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How to make wax model surface smooth


#1

Hi

I am making wax models mainly out of blue wax wire and don’t know
how to make the surface as smooth as possible to avoid much work in
metal.

Someone told me to take a stocking, dip into methylated spirit and
gently rub it would dissolve some wax to smooth it.

While it worked a little but not as good as I need. I need to get at
as smooth as original surface of the wire or even smoother if
possible. Anyone can advise me the way(s) to do this.

Thanks


#2

One of the things I was taught to do to make the wax model surface
smooth was to run it over the flame of an alcohol lamp, very quickly,
and not too near to the flame. Alma


#3

Wire is hell. Whether metal or wax, once you’ve got dings, dents or
bends it’ll never be as round and smooth as original without pulling
it through a draw plate.

That said, I used to polish my waxes with plain cotton muslin; takes
a bit of rubbing, but you can get a dead smooth finish. Quicker with
purple than blue or green. Still, wax wire can’t take much pressure.

You might try fire polishing. The idea is to heat the material so
that the surface just begins to flow. You could try holding the
pieces near an incandescent light bulb. Maybe a heat lamp. A hair
dryer should work, and you can control how much heat gets to the
piece at any moment. Worth a bit of experimentation, anyway.


#4
While it worked a little but not as good as I need. I need to get
at as smooth as original surface of the wire or even smoother if
possible. Anyone can advise me the way(s) to do this. 

Zippo lighter fluid, also orange oil will do the same thing.

Regards Charles A.


#5

Joseph- We like to use Orange Oil. I use first the scrub side of a
kitchen sponge with the oil. The blue ones for dishes. The green kind
is too coarse. You can cut them with a pair of scissors to the shape
and size you want. Then I finish off with an old stocking and some
orange oil. Be careful and use the oil sparingly because it will
dissolve your wax.

It’ll make your waxes baby butt smooth.

I can’t wait to see if Kate Wolfe chimes in. I’d love to hear her
ideas.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#6

Joseph,

I am making wax models mainly out of blue wax wire and don't know
how to make the surface as smooth as possible to avoid much work
in metal. Someone told me to take a stocking, dip into methylated
spirit and gently rub it would dissolve some wax to smooth it. 

I don’t know if you are using hard or soft gummy wax. For hard wax I
use any orange type cleaner I can find at the local grocery or
hardware store. Read the label, some come in a mineral oil base
(often marked flammable, not good to soak into your fingers) Paper
towels, old clothes scraps, Q tips etc. but I never tried stockings.
I live (alone) in a small town where the attempt to purchase such
would raise eybeows :slight_smile:

I have also been known to use a very small hot air plastic welder or
a little torch with the smallest tip I could keep lit. Using heat is
just asking for disaster.

The orange stuff works wonders on hard wax, is non toxic but does
make your studio smell like an orange grove. Play, the stuff is cheap
and if worse comes to worse it is good for cleaning the kitchen and
cat pee.

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#7

Use harder wax. You are, in my thinking, working against yourself
using a soft, flexible wax wire to fab the item then wanting to get
a very smooth finish on the wax. Sort of a “no can do” in my
thinking/experience

John Dach


#8

A pencil like Fiberglass Scratch brush is of great help smoothing wax
carvings even wire, before using orange oil etc. They are available
at Stuller and other major tool suppliers. Plus use a Kerr Flameless
wax finisher for final smoothing. Works really well.

Sigi
sigidesign.com


#9

I’ve made a little torch sort of, using tubuing, an air pump end
piece, you know the part that goes into a basketball, which I cut the
end off of, connected to a propane tank… tiny light flame run
accross wax smooths to a shine… worst thing that could happen is
you die… then you start making things there. :slight_smile:


#10

Thanks all Great response. I just tried orange cleaner bought from
hardware store. It worked with my blue wax wire. It has fixed the
little pits and scratches. There is hot air technique but I don’t
think I need it since orange cleaner did the job and I don’t need
finer polish then that.

Thanks again.


#11
an air pump end piece, you know the part that goes into a
basketball, which I cut the end off of, connected to a propane
tank.... 

There’s some pretty elaborate methods here, it seems. I guess I
should tell mine just for contrast. I use Carvex, I like blue. After
casting I know I’m going to file every surface all over again, so I
don’t get all nervous about perfection - I mean “So shiny you could
shave in it” perfection. So I just use steel wool, usually 00, and it
comes out just fine. Dust it off with a bench brush and off you go.
You CAN’T do that with soft wax, as the steel bits WILL ge imbedding
in it. But not with Carvex, it works fine. If you’re looking to get a
wax shiny, cast it and then just buff it up, then you are looking for
a poor polish. Sorry, it’s just true.


#12

Fiberglass Scratch brush -I do have it,somehow didn’t think about it.
Flameless wax finisher -sounds like a good idea. Have to try it.
Ronald -not a good idea for me-if I die I’ll go where it is too hot
for wax :frowning:

Regards,
Joseph