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Very new to wax


#1

Hello Orchidians,

My name is Richard and I’m very new to wax. Today was actually my
first day trying to work with wax. I have a considerable amount of
experience making two part molds from wood, plastic, metal, etc
masters but I’ve never started with wax.

The project that I would like to complete involves taking a flat
carving and wrapping it around a sphere, cylinder, cube… to make a
3 dimensional object. The wax that I have, Parowax, is a little too
hard and way too brittle to attempt wrapping it around anything.
I’ve tried melting it and adding mineral oil but that just makes it
grainier and more difficult to work with. Can anyone suggest a type
of wax that will remain plastic with a minimal amount of heat but
still be hard enough to be carved?

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Richard


#2

You are using the wrong sort of wax. Carving and injection waxes
don’t work for what you are trying to do.

You should try working with soft flexible wax such as Ferris Mould A
Wax You can use the heat of your hands to soften it and bend it
around shapes rather like working with modelling clay. Alternatively
you can work with soft sheet wax that come in various thicknesses. To
start with you might buy a box that comes with a range of thicknesses
to find out what works for you.

Remember you don’t need to make wax patterns as a two part mould. No
parting line is needed for investment casting though you do need a
parting line if you are making a wax master to make a RTV rubber
mould for wax injection though you can get away with some overhangs.

Working with wax can be intuitive, organic and a lot of fun.

All the best
Jenny


#3

I love the sierra red injection wax from otto frei.
http://www.ottofrei.com/store/product.php?productid=1325

I heat it under a warm lamp to get it flexible. Be careful, i have
melted pieces before.

Once cool, it’s a pretty decent hard carving wax. The best I’ve used
for what you’re trying to do.

Good luck.
Amery Carriere Designs
Romantic Jewelry with an Edge.


#4

Jenny and Amery,

Thank you. I’ll be making a trip out later today to pick up some of
both recommended waxes. With a little luck I’ll have something
pretty to share soon.

Regards,
Richard


#5
You should try working with soft flexible wax such as Ferris Mould
A Wax You can use the heat of your hands to soften it and bend it
around shapes rather like working with modelling clay. 

I must disagree, you can’t carve into the moulding wax, it’s too
soft. The Serra red can be used in the way the author of the tread
intends. I’ve done it.


#6

Parowax - isn’t that the white stuff people use to seal jelly jars?
I’ve never heard of anyone making jewelry with it. There are many
kinds of jewelry waxes, but they basically divide up into three
groups. There’s carving wax, which generally has some plastic in it
to make it more rigid. It’s not good for hot-working, but cuts and
files well. It’s not malleable at all. Then there’s modeling wax,
which comes in a range of hardnesses and shapes from wires of
different sections to sheets or blocks. It hot-works well, but is
difficult to carve cleanly. The third type is injection wax. It
becomes liquid enough when heated to fill intricate cavities, but
when it cools it is tough enough to survive extraction from a complex
mold. Most don’t carve too well, but I’ve had decent luck making
carved modifications to one type called Plast-o-wax. I think Rio
Grande sells it.

Another approach would be to carve your flat design in carving wax
(which is best for carving), make a mold using RTV rubber, and cast
a modeling wax into the mold, pouring it in and out to create a
contoured shell. This would be easy enough to warm up (with hot
water or a heat gun) enough to wrap around a form to create your 3d
form.

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com


#7

There are a lot of waxes that will work but Ceraweld or Victory
Brown Modeling wax, used in sculptural work is firm at room
temperature but, slightly warmed by your hand is flexilble enough to
bend easily. A form called Victory Brown Casting wax is to too stiff
and brittle for this use. The only problem that you may have with
this is that handling the wax without care will crush delicate
detail. There may be better waxes for what you are doing, but this
wax is a material I use quite frequently. Gerald Vaughan


#8
Can anyone suggest a type of wax that will remain plastic with a
minimal amount of heat but still be hard enough to be carved? 

it does depend what tool you use to carve, you can get some decent,
clean cut/detail in a soft wax if you use a sharp carving knife, but
not a bur, a bur needs harder wax to make a clean cut, as does a
file or rasp