Dear Tool Timers,
This weeks tool for you consideration is what I call a poor persons
hot wax knife. I use them primarily for spruing up castings. If you
price out the commercially made wax hot wax knives you will spend a
fortune. Some of them go for over $300.00. I have used several
different kinds over the years and find the weak component is always
the hand piece and wiring.
What I have brought into school here always receives the torture
test. My students can beat up a tool faster than you can blink an
eye. Again we had about a dozen of the Giles wax tool and they are
all but one or two broken and in need of new wiring or hand pieces.
So this year I tried a different approach. I got a cheapo wood
burning pencil and hooked it up to a light rheostat. It worked fine.
The only draw back was that the hot point was too far away from the
pencil grip I like to use when holding the thing. Looking in the Rio
catalog I saw almost the exact same wood burning tool but they were
calling it a wax working pen. The number is 700-318 and cost $15.50
Now here’s another great feature. They sell a wood hand piece
protector that screws on to allow a better pencil grip closer to the
tip on the tool. Both the pen and the wood protector cost about
$25.00. Now you really can’t just plug it into a socket and melt. So
some sort of plug in rheostat works the best. Foredom sells one,
Harbor freight sells one and you could even go to a hardware store to
buy a light rheostat like I tried. You really need the temperature
control. It takes a little longer than the expensive wax workers to
heat up but once it is hot it does the same job. Total cost for the
pen, wood holder and rheostat was under $45.00.
I think the main difference in the expensive wax workers and this one
is the quickness in which the tip gets to different temperatures.
I’ve had three or four of these units all year and not one break down
yet. And if they do break, for the $15.00 cost I’ll probably pitch it
and put a new one in.
The newest expensive wax workers now shown have some sort of exhaust
and filter built into a holder. This is a great idea but it adds a
lot of cost to the unit. I have a small fan on one side of the work
bench to blow any smoke away from my face. This month I will also be
adding an exhaust to the bench to blow the smoke out of the building.
I’m sure that this smoke from setting the wax up is not good to
breath so be sure in any case to have some sort of air flow away from
your breathing area.
The expensive part of this hand piece is the set of 8 tips. They cost
$55.00 You really only need one and you can file it into any shape
That’s all for now, Oh, by the way I am building a great web site for
this program and by this August you will be able to see pictures of
facilities and dozens of the assignments and projects we work on her
Tr the Teacher,