Sunday, September 30, 2012

06 Waste Molds Nº 20




I position the oil-clay arm on the clay build-up and trace a line around its profile. Click on any image to enlarge it.






The outline of the oil-clay arm traced onto the clay build-up.






I remove clay inside the outline of the oil-clay arm to about one half of an inch.






I continue removing clay.






I place the oil-clay arm on the cutout to see if it fits. If not, I take it off and remove more clay from the clay build-up. I keep doing this until the arm fits.






I fill in all the gaps between the arm and the clay build-up. I trim and add the spare.






Finally, I put the coddles around the clay build-up and clamp them securely.



This mold is ready to pour the first half of the hot-melt moulage. I can use the same amount of moulage as I did for the first half of the other arm mold.




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Saturday, September 29, 2012

06 Waste Molds Nº 19




I am filling in the clay build-up so I can use it for the other oil-clay arm. I like to reuse these things if I can. The process will be the same as it was for the first oil-clay arm. I will position the arm on the clay-build-up, trace around it, then remove clay from inside the traced line until the oil-clay arm fits about halfway. Click any image to enlarge it.






This is the first oil-clay arm, that I have finished molding with the spare removed. I have a carving wax casting of it. I will probably be able to reuse this spare for the next arm.






I put the oil-clay arm that is to be molded next in the refrigerator to cool and firm-up, so I can position it on the clay build-up and trace around it .






The clay build-up has been filled-in, and is now ready for the other oil-clay arm. I left the old registration key, and just cleaned it up a little bit. I will be able to position the oil-clay arm inside the key.






The hot-melt moulage is reusable if it is not allowed to dry out. I kept the mold wrapped-up in plastic bags until I got a chance to chop it up into small cubes, and put the cubes in Atlas Mason jars with tight-fitting lids. It doesn't take long to chop the molds up with a sharp knife.



Now I am ready to repeat the process of molding and casting the next oil-clay arm, in order to translate it into carving wax.




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Friday, September 28, 2012

06 Waste Molds Nº 18




First of all, it is necessary to find a block of time large enough to do everything. Everything means melting moulage, pouring moulage, waiting for moulage to set up, and repeating the same thing for the other side of the mold, then melting and pouring carving wax. This is a photo of the first side of the moulage mold poured. Notice that the wire of the oil-clay arm armature is sticking up through the moulage. Click on any image to enlarge it.






I decided to make some more coddles that would fit this mold better. Here are the pieces after a coat of shellac. The large piece of wood is going to fit over the first half of the mold, so I drilled a hole in it for the armature wire to fit through it. I figured this stuff out as I was working on the mold.






I covered the moulage with a plastic bag while it was cooling and setting up.






The first half of the mold with the oil-clay arm embedded in it. The clay build-up came right off. Look at that registration key. I need to add some clay to this side of the spare.






I forgot to make a top for the new coddle, so I did not get a chance to shellac it. Here is the first half of the moulage mold, oil-clay arm embedded in it, with the bare top, banded with rubber bands, ready for the second half of moulage to be poured.






Another view of the first half of the mold, ready for the second half of the moulage mold to be poured. I had to add a coil of Roma oil-clay around the new top because there was a small gap, and I did not want to be fixing a leak of hot moulage during the pour.






This is the second half of the moulage mold poured. I have covered it with a plastic bag while it is cooling and setting up. The clay build-up is at the top of the photo, showing its bottom side.






After the moulage set up, I removed it from the coddle and opened it to remove the oil-clay arm. This is the split mold, showing the registration key. I used some toilet tissue to dab out excess moisture before closing the mold and putting it back in the coddle to pour carving wax into it. Each of those moulage mold halves weigh about three pounds (48 oz.).






This is the closed mold, banded together with rubber bands. I used one of the pieces of the first coddle on the back side. Right under the top rubber band are the holes I drilled for the armature wire to stick through. Yeah, I missed with the first hole and had to drill a second hole. It worked.






This is a bird's eye view of the moulage mold, ready to be poured with carving wax.






