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Wax castings

I have been trying unsuccessfully this summer to take wax castings
from clay moulds and wonder if any Orchidians can help out. I’ve
made a clay impression of textured rocks. The idea was to pour molten
wax into the mould and then I’d get a positive impression of the rock
texture. I have been using a very fine earthenware red clay from a
potter friend. It successfully picks up minute detail. I have tried
every type of wax I had on hand (red, blue and a green "Pour-a-Tex"
and most recently a turquoise injection wax). I’ve tried pouring the
wax in when the clay is wet, dry, very dry, heated in the oven to
about 300 - 350 degrees F. The problem is that bubbles begin to form
in the wax once it hits the mould regardless of the temperature or
dryness/wetness of the clay. My idea had been to soak off the clay
once the wax had set, with little damage to the wax.

Any suggestions or hints would be greatly appreciated.

Sandra Noble Goss
Owen Sound, ON Canada

try spraying the mold with silicon mold spray I get mine from zero d

Mike Manfredi

Hello Sandra, If you want to make a mold with clay, let it dry out
completely and the give it three light spray coats of varnish. Let
it dry between each. This will seal the clay and prevent porous
waxes. You will be surprised to find no loss of detail.

Have fun.
Tom Arnold

Hi Sandra, Is there a reason why you want to do this with clay? For
over 30 years years now I’ve been using either a dental impression
material called Aquasil, or Castaldo’s Quick-Sil, or one similar to
Quick-Sil that I got from an audiologist. All three self-cure, the
Aquasil taking about a 15 minutes at 70F (surface temperature) and
although the container on Quick-Sil says 15 minutes I find it takes
closer to 30. In the Arctic two summers ago it took overnight!
It’s not easy to warm a rock surface to 70F in the Arctic, or on the
coast of Newfoundland for that matter!

All products involve mixing two parts together. Aquasil is about
the consistency of toothpaste and gives the most detailed
impression. It’s also messier to use. The other two are putty-like
and easiest to use in the field. Both give very good results.

Colleen Chamcook, NB
N45 08.173
W67 02.283

    I have been trying unsuccessfully this summer to take wax
castings from clay moulds 

hello Sandra, I have done this successfully with some old clay that
I had lying around - I had to re-hydrate it and de-lump it, it works
well as long as the clay is slightly damp ( you can spray it with
water to use later on, too) . I used pink injection wax and removed
the waxes while they were still a bit soft. So far I have used the
mould a number of times over a period of a year or so, still working
well :-). Christine

Dear Sandra,

The problem is the clay. A much better – and tried and proven method
– is to use our Quick-Sil 2 part RTV putty. It cures with no
shrinkage in 15 minutes and makes a flexible rubber impression of
your rock (or anything) that can be successfully used for wax pours.
I’ve even seen wax impressions made this way of tire tracks left in
hot asphalt!

I’d be happy to send you a small sample if you’ll give me your
shipping address-- not a P. O. box, please.

Anyone else out there interested in a free sample?

Michael Knight