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Wetting Agent

I’m learning how to do build up wax for casting. Instructions say I need a wetting agent to stop a wax piece from sticking eg when making a ring on a mandrel. I am not sure what to use for a wetting agent. Can anyone advise me please?

What is your mandrel material? Frugal hint: You can use larger wooden dowels and wrap them with masking tape to make various sizes.

Have you tried jeweler’s talc or baby powder to keep wax model from sticking?

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take a small rectangle of plastic wrap and stretch it around your mandrel. only overlap a mall amount. nothing sticks well to it. If you plan a bit of excess, about an inch, to stick out the end horizontally on the mandrel, you can use that as a “handle” to pull the finished wax ring & the “tube” of plastic wrap along with it. don’t use tape to adhere the Saran to the mandrel or you won’t be able to pull it off! I’ve never heard of a wetting agent in this capacity??! Also, know that if you build your wax onto masking tape, you will not be able to slip off the ring easily, that’s why the plastic wrap shines for this function

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Thank you that is a great help.

That’s a great idea. I’m using the guide by Asama, an extract of which is published on this website.

u r so welcome! I searched my files for a photo of this but couldn’t find one. let me know if you need more help. the answer from the other person about a dowel built up with masking tape wound around until you get the i. d. of your ring size is an excellent way to have a small, easy to wrangle ring mandrel. I do this with old magic markers or whatever scrap of round material laying around. use the same Saran wrap on those too.

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I’m sorry, I imagined something completely different when I read your post.
After looking at the article you mentioned in Ganoksin, I wonder if applying a light coat of oil to the mandrel before dunking (a dap of cooking spray or mineral oil applied thinly with your fingertip, for example) might help the wax release from the aluminum rod later.

Silicon mold release spray is what you should use. Oils will mix into the inside of the wax shank and make it softer and harder to handle.
Plastic wrap will leave wrinkles and creases on the inside of the wax.
Pretty much all pro wax carvers use harder waxes that are carved by the subtractive process. much like carving a marble statue. It’s much easier to control. I suggest that you look into Kate Wolf’s books, tools and videos. There are plenty out there for free on you tube. She’s is pretty much universally considered the goddess of wax carving.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

A bit of Vaseline can be used on certain structures that allow the wax to easily move when ready. No need to over do it. If building up on a mandrel, I’ve been instructed to wrap the mandrel with paper. Then you can slide the paper off the mandrel, and gently pull the paper away from the wax.