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Thread: First attempt at lost wax casting

  1. #1

    Default First attempt at lost wax casting

    My first lost wax casting, a horse head brooch in sterling silver:
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    One question for those that do this sort of thing everyday:

    The casting came out rather black and matt:
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    After a pickle and polish it came up OK but I was wondering if this is normal.
    I used SRS Classic because that's what I got from Walsh, but I am wondering If I should be using Eurovest or Global for silver casting?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northeast UK
    Posts
    821

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    Wow that looks tremendous!

    I've never attempted lost wax casting as I don't have the facilities at present. Did you go down the kiln - vacuum - centrifugal casting route?

    Nick

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    150

    Default

    That's come out wonderfully! I've not done lost wax casting either so can't help, sorry

    What will you turn this into?
    Indi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    London
    Posts
    886

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    Oh well done! We learned mould making and centrifugal casting at college (loved it!), but I don't have the space or expertise to do my own, so send all my casting out.

    Mine generally come back from the caster a sort of matt pale grey colour.

  5. #5

    Default

    I carved the original from a block of blue wax with the intention of using deft clay to cast it but it turned out that when I hollowed it out to get the weight down it was now too thin so the metal cooled before filling all the detail so I thought I would have a go at lost wax. Knowing that the first attempt could go wrong, I used some dental silicone putty to make a mould and then slush cast a couple of copies. I ordered couple of casting flasks, sprue bases, sprue wax and plaster from Walsh (which got held up for about 4 weeks due to the weather in America). To vacuum degas the plaster I used a pressure cooker I had previously modified to be a vacuum chamber, a bit of silicone automotive vacuum pipe and a 1.5cfm refrigeration service pump (I have a much better Edwards pump but I seam to have lost one of the seals in a house move so that's out of service at the moment annoyingly). The burn out was done in my pottery kiln with a tinfoil dish under the flasks and the flasks on pin stilts. To do the vacuum while pouring I took a piece of 6mm steel sheet, drilled a hole in it and welded on a hose barb from a hydraulic hose end (The last time I bought hydraulic fittings they sent me the wrong ones so I have a load of swage on ends that I haven't got a crimper for so I just turn off the nut and use them as weld on hose barbs.) then put a piece of 3mm silicone rubber on top of that and attached the pump used for the investing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    92

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    Nice casting. Various logistical difficulties prevent me from getting a kiln at the moment, not least the cost. I'd love to see a photos of your vacuum setup if that was possible (eyes up fridge craftily...) I've got that and a waste oil furnace on the list for a fridge compressor, my heart skips a beat whenever I see a dumped fridge!

  7. #7

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    I got my kiln second hand off ebay relatively cheap as they are generally not postible itmes and you have to collect them the market for any one kiln is only those in your local area so they tend to go for quite low prices. It took about 3 months for one to come up in my area that wasn't chased but as they say, "Good things come to those who wait."

    The pump I am using is not a refrigeration compressor, rather a service pump used for scrubbing the system before gassing. Cost about 50 from ebay.
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    The gauge is a standard bench gauge that I cable tied to the handle.

    The vacuum table:
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    and my "vacuum chamber":
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    I made it for vacuum casting resin. There is a wire hoop inside the gasket to stop it from being sucked in, but other than that the mods are pretty self explanatory.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    92

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    Aw fanks! looks really well made, nothing like my attempt this week at making a tumbler out of an old printer and an electric drill!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Manchester UK
    Posts
    739

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    Nice job,what temperature did you hold the flask at in the kiln ? you need to build yourself a magnetic polisher next !

  10. #10

    Default

    I followed the profile on the SRS website. My kiln has a Stanford S316A controller so I just programmed the profile into it and pressed GO.
    I have a magnetic stirrer somewhere. I want to see if that will work as a magnetic polisher. I just can't remember where it is at the moment. Next tool I want to to have a go at making is an air engraver like the GRS/Lindsy/EnSet.

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