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Hi Valve, I'd recommend double-checking which alloy you're using. For example, R92 or R97 pewter alloys work quite well but I tend to see a greater loss of detail. R98 preserves it a little better because it undergoes less shrinkage once it cools.It's also possible the metal is cooling too much before reaching the negative, so it's not flowing fully into the details. Check your metal temps and bump up a few degrees if needed.
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Ayep, Janka hardness is important but there are many other factors you need to review. Silica deposits, type of grain you're dealing with, and specific gravity are more important on the turning side of things.On a side note, African Padauk and Bocote are two of my favorites to turn. Padauk is extremely easy to turn and isn't quite as hard, sands down smooth. Bocote is striking but will dull cutters due to high amounts of silica present. Bocote is moderately expensive, though.