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Benched Wax

Wax Carving Bench

Wax Carving Bench

I received a new jeweler’s bench last night. My intent is to use it for my wax carving work within the air conditioned environment of my home office. It is usually termed “a beginner’s bench” because of its low cost and only three drawers. I think it is perfect for my special or single purpose use.

If I had the space I would have a bench for every special purpose. I almost have that now within my shop. I have to keep at least one bench as general purpose and now that general purpose bench doesn’t have to be cleaned up for wax work with this new bench in service.

The classes I took on wax carving made it a big deal to keep the wax carving separate from the metal finish area. It is a good practice if you have the room for two areas. The Craft Guild of Dallas uses a totally dedicated wax carving area. The metal finish is in an entirely separate room.

However, I will have to equip the new bench with the standard accessories like a good task light and eventually its own Foredom SR flex shaft tool. I think just a second Foredom stand will do for now (at least the base clamp) as I can move the motor tool as needed. I’ll wait in see what kind of working style I develop. I can be frugal if I choose.

Of course all my current wax tools and supplies will live at this new bench. I won’t have my metal finish files mixed in with my wax files. I may need to add a second jeweler’s saw, keeping one for wax and one for metal. No big expense. I’ll just deal with those details.

I am very excited about this new work area. It will put me into a much more comfortable work environment where I can easily visit my work at any time day or night and sit down to be creative in making the master wax models. The entire lost wax process is dependent on creating the perfect master model of the item being cast.

Metal casting and finishing is a major portion of creating the finished product and requires manufacturing skill as well as an imaginative effort. There are choices and creativeness in the finishing, but no “start from scratch with a day dream” designing. If I am going to design say a hand carved frog, I first have to think about it and create it as a detailed wax model to fulfill my vision.

It is far easier to perfect a design in wax than it is to fix or change it in metal. That said, there is still a lot of effort in the finishing details. All metal work will remain at the low bench I have out in the big workshop. It is perfect for detailing and finishing the lost wax castings.

I haven’t abandoned the machining CNC process of carving wax. I totally intend to follow that trail. There are designs that just beg to be handmade. That is what the new work area is all about. The CNC machining is (industrially) noisy and runs for many hours. It still needs to be out in the shop for that reason.

With hand work, noise pollution and wax carving debris is minimal even with using the Foredom. I love it!

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