My lost wax casting class started last week, and our homework assignment is to have a wax pattern all ready to start the process when we arrive at class on Tuesday. I’m excited, because this means that I finally get to make Matt’s lightning bolt ring! Things couldn’t have worked out more perfectly, as Matt and Jeff came to visit this weekend, so I was able to have Matt around for input while I carved the wax for his ring.
Here are the raw materials – a hard wax tube with a flat top that has been sawed to the correct width, and some softer brown Victory wax:
The tools of the trade – an X-Acto knife, some small files and carving tools, ruler, divider, and a wax ring mandrel:
Following the very excellent instructions in Basic Wax Modeling, I used the divider to inscribe guide lines all over the wax ring tube at the halfway points, to keep the ring balanced and neatly carved. I then sized the ring to fit Matt’s index finger with the wax mandrel – it has a metal blade on one side and that carves the wax from the inside of the tube to enlarge the hole.
I then spent several hours filing and shaping the ring. My first attempt at carving a lightning bolt on the top of the ring didn’t work out quite as I hoped, so I leveled the top of the ring out, and instead cut a bolt from the pliable sheet of Victory wax and melted the back of the bolt to the top of the ring. It was a little tricky but I like the result.
Here is the ring ready to be sprued:
I am also planning to carve a little signet ring for myself, and ideally I would like to have that ready by the next class so I can sprue both the rings onto a little tree and cast them at the same time.