How to make Machinable Wax

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How to make Machinable Wax

Postby rawkstar320 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:48 am

Hey everyone,

I finally got around to writing about how to make DIY machinable wax! Check it out at:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Machinable-Wax/
Check out my Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WondrousWidgets

Interested in making your own machinable wax? Check out: http://www.instructables.com/id/Machinable-Wax/
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Re: How to make Machinable Wax

Postby edembowski » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:31 pm

That's a great instructable. I think I may make some just to use as a level base on the milling bed.
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Re: How to make Machinable Wax

Postby rawkstar320 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:37 am

That just might work!
Check out my Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WondrousWidgets

Interested in making your own machinable wax? Check out: http://www.instructables.com/id/Machinable-Wax/
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Re: How to make Machinable Wax

Postby MechaDrafter » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:14 pm

So, I tried making some machinable wax today, and failed pretty horribly. I couldn't really get the bags to dissolve, they all kind of just melted and clumped together at the bottom. So what I ended up with was basically just wax with plastic chunks on the bottom.

Now, I didn't use a fryer, I just used a pot. But I had a thermometer in the whole time and stayed between 300F and 350F degrees. The plastic bags would melt, but they wouldn't "dissolve". Any idea why it didn't work?
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Re: How to make Machinable Wax

Postby rawkstar320 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:57 pm

Hmm, how long did you let it cook? I presume that you were constantly stirring it? How many bags did you put in at the same time?

By cutting the bags into strips, and dropping them in in small batches, they seemed to dissolve better. When you try again, make sure you break up the blob you created before adding it back into the mix...I noticed that when I had large amounts of solid wax/plastic, it smoked fairly easily because the bottom melts and increases temperature while the top stays solidified.
Check out my Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WondrousWidgets

Interested in making your own machinable wax? Check out: http://www.instructables.com/id/Machinable-Wax/
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Re: How to make Machinable Wax

Postby MechaDrafter » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:33 am

I'm not sure exactly how long it was cooking, maybe for 10-20 minutes after I started adding bags? I only added one bag at a time, and they were cut up. I tried to let them dissolve as much as possible before I added the next one, but they really didn't seem to dissolve much at all, just clumped up.

I think most of my confusion came from not knowing how many bags I should use, and not knowing how long they should be sitting in there. Maybe I just didn't leave it "cooking" long enough to dissolve?
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Re: How to make Machinable Wax

Postby rawkstar320 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:55 am

Its entirely possible that the bags didnt have enough time to disolve, I was adding parts, letting them "mostly" disolve, then adding more. The process probably took over an hour - at least. I am really bad at keeping track of time during projects.
Check out my Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WondrousWidgets

Interested in making your own machinable wax? Check out: http://www.instructables.com/id/Machinable-Wax/
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Re: How to make Machinable Wax

Postby MechaDrafter » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:26 am

Gotcha, maybe I'll give it another go and try longer. The only other real option seems to be modeling board, but I haven't found any that wasn't silly expensive.
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Re: How to make Machinable Wax

Postby rawkstar320 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:37 am

Look into Machinablewax.comm, they have the only "reasonable" prices that I have seen.
Check out my Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WondrousWidgets

Interested in making your own machinable wax? Check out: http://www.instructables.com/id/Machinable-Wax/
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Re: How to make Machinable Wax

Postby MechaDrafter » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:23 pm

Yeah, I've checked them out. Definitely an option, but (for instance) a 2"x5"x10" block is $30. That's twice the cost of polypropylene. Of course, the machinability adds value, but I'm not sure it adds that much.

Of course, I suppose you can melt down and reuse the "scraps," which is definitely a huge plus. I've noticed that when cutting polypropylene sheets, I probably am only able to use about half the sheet, since I have to have somewhere to clamp and the various parts I cut don't always fit together well.

Actually, for that reason alone it's tempting. You've done resin casting in machinable wax right? Are you able to cast and remove parts without mold release? I imagine (being wax) that it's pretty non-stick.
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