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Re: Wax Casting Question


Date: Sun Oct 21 2001 - 11:06:25 PDT

I have cast with Flex -Wax for a number of years. Watch out for boys
with hairy hands- Youch!
Aside from that it is probably one of their absolute favorite 3-d
projects. I've had my kids do hands( middle school). I can't imagine
doing faces ( I've tried it on myself) especially in 5th grade. I get
7th and 8th graders who are afraid to put their hands in it and I never
force anyone to do. Then they have to find a friend to volunteer for
I use a slo- cooker to melt the wax. The wax is placed in a large coffee
can( you can't melt it directly). Add water to the slo- cooker.
It takes a few hours to melt it, so start it up early. You need to
monitor the temp as it melts. If you heat it to high it takes a bit of
monkeying around with it get it right.
I have the student soak their hand in cold water for a min. , dry well,
apply a lubricant, such as a lotion or oil. Quickly dip the hand , let
it harden and dip again , sometimes 3 dips are better.
After the last drip I have them put it back in the cold water,BUT don't
let water get in to the inside of the hand . It will create a suction
that makes it tricky to get the hand out. If the hand was not dipped to
deep( past the wrist) you can pull it out. If you can't get it out , cut
a seam, pull out and re- wax it shut.
I had a girl get panicky one when we could not get her hand out right
away( her long fingernails were stuck. I quickly cut a seam and removed
her hand. Also watch out for kids who are heat sensitive. I had another
girl get red blotches. I always test the temp with a candy thermometer
and my hand first.
If you really want to do faces , I'd do the plaster faces with those
plaster strips. We have discussed those plenty of times in the past and
info should be in the archives. Also clay molds might work.
Good Luck
MaryB wrote: hi, everyone! Has anyone ever used low temp
melt wax for casting? Is it difficult to use? Any tips? I have many
blocks of wax (I think it's called Flex-wax). They are blue 5 lb.
blocks of low temp melt wax. I thought I would cast each of my 5th
graders faces with it, then use the mold for plaster. I plan to attach
the face to heavy illustration board. The kids will develop a background
on this and incorporate it with their self portrait. What do you think?