Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

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PeregrineStudios
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#1 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:07 am

Hey folks,

I bought the B9 printer over other printers because of the lost-wax castable resin (and because the Form 1 people weren't even able to ship the damn things, so I lost a lot of faith in their ability to make functioning electronics). Right now I'm using Shapeways to print stainless steel jewelry, but I'd love to get into casting my own jewelry at home in silver or other metals (I'm not certain which ones are most apt for LWC, but I do think gold and brass can be cast that way as well).

I'm experimenting with mold casting with pewter right now, just to get a good feel for working with the metal myself, but I do want to move on to using my B9 to it's full potential. Does anyone know of any resources, forums, or places to start to learn about lost-wax casting in various metals? For reasons of... college, travelling somewhere to go to a jewelry school or class isn't possible at the moment, so I'm pretty much confined to books and online resources. Anything good for a beginner - where to start, what I need, etc - would be absolutely ideal.

Thanks for taking the time to read my long, rambling post for what should have been a fairly straightforward question! :)

cl2635
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#2 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:28 am

youtube.com one of the best resources for a beginner jeweller or to learn anything else these days :)

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Robert Howle
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#3 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:31 am

u need. plaster, oven, casting machine, tongs, flasks, rubber bases, vacuum and bell jar. All of the precious metals cast basically the same, except for platinum and palladium. I wouldn't mess with those as a newb. I;m sure if u just google centrifugal casting (least expensive way to go) there must be a ton of info out there. Post questions after u do the research, and I;m sure u can get help here. Go some place like Stuller.com and look at casting equipment and supplies. They sell complete starter casting setups. They also have tool guys that can assist u with any questions u might have. There may even be videos available.

Robert
Dance like nobody's watching!

cl2635
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#4 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:44 am

Buying a casting kit can set you back a few thousand dollars. If you're in a budget, you can always start by sending your printed models to a local caster in your city. You can work on perfecting your polishing, filing, finishing skills and learning more about the process while you save up.

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Robert Howle
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#5 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:56 am

Yea that!
Dance like nobody's watching!

PeregrineStudios
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#6 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:33 pm

Many thanks already you guys! I wasn't even aware they made centrifugal casting starter kits, so that's what I'm looking for now. Also, speaking of polishing, is it possible to to tumble-polish silver? I mean, I'm sure you couldn't get a perfect polish that way, but just as a good start? Or would silver be too soft for that?

cl2635
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#7 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:57 pm

Never used a tumbler before so have no idea about rotary tumblers, but from my research on magnetic tumblers, you can use them for silver. Many tumblers come with speed settings so you can go slower if you want a gentler polish also.

cl2635
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#8 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:13 pm

congrats on buying the B9 btw :) You will not be disappointed especially for the work you plan on using it ^^ Its an amazing printer straight from the factory. Add in mods like the aluminium VAT (in progress), bearing, projector mod (pending) etc, and other competitors in similar price range can't even come close to it :)

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akgold
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#9 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:41 pm

Knock yourself out>
www.gesswein.com/c-101-casting-equipment.aspx

but if I were you I would take a jewelry metals class up at the local university or community college to gain access to their equipment to learn on.
I'm so far behind I think I'm First !!

KNSCi
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#10 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:27 pm

Peregrine; the folks at septools.com, a Chicago USA tool provider, might have something of use to you; I know they are very conscious of making sure the end user knows how to use the gear properly. I don't know them as a customer per se, but have had occasion to see their knowledge in action and listen about how they run their business. Worth a contact.
ZLab3d, printing with B9Creator 1.1 & 1.2 since 2013

HenryJ
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#11 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:38 am

Peregrine, if you want to vacume cast, go to harbor freight and get a vacume pump. mine was 60 bucks i think. stop by auto parts place and get high heat flexible rubber hose and a vacume gauge to go inline so you can open and close preassure, 1/8 inch alluminum sheet big enough for bell jar to fit and silicone casting pad and you have a cheap vacume table. mount 4 2x4 wood blocks for legs under it and your good. any welding supply has bullnose torch heads , bottle of propane with a adjustabe gauge, and a bottle of oxygen , 20 buck crucible with handle and your nearly complete. around here lots of women bought kilns for ceramics and got bored, i have 2 paragons i got for 40 bucks each, i can stack 20 flasks in each if i want.. i have a centrifical casting machine havent used in 20 years.u can cast 5 flasks with vacume in time it takes to balance and cast i centrifical. oh if you have never used oxygen, DO NOT GET OIL OR GREASE ON BOTTLE OR TORCH OR YOU GO BOOM.

cerberus333
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#12 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:36 pm

Peregrine,
Regarding melting metals, most jewelry casting (gold, silver, bronze, nickle-silver alloy ) can be melted with an
air/acetylene torch. Using oxygen is not necessary.
here is a link for a fairly standard jewelry torch
http://www.amazon.com/Uniweld-K37-Acetylene-Handle-Connect/dp/B008BH5TSW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388718884&sr=8-1&keywords=air+acetylene+welding
and a "b" tank runs roughly $80 and a fill will last for many melts.

