Hi, I’m in the process of doing the very same thing. I began to look
into dapping dies, but once I saw the price I decided to find another
way or forget about it entirely. My solution, inspired by another
subscriber to this list, was to cast them. Then came the question of
how to get a wax sphere model. What I did was to take a large quartz
marble (what I had on hand) and suspend it from a piece of
monofilament with epoxy. Then I melted down some spare purple carving
wax and dipped the marble. When the wax cooled I took a scalpel and
cut around the sphere, then carefully removed the halves. The result
was a wax model of fairly uniform thickness of what looks to be about
To assure proper alignment when it comes time to solder the halves, I
keyed the two pieces with alignment pegs made of wax and set in the
interior of the model.
I have not cast yet, but by all indications it looks like its going
to work out better than I expected.
What I want to know is how to make it chime like a xylophone like I
have seen now and then. If anyone knows how to construct the chime
mechanism please help me out.
Oh, and to answer the original question; as thin as structurally
possible. 22 or 24 gauge would be ideal.
Thanks and I hope this helps