Intro: Making a Wax Chicken Foot Tree
I made this at TechShop Menlo Park. http://www.techshop.com
I 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
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
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
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
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
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
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. :)