Beginning Wax Casting: Resources For Jewelry Makers


Wax casting makes it possible to create intricate metal pieces for jewelry. The wax model is used to create a mold into which molten metal can be poured. “Tulip-wax-2” by Mark Somma is licensed under CC By 2.0
Wax casting makes it possible to create intricate metal pieces for jewelry. The wax model is used to create a mold into which molten metal can be poured. “Tulip-wax-2” by Mark Somma is licensed under CC By 2.0

Question

I’m very interested in wax casting my own jewelry pieces. What equipment do I need to get started? Frankly, I would like to spend as little as possible on my setup. Then again, I don’t want to buy junk. Can anyone recommend a good set of wax casting tools that isn’t too expensive?

Thank you,

Rick

Wax Casting Equipment On A Budget

You can find a list of equipment you’ll need in this article on lost wax casting. The first wax casting resource you should pick up is Practical Casting: A Studio Reference by Tim McCreight. That might set you back about $16.00. Tim explains in great detail how to create a very inexpensive wax casting setup. I’ve used his techniques, and the equipment that I made myself based on his book, for years. I’ve had great results. As a bonus, you can amaze your friends by explaining that your beautiful jewelry pieces were cast using a pipe nipple, some paper towels, and a mayonnaise jar lid nailed to a wooden dowel!

Happy casting,

Randy Frey

Jewelry Templates For Wax Casting

I’ve discussed the use of templates as drawing aids for refining design concepts in my jewelry design article. This applies to designing pieces for wax casting, too. You can buy plastic templates as well as use various drawing and design programs to create printable templates on your computer.

A drawing is used as a template to cut a design into wax. “Basset Hound pendant – 2/8” by Mauro Cateb is licensed under CC By 2.0
A drawing is used as a template to cut a design into wax. “Basset Hound pendant – 2/8” by Mauro Cateb is licensed under CC By 2.0

If you’re going to incorporate gemstones in your cast jewelry pieces, you can download and print two free gem charts from Tripps. These charts have diagrams of the nine most common gemstone shapes and their standard sizes. The diagrams are fairly accurate and come with a printed scale that you can check to verify accuracy. (The only noticeable inaccuracy are the “squares,” which are obviously not square). As a set of gemstone templates you can use in conjunction with jewelry design templates, these are acceptable for beginning wax casting.

Hope this helps,

Howard Denghausen

“Final Serpentine Carving ~ In-Process” by Jessa and Mark Anderson is licensed under CC By 2.0
“Final Serpentine Carving ~ In-Process” by Jessa and Mark Anderson is licensed under CC By 2.0