Ramblin' Dan's Workshop

The Sanctum of Fine Art and Invention

Bell Making

DSC04803I have posted in the blog several times how I have become interested in the creation of lost wax casting of small detailed bells. I am very serious in testing the process and I want to see what is possible. I have all the tools and just need the consumables.

My plan is to carve the bell body from wax, using CNC milling for both the internal and external carving. That will require two set-ups and two programs. The interior will be carved with a 3 axis program and the external shaping and detailing will be done with a 4-axis 3D carving program. I have already created both programs and run them in simulation. I have also dry run the 3-axis program on my Taig mill. No problems so far.

I just received the wax I need to make the master pattern for a bell. I have chosen two types so far and you can see the green and orange wax cylinders just to the camera left of my head. My first opinion is the green wax would be fine. The orange wax is a bit harder and holds the detail better especially in fine micro-detail carving. I'll try both.

Bell1On the screen is the simulation of the 4-axis basic bell carving. The first design is just a freehand design and no decoration. I just need a prototype test bell to test first the carving, then the investment and wax burnout. Next I will cast a brass bell to see how the metal handles. So much new to test out.

The shape of the bell is just one part of the creation. The first cast will show me how well casting something of that volume will work in my shop with my equipment. I am not expecting any serious problems. If the first casting goes well then I will spend more time on bell designs with the details.

The surface of the bell can have any type of bias and relief carving on it's surface. Also any type of lettering can be included. If I can draw it I can CNC carve it. The top or handle end can have an almost unlimited variation in how it is finished.

If this works as well as I immagine, then it will be a unique product that I totally control from design to finish. It fits so well with my desire to do wax carving with my CNC machines, I am stoked at what this could become.

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