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Soft wax technique- hardening and finishing


#1

Hello,

I m a jewelry designer experienced in hard wax modelling, i m doing
really intricated design but they are really time consuming.

In order to get more spontaneous result i m trying soft wax
modelling. I need help on few questions

1/ which soft wax you currently use? I m using this red sticky wax.

2/ Hardening soft wax. my teacher once told me he had a recipe in a
book to turn soft wax into hard wax like the carving wax. He never
found the info again…

3/ finishing a piece in soft wax. I remeber that I had to spray a
varnish onit before casting but dont remeber which one.

4/ I saw that in the book practical wax by Hiroshi Tsuyuki and Yoko
Oba there was a chapter about soft wax modelling does anyone have
the book and possible to post the infos?

Many thanx


#2
1/ which soft wax you currently use? I m using this red sticky
wax. 

There are literally hundreds of waxes. Might give Kindt Collins (wax
mfgr/formulator) or one of the bigger jewelry supply houses and ask
for some help and/or ideas. You might find a lot of “help” simply by
working under heating lamps or bigger amperage lamps to keep things
warm, , thus softer. Also keeping the piece in warm-hot water to
soften, even working the wax in the water to keep it soft. Have you
ever felt with some of the more “rubbery” waxes, often some of the
injection waxes (I use very hard injection wax as I get better
detail, at least with “my injection system/methods”. Work in the sun
and you sit in the shade with hands in the sun. Do you like
saunaseeeee

2/ Hardening soft wax. my teacher once told me he had a recipe in
a book to turn soft wax into hard wax like the carving wax. He
never found the info again. 

Only way I can think of is getting it cold. Only watt to harder or
soften a wax is to melt it and add the required hardener or
softener.

3/ finishing a piece in soft wax. I remeber that I had to spray a
varnish on it before casting but dont remeber which one. 

Most any I would think would work.

4/ I saw that in the book practical wax by Hiroshi Tsuyuki and
Yoko Oba there was a chapter about soft wax modelling does anyone
have the book and possible to post the infos? 


$74.99 used to 117.96 new

Many thanx 

I know some of the ideas are a bit out there, but really most all do
work. Good luck.

john dach


#3

Hi Gregory,

I do a great deal of my work in soft wax because it lends itself to
a free flowing organic form for one-off pieces that are built up
rather than carved away. I also use it to incorporate other organics
such as leaves and seed pods into my patterns. I use Ferris
MOLD-A-WAX along with soft sheet wax and sprue wax rods and wires of
various sizes which I can bend, compress and texture with various
tools and incorporate into my patterns by cutting with a scalpel and
welding with a heated wax pen. I know of no recipe or technique to
harden the wax as just work with it soft as it is. My studio is air
conditioned so when I’m working with soft wax, either fabricating or
sprueing I keep the temperature to no greater than 25C.

For finishing the surface I largely rely on two techniques. Firstly
I use a temperature controlled hot air blower which I usually set
somewhere between 100C to 150C. I used to use a flame, but the hot
air blower is much more controllable. Secondly, and often in
combination I use an orange oil based product that sold as cleaning
product for removing grease and sticky glue deposits. I apply this
with cotton buds (I think people call then Q tips in the US) and wash
it off under cold water when done. You could use a specialised wax
solvent available from jewellery tool suppliers but the orange oil
works well, a 110ml bottle lasts me 6 months or so and it is
available at my local supermarket.

For carved work and injection into rubber moulds I use a hard
injection wax that is workably liquid at 75C.

All the best

Jennifer Gow
Tears of the Moon Artisan Jewellery


#4

This subject takes me back. Once upon a time in the old days, we had
things like Home Ec. in high school here in the USA. One of the
projects my freshman year was to make candles. It was the kind where
you take a milk carton (paper ones) and fill them with crushed ice.
After punching a rod through it and placing your wick, you poured
melted wax over it. In about 1/2 hour you could peel the paper carton
off your candle. Why I say this is it is the only way to harden short
of a chemical added. You have to with either the use of cold water,
ice, or refrigerating it cool it down to get it to firm up. Now fast
forward a decade or two, and I actually worked for a year carving
candles. I don’t know how many have seen the candles that you slice
sections, then twist them into artsy fartsy candles.

We used steric acid (sp) to harden the wax we bought in bulk. As we
melted the wax from big chunks we just added the acid by weight to
the melting pot. The acid changes the wax properties. It is the same
thing All wax manufacturer use. The color of the commercial waxes we
buy is just a dye that is added.

Any kid of topical spray or dip is just a lacquer based type of
coating.

the hardness comes from a shell the spray or dip causes. I wouldn’t
use them. Learn to work with the waxes. What we have in the
Jewelry/sculpture world is not going to melt off or droop. I have
made large scale sculptures using the brown soft wax many times. If
you need some part of to be rigid while you are forming, use
styrofoam that you have cut to the shape you need. You can apply the
wax either partially melted, or just mold sheet to what you want.
After you use acetone to melt the foam core out of the form. Jusat
make sure you take the resulting gunk to a waste disposal facility.

Aggie waxing old


#5

Years and years ago I used to do a lot of sculpting with the brown
sculpting wax and when it warmed up as I was working it, I just put
it in the fridge, or freezer. When I finished sculpting it (which
included lots of fine carving), I hardened it again in the freezer
then attached the sprues. Alma