Bronze Hands Lost Wax Project

Discussion in 'Lost wax casting' started by Sillytrain, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. Sillytrain

    Sillytrain Copper

    Hello all!
    I'm starting my first big project and I'm trying to get it done by Christmas which should be an interesting challenge. I'm casting my father in laws hands in bronze silicate for my mother in law as a surprise christmas present. My father in law had a heart transplant 5 years ago, and without a second transplant, the life expectancy of the heart transplant is around 5-15 years. Our family decided to all pitch in for the materials so we can cast his hands, so that later in life she can still hold his hands once he's passed on. A real tear jerker for sure.
    It's been a steep learning curve but I've been really enjoying the challenge.

    My process outline is:
    1. create model with algenate/plaster
    2. clean up / refine plaster model
    3. coat model in a few coats of liquid mold making rubber shell (https://www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-H...gh-Strength-Liquid-Mold-Making-Rubber/p/23885)
    4. create a clam shell plaster strip mother mold to keep the rubber mold in it's proper shape
    5. remove plaster model
    6. create wax model with slush casting using paramelt dark red casting wax (https://shop.sculpt.com/paramelt-dark-red-casting-wax-1467a-5lb.html) [i pray the 5lbs i ordered will be enough]
    7. create a ceramic shell or block cast shell around the wax model... (i really need some help and advice on this part. there are so many different ceramic formulas and processes out there. any pointers, advice, or references would be greatly appreciated.)
    8. burn out & reclaim the wax
    9. melt my bronze silicate grain and pour into the
    10. polish and accent

    I've gone through 4 model casts using algenate before I was able to get a good cast. At first i tried using Smooth-On Smooth Cast 300Q Fast Setting Urethane Casting Plastic for my model since it's more firm than plaster. after a few failed attempts at that due to bubbles, i settled on the traditional plaster casting since it was cheaper.
    IMG_6986.jpg IMG_6991.PNG IMG_7003.jpg IMG_7012.jpg IMG_7014.jpg IMG_7016.jpg IMG_7019.jpg IMG_6708.jpg
    There were some tiny bubbles in the plaster cast, so i used a candle to rub on wax into the tiny holes before making the rubber mold.

    I decided to make the rubber mold for casting the wax because doing a wax model straight in the algenate only gives me one shot to get the lost wax cast right, otherwise i have to start from scratch. if i botch the job, i can cast the wax in my rubber mold again and try again.

    Currently my first thick coat of rubber molding is curing. once it's partially cured enough, i'm going to preemptively pour a second coat, and if it's thick enough i may just stick with 2 coats.

    any tips to getting the ceramic shell done right and quickly would be stellar!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Sillytrain

    Sillytrain Copper

    The 300Q was interesting to watch set as it suddenly hardens after about 3 minutes:
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jason

    Jason Gold Banner Member

    lol.... You want this done by WHEN?? Make your model and send it to loveland, you MIGHT get it back by valentines days.

    And you won't be casting it in ceramic shell this time of year. R&R won't ship when there is freeze risk. SO that leaves you with either find someone that can shell or run solid investment. I applaud your enthusiasm, but this stuff takes time. You might want to check out my youtube channel. Start with the long and boring tutorials. They were made that way for a reason. If you can make it through those, you might stand a chance on completing your hands. If this is a one off and you have no desire to continue casting metal, I suggest cold bronze cast resin and save yourself a ton of time and money. You did however find the best place on the net for metal casting. Most clowns on YT won't share or don't know what the guys here do.

    What is this bronze silicate you speak of?
     
  4. Sillytrain

    Sillytrain Copper

    I’ve got 20lbs of bronze silicate casting grain from contenti. lol I know it’s an insane rush job but I love a good challenge.
    I have an email into the local university professor who does casting to see if I can get any help there.
    If I can’t get investment shipped during the winter I may have to try doing a home brew investment recipe. I’ve found a handful of suggested diy investment mixes on these forums and alloy avenue.
    If the university gets back to me maybe theyll let me use their electric burnout oven which would make solid casting a viable option.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    Awesome first project, as far as the time frame I think it's possible, just have to stay on it...
    Using the block casting method would be faster as shelling up a mold takes time. Dont bother with the diy stuff order yourself a box of ultravest and be done with it...
     
  6. Sillytrain

    Sillytrain Copper

    Thanks for the vote of confidence DavidF! I'll def be staying on it like a dog with a bone.

    .... OMGosh it just hit me... one of the countries largest jewelry manufacturers is setup here in my home town... i even worked for them for a year waaay back when.... i just checked online and they freaking sell casting stuff like ultravest... score!!! christmas is looking better and better!
    Look at all the investment stuff they have for sale:
    https://www.stuller.com/search/results/?query=investment
    with these kinds of options is there anything better than ultravest that i should consider getting instead??
     
