Author Topic: Machinable wax  (Read 62426 times)

Offline Bernd

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Re: Machinable wax
« Reply #50 on: February 27, 2010, 09:48:38 PM »
Forgive me for popping in after a long absence, (still here regularly, just lurking) but has anybody any photo examples of items made with machinable wax apart from the test cuts shown here?

How would the machinable wax behave for use with lost-wax casting?


Weston,

Here's a couple of pictures of a wax gear. The company I used to work for produced gear cutting machines and also did development work on the cutters and designed gears for their customers. If I remember right the waxes came in three hardness's, meaning there were three colors. They were purple, green and blue. I believe the green was the hardest, blue a bit softer and purple the softest. I can't remember what was being tested hear, weather a new gear cutter or and new gear design.



Here's a closer view. You can tell from the top land that something needs to be changed.



I sort of destroyed the gear wanting to use a bit of the wax. It goes from solid to liquid. No intermediated stage.

For those that want to know a little bit more about wax and the posible uses for casting, check out Rio Grande Catalog. It's a jewlery catalog. Click on casting on the home page. At the left it will give many choices.

Bernd
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Offline PTsideshow

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Re: Machinable wax
« Reply #51 on: February 28, 2010, 07:36:57 AM »
Here is the manufacturer of most flavors of the casting wax Over the years they have bought out most of the smaller suppliers. The biggest thing with it is you want it to come out of the mold whether it is slip casting coating, or the flask style. So there would be No plastic of any kind in it, to leave any residue in the smaller area's of the mold such as arms, prongs or thin cross sections.

This is their retail end

Both have links to the same video's on the net for mold making and casting

Here is the wax index, it has a good assortment of waxes

Here are the brown and red casting waxes


« Last Edit: February 28, 2010, 07:39:11 AM by PTsideshow »
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Offline AdeV

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Re: Machinable wax
« Reply #52 on: February 28, 2010, 12:02:27 PM »
Nice find, thanks Glen. If I've done my sums right, their 7x3x3 block weighs around 2lbs, so ~$8 lb. I'm basing that on the density being 0.9 (I read it was, somewhere) of water.

Here's another update, as a result of today's machining adventures... It transpires that, when pouring fresh melt onto already solid, things don't always go quite to plan:



I don't know how deep that split is; nor do I intend to find out unless I absolutely have to... Anyway, I decided to try a repair on the scrap bit, to see how well it works. Broken plastic, meet Mr Blowtorch :



Shortly:



I've added a little bit of extra wax (from another offcut) into the melted bit, to increase the volume. The hardest bit of using the blowtorch method was not setting the wax on fire too often. And not burning your fingers while trying to melt bits into the gap...

Un-seen by the camera, I also tried repairing the smaller crack using a soldering iron. Then, after both repairs had cooled (and I'd finished sizing the main block), I whizzed through the repairs with a cutter:



From the pictures, one can conclude that Mr Blowtorch is not quite as effective as Mr Soldering Iron - although in fairness, the crack was much narrower where I repaired with the soldering iron.


Ultimately, the conclusion has to be: Pour the wax in one go if you possibly can.
Cheers!
Ade.
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Offline 75Plus

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Re: Machinable wax
« Reply #53 on: February 28, 2010, 06:46:34 PM »
Ade, Have you considered using an electrical paint stripper to do your repairs? It is a SUPER hair drier that gets hot enough to soften paint so it can be peeled away. It should be hot enough to melt the wax and, with no flame, there
should be no flare up problems. You can also add a reducer to the output to focus the heat to the area that needs it.

Joe

Offline AdeV

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Re: Machinable wax
« Reply #54 on: February 28, 2010, 07:10:49 PM »
Hi Joe - good thinking, I can't see why it wouldn't work. I don't have one of those paint strippers myself (used to, but it burnt itself out), but if I can get hold of one, I'll certainly give it a go (unless someone else posts results up here first)...
Cheers!
Ade.
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Offline John Stevenson

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Re: Machinable wax
« Reply #55 on: February 28, 2010, 07:26:48 PM »
I'm using mine to do the toast, will try later................ :wave:

John S.
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Offline PTsideshow

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Re: Machinable wax
« Reply #56 on: February 28, 2010, 07:42:59 PM »
For smaller building up of the wax parts for casting trees and when doing multiple vents etc.
what can be used is an alcohol lamp with metal bladed spatula.  You can try using your torch and a flat section of metal in a heat proof handle for small cracks and voids.

