• Spring 2024 meetup in Calgary - tentative date Saturday, April 20/2024. Other regions are also discussing meet ups. If you want one in your area get going on organizing it! discussion
  • We are having email/registration problems again. Diagnosis is underway. New users sorry if you are having trouble getting registered. We are exploring different options to get registered. Contact the forum via another member or on facebook if you're stuck. Update -> we think it is fixed. Let us know if not.
  • Spring meet up in Ontario, Newmarket, April 6/2024. Discussion

Lost-wax casting for jewelry help.

MetalGem

New Member
Hello!

My name is Crystal! I have no clue if I have reached the right people to help me with this, but I was referred to this lovely forum by a fellow jeweller. I am working on a small project of making jewelry using a lost-wax casting process. I have all the materials to create the jewelry (wax, gems, metal, polishing etc), but I do not have the resources to complete the metal casting portion myself. If anyone has the tools and supplies to create the moulds and cast the metal for the wax sculpture, please reach out; I would love to work with you! If anyone could even perhaps point me in a better direction to get help for this, I would greatly appreciate it as well! I have no experience working with metal, but I'd love to learn!

Please let me know if anyone has any questions!
I am located in Calgary.

Thank you :)
 

kevin.decelles

Jack of all trades -- Master of none
Premium Member
Welcome Crystal! I’m sure there will be someone who has gone down this road. I dabbled with lost PLA casting but put it on hold pending building/buying a vacuum table.

The investment ($$$) isn’t crazy and they make small units for that exact purpose
 

Perry

Ultra Member
Hi Crystal, welcome to the group. Calgary based also. :)

I can not help, but you are in the right place and I'm sure there will be someone here that is into the casting.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Crystal, hopefully someone here can help you here. The only person off the top of my head that has recently been posting on this process is @Mcgyver
Some other possible leads:

Kens Gems in NE Calgary. They sell the equipment & supplies for this trade. On one of my visits, couple years ago now, I asked if there was anyone of their clients they could refer who was doing custom casting when supplied with (just) a wax 'original'. The lady working there named dropped someone but I didn't follow up on it.

Last year there was a person advertising a class out of his studio/home where you made your own ring from wax. He took care of the casting & then presumably class-2 continued on with finishing the resultant casting. I had an email exchange with him & from memory, he farmed out the casting to someone 'local' he didn't have the investment/casting equipment himself. I could hunt for the email. Not sure if he is still running the class but I d recall it was close to me (Crescent heights).

SAIT (or maybe its Alberta College of Art) offers classes. Maybe you could ask to speak to one of the instructors & inquire. I get the impression people in the trade know one another but its just an educated guess. I haven't checked specifically but they are slowly evolving into class models of 'bring your project' (after taking $ obligatory classes of course). Basically hey are selling access to equipment which s commendable IMO. I have seen this in machining, photography (as in old school darkroom) & welding but these are all on the SAIT side, not ACA side.

Good luck & report back if you find any leads.
 
Last edited:

Mcgyver

Ultra Member
If there is a chance of finding it, I'd say keep doing what you are doing - networking. Ask some local jewellers if there are any services they use, I don't really know the industry but would guess not everyone has their own casting equipment (or maybe they do, I'm just guessing). Or maybe there is a jeweller who regularly casts stuff and you could slip stream yours in. The course idea is a good one, they will likely have the equipment and/or know of some service that will do it.

If figured it would be hard to find such an outlet who be interested in hobbyists (in a commercial setting the last thing you want is a hobbyist showing up lol) and I wanted the convenience of having it in house. Knowing one day I wanted to try this I always kept an eye out and eventually bought a complete setup used. It sat for close to decade before it got to the front burner. You know the old line, you want high quality, low price and want it quickly, pick two ..... so I get while the getting is good. If you want to equip yourself, you need at a minimum a programmable burn out oven and then either a centrifugal caster and O/A or O/P torch OR a melter and vacuum caster. Along with flasks and investment.

I find getting great results with lost wax is relatively easy but most of my time has been trying do lost resin casting - using castable 3d printed resin patterns then investment casting them. It has NOT been easy, to say the least!

Good luck and post pics of some of your projects, always interesting to see what others are up to
 
Last edited:

Bandit

Well-Known Member
Welcome from south of Calgary, never done any lost wax casting, just some sand casting and generally thats heavier/larger pieces then what you may want. There have been some very good books on the subject, could check the library in Calgary. If I remember rite, not all set ups used a centrifical force to fill moulds. I think some used molten metal weight. The hardest part maybe melting the metal, some high temps in a few cases.
 
Last edited:

MetalGem

New Member
Hello all!
Thank you so much for all the info and support, I greatly appreciate all of it! I am using all of it to direct me further, and I'll be sure to keep this page updated on any progress I make!
Crystal, hopefully someone here can help you here. The only person off the top of my head that has recently been posting on this process is @Mcgyver
Some other possible leads:

Kens Gems in NE Calgary. They sell the equipment & supplies for this trade. On one of my visits, couple years ago now, I asked if there was anyone of their clients they could refer who was doing custom casting when supplied with (just) a wax 'original'. The lady working there named dropped someone but I didn't follow up on it.

Last year there was a person advertising a class out of his studio/home where you made your own ring from wax. He took care of the casting & then presumably class-2 continued on with finishing the resultant casting. I had an email exchange with him & from memory, he farmed out the casting to someone 'local' he didn't have the investment/casting equipment himself. I could hunt for the email. Not sure if he is still running the class but I d recall it was close to me (Crescent heights).

SAIT (or maybe its Alberta College of Art) offers classes. Maybe you could ask to speak to one of the instructors & inquire. I get the impression people in the trade know one another but its just an educated guess. I haven't checked specifically but they are slowly evolving into class models of 'bring your project' (after taking $ obligatory classes of course). Basically hey are selling access to equipment which s commendable IMO. I have seen this in machining, photography (as in old school darkroom) & welding but these are all on the SAIT side, not ACA side.

Good luck & report back if you find any leads.
I'll go visit Ken Gems to check out their supplies and hopefully, they could direct me to someone they know too! I am open to buying my tools at some point! A class would be awesome too! I'll email some people at SAIT and see what's available as well. Thank you, Peter!
 
Top