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The Lost Wax Casting Process

The lost wax casting method involves making a wax model, investing it in a mold, and then melting the wax out of the mold to form a cavity into which a glass replica can be cast.

Wax models can be made in several ways, ranging from hand modeling with beeswax or a similar easily molded wax to casting from a latex or other master mold. Wax can even be poured into a pan to form sheets which can then be cut and formed.

Regardless of the method used, the creation of the wax model is the first step to using the lost wax process. Once this model has been made, it should be encased in the investment material (usually a plaster/silica mixture).

Once the investment dries, the wax should be removed from the mold.  There are several ways to do this, ranging from heating the mold in a kiln to steaming the wax out of the mold.  Whichever method is used, it's critical not to overheat the wax.  Since wax is flammable, it can catch fire if it is allowed to get too hot.

After the wax has been melted out, the mold is ready to be cured, filled with glass, and fired.  As the glass pieces melt in the mold, they will fill the spaces once occupied by the wax, a process that gives this technique its name.

With careful reclaiming, the wax can be used again in a later project.

Coming soon -- tips on choosing the best wax for lost wax casting, on the best way to remove wax from the mold, and more about the lost wax casting process.

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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