Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How it is made: A custom wedding ring for an old engagement ring. Part 2.

I used the lost wax casting process to create the ring guard/wedding ring for the bride.

First I choose a wax blank, in this case a Matt's purple for no particular reason other than, that I had this piece that was the perfect thickness.
Next I marked every possible dimensions of the design on the blank, using dividers and scrapers, carbide pencils, knives... whatever. Since some of the marks will be carved away, I either redraw them as I proceed or extend the markings onto areas, that will not be last . This is most important for the crucial dimensions that determine the symmetry, centers and borders, that will be pretty hard to establish again when the simple geometry of the blank will transform into the more complex geometry of the design.
For rough shaping I used a handpiece extension, that allows me to position and hold the cylindrical bit in fixed angle ( 90 degrees in this case).
End of the roughing up, onto the more delicate free hand shaping.

I carefully traced the measurements and outlines of the design and fitted the green top part , that I previously carved, to the forming shank.
Then , using a jewelers saw, I cut out the tapered profile shape.
More sawing: to remove the middle part of the shank and shape the tiny columns that will support the top part.

Using jeweler's saw, blades, files and abrasive papers drill bits and whoknowswhat I shaped the shank and fitted it to the top part. Then I smoothed the surface to a decent finish . Here are my favorite abrasives: 3M microfinish films, an old shirt and nylon stockings. The interesting thing is the sudden color change of the model, no miracle, here is what happened: I finished it and the casting went wrong. Although not very often, this kind of things happen . So I had to remake the model. At some point I decided, that  I would continue the process explanation using the new model, that I made from a green colored wax blank.

To be continued>>>

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