The carving wax was melted and poured into the mold in one steady stream of molten wax until it topped the pouring hole (the spare). The carving wax is thickening around the walls of the mold and sinking in a little bit. This part is critical. I want the carving wax to get thick, but not too thick because I want to be able to pour the excess wax back into the wax pot. If I wait too long, the hole will close and I will not be able to pour anything out.






I hope I got it right. I was able to pour some excess wax back into the wax pot. I do have a hollow casting of some kind.






I have filled the hollow carving wax casting with cool water to help it cool.






This what all the work was all about. I have translated the oil-clay arm into carving wax using hot-melt moulage , a reusable molding material. Here is the carving wax arm, with the moulage mold opened.






And here is the other side of the carving wax arm. The moulage mold is semi-flexible, so I do not have to worry about undercuts too much.






The carving wax arm is still warm, so I am soaking it in some cool water in the studio sink so it will cool down faster.



I wrapped the moulage mold up in plastic bags so it will not dry out. Tomorrow I will cut it up into small chunks and store it in Atlas Mason jars with tight fitting lids. I want to add that my mold arithmetic was just right. I melted just the right amount of moulage for each half of the mold.




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Thursday, September 27, 2012

06 Waste Molds Nº 17




I carved a registration key in the clay build-up, using my mold knife. I clamped the coddles around the clay build-up and filled-in any gaps between the coddles and the clay build-up with oil-clay.






The wire armature will stick out of the moulage mold about 0.75 inch. I will need to plug that hole before I pour the carving wax.






I made an estimate of how much moulage I will need to melt for this mold.



The space that I need to fill is 78 cubic inches (1.5"x4"x13"). The arm is a cylinder that I am estimating is 5 cubic inches (1.125" dia. x 10"). I subtract the 5 cu.in. from the 78 cu.in. to get 73 cu.in. The moulage weighs about 0.65357 oz. per cu.in., so 73 cu.in. multiplied by 0.65357 is 47.71061 oz.
47.71061 oz. divided by 16 oz. per pound is 2.98191 pounds of moulage.
I will round that off to 3 pounds for each side of the mold, or about 6 pounds total.




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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

06 Waste Molds Nº 16




I remove more clay from inside the line traced around the oil-clay arm. Click on any image to enlarge it.






There are some small gaps between the oil-clay arm and the clay build-up. The oil-clay arm was in the refrigerator, so it is very firm.






I roll out small coils of Roma and fill-in the gaps.






I make a spare for the first half of the mold.






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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

07 Carving Wax Nº 00




Currently, I am making hot-melt moulage molds of the oil-clay doll figure I made. I will be pouring carving wax into the moulage waste molds in order to translate the oil-clay doll parts into carving wax doll parts. I already have two hands, and a head cast in carving wax. So the next part of the BJD making process is to work with carving wax. This post is a little bit out-of-order. I will return to the regularly scheduled posts about making moulage waste molds tomorrow. Click on any image to enlarge it.

I do not own a commercial  wax pen. Instead, I used a low wattage 25W Weller soldering iron to weld wax parts together, and to rework carving wax. When the soldering iron is plugged in, it is ON, and at a MAXIMUM temperature, which is great for melting solder, but much too hot for working with carving wax, or sculpture wax.

I found an Instructables.Com tutorial about making a Do-It-Yourself Variable Temperature Soldering Iron Controller for about $10.00, and after reading through it, I thought I might be able to do it.

The first thing I did was to find one of the listed project parts in my computer spare parts box: a three-prong plug with a cord that has black, white, and green wires. Then I made a project parts list of the things I needed to buy at the local hardware store, so I could get help from the hardware store employee to find everything. This is what my project parts list looked like:



I needed to buy:
  • 4 inch square electrical box
  • Electrical Box Cover with switch and outlet holes + screws
  • Romex connector
  • Wirenuts
  • Outlet for two 3-prong plugs
  • 600W Push ON/OFF Rotary Dimmer Switch + screws
I already had the tools needed to make this project.
  • Flat blade screwdriver
  • Side cutters
  • Wire stripper (I used a pair of scissors)
  • Hacksaw, or a pair of sheet metal cutters





This is what I bought (total cost: $12.35 USD) at the hardware store:






This is what I bought, along with the 3-prong plug/3-wire cord that I already had on-hand:






This what the finished Variable Temperature Soldering Iron Controller looks like after I finished putting it all together. It was easy !!!






