Next week the Fabacademy is going to work with machinable wax for the “Casting and Moulding” assignment. To help prepare the class, I recycled the old machinable wax bricks. Those are the bricks used for last years class.

To recycle the old brick, they have to be pelletized and melted, and then casted into new moulds. Pelletizing the bricks is not easy, i thought of a lot of ways to do this as quick as possible. But since we’re limited in our resources i had to be a bit creative.

At first i tried melding the wax in the microwave. I started with a tiny piece on a low heating setting. After a minute i’d take a look to see if anything had happened, and increased the heat bit by bit. After a ful 5 minutes on the highest setting the plate underneath the wax got really hot, the wax itself only a little…

Wax01

Wax02

Next i used a heat-gun. This worked quite well! The wax melted pretty quickly. To speed up this process i first chopped the blocks into smaller pieces by knife. Trying to just cut of pieces didn’t work. Hitting it with brute force did.

Wax04

I put the pieces in a pan, on a electric stove on level 3,5-4 (out of 5). Then i used the heat-gun to melt the top part. To avoid burning the bottom part i stirred frequently.

Wax05

To optimise my technique i threw in a shallow layer of the larger pieces first. Once partly melted i stirred the wax, and put a thin layer of slightly smaller pieces on top. I repeated this process until the pan was full. Some of the pieces clumped together in the pan, i hold them up with my stirring spoon and used the heat-gun to melt. With this technique i needed around 20 minutes to melt enough wax for one brick.