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Showing posts from October, 2016

Wax Injection

Lost wax casting is a great process for jewelry because it captures every detail in your model (even fingerprints, if you're not careful). What's not so great is having to carve those details every single time if you want to make several copies of an object. To get around this, we can make a reusable mold and cast duplicate wax models to destroy instead instead of our nice master model.
Making the mold Wax molds are typically made out of some form of elastomer. Vulcanized rubber is a standard material for jewelry because of the durability of the mold. However, it also requires an expensive vulcanizer, and you may not need all the qualities of vulcanized rubber.
Instead of rubber, I use Mold Max 60, which is a RTV silicone. This means it can vulcanize (cure) into a usable mold at room temperature instead of needing a machine. Mold Max 60 specifically is capable of handling high temperatures, so while it's not the necessarily the best option for wax molds, I can also use it…

Making Metal Purple: Enamel and Patinas

One problem I ran into with my award medallion project is how to make metal purple. Because Calontir likes purple. A lot. After digging around, I came up with four possible plans:
EnamelPatinaDye-oxideDyed epoxy Enamel This was my first choice, as it both looks pretty and fits into the time period of the SCA. After some modifications to my soldering station and a promising test on scrap copper, I took one of my newly cast Golden Swan medallions and went to work.

A layer of enamel was applied and things looked good. The medallion was set aside to cool. While I was cleaning up other parts of the shop, I started hearing a faint little "Ting! Ting!" coming from the soldering tray. All of the beautiful enamel was popping off! Which lead to the first lesson from this project: coefficient of thermal expansion.
Most of the enamels you see for sale are "medium temperature medium expansion". These are designed with copper, gold, and silver in mind. Since the brass I was tryi…