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This Instructable is about casting and finishing a ring using the art of lost wax metal casting. In lost wax casting, a wax positive of the final product is carved and embedded in plaster. The plaster is then heated so that the wax drips out. Finally, molten metal is poured into the negative impression left by the wax.

My ring has dual snake heads emerging from the ringband. I picked these because snakes seem to symbolize power, prowess, and deadliness, which are cool to display on a ring. You could use a different design, as these instructions apply for a wide variety of lost wax casting projects.

Your finished product will be shiny, smooth, and handcrafted by you! You could use the ring for yourself, for a gift, for a secret weapon of power, or for displaying your handiwork.

Enough talk, let's get casting!

Step 1: Cast the Wax

First off, you will need some wax to carve into the ring. I just used old broken crayons. Grab a bunch of crayons, remove all the paper wrappers, and place them into some sort of melting pot. Unless you want to spend hours scrubbing wax off of your cookware, avoid using eating stuff. I used a cut-down soup can, and it worked very well. Place the crayons in your melting pot and begin heating the pot over the stove. If you have a range hood, you may want to turn it on now, as melted crayons can make some annoying fumes. When the crayons are all melted, pick up the melting pot with some pliers and smoothly pour the wax into a mold. The mold should be something like a small popcorn tin lid. These are great because they have a small diameter and smooth, straight sides. Thus, they create a nice-sized disk of wax that can be easily removed and carved. Basically, the mold needs to make a chunk of wax that can be removed and carved into a ring. If you pour the wax to be as deep as the ringband is thick, carving will be easier. Once the crayons have been poured, let them cool and then place in the freezer to chill them further. When they are nicely cold (cold wax seems to be easier to remove than warm wax), pop the wax blank out of the mold.

Why usentheblead at all when zinc is all you need. You did well but itsnjust that lead is so bad for you and makes the jewelry useless and redundant . zinc makes nice castings and is slightly bacterio static so im not understanding the lead
Yes, zinc would have worked fine. I've used it for multiple other casting projects. However, lead was what I had on hand at the time. I don't wear the ring much anyway, so I am not being exposed to lead. Zinc would have been a better choice for a piece that would be frequently worn, though.
like it wish i can afoord soldering and metal work...
Look into Tuff casting or Delft clay casting as less costly alternatives. Just like Instruct a blessing, the Orchid Jewelry Newsgroup has lots of info and very helpful people too. Share info=share power.
Thank you! The solder really isn't expensive and the zinc was just from pennies... you could also just use plain solder.
afford... ops
<p>That violent bubbling was the air inside the cavity being super-heated and escaping through your only hole. Next time cut some very small vent tubes for the air to escape, or mold vent tubes out of your wax.</p>
Thanks for the tip! I'll try the wax vents on my next lost wax ring casting!
<p>Could you use a stove to melt the solder?</p>
Yep! Stoves can melt even zinc, which melts at 787&deg;F. I've even heard that some people who left their aluminum cookware unattended on an electric stove had the aluminum melt into a pool on their stovetop.
<p>That violent bubbling was the air inside the cavity being super-heated and escaping through your only hole. Next time cut some very small vent tubes for the air to escape, or mold vent tubes out of your wax.</p>
Thanks for the tip! I'll try to implement it next time I do lost wax casting.
<p>This is very cool, what metal did you use?</p>
<p>Oh, just now saw it was zinc, lead, and tin. :)</p>
Yes, it was. However, on looking back, lead probably wouldn't be the best choice, although just touching lead isn't hazardous. The solder I alloyed the zinc pennies with had lead in it, but you should probably avoid lead.<br>
<p>I like the simplicity of this. It is a really great way to start learning how to cast. I made my engagement ring by casting it through a bit more involved process.</p>
Wow, cool! I'd love to do that some day. Did you use lost wax casting or something else?
<p>Yes, I did. I also tried Lost PLA method (3D print a part and directly cast) but it cast a little better when I used wax.</p>
<p>A very well done i'ble! You explained and illustrated the process (which I've been curious about) so well, and then your final product is pretty darned cool. Thanks for sharing this!</p>
Thank you for the compliments! It was extremely fun to make the ring and have it turn out so well.
<p>A 1968 booklet on investment casting I have suggests throwing the lump of hot plaster into a bucket of cold water as soon as the metal has set</p>
<p>Very nice job, especially for a first try with that method :)</p>
<p>Thank you! I enjoyed the process.</p>

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