How to Cast Gold & Silver
We often have newcomers to the casting business who are curious about the casting process. Everyone from hobbyist to fledgling businesses wants to know the basics of casting gold and silver. This guide will give you a brief idea of how the process works, and take you through the general steps to cast gold and silver.
What You Will Need
Before you start, you're going to need to make sure that you have the needed material, machinery, and equipment. Check out our store pages if you're missing anything. Romanoff has everything you'll need to begin casting!
- Unvulcanized Rubber Molding Compound
- Bladed Instrument
- Injection Wax
- Wax Melter
- Wax Injector
- Casting Flask
- Gypsum-Based Investment Mold Material
- Gold or Silver
- Abrasive Wheel
- Casting Machine
- Pouring Crucible
1 - Choose Your Model For Casting
The first step is to decide what exactly you're going to be making. Prior to any other steps you need to first select a model that will be reproduced by making a mold of. For example, a piece of jewelry that you want to reproduce.
2 - Make A Rubber Mold Of Your Model
- Next you'll want to begin with an unvulcanized rubber molding compound. This is a soft and pliable compound that you will press your model into to leave an impression. Completely surround your model with the molding compound to ensure a successful mold
- Heat the mold in accordance to the specifications of the rubber mold until it is properly vulcanized, or cured.
- Use a blade to carefully extract your model from the mold. Be mindful not to damage to model by cutting too deep. Ideally you want to slice lengthwise down the center of the model, allowing the mold to open like a door.
- Remove the model from the mold. It's very important to extract the model without damaging the mold. Any tearing or warping will cause imperfections in the final product.
- Use the blade to cut two shallow channels to the hollow chamber in the mold. The channels should meet when the mold is closed, allowing you to inject wax into the tunnel.
3 - Inject The Mold With Melted Wax
Romanoff offers a wide variety of wax for this stage in the casting process. Different projects may require different types of wax, and you may favor a certain type of wax after experimenting more.
- Melt the wax in accordance to the specifications of the selected wax. Different types of wax will have different melting temperatures and may require different machinery to ensure successful and efficient melting.
- Inject the melted wax into the closed mold through the divot channel you had created.
4- Allow The Wax To Cool Completely
Just like melting temperature, the cooling time will vary depending on the wax you have used.
5 - Remove The Wax Model From The Rubber Mold
This will be what you use for your model for the lost-wax jewelry casting process.
6 - Make A Stand For The Model
Using a thin stick of hardened wax, you're going to want to create a stand to support your wax model. Attach it to the model with a bit of melted wax.
7 - Secure The Wax Model Stand To The Bottom Of A Casting Flask
Use a bit more melted wax to ensure the model is propped up and secured to the flask.
8 - Mix The Investment Mold
Mix together the dry ingedients of the gypsum plaster-based investment model material with water, as per the manufacturer's specifications.
9 - Pour The Investment Mold Mixture
Pour the investment mold mixture into the flask. Be sure to surround the model completely.
10 - Allow The Investment Mold To Set
11 - Place The Entire Flask Into A Kiln
The heat of the oven will harden the mold and melt away the wax. This leaves a hollow chamber in the center of the cast jewelry mold.
12 - Remove The Mold From The Flask
13 - Pour The Casting
- You will need to melt an appropriate amount of either gold or silver in an appropriate pouring crucible. You will need an appropriate casting machine for this part of the process.
- Pour the liquid metal from the pouring crucible into the mold through the hole that was left by the now melted wax support stick.
14 - Allow The Metal To Cool
15 - Tap The Mold Gently With A Hammer
This will break away the mold and reveal the jewelry casting. Be sure not to tap the mold too hard, as it could damage the mold or the casted jewelry.
16 - Buff Out Any Irregularities On The Jewelry
Depending on the intricacies of the piece you have created, you will need to select the appropriate buffing wheel to buff out the imperfections and irregularities that may have be present after the casting process.
If you have any further questions, Romanoff has a team of associates who will gladly guide you through the process in greater detail. Contact us by phone at 1-800-221-7448, or using our Contact Form