So, I am a professional jeweller.
I also sell some items on http://www.chrisparry.etsy.com
If you are realy bored, you can visit my flickr page http://www.flickr.com/photos/chris-parry/
A client wanted a traditional design for his engagement ring.
This instructable shows you how his ring was created using the lost wax casting system.
To begin with I cut a section of jewellers wax, ( a special wax that has great properties for cutting, sawing and carving) into the basic ring shape. I created a hole the same size required for the finished ring.
Step 1: Seating the Diamond.
The 5mm princess cut diamond is set into its postition in the ring.
I decided how high the diamond was to sit, then using small engraving tools, I cut a square hole for the diamond to sit in.
You can also make out lots of faint white lines on the wax ring blank. These will determine which partsof the wax are to be cut away to form the shape of the ring.
Step 2: The Basic Shaping.
I have now cut away the major excess parts of the wax, and the ring begins to take shape.
Step 3: The Setting Is Begun
I have now carved out the setting for the diamond.
Once this was complete, I scribed the central part of the ring shank, so that I could determine how wide the ring was to be.
Step 4: The Ring Shank Is Cut Back.
I have now used the scribed lines to cut the ring shank back to the required thickness.
The wax is now beginning to look more like an engagement ring.
Step 5: The Prongs Revealed.
The client wanted a four claw prong setting for the diamond.
Here you can see that I have cut back the wax in the mid section of the setting to reveal the four corner prongs.
Step 6: Making It Visually Lighter.
The ring shank and setting were too "heavy" VISUALLY. So I created some airholes, to make the ring more delicate.
Step 7: Making a Mould
I could have taken this ring directly into the "lost wax casting " process, but I decided to make a mould first.
Sometimes in the casting process, their may be a casting failure, where the item doesn't cast perfectly. By making a mould, I can create duplicates of this ring.
If the first wax produced, fails to make a good platinum cast, I can simply go to this stage and create another wax model using the mould.
During the "lost wax casting " process, the wax is lost in the process when it melts in the kiln. By making a mould I wouldn't have to re-carve the model should a failure occur.
Step 8: Pouring the Mould.
I use a simple two part RVT silicone moulding compound when I create my moulds.
You can see that I have half poured the liquid rubber into the mould box. I stopped to take the picture, and the mould box was filled to completely cover the ring model.
Step 9: The Finished Mould
Here is the finihsed mould 24 hours later.
Encased inside is the wax model.
I use a sharp blade to cut the mould open, to remove the wax model.
The cavity left in the mould is a perfect copy of the master wax model.
To produce more wax models, liquid wax is injected into this mould. Within 30 seconds, it cools and the mould is opened to reveal a wax duplicate.
If I wanted to produce hundreds of this design, I would simply use this mould again and again. tat however is for the "high street". I make unique items for each client, so I won't re-use this mould again.
Step 10: A Ring Is Finished.
The wax model is then sent off to the platinum caster.
Whilst I cast my own gold and silver items, platinum casting requires some very specialist equipment. So the wax is used in the "lost wax casting process" and the platinum ring is returned.
I then clean up the cast piece, I file, sand and polish it and set the diamond.
Here is the finished item.