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Thread: cnc paternmaking and casting-machinable wax

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    Default cnc paternmaking and casting-machinable wax

    Hi guys,
    Beone here.
    I promised a while ago to post on my use of homemade machinable wax and using it for foundry patterns. This will be a fairly long post with many photos.

    First the machinable wax. As a foundry enthusiast I have need of patterns- this is why I built the machine, I can see want I want but I can't carve it. I built a modified GER-21 router(torsion boxes) and am extremely happy with it. I use Mach3- Art, You rock!!, I can't imagine what else he needs to add- outstanding product. Xylotex 3axis driver and steppers- great product, the only problem I had was taken care of quickly. Xylotex, you can expect an order for controls for my next machine soon.
    VCarvePro to generate g-code for signs- what a product!

    As you can tell I am sold on these products!

    On to the wax:
    I needed a way to create small patterns(around 2") for my foundry. wood splinters too much. I had heard about machineable wax so I got out my catalogs and got a shock when I saw the prices, plus I coldn't find it in thin sheets 1/8 to 1/4 inch. So I did a lot of research and found a site where the guy talked about making his own. Sorry but I lost the Link. So I decided to try it anyway. Basically you are using plain wax to melt a polymer to get a tougher product.
    Formula:
    1 lb parafin (Gulfwax etc)
    4 oz polyetheline film

    melt the parafin- you cant really use a double boiler because you need to get up to about 275 degrees. Be careful!!
    start placing strips of plain old polyetheline plastic sheeting in the melted wax and stirring. it wil slowly disolve. I now use some colored wax so you can see the carvings easier- black poly might be better- it is really hard to see detail in the white wax.
    I then pour the wax onto a board onto which a sheet of paper is surrounded by a wood dam of the proper height. I go higher than I want because the wax wil shrink. This board (when hard) is then put on the cnc and planed off to the desired thickness. Then I then cut any desired thing into the wax. The sheet of paper acts as away to easily separate the parts from the board.

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    Last edited by beone; 10-25-2006 at 07:45 PM.
    In the words of the Toolman--If you didn't make it yourself, it's not really yours!
    Remember- done beats perfect every time!!


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    Default continued

    As you can see, i cut as many patterns as i need. This was a surprise as I didn't think the wax would be rugged enough to stand service as a pattern, but it serves very well, and it machines like a breeze. The shavings are a bit of aproblem but the floor gets really slick and shiny!! ;.)
    I then mount as many patterns as I can fit onto a board (making it a matchplate) I then engrave anything I want on the back to show up on the back of the casting and I'm off to the foundry.
    see the pic of the finished prod- some colored by my wife.


    I also cast Plaques and signs. I carve a plaque- this is a house sign for a friend getting married- then carve the attachments. I usec vectrix's new 3d prog to carve the eagle out of 1/4 aircraft ply- fantastic product. I carved all the letters out of 1/8 AC ply using a 30 deg engraving bit. I can't believe aow well they cut the ply and they run very true. The attachments are then rubber cemented onto the plaque and its off to the foundry. See teh pic of the finished product.

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    In the words of the Toolman--If you didn't make it yourself, it's not really yours!
    Remember- done beats perfect every time!!


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    Default

    Lots of helpful information there. Thanks for posting.

    I make patterns for the resin casting industry and also use wax, the expensive stuff! It is the last time i'll buy that.



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    I plan to make plastic molds of jet engine parts and cast them in alloy metal.....



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    I have been a Pattern Maker for 38 years and have owned my shop for 29 years a good sorse for machineable wax is any investment foundry they have to pay some one to haul the used wax off.I can get it by the 55gal drums.



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    Quote Originally Posted by beone
    So I did a lot of research and found a site where the guy talked about making his own. Sorry but I lost the Link.
    The link was probably the one I posted in this thread Machinable wax. Specifically post #2.

    I hope that will help someone out. Overman's site is a fabulous resource for DIY machineable wax and other cool stuff.

    HayTay

    Don't be the one that stands in the way of your success!


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