Introduction: Making a Wax Chicken Foot Tree

Picture of Making a Wax Chicken Foot Tree

I made this at TechShop Menlo Park.

 made many wax chicken feet and head trees because I wanted to make replicas in aluminum using the lost wax technique. I was planing on cutting them off the sprues (branches) and end up with metal chicken parts but they turned out so cool that I left them intact as weird freestanding aluminum sculptures in the end.

Step 1: Choosing Wax

Picture of Choosing Wax

I choose to play with beeswax and hard microcristalline, the paraffin wax I had at hand was way too soft but in it's hard state I think it would work. Mixing waxes is also possible I found.

Step 2: Melting Wax

Picture of Melting Wax

In a double boiler melting wax is quick and easy. Liquid state is achieved without the wax smoking which means: Too Hot!

Step 3: Casting of the Parts

Picture of Casting of the Parts

I poured hot wax into pre-made silicone molds of real chicken feet and a chicken head. In a few minutes they harden and you can take them out, allowing more wax to be poured in to make many replicas.

Step 4: Making a Base

Picture of Making a Base

I used a small cup and made a hole in the bottom to stick the main sprue into. I'm using a premade red french wax sprue which serves as a channel for molten metal to get to the object once the wax is burnt out of the mold. I filled the remainder of the cup with soft paraffin doe weight.

Step 5: Making Small Sprues and Attaching the Feet to the Base

Picture of Making Small Sprues and Attaching the Feet to the Base

Smaller sprues had to be cut to size and attached to the chicken feet. I used a soldering gun to heat the ends of the sprues and attach one end to the objects cast (the feet) and the other to the main sprue.

Step 6: Creating a Tree

Picture of Creating a Tree

Continuing to attach sprued wax chicken parts to the main sprue base a very weird tree started to emerge. These trees are now ready to be submerged in a plaster mold, burnt out and cast in aluminum! 
I had so much fun doing this. I highly suggest it! You can make a sprue tree with any object if chicken parts don't excite you as they do me. :)


robopanda (author)2012-11-27

Do you have any tips for making wax copies of things like how you did with the chicken feet? I want to cast my daughter's pulled tooth and need to make a copy of it. What's the silicon stuff you use?

tomjec (author)2012-08-23

Very creative and an interesting object. You have good hands and work the material well ! Do you have any pictures of the (final) aluminum castings?

jessyratfink (author)2012-07-21

Creepy but wonderful!

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