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Wax Sheets to create jewelry for casting


#1

I’ve had a very hard time working with wax sheets due to their
stickiness. I’ve tried different varieties and actually have a box of
each type of sheet that I bought so that I could test out which was
better. I’m finding no matter what I do the sheet wax tends to be
sticky. Is there a product or spray that I could use to make
cutting and drawing designs on wax sheet of 16ga less miserable?


#2
Is there a product or spray that I could use to make cutting and
drawing designs on wax sheet of 16ga less miserable? 

I was thinking that you could dust it with a fine talc, it shouldn’t
interferer too much with the casting process,. CIA


#3

Andrea here is a little trick I use to make wax sheet from either
injection wax (I use a very plastic type injection wax that is very
workable) or hard jewelers wax. Take two sheets of glass (plexiglass
or any rigid, smooth surface, material works) about 4inches square
and tape a penny at each corner of one sheet. Lightly spray the
glass sheets with silicone mold release ( this makes the separation
easier).

Melt your wax in a double boiler or wax injection pot. Now evenly
pour wax onto one sheet of glass, and while still warm and liquid
firmly press the second sheet of glass on top of the wax. Separate
the two pieces of glass and you have a hard shiny sheet of wax you
can cut to size.

You can vary the thickness by using spacers other than pennies. I
use whatever gauge of metal I want the wax to finish at. You may want
to warm the glass (plexiglass also works) in colder climates to get a
cleaner surface on the wax as moisture can form small defects from
the temp variation of wax and glass combined with humidity.

Hope this helps it has worked for me in the past. Frank Goss


#4

You might try working with some of Kate Wolf’s Wolf Waxes to see if
they fit your needs. I like working in her waxes myself.

Wolf Wax is not as flexible as some others, but carves with great
detail, is easy to do layout on, is not sticky, and can easily be
repaired if a model cracks using a wax pen. Also this wax works
nicely for building up areas with the wax pen, that you can then
carve or work.

I am not sure what sort of size selection her wax sheets are
available in, but I do know Stuller carries an assorted selection of
her wax slices. Usually I tend to slice sheets off a block as I need
them, and trim them to the size and thickness I desire, but I am no
expert on waxes and carving, doing only small projects that attract
my attention or an occasional custom piece for the shop.


#5
Melt your wax in a double boiler or wax injection pot. Now evenly
pour wax onto one sheet of glass, and while still warm and liquid
firmly press the second sheet of glass on top of the wax. Separate
the two pieces of glass and you have a hard shiny sheet of wax you
can cut to size. 

Frank, that is a useful trick.

If you want to go earlier in history, you could make thin wax sheets
the way the Egyptians did.

Get a container of water and gently pour molten wax onto the
surface. The wax floats and forms uniform sheets, and if you want
thicker sheets pour more wax.

Regards Charles A.


#6

My problem with wax sheets is that they are too flexible. Sorry to
add to the initial question, but it’s so similar. I have looked
extensively, and cannot find sheet wax that is thin and firm enough
to use as a backing plate for wax models of pendant settings. I am
trying to replicate 20-24 gauge sheet, and it needs to be stiff
enough to not deform in the RTV mold making process. Maybe someone
can answer both questions. Thanks.


#7

I work with wax sheet on a piece of glass with Vaseline smeared on
it (on the glass). I also make sure my AC is up & running and the room
is cold.


#8
My problem with wax sheets is that they are too flexible. Sorry to
add to the initial question, but it's so similar. I have looked
extensively, and cannot find sheet wax that is thin and firm
enough to use as a backing plate for wax models of pendant
settings. 

Adding more details isn’t a problem here :slight_smile:

What RTV are you using??? Maybe you want a softer and more flexible
RTV?

Regards Charles A.


#9

I use the coloured chalk sold in hardware stores for the chalk lines
used by builders

Cheers
Jen


#10

Could you possibly give a historical reference for this? Sound
entirely likely, and I intend to try it but, would like to see some
historical documentation. Mark Chapman

Frank, that is a useful trick.

If you want to go earlier in history, you could make thin wax sheets
the way the Egyptians did. Get a container of water and gently pour
molten wax onto the surface.

The wax floats and forms uniform sheets, and if you want thicker
sheets pour more wax.

