A question about wax lathes. Has anyone had any experience
with the Matt wax lathe, and wax gun that Rio has. Before I plunk
down the necessary bucks, i would like to know your comments on
INHO, the lathe is a pretty good low tech way to get the job done.
Works fast, easy to use, and works well. But it’s an eyeball accuracy
lathe, not something capable of careful micrometer accuracies. Turned
surfaces are straight and square if your eye is good. A lot like
freehand wood turning. The main limit is that it’s sometimes
difficult to get the inside size of a ring just right, since you can’t
actually try it on a mandrel till it’s cut off, and I’ve found a
tendancy to get the inside surface slightly tapered, rather than
quite straight. But this is easy enough to then fix manually once the
ring is cut off the lathe “chuck”.
As to the gun, well, it’s got it’s uses. I seem to recall even using
it once or twice… The short answer is that this is not really a wax
pen. It’s best use is in making wax wires out of a wax similar to
file-a-wax. this can be nice to work with. You can weave with those
wires, or just in constructing prongs, the stuff is then tougher than
typical commercial wax wire. But for actually making models directly
through wax buildup, its good if you’re doing duplicates of the blobby
organic “this jeweler must have been stoned” styles that were popular
in the sixties and seventies. If you’re working in the current
decade, you may find it of less use. It is, essentially, a glue gun
with a rheostat and a smaller nozzle. imagine building jewelry models
with hot melt glue, and you’re not far off. The wax is nicer and more
controllable than glue, but not by all that much.
Hope that helps.