  7. Jason

    Jason Gold Banner Member

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  8. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    I like the ultravest for lost wax, and the plasticast for lost pla. Not familiar with some of the other stuff they have...
     
  9. Sillytrain

    Sillytrain Copper

    Thanks for helping me learn the right nomenclature Jason.
    I just checked the prices at budget casting supply... looks like i paid about $1/lb more with contenti. I think i can sleep ok at night with that markup for my first rodeo. But thanks for pointing me to a cheaper supplier, I'll def have to keep them in mind for my next project.
    what about wax suppliers? i got 5lbs of the dark red casting wax. who do you order your wax from?
    https://shop.sculpt.com/paramelt-dark-red-casting-wax-1467a-5lb.html
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Zapins

    Zapins Silver

    So much work you did here! Wow!

    If you can make wax copies you're half way there.

    Like I said in our messages and Jason brought up its definitely a rush job haha.

    Remet has a distribution location in LA that you might be able to get slurry from. Otherwise none of the suppliers ship unless you pay high shipping fees with a warmed truck.

    Another place to get silicon bronze is lancaster foundries. They ship up to about 45 to 60 lbs for $4.50 a pound shipped. I use them for my metal and another member on this forum just recently got some (poured some Christian crosses with it and is hoarding the photos). They might be another good option for you.

    For wax I use budget casting wax "premier pastel wax" it's about a dollar a pound and remet sells it too. They can ship that and the sand and powders to you just not the slurry. Check out their website in the last pm I sent you for the LA location you might be able to get some that way.

    Jason uses suspendaslurry which is another great intro option but I don't know where they are based or if you are within driving range of them to pick it up in person.

    Rocco uses ludo which you might be able to make and use (block molds) but you'll need to figure out how to burn out the mold for 2 days straight in a controlled way. Maybe Rocco can chime in?
     
  11. Sillytrain

    Sillytrain Copper

    Thanks for the info Zapins! i'll def bookmark those sites for the future.
    as for the Remet distributor, that's a bit of a drive to Los Angeles from southern Louisiana... :D

    i'm on the phone with Stuller now setting up a pickup order of some Ultravest. They're only a 4 minute drive away from my house. :cool:

    how forgiving is the firing time for dewaxing/curing a block cast mold?
    i guess my question is what's the risk of having it under cured? reaction to retained moisture?
     
  12. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    It's pretty important especially the final 700c...
    That being said, alot of people have short cut the burn out schedule and did ok... I just wouldn't recommend skimping out when your so close to home...
     
  13. Zapins

    Zapins Silver

    Yes under doing it retains moisture and when you pour the metal causes the moisture to turn to steam and it pops and bubbles ruining your casting.

    I'm not sure how forgiving block molds are. I don't think you can overheat them too much or they crumble and you can't under bake them either. But I don't have too much experience with them.

    You'll need a kiln to do it properly though or some form of temperature control.
     
  14. rocco

    rocco Silver

    Not sure where you got that, maybe you're thinking about Rasper. My experience with investment casting is pretty minimal, I don't feel I'm in any position to make recommendations on the subject.
     
  15. Zapins

    Zapins Silver

    Oooh yes rasper was who I was thinking of.

    I was just reading your other post in the other thread and had your name on my brain.
     
  16. Sillytrain

    Sillytrain Copper

    all I have is a propane forge. Wonder if there’s a way to hack job It with that but I don’t have a laser thermometer to control the temp. I wonder what other options I have other than trying to find someone with a kiln in town.
     
  17. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    I wouldn't advise burning it out in your furnace, too rapid of heating and no real control. A kiln is the best answer..
    I checked your local craigslist, two kilns both $800.00. Around here I can pick up a used one for $100.00.
     
  18. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    Let me put the feelers out for you and see if there is anyone around you that can help...
     
  19. rocco

    rocco Silver

    Check out SV Seeker's youtube page, he did a large wax burnout with a propane fired kiln, I think he set up a electric solenoid valve in parallel with a needle valve on the burner, he set a low flame with the needle valve and used a PID temperature controller (or some other type of thermostat) to trigger the solenoid valve for full blast on the burner.
     
  20. Zapins

    Zapins Silver

    Ceramic shell is forgiving with burnout temps, anything from 900 to 2300 seems to work.

    Maybe you can find a local place to burn out the molds for you? Maybe the university professor could help you out on this one off piece until you figure out your tooling situation.
     

Share This Page