Mirror images from wax model

Anyone have a good way of making mirror images for pairs of earrings,
(one left side, one right side) from the same wax?

    Anyone have a good way of making mirror images for pairs of
earrings, (one left side, one right side) from the same wax? 

John, I usually cut a piece out of wax twice as thick as I need and
cut the outline shape of one side with my saw keeping in mind nice
straight edge from top to bottom then saw in half and flip the bottom
piece for mirror image. The actual image I have traced on transparent
paper and use a pin to follow lines or cover the back side of paper
with graphite and lay it over the wax surface covered with tin oxide
for a white surface and then trace the pattern on each side. Dividers
at hand also help keep the thickness the same and some details

Ron Kreml- lmerK noR

A method I use is to make a pattern/stencil of acetate of the outline
and major details. Now get two pieces of wax and tack/weld them
together back-to-back, it is necessary to make at least 1 or 2 of the
tacks in the pattern area itself. Use the stencil to scribe the
outline, cut away most of the waste area with a saw keeping the edges
at 90 degrees to the back face. Now, use the stencil to add the
major details. This should give you mirror images when the slices are
untacked. The rest of the detail is done by eye. Be sure to remember
to reverse the acetate stencil for one side. Usually somewhere along
in this process the slices will ‘pop’ apart but you still have the
’common outline’ and the reversible stencil to guide your work.

Hope this helps.
Lorri F

John: if you can figure this one out without cutting two models your
fortune is made… The best alternatives to divine intervention is to
cut both pieces at the same time. that is work on the left one and
whatever you step you do repeat it on the right. It is the best way I
have found for making matching designs. You can mirror image your
design by scanning it into a computer drawing program and drawing
mirror images or draw it on a piece of paper, fold it in half along
one edge of the design, place it on a light source such as a window or
light box and then trace the image. Last of all you can send the model
to a machine shop that can scan it and produce a replica and a mirror
image from the scan… Check the jewelry magazines for
a source. Best ideas I have hope someone else has a better one.

Frank Goss

What I do when I have to create left and right models in wax , pewter
or silver is as follows.

1)Take 2 pieces of wax cut to the same shape (square,rectangle
etc.)and the same thickness so that your design will just fit inside
the wax shape without much overhang.

  1. Take a piece of thin double sided tape and tape the 2 pieces of
    wax together . I actually prefer to use water soluble glue instead of
    tape on the tape and I use the double sided tape on metal sheet.

  2. Make a few copies of your drawing on a photocopy machine onto
    clear plastic sheet or mylar (whichever works on your system)

  3. Glue a copy of your design onto the top of the wax.

  4. Saw out the shape and cut outs per your design.

  5. Seperate the 2 pieces of wax or metal. If you flip one of the
    pieces over, you will have a left and right cut-out and you will only
    have sawed one pattern. The reason I mention this is that some people
    will glue the plastic (one sheet will be reversed ) onto both pieces
    of plastic and cut them out seperately…This way , you saw both out
    at the same time… thereby, less work.

  6. Now, if your patterns have intricate carved detail, make sure to
    glue the plastic sheet onto the cut out wax so that you have left and
    rights …now you can carve the patterns onto the wax which has
    already been pierced and cut out correctly.

You should now have a left and right model. This works very well with
sheet pewter which is as easy to cut as wax. Sheet pewter comes in
various thicknesses and the added benefit is that it can be rubber
molded directly in regular rubber.No need to use RTV rubbers which are
more expensive. Also, this allows you to finish the model perfectly
and never have to deal with a wax model that did not cast correctly.

Hope this Helps.
Daniel Grandi
We do casting and finishing for people in the trade in gold,silver,
and pewter.

John hello!

I am glad you said “good” way, rather than easier way, for making
matched earrings in wax. It is simply a process of transferring the
from one side to the other. Begin on one side of the wax
for a time, until the design is well developed. Not near completion,
but dimensions, proportions, and your design is etched on the wax.
Then transfer the design to the other side, using your dividers. Use
a point graver to chisel the design from the divider lines. Use
half-point gravers for curved lines. Fill in the lines with wax and
shift them over until you are satisfied with both sides representing
you design concept. Don’t finish the pattern on one side and then try
to duplicate on the other side. Instead, get to a comfortable point
on the first side and then begin matching tasks on both
simultaneously. Both sides are done together, after you have the
pattern on each side. Each step you make, do the same motions to the
other side. In this way you can match pairs without driving yourself

Be sure you have enough thickness before you begin. It is easier to
file off some dimension from each piece after separating, than to
have to add wax to thicken your pieces. Before starting your pattern
on the interior of the wax, be sure all your perimeter lines are 90
degrees to the top and bottom surfaces. If they are not, this will
throw off your transferring of dimensions from one side to the other.

Use “oblique” dividers for wax work when trying to protect the edge
of the wax.( Use double point dividers when needed as well). They can
be purchased, or, if you have a second pair, modify in the following
way. Shorten the point leg by about three millimeters or so. The
longer leg, grind it back with a slight curve, and bevel the edges.
Then smooth the surface with a rubber wheel. You can now scribe lines
without marring the wax edge.

For complex matched pairs that are three dimensional, it requires
more patience and study. The dividers are still imperative to
matching dimensions, and transferring the design from one to the
other. Beginning with two identical forms or “block outs” is
necessary. You can add a rod or piece of wax to each for a handle.

The hours sometimes fly by without anticipated progress. Use
determination to make it happen! Good luck!


This may sound simplistic, and it’s from someone who has never tried
it, or done wax carving, but I should think it might be possible to
adapt a pantagraph to do this. ???


On some occaisions, I have made borh earring parts from the same
piece of wax and sawn them apart when I was done. For example, carving
a head and slicing it right down the middle to give a left profile and a right profile.

Aloha all,

I just put the wax (or object required) in my 3D scanner, mirror it
in ArtCAM Pro 5, throw a block of wax in my CNC mill and cut it.
Saving the design in 3D (as a digital master) for other projects (to
redesign, remake, scale, mirror or use as 3D clip art). Used to do it
the other way (by hand) but, been there, done that. Whats’ your time

Best Regards,
Christian Grunewald
Precision Modelmaking Technologies
(808) 622-9005