This article was originally posted on Userblogs on 6/21/2016.
The Foredom Wax Carver (WC-1) is a new wax worker recently made available to the jewelry industry by The Foredom® Electric Company. To demonstrate many of its features, Michael Dickey performs a wax build-up project.
|Dickey's customer has asked for a portion of an abalone shell to be used as a center piece for a 14 karat yellow gold freeform pendant.
|Dickey uses a tungsten carbide bit and the Foredom® micro motor to remove the most interesting and colorful section of the shell.
From this large section, he fashions a smaller piece suitable for the pendant. (Dickey uses a facemask when working with the abalone to avoid breathing in the dust generated from the process.)
|The shell is covered with a wax lubricant so the wax will not adhere to it during the build-up process. Dickey has mounted the Foredom® WC-1 wax working pen to the upright shelf above his bench.
The on/off switch also controls the amount of heat to the tip. He turns on the unit and sets it for the desired temperature. Dickey is pleased with the quickness at which the tip reaches and holds temperature.
|He keeps a reservoir of un-melted wax above his bench pen and with the supplied scoop tip, melts and transfers the wax to the rim of the pendant he's creating. The handpiece is lightweight and the flexible cord can be detached from the power supply. The cork keeps heat away from Dickey's hands during the process.
|The outside border is complete. Dickey built some "boughs" for his tree design on a separate block. He changed the tip on the handpiece and is now incorporating them into the design.
Note: Change the tips on the wax pen with the heat on by using pliers or another holding device. If the handpiece is allowed to cool, the wax may hold the tip on the shaft.
|Dickey has made a bail from carving wax and has attached it to the top of the pendant. Here he's detailing the tree with the optional curved tapered tip.
|Because he took care to cover the shell with a wax lubricant, he was able to easily lift off the wax design he created over the shell to prepare it for casting.
|The 14 karat yellow gold pendant is finished and ready to be delivered to his customer.
|The Foredom® Wax Carver WC-1 wax-working unit measures 2 ½ inches X 2 inches. It comes with 4 detachable brass tips (shown on the right) and three optional tips (on the left, in circle). Not pictured is the transformer that plugs into the top portion of the unit (and an electrical outlet). There is a "power on" indicator light on the top left corner that flashes constantly when the unit is on. Approximate tip temperatures range from: Low - 95 degrees, 2 - 200 degrees, 3 - 340 degrees, 4 - 425 degrees, 5 - 525 degrees and max is about 560 degrees.
|From left to right, the knife, large and small scoop and straight tapered tips are supplied with the unit. Dickey states, "The scoop tips move large amounts of wax - more than any tip on a wax worker I've used in my 25 year career".
Visit Foredom website for information related to Foredom tools.
By Mark B. Mann
Copyright © Mark Mann 2004
All rights reserved internationally. Copyright © Mark Mann. Users have permission to download the information and share it as long as no money is made. No commercial use of this information is allowed without permission in writing from Mark Mann.
Design and Technical Contributions by: JA certified master bench jeweler Michael Dickey of Michael Dickey Designs, Redlands, CA
Procedure Photographs: Gail Dickey
Product Photographs: Mark B. Mann
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