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What casters prefer?


Hi, I would like to know, how casting shops prefer to get their

one wax
a metal original
waxes already on a tree

the reason I ask, is I STINK at wax carving. Green sheet wax
keeps pulling out of shape and purple blocks keep breaking…and
they’re not wide enough. I could cut and fabricate a less detailed
metal original fairly easily, but would hate to bug a shop just to
cast it, to shoot a mold, so I can have a wax model to carve the
detail on it, to then (hopefully produce the things) it just seems to
me, like I’m missing something…

Sparrow, who shouldn’t be awake and thinking of business at this


Hi Sparrow,

I do my own casting so I don’t know what a casting house would
expect. However, I wanted to let you know injection waxes are much
different from carving waxes and really can’t be worked; they tend
to be both brittle and gummy. Have you tried adding detail with a
wax pen? I have found a super cheap wax pen; I use the stylus used
for decorating traditional Ukrainian Easter eggs and beeswax. It
works perfectly and only costs $1.05!!

Awaiting the freezing rain,

 Hi, I would like to know, how casting shops prefer to get their
orders one wax a metal original 	waxes already on a tree 

Hi Dagmar, It is always easiest for a casting /finishing factory
like ours to receive metal models that are done exactly as the
customer would like the design to look. In other words … as perfect
as you can make it. If it is not perfect, then it becomes difficullt
to know what level of perfection you are looking for… We can
remove slight blemishes in the moldmaking process that may be hard
for you to repair, such as a pit in the metal. But, in general, the
better the model, the better the finished product will be.

Carving wax is also popular for one offs or for models… to make
good carved wax models is a developed skill … and … naturally,
more tools makes it a lot easier. In our case, we have 2 full time
model makers who can make models from a customers drawings or , in
some cases if you have good computer art, we can make the model on
one of our cnc machines. If you should need more info, feel free to
email me privately or call at my shop during the early afternoons.

Daniel Grandi
Racecar Jewelry Co. Inc. Tel 401-4761-7803 email:


We prefer to get the metal original for a number of reasons. I
think each shop has a certain method for producing models and we are
no different. We have specific standards and 95% of the time we find
that the waxes that we receive do not meet the standards. Most of
the time, the metal original does not meet our standards for quality,
either. What we’ll do is take the original, make a mold from it,
inject a few copies, and cast. We will then take the casted copies
fix them up and use those as the models. It gives us a few benefits:

  • We have not changed the original (other than putting on a gate) in
    case the customer wants it back

  • If the customer does not like the copies, we can always revert to
    the original

  • If the customer wants to create a few similar styles, we have the
    original to work with

It means an extra cost which some people might feel is unnecessary,
but from the perspective of quality and cost of production, it is
worth it. A good example is a job that we did recently. The
customer has merchandise that she shows at Saks. She had used the
precious metal clay to create some styles of cuffs and links for
bracelets. When she gave it to us to reproduce, she gave us some
guidelines as to what she had envisioned the final product to be. It
needed a lot of work. We could have just taken the original and
copied it as-is, but then the final product would have looked like
crap (am i allowed to say that?). Anyway, she was very pleased with
the result.

We will sometimes accept waxes individually, but most of the time we
have to do extra work on the casted piece. I hope that helps.

fyi, we have a casting shop with 2 neutec casting machines, 12
injectors, 5 ovens. ~avi meir


Sparrow, Ok, everybody has wax frustrations when starting out. Are
you trying to carve green sheet wax? If you are that could be a
problem. Get yourself a wax file. I use a large flat bastard file
that I bought from Sears. Get a double ended wax file. Rio sells them
or any jewelers supply. One side is course the other side is courser.
Call your dentist or any dentist and explain that you are a student
wax carver and you are looking for old dental tools. When they are
worn they throw them out. They will give them to you free. You can
resharpen them and they work great. You can also use and Exato blade
and handle. Emery paper course medium and fine. A bottle of lighter
fluid and an old pair of panty hose. A jewelers saw. I have a wax pen
but you don’t need one right off. You can use an alcohol lamp and
dental tools. When carving you the only time I use heat is to fix a
mistake or to sprue the piece to a flask base. Also you will need a
mm gauge. I carve in green wax. It is the hardest and it files great
and takes good detail. You can also use burrs with it. Blue is more
plastic like and a little more forgiving. I have only used maroon a
couple of times. I use Ferris waxes. You can buy an assortment tube
pack that has ring tubes and solids. I use the course files to rough
out my basic shape the large flat bastard to flatten the ring and
narrow it. I use the double ended to shape and form. I sand it with
the three emery paper. I use the dental tools and small files and
riffles to get the detail. Then I put a few drops of lighter fluid
on the panty hose that has been stretched over my finger and wipe the
surface to a high shine. Never use lighter fluid near open flames or
pilot lights. This is just a basic overview of my steps and it is
what I use for wax carving there are many ways to work wax.
Experiment and have fun.

Regards J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio


I know this isn’t what you asked for but it gives me the opportunity
to tell you how pleased I was with the work done by Daniel Grandi,
even when I brought him something he didn’t want. What he didn’t
want was a paraffin model of a donut. I won’t go into the gory
details but at the time I thought I was doing the right thing; I
should have just sent him the donut. I was pressed for time. I think
Daniel really wanted to kill me but he was gracious nonetheless and
when I returned from vacation, I stopped by his shop and picked up a
lovely bronze donut. You can see it here:

This was a retirement gift for my brother-in-law who used to be, you
guessed it, a cop.

So, thanks to Daniel Grandi at Racecar Jewelry

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts, a very satisfied customer.


I’ve been following this thread a bit, and I’d like to chime in. I
am not a caster, but a jeweler who sends my casting work out to a
subcontractor. My results are like this: When I have one of a kind
pieces, I send in wax models. The better the wax, the better the
casting. Overall, though, I have less work to do on the final
product with these pieces. Less flash from the molds, etc. For
pieces that are intended for production, I sometimes fabricate the
original. Otherwise, I carve a wax and have that cast. To this
original model, I add detail, get as perfect a finish as possible and
do any other tweaking. In both cases, I then have them make a mold.
My problem with this system from a quality standpoint seems to be
the quality of the waxes injected from those molds. There is almost
always a moderate to serious mold line, and occasionally there has
been distortion that I assume might be excess pressure on the mold
while injecting. Maybe I need a new casting company? Overall, the
best results would probably be from molds made of GOOD metal models,
at least if the mold lines would disappear.


Thanks, Daniel and Majordomo for the advise on what you prefer to
see walking into your shops :slight_smile:

and thanks, J Morley, for all your practical advise on wax carving.

I really am primarily a wire worker. I’ve never carved a good enough
piece of wax in my life. The reason why Id like to make a cast design now, is that I think, that in the 60s people rallied under
the peace sign, but now it’s considered somewhat cheesy, and the
people rallying aren’t the same as then. I believe in the uniting
power of worn symbols. I think, we need one right now (opinions may
be divided, as they are everywhere else)

I have a design in mind, which I think would be appropriate. But, if
I start making them one by one (which isn’t really possible, because
it’s three dimensional) It won’t ever be fast enough, and be about
three times to expensive for your average activist.

so, you see, besides not having experience in the medium, I also
don’t have time to experiment in the medium till I can make my

not sure, what to do about that, especially, since I don’t have tons
of money to throw at it either…

musing Sparrow…