Have you ever wanted to make a shadow band that fits right next to your diamond or gemstone ring? Well, here is a short video on how to use wax and a few tools to create a model ring that can be cast in gold or silver.
I will be using a green wax which melts at around 230 degrees and is one of the harder wax materials for model making. The modeling wax is made by a company called Matt. They make a number of waxes ranging in melting temperature and malleability.
There are three main types of modeling wax that I use to make a model.
The blue wax is soft and melts at a low temperature. (200 degrees)
The purple wax is slightly harder and with a slightly higher melting temperature then the blue. (225 degrees)
The green wax is the hardest of the three and melts at around 230 degrees.
I prefer the green for any work that needs exact detail and a shadow band needs to be exactly the same contour as the ring it is shadowing.
Here are pictures of a couple of rings with shadow bands I have made.
A few things you should keep in mind before you start. Are the stones in the ring that I will be making a shadow band for heat sensitive? Many gemstones do not react well to heat such as emeralds and opals to name a few. It is not advisable to heat them up.
Diamonds and sapphires are usually safe to apply heat, at least in regards to melting wax near them. Always check your stones under magnification for inclusions or anything that may cause damage to the stone. You are ultimately responsible for that gemstone when you are working on or near it.
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In this video I will go through the steps I take to make a shadow band. As you watch the video take note of these things to help you when you try it yourself.
- Make the ring fit as close to the wax as you can before heating it.
- When using a flame to heat the wax use a soft flame. To much heat will melt the wax too quickly and your ring will just sink into the wax. That means you get to dig it out. Slowly heat the ring and wait, then adjust.
- Use a tooth pick or a wooden scraper to remove your ring from the wax.
- As you remove the wax take your time and don’t cut into the impression of the ring.
- Test the wax shadow band to the ring. Make sure it still fits next to it. Do this many times as you go through the process of carving your model.
- Use sand paper that is around 400 to 600 grit. This will take a little longer but it will give you a nice finish.
- Find a caster you can work with. A jewelry store near you may do casting or they may be able to suggest someone who does casting.
Here is a link to the wax at Rio Grande
Enjoy the video, I hope it helps. If you have questions leave me a comment.
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