While making this project ,I actually found another old wax working tool that I made many years ago from a wood-burning tool. From left to right: Weller 25W soldering iron, a spare Weller soldering iron tip, a wood-burning tool with a custom forged tip, my new Variable Temperature Soldering Iron Controller with a night light added, as an ON/OFF indicator light, so I know when the controller is on or off. I used a night light I already had.






This is what the wiring diagram that came with the 600W Dimmer Switch looks like. The dimmer switch has only three wires coming out of it. There are two black wires, and a green wire. One of the black wires from the dimmer is connected to the HOT side of the outlet (clearly marked on the outlet). The other black wire from the dimmer is connected to the black wire from the cord. The green wire from the cord, and the green wire from the dimmer, are connected to a green wire that is connected to the green screw on the outlet. The white wire from the cord is connected to the WHITE side of the outlet (clearly marked on the outlet). In the diagram below, the circle marked Load is where the outlet goes.






This is my wiring diagram of the controller. Following the circuit, the black wire from the cord is connected to one of the black wires from the dimmer. The other black wire from the dimmer is connected to the HOT side of the outlet. A white wire goes from the WHITE side of the outlet and connects to the white wire of the cord. The green wire from the cord connects to the green wire from the dimmer, and they are connected to the green screw on the outlet. All connections are made with wirenuts.






The first thing I did was cut about six inches of cord off. I removed all but about one inch of the outer covering of the cord, and slid it to the center, with black, green, and white wires on each side. I stripped the ends of these wires and twisted them. Next, I knocked-out one of the circles in the electrical box. I chose one of the circles in the middle. Then I put a Romex connector in the hole and secured it. I removed a few inches of the cord cover, exposing the black, white, and green wires. I stripped the ends of the wires and twisted them. I stuck the end of the cord into the Romex connector and tightened it down on the cord securely. At this point, I have an electrical box with a cord coming out of the side.



Perhaps the only tricky part about making this project is getting the dimmer switch to fit inside the cover of the electrical box. The dimmer switch has an aluminum plate on it. Two corners of that aluminum plate are trimmed with the hacksaw so that the dimmer fits flush to the inside of the electrical box cover. You could also use a pair of sheet metal cutters to do the trimming.

On the outlet, I used my side cutters to bend the tabs down so that the outlet fit inside the electrical  box cover. I think the tutorial says to cut them off, but it was easy to just bend them. Otherwise, I used wirenuts to connect all the wires together, following the wiring diagram. I used the six inch wires in the middle of all the connections, so none of the wires from the cord had any strain on them.

I used a total of four wirenuts to make all the connections. There was no soldering required. Once all the wires were connected, I screwed the outlet and the dimmer switch to the electrical box cover, and screwed the electrical box cover to the electrical box using my flat blade screwdriver. Then I put the rotary dial on the dimmer switch.






I plugged in a desk lamp with an incandescent bulb in it, and pushed the dimmer switch to turn it ON.  Then I rotated the rotary dial, back and forth to dim and brighten the light. This is how the controller is tested. I made a mark on the rotary dial with a Sharpie Permanent Marker, and also marked the MAX and MIN places on the cover of the electrical box.

Finally, I plugged in my soldering iron and worked on some carving wax. This controller now makes my 25W Weller soldering iron, a WAX PEN. This was an easy, inexpensive project that did not take a lot of time to do. I am very excited about my new wax pen, and am looking forward to learning how to use it.

References:

Instrucatbles.Com DIY Variable Temperature Soldering Iron Controller Tutorial.

Giles Precision Waxer




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