TaleSpinner

My Journey into Lost-Wax Metal Casting

133 posts in this topic

Weirdly, all the local pottery supply places do not have this.  They have kilns, but no fire bricks listed.  

 

They don't carry replacement shelves? My local ceramics store carries kilns, furniture for them, and replacement parts. But they don't list it on their website. I go there from time to time because my wife does pottery and it's closer to my work. They are only open one Saturday each month. You may want to call around and see if they do have it.

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FWIW, I had to inquire directly at Capital Pottery Supplies here in Ottawa to get insulating firebrick and ceramic fiber blanket special-ordered, as they are not in their catalog of normally stocked items.  You could always try asking in person if all you did was to check websites.  I only discovered this when CPS got a new owner who removed the online catalog from their site.  Instead of seeing they don't carry the stuff I needed and giving up, I called and asked... 

 

The dense hard type of firebricks should be easier to find than that stuff I ordered though, as they are commonly used to repair wood stoves .  If not in the big box stores (did you ever end up checking at Lowe's?) then maybe try a few smaller corner hardware stores.  I prefer to shop there than in the big boxes anyhow, you get better advice and service for one thing.  Don't get me started on my experiences trying to get any help from the ill-trained apes working at the big orange box!

 

If all else fails and you really need a dense firebrick or two, I have some DIY ideas I can share, but you should be able to find them premade for cheaper (unless you need large number of them maybe) and easier than DIYing it, and without travelling too far from home.

 

Kang

Edited by Kang
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I haven't had time yet. Lowes is a 30 min drive away from me.  I'll probably try the local Ace hardware first.  Right now though I am focusing on getting the wiring done because my whole shop and studio are un-useable due to everything being pulled away from the walls, and I really need my space back (if for nothing more than my normal sculpting projects). 

 

Tonight, I start wiring in the receptacles.  :B):

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at the risk of giving a mod a link to a website that sells kiln accessories...

 

highwaterclays

 

highwater's near me (Highwater Clay Asheville NC).  I used to order all my clay and got my wheel from them.  I'm not sure how shipping all the way to MN is, but they're very nice on the phone and helpful.  Also, if you can wait on some of the stuff until octobor and tell me what you need, I might could bring it to Reapercon.

 

feel free to delete the link after you read it! ;)

 

while I'm at it, this is the brick page: <Link edited out>

Edited by TaleSpinner
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I hear you about the need to access your work space TS!

 

I am one of those people who has to keep hassling themselves to tidy up the workspace regularly instead of just climbing over the mounds of piled up junk left over from old projects.  Right now I can barely even get to my patternmaking workbench because of all the leftover washer/dryer bits left over from my sand muller build (amazing how much plastic and sheet metal comes out of one of those apartment-sized combo laundry machines once you get them taken apart!) 

 

That mess cost me 2 failed castings out of 3 attempts last weekend, when I opted to take the lazy route and carve some lost styrofoam patterns instead of clearing a path to the bench so I could make proper wooden sand casting patterns, even fully knowing they would be less likely to succeed using lost foam.  So now I am pretty much back to square one, maybe even worse off than that since now it is snowy out.  Not ideal weather for metal casting!

 

At least they were only Styrofoam patterns.  Losing a lost wax casting would mean a lot more time and effort and fuel and expensive investment materials wasted.  Not that your existing mess is likely to cause that...

 

Don't forget to turn the breakers off before you start poking at anything with a screwdriver!  The magic pixies who live inside the wires really hate that.

 

Kang

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I hear you about the need to access your work space TS!

 

I am one of those people who has to keep hassling themselves to tidy up the workspace regularly instead of just climbing over the mounds of piled up junk left over from old projects.  Right now I can barely even get to my patternmaking workbench because of all the leftover washer/dryer bits left over from my sand muller build (amazing how much plastic and sheet metal comes out of one of those apartment-sized combo laundry machines once you get them taken apart!) 

 

That mess cost me 2 failed castings out of 3 attempts last weekend, when I opted to take the lazy route and carve some lost styrofoam patterns instead of clearing a path to the bench so I could make proper wooden sand casting patterns, even fully knowing they would be less likely to succeed using lost foam.  So now I am pretty much back to square one, maybe even worse off than that since now it is snowy out.  Not ideal weather for metal casting!

 

At least they were only Styrofoam patterns.  Losing a lost wax casting would mean a lot more time and effort and fuel and expensive investment materials wasted.  Not that your existing mess is likely to cause that...

 

Don't forget to turn the breakers off before you start poking at anything with a screwdriver!  The magic pixies who live inside the wires really hate that.

 

Kang

 

You just described my wood shop on any given day.  Usually though my sculpting studio is fairly neat...sort of.

 

No problem with the electric pixies at this point; nothing is connected to the breaker box and won't be until everything is done.  My biggest fear is hooking everything up to the breaker box, as even with the main off, there is still an electric ogre that lives in the top of the box that cannot be turned off.  :huh:  :unsure:

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I know the feeling. You can take a piece of cardboard and cover up the still live part, just to make it harder for a stray wire. Also remember electricity is looking for a path to ground. Wear thick soled shoes, don't lean up against anything. I'll sometimes wear latex exam gloves as a little extra protection. 

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Thanks Ludo.  I definitely decided that I am going to wire the box myself.  I figure that if I cannot safely wire the box and pay attention to the dangers while doing that, then I have no business handling 2000 deg F molten metal either.

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Not sure what the insurance rules are in the states but you may have to get a certified electrician to validate the hook ups.

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Whether it is electrical wires or molten bronze, just don't touch it when it's 'hot'!

 

Hey Ludo, I suppose your name refers to a game, or to gaming (there is a gaming club here called Ludo, based across the Ottawa river in Quebec; they have a great library of board games and hold big gaming events here once or twice a year), but did you know it is also the term given to used lost wax investment casting mold material?  Some plaster-based investment recipes include recycled ludo (sometimes spelled "luto") as an ingredient...  Coincidence? 

 

:)

 

Kang

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Not sure what the insurance rules are in the states but you may have to get a certified electrician to validate the hook ups.

 

Yep.  I have the permit and have been conversing with the electrical inspector regularly.  He will do a full inspection when I am done.  I wouldn't do it any other way as I am definitely on the Lawful side of the alignment spectrum.  :poke:

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Whether it is electrical wires or molten bronze, just don't touch it when it's 'hot'!

 

Hey Ludo, I suppose your name refers to a game, or to gaming (there is a gaming club here called Ludo, based across the Ottawa river in Quebec; they have a great library of board games and hold big gaming events here once or twice a year), but did you know it is also the term given to used lost wax investment casting mold material? Some plaster-based investment recipes include recycled ludo (sometimes spelled "luto") as an ingredient... Coincidence?

 

:)

 

Kang

Did not know about the casting refrence. I got the name from the muppet. I have a copy of the board game with the namesake.

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Forgot all about THAT Ludo.  I guess I was always more of a The Dark Crystal guy... :)

 

Kang

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WOOT!!!!!!

 

I just finished wiring all the outlets and connected them to the box.  It took me more than a month to do it but it is done.  I tested every circuit, and they are all perfect.

 

All I have left is the electrical inspection and running the duct work for the vent hood.

 

:bday: :bday: :bday: :bday: :bday: :bday: :bday: :bday:

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I got the ducts for the vent hood plumbed in over the weekend.  That thing really sucks.  ::P:

 

Tomorrow the Electrical Inspector comes. I'm a bit nervous about that.

 

All I need then is a trip to Harbor Freight to get a face shield and leather apron and I'll be in business.

 

Andy

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