Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Tuesday, 14 April 2015
God I'm knackered. I didn't stop for lunch yesterday for the above reasons.
That green stuff all over the place is wax - very expensive wax. The mission is to replicate a full-sized set of antlers for a cast-metal sculpture of a stag. The process is to cast the original antlers in sections with thin coatings of rubber, backed-up with plaster.
You heat up enough special wax to fill the entire mould, then you do fill the mould, swilling it out again back into the pot. You repeat this process enough times to build up a layer of the required thickness, then take the wax positive out of the mould.
I asked the founder what wall thickness he required, and he said, "No less than 5mm and no more than 6mm." I think he must have been joking. Well I laughed, anyway.
I take the waxes to him and he coats them in a ceramic slurry, then bakes out the wax in a kiln before filling the resulting void with molten metal. I take the metal positives away and weld them together in their original positions, then fettle-away the excess metal before fitting them onto the stag.
The process is called 'lost-wax' casting, but not because of the wax that is lost through loose joints or holes in the rubber as happened here.
The original moulds were made by my glamorous assistant. He actually gets Christmas cards from the Prime Minister and his wife, so I think I know which way he is voting next month.
I wonder how many Frank Zappa fans are going to stumble across this post because of the title, then turn away in furious disappointment when they see what it is really about. Hee hee!