Sticky wax for repair and the paste wax below for holes.

The wax pens are a modified soldering iron with assorted thin flat shaped blades for the work that is being done.

Some of the pens are battery powered small tipped devices for spure and vent joining.

In the paper crafting area, scrapbooking and such they have small hand held heat guns that can give high heat to smaller concentrated area's which would be great for repairing splits like yours.

Have you thought about slush casting the wax, Red Casting Wax is a hard casting wax that holds great detail. It is melted and poured into molds. After a short period the unsolidified wax is poured out of the mold leaving a wax shell conforming to the the interior. This process of "slush casting" is repeated several times to build up the required wax thickness. This wax shell is then used as a pattern in the investment shell casting process. Ring And Ball SofteningPoint: 77C/170F

I haven't tried it yet but a lot of the auto parts and general parts casting companies are going this route. Of course the system is automated.
They had a bronze casting segment on one of the cable shows were they were casting 18" tall sculptures by the slush cast method but again you would have to have a way of heating up all the wax.
"The internet just a figment, of my imagination!' 
 
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Offline gldwight

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Re: Machinable wax
« Reply #57 on: April 18, 2010, 02:30:14 PM »
Hey guys, what's happened with this project?

No posts since late Feb, here it is Apr 18th.

Sure doesn't seem like the project was finished or goals met.

Thanks much,
George

Offline Dean W

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Re: Machinable wax
« Reply #58 on: April 18, 2010, 11:07:04 PM »
George, Ade cast up a huge chunk of wax and used it to machine a full sized mock up of his oil sump, and has since come a long way on the real article.  See his project thread at this link:
http://madmodder.net/index.php?topic=2726.0

Dean
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Offline AdeV

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Re: Machinable wax
« Reply #59 on: April 19, 2010, 05:00:06 PM »
Hey guys, what's happened with this project?

No posts since late Feb, here it is Apr 18th.

Sure doesn't seem like the project was finished or goals met.


Actually, for me the goals were pretty much met completely: I managed to cast my sump practice piece. I have since remelted some of the shavings; they came out a fairly different colour (much closer to Old Plasticene Brown than the baby blue/green it started out as). As suspected, the aluminium bits which have inevitably got mixed in with the wax swarf sunk to the bottom of the melt; so they're easy enough to remove. I've not taken any photos or done any machining on the re-melt yet.
Cheers!
Ade.
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Offline gldwight

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Re: Machinable wax
« Reply #60 on: April 20, 2010, 12:43:46 AM »
Ade:

Thanks for updating.

After all the hours and expenses involved in making this pattern.
Have you given any thoughts to maybe trying to market the design?

With a pattern like this, it could be used by some aluminum caster as a model.
From what I've seen of such things, they use a plastic substance on the wax.
Whether the wax pattern is lost, I don't know.  Once a mold is made, they'd
cast whatever quanity desired.

I'd like to see you gain some good income from all this fabulous work and costs.

Good luck,
George

Offline eidbi

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Re: Machinable wax
« Reply #61 on: December 13, 2010, 06:10:25 AM »
Hi All,
I came across this topic long after it was finished, but this may be useful.
We used to make candles as a hobby many years ago and bought the paraffin wax in bags of 56lbs (1/2 cwt). To make the candles we added stearin to the wax which made it harder. There was also micro-crystalline hardner which you could also add if you wanted the outer skin not to melt easily to keep the pool of molten wax from running down the sides. I got the wax etc from a company that supplied chemicals and craft equipment to schools. So I would suggest that you track down that kind of supplier for buying wax. If they don't have it they would be able to tell you where to go. The wax came in slabs that were about 14 lbs each. If you buy from a crafts supplier it will be a lot more expensive. Another source is a factory that make candles, If you explain what you want it for they will probably find it easier to get the supplier's name as you won't be seen as a competitor.

Regards,
Hamilton

Offline AdeV

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Re: Machinable wax
« Reply #62 on: December 13, 2010, 07:31:56 AM »
I hadn't realised that all the pictures were missing from this topic (result of a server failure a while back...) it's all back to normal now (I hope), the pictures should make some of my posts make more sense...

FWIW, I bought my paraffin wax from Homecrafts Direct. I did ask our local candle factory, and they did give me the name of their wax supplier, but in the end I decided that for the small quantities involved, I could take the cost of a bag from a craft shop. I've only used about 1/2 the bag, not having had the need for any wax since I cast up the sump, other than bits & pieces which I already had lying around the place.
Cheers!
Ade.
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