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Steaming Wax from Molds

Click here for basic information about the lost wax casting process.

In the lost wax casting process, wax can be removed from the mold using several approaches, ranging from heating the wax-filled investment in the kiln to steaming to remove the wax.  The key to both approaches is that the investment must be dry prior to attempting to remove the wax.

To remove wax by heating in the kiln, invert the mold over a pan of water and heat to about 225F/110C.  The wax will drip out of the mold and into the pan. Be careful not to heat much above this temperature.  You also want to maintain some water in the pan in the kiln, so you may need to add additional water as it  evaporates.

Since wax is flammable, it can catch fire or even vaporize if it is allowed to get too hot.  For this reason you should avoid heating wax above its flash point.  The flash point is the temperature at which wax bursts into flame; this can vary by type of wax, but a good rule of thumb is never to heat wax above 300F/150C.

It probably won't be possible to remove all of the wax by this method.  This will require that the remaining wax be burned out of the mold prior to filling the cavity with glass and casting.  This process will be discussed in a future section of this tip.

Click here for information on steaming wax out of the mold.

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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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