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perpetual_dreamer
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#13 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:40 pm

^ hey i have a question about melting metals... I know Palladium and Platinum require very high heat to melt and cast it. Why on the other hand, do alloys like silver/palladium not require high heat? There is still palladium content in the alloy.. wouldn't that require similar temperatures as pure palladium casting?

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akgold
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#14 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:02 pm

Quote from cerberus333 on January 2, 2014, 21:36
Peregrine,
Regarding melting metals, most jewelry casting (gold, silver, bronze, nickle-silver alloy ) can be melted with an
air/acetylene torch. Using oxygen is not necessary.
here is a link for a fairly standard jewelry torch
http://www.amazon.com/Uniweld-K37-Acetylene-Handle-Connect/dp/B008BH5TSW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388718884&sr=8-1&keywords=air+acetylene+welding
and a "b" tank runs roughly $80 and a fill will last for many melts.



My apologies to you but I have to disagree with this choice of set up.
The B tank does not use oxygen. I actually started out at my Kitchen table using one soldering jump rings and bails to nuggets back in 79 and that is about all it is good for. But only because it was easy to use in my house and even then that wasn't a real good idea to have in the house. I don't recommend it now looking back on it it was a silly thing to do. A garage would be the place to do this kind of work.

stay away from acetylene. it is just to expensive, dirty and it can add carbon to your metals in the melting process, although there are probably many who still use it it is just not the gas of choice. Propane is commonly used for torches of all kinds from bench to casting. for the higher temp metals they might use acetylene but I have yet to need it in my 30 plus years at the bench and I have worked on sizing and soldering all kinds of platinum. Even in High-school jewelry class we used natural gas for casting.
Go to the site I posted earlier Gesswien is one of many companies in our industry for these supplies.
Don't start with the Btank for 80 bucks you can order a torch from you local welding shop to use with propane. the tips originally were called MAP gas tips. but we just used propane. a standard torch from my welding days sits in the casting room for casting and it is using propane. gave up on the MAP gas tips they are a PIA.
any way I had to say something I have been handling torches since I was 15 and believe me the Btank is not the way to go.
This has been a standard for melting and casting.
http://www.gesswein.com/p-7667-hoke-jewel-torch.aspx?cpagenum=&sortfield=&sortdirection=&perpage=
this is what most of us use at the bench
regulators and torch
http://www.gesswein.com/c-259-tanks-and-regulators.aspx
.http://www.ottofrei.com/Meco-Midget-Torch-With-Tips.html
I'm so far behind I think I'm First !!

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PandaP
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#15 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:01 am

Regarding metal melting temps....it all comes down to metallurgy. Metals when combined have weird properties that do not always function as you think they would. Not only that, but a lot of those alloys with trace amounts of platinum and palladium are created in very industrial settings for the first melts, allowing them to be mixed properly so that when they are used in a studio the metal molecules have already been mixed together (so it's not like you're melting silver WITH platinum, you're melting the combo).

Centrifugal casting rules. I mean I love induction vacuum casting but who has 10k to spend on a casting machine haha...

You basically want this
http://www.riogrande.com/Product/VIC-12-Tabletop-Casting-Systems/705128?Pos=11
EXCEPT
Change out the vacuum casting machine for just a vacuum table and add this:
http://www.riogrande.com/Product/Neycraft-Spincaster/705002?Pos=20

Good luck on your search! I started out in jewellery about 4 years ago now and I will never ever look back. Pouring gold is the sweetest feeling :D

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akgold
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#16 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:26 am

I would not buy it from Rio that is a "crafters" order company.
I would shop around for everything. Stuller, Geswien, Otto Frie, there are many companies that are just wholesale equipment. quality is much better at these places then Rio.
the cost is not going to be 10grand a new swing arm is only 425.00
http://www.gesswein.com/p-1730-centrifugal-casting-unit-5.aspx?cpagenum=&sortfield=&sortdirection=&perpage=
Buy a deep well wash tub and bolt it down and you have the set up.
you can also go to you local dental supply and buy allot of equipment used.
check JCK website and others Gonigaskins (sp?) for used equipment
I'm so far behind I think I'm First !!

gmann
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#17 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:18 pm

Does anyone have any experience with the memco inducto-vac casting machine?

tobyramp@hotmail.com
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#18 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:31 pm

I am holding back from going on a safety rant. I will just say don't shoot your eye out.

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Robert Howle
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#19 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:06 pm

Been casting in a washtub and centrifugal machine for over 30 years. Always denser casting than with pouring. With large heavy pieces pouring is better.
Dance like nobody's watching!

gmann
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Lost-Wax Casters - Resources for a Beginner?

Post#20 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:13 am

Quote from tobyramp@hotmail.com on January 4, 2014, 22:31
I am holding back from going on a safety rant. I will just say don't shoot your eye out.


Can you elaborate ?

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