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December 11, 2018, 06:40:25 pm
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Lost Wax Casting

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Author Topic: Lost Wax Casting  (Read 2641 times)
bobby1
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2010, 11:17:04 pm »

Could you post a photo of the steam casting unit?
The one that I used was home made.
Bob
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MrsWTownsend
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« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2010, 01:17:14 pm »

Paula, yes, it does have a certain shock factor [immeasurable value when you are wanting to mess with unsuspecting friends~ makes me giggie just thinking about it], as I keep frozen rodent feeders in there as well.  We have 2 fridges, the food fridge and the beer fridge.  The beer fridge has the surprises in the freezer.  Next time I find a praying mantis body I am saving it for the cast!

Amanda, YES I CAN!!!  When I went to take care of my Mom I collected a bunch of leaves from one of her trees that (I think) have a nice shape and lots of little points at the leaf ends for character.  I have little bits of Cholla cactus skeleton from reptile set ups that I think would be pretty cool to cast too.
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guest787
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« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2010, 07:13:56 pm »


Amanda, YES I CAN!!!  When I went to take care of my Mom I collected a bunch of leaves from one of her trees that (I think) have a nice shape and lots of little points at the leaf ends for character.  I have little bits of Cholla cactus skeleton from reptile set ups that I think would be pretty cool to cast too.

So if I sent you Japanese Maple leaves or cool gnarled twigs you'd be all over those like flies to meat eh?  minemine2
You know I just had project ideas pop into my head using those too!
Now I just need some jewelry sales so I have cash to actually order castings from you!
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christopherl1234
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« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2010, 10:41:15 pm »

Bob,

Here is the photo of the "steam" casting kit. I am not sure how to use it yet, any help would be appreciated.

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Taogem
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« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2010, 11:05:43 pm »

I found quite a bit Googling "steam casting", but here is a Ganoksin article..   Give you someplace to start..
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christopherl1234
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« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2010, 12:26:17 am »

Thank you George, I learned a lot from that article
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« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2010, 01:38:28 pm »

Bob,

Here is the photo of the "steam" casting kit. I am not sure how to use it yet, any help would be appreciated.



I do believe I have two identical kits one unopened.  I am going out now    walker   to confirm that, but I am 99.3435 percent sure.  I am going to check out Georges 'Ganoksin article'.

tks




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-Gary

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Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.
bobby1
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« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2010, 02:25:59 pm »

The Ganoksin article was very thorough and I couldn't add much beyond it. In the lower right side of your photo there are the red special sprues for steam casting. I never used the "flower pot" kiln because I had a burn out oven. Probably the most common cause of casting failure using this method is not having enough sprues attached to the model. You do have to be careful that you don't have too big of a sprue leading from the hollowed out area in the mold because the melting metal will want to flow into it before you get it at the right casting temperature and before you clamp the steam generating device on top.
Bob
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DavidS
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« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2013, 12:22:47 pm »

I have done a considerable amount of lost wax casting ...Bob

Bob, you really did a great overview to the OP and of course, now i have many questions.

As I am scrambling to continue learning from my mentor, a family member that recently passed away, I have wax, powders, an oven, and a device to spin the media (centrifuge?).  So my questions are...
1.)   Could "investment" or "plaster"  be labeled as anything else?  (I have boxes of misc "stuff")  Or what is a good supplier?
2.)   What tools can debubblize the investment?  Youtube had shown a vibratory base, but I didn't find one....or at least yet.

-David
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Isotelus
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« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2013, 07:07:59 pm »

Usually your investment will or should be in a sealed plastic bag or other container to keep atmospheric moisture and dampness out. It may or may not be in an outer box, usually looks like a bag of plaster of paris. Box if present may have rio logo on it, Ransom & Randolph, Kerr or other logos on it.

Vacuum is best for de airing investment, pad type vibrators are ok but I found I usually had more air bubble defects with them. Vacuum machine will usually have a pump and a plastic dome or bell jar with a table with a rubber pad with holes on it.

