Investment cast

Hello to all the Orchidians out there.

I have a centrifugal caster, and have some questions about
materials to use it with. I have been told that I mainly need two
types of wax, a hard wax, and a putty-like “French” wax to form
pieces with for casting. As a wood carver, this idea appeals to me,
but can anyone recommend a specific brand or type to go with? There
are a ton of different brands and hardnesses, and a little guidance
would mean a lot to me. I’m a college student, and getting another
job really isn’t an option, so the finances don’t hold up to much,
but I can find some money for my hobbies. In the same vein, can
anyone give me a brand of investment that they recommend?

Dave, in little Rolla Missouri, where it was just turning warm
enough to ride a bike, when the rain came.

Dave, Re wax, there is a super little book out there called “Basic
Wax Modeling - An Adventure in Creativity” by Hiroshi Tauyuki
published by Matsubara-Kashiwa Books Inc, ISBN: 4-905588-28-6. It
tells you about the basics of wax work…kinds of wax there are and
what to use for what. Also basic tools and their use. Some super
projects as well. Can’t cost more than aobut $20. Check it out!!

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut1

Forgot on my last reply-Kerr Satin Cast 20 Investment is also the
industry workhorse. I’ve heard some who have other preferences, but
for a beginner, or anyone who just needs a good everyday investment,
you can’t go wrong—

Dave, In regards to your casting questions. There are more than 2
types of wax to use for casting. As a matter of act, you can use
just about anything your furnace can melt out! This includes, but
not limited to, carving wax, injection wax, sprue was, candle wax,
plastic, insects (with high heat and room for the ash to fall out of
the flask), lead, or pewter (although lead if left inside the flask
will QUICKLY contaminate gold as will pewter), paper products, etc.
You might even try wood if you think the ashes can be removed before
pouring in the metal. If any ash residue is left in the flask you
may have a casting that ends up looking like a gold sponge!

As for investment, most jewelers I have talked to that do production
quality castings are using satin-cast by R&R (Ransom & Randolph
…spelling??). I myself use Solitaire by R&R. It is designed to
cast stones in place and I have found it does a wonderful job of
that. I use it with great success. I mainly use it because it has
a high content of boric acid that keeps my 18K yellow gold from
coming out oxidized. It usually comes out nice and bright yellow.
This followed by a magnetic burnishing yields a nice piece with
minimal cleanup. Try your local jewelers supply and ask for a
sample of there investment to try. They sometimes will just give
you about 5 lbs! Hey it’s FREE. Try a variety to see what you
like. On any investment, the water to powder ratio is important to
adhere to the manufacturers recommendations. Keep in mind that with
a premium investment (usually costing more) will have the greatest
leeway in this ratio and burnout cycle ramp schedule. If I’m
talking over your head here, email me for more details. Good Luck,

Travis Duggan
Placitas, NM