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What kind of carving wax?


#1

Im not sure if this is the way to post or not, but here it goes.

I would like to try my hand at carving some waxes, I have done
repairs for 20 or more years but I am not sure what to do when it
comes to waxes,

Why and what are the different colours for?

What type should I use, ?

are the different colours for different types of metal?

I will not be doing my own casting, I will be sending it to someone
else if that makes any difference on which type I chose to use.

I know there are different shapes, i get that, tube style for rings
etc, but its the colour thing.

I want to make brac and necklace links

any help would be great
Thanks
Jacqueline


#2

In the Matt line of waxes, the blue is more flexible and is good for
making shadow bands, the purple is a good all purpose wax for a lot
of uses and the green is the firmest and is good for fine detailing
and is the most brittle.

Hope this helps, Steve


#3

Jacqueline,

Indeed there are a lot of waxes. For the hard carving waxes the
colour is an indication of flexibility, hardness and melting temp.
Blue you can bend a bit, green not at all but it will give better
detail (just don’t drop it on the floor or hand to a customer
without a lot of warnings) Margie Mersky (orchid) sells a slightly
softer green which is designed to be really easy on the eyes. Red and
purple are in between but I forget the properties order. The wax is
long gone before any metal enters the casting scene so wax colour
doesn’t matter.

Because of how your eyes work blue is harder to ‘see’ than green (
green is mid visible spectrum and probably why they make all the
plants that colour) I usually use blue, sometimes a green if
concerned with max detail or seeing.

Sheet and wire wax shapes tend to be soft and gummy, I avoid them
whenever possible and can’t and won’t comment. Injection waxes come
in all different colours (often designers choice of dye), melting
points, and intended uses. I really try to keep the modifications of
injected wax to a minimum, even the most ‘carvable’ ones are best
done in a padded room with no sharp objects nearby :slight_smile: Or I put up
with the fun (?) prospect of injecting carving wax.

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#4

Jacqeline,

the different colors normally are reflective of different properties
of the waxes. Some more flexible, some harder or softer. Everyone
seems to have “Preferences” as to which they find the easiest to
work with. You might want to get an assortment package so that you
can decide which you prefer. NOT all company “colors” are equivalent,
fwiw.

Bill Roberts-Ornamental Metalsmith
http://www.CustomDesignMetalArts.com


#5

blue ferris wax(brand name) is really too soft for flexshaft use
unless you use really slow rpm or apropriate wax burs which have
less cutting blades than metal burs, wood burs are real good, also
knives are great on blue(soft) wax purple is a little harder, very
nice stuff green is hard, even a bit brittle, beautiful for
flexshaft another tool that is very useful in wax carving is a
cabinet scraper tool, but smaller for jewelry, they can be made
very easily by running a flat piece of metal against a grinding
wheel which makes a small edge hang off the edge of the metal on the
down side, you can feel it with your finger, but a regular knife
edge also works well as a scraper for wax use, good thing about
scraping with metal forms is that you can make concave, convex,
triangular, whatever shape you like butter knives and pairing knives
are sublime for wax, and let us not forget hot knives, etc etc etc
there is carving- taking away wax to make your design, and
construction- building your wax form with heated tools and melted
wax(the glue), dp


#6

Kate Wolf has developed some ‘wicked’ wax for carving. and the
neatest tools too. She also teaches one of the best workshops I’ve
ever attended. Check out her ‘wicked’ stuff at katewolfdesigns.com.

Susan Bucknam
Talisman Design


#7

blue ferris wax (brand name) is really too soft for flexshaft use
unless you use really slow rpm or apropriate wax burs which have less
cutting blades than metal burs, wood burs are real good, also
knives are great on blue(soft) wax

purple is a little harder, very nice stuff

green is hard, even a bit brittle, beautiful for flexshaft

another tool that is very useful in wax carving is a cabinet scraper
tool, but smaller for jewelry, they can be made very easily by
running a flat piece of metal against a grinding wheel which makes a
small edge hang off the edge of the metal on the down side, you can
feel it with your finger, but a regular knife edge also works well
as a scraper for wax use, good thing about scraping with metal
forms is that you can make concave, convex, triangular, whatever
shape you like

butter knives and pairing knives are sublime for wax, and let us
not forget hot knives, etc etc etc

there is carving- taking away wax to make your design, and
construction- building your wax form with heated tools and melted
wax (the glue), dp


#8

FYI : I’ve heard that Kindt-Collins (sp) makes everyone’s waxes.

KPK


#9

Yes, Kindt-Collins makes MOST of the waxes, but Matt wax is a
different product. Both companies make machinable waxes. For the
widest variety of waxes, especially machinable ones at the very
lowest prices ANYWHERE, contact [wax-guy at comcast dot net].
Standard products as well as pre-milled tubes with accurate ring
sizes, extra larger diameter tubes not available anywhere else,
milled blocks for CAM, you name it. And NO one beats these prices.
Custom order stuff as well.

Wayne Emery
www.thelittlecameras.com


#10

I have found that Ferris blue carving wax works best for me. Most of
my original use of carving wax was to turn wax into various sizes of
pottery. Once turned the wax I would engrave the design into the
wax.

I tried Ferris Purple and Green wax. I also tried the other carving
waxes on the market.

The purple wax seemed to be tough as the wax from an engrave line
would not break away form the basic wax. The green was too brittle to
turn. It would usually break apart before I could finish turning it.

That left the Ferris blue wax. It seemed to be the best option for
turning and engraving.

Once I used blue wax it became the only wax I used for carving.
There are probably projects that either purple or green would work
better than blue but I became use to working blue wax.

I use large burrs to shape wax designs. There are burrs specifically
designed for wax work that only have three blades. Those burrs will
not clog up unless you are working on a very soft wax.

I use a large flat tipped burr in my Foredom mounted in a drill
press to mill various thickness of wax.

Orchid has two papers I wrote that you might be interested in.

This paper describes hot to modify dental tools to use for wax
engraving and carving. The paper also describes how to use the
tools.

this paper describes how to turn wax into various shapes.

I have a free simple web site at:

http://leessilver.Web.officelive.com

If you have any problems contact me;

Lee Epperson


#11

The best bet in finding what wax suits your designs is to try all
the carving waxes on the market. Each of us has our favorite waxes
and swear by them.

Breaks in all carving waxes can be repaired with a hot tool. However
in order to get a good joint both of the pieces to be stuck together
have to be melted. Any wax that is melted on carving wax without
melting both pieces will not hold.

I believe that carving wax that has been melted does not have the
same hardness as the original wax. Previously melted wax seems to be
softer and a little more gummy that the original. With a little care
that should not be a problem.

To check my engraving on the wax I will mix talcum powder with water
and coat the wax design. When the talc dried the lines will be
white. A quick wash under the faucet will remove all the talc.

I will use water on the wax in certain cases when grinding the wax
with a burr. In this cast the area cut by the burr is recessed where
the water does not run off the wax. This prevents the burr from
getting gummed up.

I add a piece of electric tape to the shaft of the burr so that
there is about a quarter to half inch tab of the tape. The spinning
of the burr with the tap spinning around blows the wax shavings away.

Lee Epperson