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Wire Fox Terrier

Limited Edition Bronze Sculptures
- work in progress -


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wirefox terrier wax cast processwirefox terrier wax cast process
Prepping and securing the mold. Sometimes when the mother mold is fabricated the section of the mold that meets the ground during this process is flat and parallel to the section of the mold that has the opening(s) used to pour the wax. In this case that was not done; therefore, I needed to prevent the mold from tipping over.
wirefox terrier wax cast processwirefox terrier wax cast process

left: an 18 quart roaster is being used to melt the wax. Never allow your wax to reach a boil, it is very dangerous. Moreover, you will destroy the wax properties. I never set my knob pass 225° . Once the wax is melted I will set the knob just below 200° .

right: The wax is now melted and I am tempting the wax. The first wax cast may be a test cast. That is, I will test to see what the optimal temperature needs to be for this wax when poured into this mold.

The ideal wax temperatures will vary from manufactures; moreover, the size of your mold will also depend on the process used.

The following guide was used for the first wax cast

1. Wax temp at 180° (fill the rubber mold in one non-stop pour and then empty the wax back into your holding container ASAP)

2. Once the temp of the wax in the holding container drops to 170° (repeat the same process as in step 1)

3. The third pour and final was at 150° (this time the wax was allowed to stay in the mold longer... estimated time was about 10 minutes and then poured back into the holding container)

additional notes: This process will vary as mentioned above. Once the optimal temperatures for the wax is achieved, it should be recorded on the mold in order to achieve the same results in the future.

The mold will insulate much heat; therefore, it will prevent you from achieving the correct thickness for your wax cast. The hollow wax cast needs to be about 1/4" thick. Making the shell to thick will make the final bronze too heavy and costly. Making it to thin will cause problems when you remove the wax cast from the mold. In other words, your wax cast may break. For simple molds, you may get away with very thin wax castings. For more complex molds with many undercuts, you will need to make your walls thicker.

If you try to create a sold wax casting you will encounter issues such as high cost, heavy bronze, and deformation of the final bronze (due to the heat generated) This applies to large castings. Very small bronze casting normally do not have these issue to consider.

wirefox terrier wax cast processwirefox terrier wax cast process

Transferring the melted wax to the holding container. Enough is transferred to fill the entire mold.

wirefox terrier wax cast processwirefox terrier wax cast process

left: after the first pour at 180°. right: third and last pour, if you look closely, you will note, the mold is still completely filled with the melted wax. The object is to achieve a uniform wall thickness throughout the mold.

I do not believe I achieved the objective on this first test run. Once the mold cools off I will remove the wax casting. Keeping my fingers crossed but I think the wax was too hot for this size of a mold. The mold insulated much of the heat; hence, it prevented the walls to gain their desired thickness.

question: why do you think the first pour failed

Answer: After the second pour I used a flashlight to look into the cavity. There I was able to see parts of the inside of the mold without a wax wall. The rubber was still visible in parts of the inside of the mold; therefore, the wax did not solidify on the walls. This was an indication that the wax was too hot.

If the first attempted fails, the next pour will start at 160°.

wirefox terrier wax cast ready for demoldingwirefox terrier mother mold removal

 

The mother mold is being opened in order to free the wax casting of the wirefox terrier
wirefox terrier bustwirefox terrier bust

As you can tell by looking at the images above, the only part of the wax cast that made the de-molding is the bust. The body did not achieve the desired wall thickness; therefore, the wall was too thin and delicate. While trying to free it from the rubber mold it broke into several pieces.

However, I love the the way the bust looks. Heck, I can use this piece to create a bronze bust.

In the next attempt I will pour the wax at 165°, then drop to 150°; finally 140°.

I will keep my fingers crossed :)

successful wirefox terrier wax castingsuccessful wirefox terrier wax casting
successful wirefox terrier wax castingsuccessful wirefox terrier wax casting

Well, well, well... the second attempt was perfect! The wall thickness is about 1/4". The following is the procedure used for this pour and has been recorded for future pours.

first pour......... 160° for five minutes (wait for your holding wax to drop to the next temp)

second pour.... 140° for five minutes (wait for your holding wax to drop to the next temp)

third pour........ 130° in and out (wait for your holding wax to drop to the next temp)

forth pour........ 125° in and out (increase temp slightly)

fifth pour........... 130° in and out ( allowed wax to solidify for about thirty minutes before I placed the mold on its side in order to expedite the cooling off of the mold)

The wax casting was remove from the mold five hours later.


Now it is time for the... Chasing... The hollow wax copy is then "chased": a heated metal tool is used to rub out the marks that show the "parting line" or "flashing" where the pieces of the mold came together. The wax is "dressed" to hide any imperfections. The wax now looks like the finished bronze. Wax pieces that were molded separately can be heated and attached; foundries often use "registration marks" to indicate exactly where they go.

 

»continue» next week for the wax gating and investment/ceramic shell ...
 
 
 
 

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