Hope that helps. I've been a caster for 40 years or so.
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Bryan
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« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2013, 09:43:01 pm »


I have two "Lost Wax Casting" kits.  If anyone is interested I will do a pic and post in the 'For Sale' section of this mighty forum.
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-Gary

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Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.
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« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2013, 04:59:45 pm »

I have done bronze casting for years and centrifugal casting for jewelry just as long. One of the things with using a vacuum for debubbling is that it also sets the investment, like right now. I had a very large vacuum pump for my larger bronze casting but when the motor burned out I just went to no debubbleing. I'd just pour the investment right on the wax and then take a very sharp 1/4" chisel to cut the bubbles off of the sculpture and then do a little chasing with a bur in my air tool. That is pretty much what I started doing with my centrifugal castings with one exception, I'd paint on a layer of investment with a brush, let it set up and then fill the flask with more investment. I had very little trouble with bubbles.
The steam casting works very well for the occasional project but if you are going to a lot of casting get a centrifugal set up. cheaper than a vacuum set up, well usually.
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« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2013, 10:16:16 am »

I do casting for local schools 3D art classes. Every 6 weeks or so I cast 30 to 40 rings for the students. The students create the wax rings ( they are graded on the wax ring in case the casting doesn't work) and for a fee, I cast them in silver. I bought most of my equipment used or at auction. Centrifugal arm for $100, 12" x 12" x 12" ceramic top load kiln (I turned it on it's side so it is now a front load) $50. and a vacuum pump for $75. The rest are small tools and supplies. Look at Rio Grande catalog to get an idea of what you will need. It should be doable for a couple hundred $. You just have to know what you need and keep your eyes open.

Fred
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Debbie K
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« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2013, 09:44:37 pm »

David:

It looks like Plaster of Paris, it may be from different manufacturers. Often sold in  boxes (25 lbs or more). I use Kerr Satin Cast, but there are many others out there. Is there a maker mark on the centrifiugal caster?

You can use a palm sander to vibrate, I did it a few times out of desperation with an exceptionally large flask. Just make sure you have someway to turn it off without using your hands. I ended up having to kick the cord out of the wall because the flask was too large and heavy to lift with one hand. Just place the flask on the face of the palm sander and turn it on holding the flask with one hand and the sander with the other. Be smarter than me and put it on a plug that has a toggle switch that you can turn off with your foot or better still, get a helper.

Vacuuming is superior to other methods for getting rid of the bubbles, but they're expensive.

Debbie K
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« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2013, 02:41:48 pm »

I have done bronze casting for years and centrifugal casting for jewelry just as long. One of the things with using a vacuum for debubbling is that it also sets the investment, like right now.

I've done gold and silver investment jewelry casting, both vacuum and centrifugal, for many years and have never had that problem.  I suspect your experience is related to the water/investment ratio.  Or maybe the kind of investment you're using.  I think the idea of "painting" intricate waxes with investment is a good one though, and that's probably the way to go for steam casting.

I'd advise Rockoteer that it's really best to use fresh investment, not powder that's been stored for any length of time even in sealed containers.  Investment is "thirsty" (hygroscopic is the ten-dollar word) and it can form lumps that ruin castings when old.

One of the most interesting de-bubbleizing tricks I've seen for low-cost steam casting was using the knurled handle of a screwdriver with the metal part chucked into an electric hand drill.  The guy doing the demo let the turning handle rap against the side of the flask for a few minutes and it did a pretty good job.  He said the trick is to add a little more water to the investment mix.

I've used an electric hand-sander for de-bubbleizing Debbie K.  But I fastened it gently into a bench vise upside-down first, leaving both hands free.   ura  I'm LOL at the mental image of you trying to switch the sander off!  Of course I've never painted myself into a corner before.  Well, hardly ever...  bricks

Rick   
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