Friday, August 28, 2009

Busy Thursday!

Thursday was a good productive day for both of us. The flask went into the kiln at 8:45 AM, after warming it up to 300 F. I had to go outside and check out the day. Here are the boys . . .

They're guarding us from the Morning Glory that wants to take over the world!

Here are the custom wedding bands I cast Wednesday. All devested, pickled and ready to be de-sprued!

These were cast using the customers' own gold. I prefer to cast with at least 50% new metal to ensure the best quality of the castings. In this case they supplied their own gold in the form of rings they had had made before.

Because there was just enough gold I had to be very careful about how they were sprued. Frankly I spent hours thinking about it and weighing sprue wax and thinking some more!

This is a definte case where experience pays off. My spruing worked the rings turned out and this is what was facing Pat first thing in the morning!

After checking the kiln I checked all of the waxes I was planning to sprue. Like candling eggs, here's what you don't want to see!

Air bubbles in the wax will end up as holes in the final cast pieces. Throw that wax away and use another one.

Here are the waxes for the next tree all cleaned up, sprues cut at 45 degree angles and they're ready to go.

The sprues on the gold bands was so heavy that Pat had to use a miniature cut-off disc to seperate them. Here she's pre-polishing the interior of one of the rings.

Using the same rubber wheel on the outside.

After the cleanup and re-texturing and first buffing she soldered the heads on each ring. Here she's bezel setting the sapphire.

Yes, you use a small hammer to close the bezel ~ very carefully!

I added an extra 30 minutes to the 1350 F heat soak stage for this flask because it was lunch time and I was updating this blog! Here's a peak inside the kiln right after I turned it down to cool to 1000 F for the next two hours before casting.

I cast the flask with our three Ridgelines Rings at 2:56 PM. I got distracted spruing waxes so I didn't quench until 3:25 PM. It went well and all three rings turned out perfectly! After they went into the unltraonic for devesting I got back to spruing the last waxes for Friday's casting.

The waxes all sprued, smallest at the top largest and heaviest at the bottom. This is how I double-check as I go. They'll be burned out in a 3" diameter flask, so I've marked where 2" wide is so I can make sure that none of the waxes' ends are too far out.

All sprued and on their rubber base ready for the flask. The Total Wax Weight is 12.5 g. The sterling I use has a specific gravity of 10.4, so I'll be casting 130 g or around 4 1/3 ounces for this flask.

Since I work with vacuum-assisted lost wax casting, all of the wax will be melted out (lost) leaving voids or negative spaces in the investment.

The flask goes into the kiln in this position.

Before it is time to pour the flask has to be turned over so that what's now the bottom (the sprue/gate and casting cup area) will become the top.

And this is how it will look!
Pat finished up before I did, but I managed to finish investing and cleaning up around 6. I had to run a quick errand in the rain. She very kindly agreed that I should take a shower before getting into the kitchen! (As she said, "A clean cook is a happier cook!") Fast and easy meal using some great tortillini and the left over shreded chicken sald she made us for lunch.