even do it carefully with
wax (sticky wax followed by injection wax). Make your second
silicone mold. This way you have two similar pieces with the
time and expense of only one model.

Best Regards,
TR the Teacher


Dear Cortney, It is simply a cost to benefit judgement call.
Entirely depends on the number of pieces that would require
alteration in the wax, and the amount of time to do each
alteration. Depending on the size of the mold, you will
probably spend $20 to $30 for each mold. The second mold equals
about 1/2 hour of my bench time, so wax alteration would have to
be done very quickly to justify only one mold. You would also be
prepared to handle any increase in demand later, should the
pendents sell better than anticipated. Consider it a learning
experience, as next time you will factor the cost into the
overall pricing structure. Good luck, JMF


Hi Courtney. Logic dictates that for this project, you make two
(almost) identical models for two molds. Make one model with a
bezel to set a stone into(remember to make the bezel thick enough
to allow for shrinkage). Make the second model incorporating the
silver element that you wish to use in place of the stone. If
you want to make the silver element look as though it is set into
a bezel, then make the second model in two wax parts. #1, the
model with the bezel, and #2, the small element. Place the wax
element into the wax bezel, and cast it like that. Or more
simply, carve the model to look as though the element is
bezel-set. Including the faux bezel, would give a nice sense of
continuity between the two pendants. :slight_smile: I see what you are
saying, that in casting 2 parts for each piece, the work then,
may possibly become cost prohibitive. I think that you should
only make the small element separately, if you wish to cast it in
a metal other than silver. In that case, making a separate mold
for the element would make sense. I’m sure Daniel and the other
pro casters out there will remind you to cast masters of your
models in silver. You can then clean and polish these masters to
make molds with, so that you can make accurate molds with clean
lines. I apologize, if that is too elementary to have mentioned.
Good Luck. Lisa,( Screwing up my son’s math homework again,
because I don’t even have a left brain…aaaargh!) Topanga, CA


I’m not into doing lots of casting, but it seems that you should
prepare your master with the appropriately sized stone bezel.
For the pieces to have the metal insert rather than the stone,
you could simply use the waxes made from the master and fill in
the bezel with a bit of wax. Pretty easy to alter the wax.

Voila, one master with two options by altering the waxes to be
used for casting.

Another option would be to actually set a piece of metal rather
than a stone. Or why not a quick solder to hold the metal piece?

Isn’t this ORCHID wonderful with so many ideas and friendly
people to share!! Good luck Courtney and let us know how you
solved your problem.

Judymw Judy M. Willingham, R.S. 221 Call Hall Kansas State
Univerisity Manhattan KS 66506 (785) 532-1213 FAX (785)


You might try a single mold which includes the metal design as a
"knockout", taking it out when you want to set a stone.



Cortney, Your I am a bench jeweler that primarily works in
fabrication. I have had similar dilemmas in the past. I will
tell you this it is going to be much easier to make two molds.
Your idea of placing a silver bead in the center sounds to me
like alot of trouble. It is much easier to work in wax than

I would like to see your design if at all possible


cortney - how about casting all the pendants with a bezel/setting
center, set stones in half of them & in the other half set &
solder upside-down silver cup-type bezels (the ones with
backs/bottoms). it might even add a bit of interest if, instead
of the upside-down bezels, you used half of a sterling bead or
ball the same diameter. beads are easier to cut if they’re
jammed onto a wood skewer & cut from hole to hole with a cutoff
wheel on your flexshaft (if they’re seamed balls or beads, find
& cut along the seam on that side) i just stick one at a time
onto pickling tongs with 2 pieces of stickytape- with the holes
centered & run them through the 1/8" blade on my bandsaw. hope it
might help - ive