Another new one ...

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Jon
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Another new one ...

Postby Jon » Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:23 am

Jon Steel here - my mill is not even in the mail yet, but Jeff has kindly given me advance Forum access.

Before my current incarnation as a sculptor (stone, cast bronze & aluminum), I owned a veterinary hospital (dogs, cats, horses, llamas - still licensed, not currently practicing). I keep my hand in the animal business by doing some programming for an online veterinary forum - my expertise is the Perl programming language.

So yep I do some casting already, but my stuff is measured in meters, not millimeters - but hey it is still the "lost wax" process!

I hope to use the 3DMill for small parts of larger bronzes, some scanning for bronze or aluminum pieces, but also for jewelry. I have been faceting gems (all but diamonds) for years as a hobby, and I am tired of ordering findings from Stuller, RioGrande, Tripps, Frei to fit my cut stones (or inversely, cutting my stones to fit what I can buy). So now maybe I can cut some waxes and cast something to fit all those non-calibrated tourmaline rectangles, sapphire pears, quartz rounds, garnet cushions, etc. that I have lying around for want of a custom mounting.

I am taking some classes at the (Alan) Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco - so I can see how the "small" stuff most of you deal with is designed, fabricated, cast, etc.

My home studio is already equipped with 3 centrifugal casting machines and 1 vacuum caster, burnout kilns, soldering and casting torches, etc., so I am ready to go as regards casting some rings, etc. Two of my machines are the old Jelenko Thermotrol electric casting machines (a D-2 and a D-3, holding 40-50 dwt and 15-20 dwt respectively; the vacuum machine takes up to 8" x 10" flasks, the other centri machine takes 3" x 5" flasks). I do not cast large bronzes in my studio - 90 pounds of 1800 degree farenheit bronze too bulky, noisy & dangerous for a residential setting (not to mention probably illegal, and VERY nervous neighbors) - I have an arrangement with a local foundry for that.

Casting your own waxes in the metal of your choice - prototyping in Britannia metal, move on to sterling, move way up to 22K gold - a real advantage? And if a casting comes out bad, just mill another wax and try again - no vulcanizers, molds, wax injectors needed - that has to be a beautiful thing!

Any other folks in this Forum located in the Bay Area of California?

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frog113
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Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:53 am
Location: gibson city illinois
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welcome

Postby frog113 » Fri Feb 17, 2006 5:26 am

Welcome to the forum :D

Hope you get some sleep....it's very addicting!
hustedtjewelers.com

Maurice Berchon
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Postby Maurice Berchon » Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:23 am

Welcome! Congratulations on great choices, 3D wax milling and the forum.
Regards,
Maurice

Jwlrymkr
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Location: Waco, Texas
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Postby Jwlrymkr » Fri Feb 17, 2006 7:20 am

Welcome Jon!
It looks like you have a very diverse background.
I admire those who can do large scultpure work. I think the mill will be just the ticket you need for the very small intricate pieces.
Regards,
Ken

McCay
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Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:17 am
Location: Greenville, SC (upstate)

Postby McCay » Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:45 am

Welcome to the board, Jon. Be sure to check in often. I wouldn't be able to use the mill half as well without the help of these guys on the forum. You're going to love the mill.

McCay

Jon
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Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:16 pm
Location: Bay Area, California
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Postby Jon » Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:26 am

Jwlrymkr wrote:Welcome Jon!
It looks like you have a very diverse background.
I admire those who can do large scultpure work. I think the mill will be just the ticket you need for the very small intricate pieces.
Regards,
Ken


Ken - for small intricate pieces yep, but I have this vision: scanning or milling a large design in grid sections, say 3 inches by 3 inches, and welding these wax sections together in a mosaic, investing in the usual ceramic shell, and casting in bronze - problem I guess would be to make all edges of each 3 x 3 section match, which comes down to a registration problem.

But then again, if they do not match exactly the wax seams could be manually touched up to merge as seamlessly as possible.

I have a commission for a flat school crest in bronze, 18 inches x 18 inches, sculpted in bas-relief (3/4 inches thick) that I may tackle in sections with my MDX-15 when I get it (Jeff shipping it soon to me). But then again, I am a newbie and doing this with my MDX-15 may be SLOW for me and I have a deadline of August 2006 - so maybe I will just sculpt it in clay as usual fullsize, take my molds, cast the wax, invest and cast in bronze.

Anybody ever done this? Any other large scale casters out there?

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Colin Creed
Senior Miller
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Postby Colin Creed » Fri Feb 17, 2006 3:49 pm

Welcome to the Forum Jon,

With all that experience from such different backgrounds, should make for some really interesting designs.
I'm looking forward to seeing your creations.

regards Colin

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Winstone
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 3:09 pm
Location: Dallas,Texas

Welcome

Postby Winstone » Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:26 am

Welcome Jon,
I have a similar setup. I too have both the D-2 and D3 thermatrols, and extra carbon flasks for the larger unit. I see that with your setup that you make sculpture, have you considered becoming a member of MJSA, we have an excellent medical, and other benefits for sculptors, etc, facetors.
I have both Graves and Raytech faceting machines, as well as have designed some equipment using my Roland to cut special stone indexes for custom facet patterns. This is especially neat, because I can make 5 prong bright set heads for pentagon shaped gemstones or Lone Star Cut gemstones. I use the plastic keys used in the Raytec facet head as a template, then take old CD-rom disks placing the disk on my Roland with double sided tape, and mill out custom facet pattern disks that exactly fit my Raytec. The mill that I use is a 1mm carbide cutter with a flat end, you can take a Harbor Freight bit to do this, I have also used balsa wood for some index wheels, or thin pliawood, also thoe opaque spearators found in many inexpensive tool cabnets work well. In this way I have created my own templates for shop tools that match my custom facet patterns.
You may be familiar with the Stricland programs which is a virtual cad
for gemstones, or the Steele patterns which will allow you to study light leakage as well as custom design new facet patterns. The ability to take any of these patterns or your work and make templates is a real time saver.

I also have made some modifications on my MDX-15 to allow me to
use it for sculpture. later discussion
Welcome to the forum, I believe that you will gain a lot here. You could also help us as well. With your experience with working with animals. I noticed at my Vet there are charts of different breeds of animals, if you could direct us to websites or illustrations of these breeds, it would help many of us with custom projects.
Welcome, I know that you will greatly enjoy being part of this diverse group, Jon.
Winstone


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