chattymetalsmiths Which wax is best?

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Original Post

I want to have a bash at a little wax carving. But I'm unsure which wax to start with. I know of 3 different colours - purple, green and blue.

For those that have experience in this, which is the best wax to begin with?? Also do you recommend any particular carving sets?? I have my eye on the Wolf Wax Carving set at RIO.

Thanks guys :)

Posted at 7:53 pm Feb 25, 2012 EST


i prefer green, but i started with the blue having not known about the other colors.
as for carving ive got an assortment of dental tools, modified exacto blades, and some nice new clean files.
oh and one of these things is escential.

Posted at 8:03 pm Feb 25, 2012 EST

Thanks Damon! I've added that tool to my wishlist.

Posted at 3:24 am Feb 26, 2012 EST

I second the Matt ring tube sizer!

The harder the wax the less tacky (will clean more easily from files and burrs)

I love blue for it's flexibility and green for everything else.
I haven't found an application to love purple.

An electric wax tool is a great investment, you can repair mistakes, fill voids, build bezels, build shapes etc.

Good luck and have fun!

Posted at 7:40 pm Mar 23, 2012 EDT

I prefer the purple wax myself. I find it the nicest to work with followed by the blue.

The best advice I could give you is if you can get a small amount of all three colours. Play around, see how they feel while working and go from there.

Posted at 8:30 pm Mar 23, 2012 EDT

I think that most teachers start with the purple, the mid hard, but truthfully, i don't find much difference between the green and the purple. Supposedly, you can get more detail with the green...

My husband's a dentist so I have access to all kinds of goodies...his personal favorite carving tool is the Vee carver. Your dentist probably won't have old tools to give to you, because they don't wear out, but if you're on friendly terms, the real tools are better than those they sell for wax carving.

My teacher says to forget about special wax burs...the standard metal ones are fine. He said this, of course, after I had bought wax burs. Another handy thing for all kinds of clean ups is 3M emery paper.

And a wax pen is also very very nice to have.

Have fun.

Posted at 11:35 pm Mar 23, 2012 EDT

Jeanne from goldenwatercreations says
Edited on Mar 24, 2012

any suggestions on books or videos on making the wax models? not planning on doing rings, more things like sheet background and floral/creatures on top.
i ordered the matt wax gun and dvd from rio. wow the forms created w/ that gun were amazing. also just received some wax wire and bezel and sheet combos from rio.
dh will be away on vacation last half of april and i hope to practice on wax then

Posted at 12:12 am Mar 24, 2012 EDT

That's interesting about the gun. I'll a look at it. Can you post pictures of what you've made...very interesting.

If you're interesting in playing around, get the thin pink sheet wax...lots of fun.

Posted at 9:07 pm Mar 24, 2012 EDT

marilyn, i haven't made anything yet. i watched the dvd. they show making flat wax, that i think was made by dropping it off the gun into water. then wax wax was squeezed out in long threads to be used in woven designs, such as woven ring bands. another example was dropping the wax onto a wooden ring mandrel in freeform scrolls to compose the ring band.
i ordered a selection of the pink sheets. must get tax prep finished before i start to play. i think while dh is on vacation i will just live in the studio hahaha, i've been known to just hyperfocus, order in food for several days, load up the animal bowls with food and water
my best vacations are when i'm home alone hahaha

Posted at 9:55 pm Mar 24, 2012 EDT

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