Regards Charles A.


#11

Sorry it was told to me a long time age by a history professor, he
also told me how Egyptians extracted oils from plants.

I’ve tried it, it works.

Regards Charles A.


#12

Using the correct RTV is a good suggestion, but I have to admit I am
just starting to carve, mold and cast, so I just assumed the flexible
wax wouldn’t work. I will try it since I now have the equipment to
make the molds and cast.

One person suggested pouring injection wax on plates to make sheets,
controlling the thickness, which seems like it may work very well
for me. I am assuming that when standard injection wax cools it would
have the rigidity I am looking for, even at 20-24 ga.

One pro caster recently told me you need 20 ga. thickness in a wax
backing plate to get good casings, which is certainly heavier than
the sheet I fabricate with.

My fabricated pendant designs have a pretty thick bezel, two 12 ga.
square wires stacked, soldered and shaped, then soldered to 24 ga.
sheet.

I am hoping to cast these settings in one step, with a resulting
back plate that has the properties of real sheet. Otherwise I will
probably have to cast the bezel and solder sheet to it.

I would appreciate any input on this, and thanks very much for the
tips! What an invaluable resource this is.


#13

One way of getting wax sheets is to use soft sculptural wax from
Rio. Coat the wax with oil or soapy water and run it through a pasta
machine. The oil or water protects the machine from clogging with
wax.

Sally Parker


#14

I am coming into this discussion a little late. I hope what I am
going to say is relevant and not redundant. I create sheets out of
green, blue or purple carving wax using a drill press. First I file
one side of a block of wax perfectly smooth and then saw a slab
somewhat thicker than what I need. I hold the wax (filed side down)
on a piece of wood or plexi-glass with my fingers.

Moving it around in the drill press base I mill the wax down to the
thickness I require. Watch those fingers!


#15
I am coming into this discussion a little late. I hope what I am
going to say is relevant and not redundant. I create sheets out of
green, blue or purple carving wax using a drill press. First I
file one side of a block of wax perfectly smooth and then saw a
slab somewhat thicker than what I need. I hold the wax (filed side
down) on a piece of wood or plexi-glass with my fingers. 

Moving it around in the drill press base I mill the wax down to the
thickness I require. Watch those fingers! I use this same technique
with a small Automanns Gems drill press I purchased from Kate Wolf in
Maine a few years ago. It holds a regular Jacob’s chuck flex shaft
hand piece like a Foredom 30 series, and a barrel shape wax burr. I
can machine whatever thickness wax blank I chose, after sawing a
rough blank off a wax block, and prefinishing the one side.


#16

This sounds like a good approach if you have the drill press/milling
equipment. There have been a few good suggestions on how to make it.

Seems like the manufacturers would offer stiff sheet wax (like green
carving) in 20-24 gauge. Can’t seem to find it anywhere.


#17
"Seems like the manufacturers would offer stiff sheet wax (like
green carving) in 20-24 gauge. Can't seem to find it anywhere 

I didn’t follow this thread from the beginning. By simply entering
"sheet wax" as a given on I.E. a result came up and I picked the
first one. A number of all kind of sheet wax in all thinkable
gauge’s are available…

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7zkn

Have fun and enjoy
Pedro


#18

Yes, watch those fingers. My drill press is very small and I have
had it for about 30 years… don’t even remember the make. But, I
also made a larger, detachable base which gives me more room. Also,
it has a hole in the center so I can lower a burr below the surface
of the base and remove wax from the side. This gives me a head start
on left and rights.


#19

Use waxed card stock…it will burn out and remains stiff unlike wax
alone.

Scott


#20

I have a Foredom drill press which mounts a no 30 hand piece in a
lever operated chassis. I can use the press as an end mill by
mounting a 11mm cylinder bur in the hand piece. The table can be
raised or lowered to provide whatever thickness of sheet I need.

I use the mill as a means of squaring up a rough block of wax in
preparation of carving a ring. The finger hole can be cut in the
block with the sides of the bur.

A tapered sheet of wax can be created by mounting the wax on a
tapered block of wood then pass the assembly under the mill. The
milled surface can be smoothed with a file. The drill press is a
great tool if you work with a lot of carving wax.

Lee Epperson