Gold wax

Did you know there are 2 different kinds of gold wax? Confusing I agree. This is the lesser-known gold wax (Wolf gold wax is covered in the next post!). It’s a bit hard to find. But when you find a supplier that sells it, you can get this wax in pretty much every shape and size.

So what’s it like to work with gold wax?

A flower shaped pendant with a round garnet in the centre and a ring with a burred pattern

For the wax color comparison series, I make some pieces with each wax color. I use all the common tools and techniques and describe how easy/difficult they were. Keep reading along and find the wax that best suits your making style.

Curious about other colors? You can already read about green wax, purple wax and turquoise wax.

Piercing

I used a regular saw blade for this. With a wax blade, all colors would end up with the same verdict: quick and easy. Besides, you want to use a regular blade for precision work.

Gold wax dust from piercing

Thick pieces (ring tube etc): piercing takes time. It’s not necessarily hard, just slow. The wax comes out in a mixture of dust and long clumps.

Thin pieces: piercing thin pieces is a lot easier. Because you can see the marks really well in this color, you can pierce accurately to the line. Even with wax dust coming up and obscuring the lines partially.

Hand files

Big sections (side of a ring etc): same as with piercing. Filing is not necessarily hard, it’s just slow. You only get the finest powderlike dust and this powdery dust doesn’t clog your files at all.

Super fine gold dust from filing

Small sections: filing small sections is quicker, but it still takes a while. You can feel a little resistance in the wax, which makes progress slow. You see the results of every file stroke, but it might not be as much as you expect.

The dust stays on top of your file without getting in between the teeth. You can easily brush the wax dust away with your hand.

Hand file with gold wax dust on top

Needle files

Needle files work perfectly on gold wax. Filing and shaping is quick and easy and you can get a really clean finish with just files alone.

Front view of flower pendant

If you slip with your file you will leave a mark, but these are usually superficial and easy to remove.

Wax dust clogs your files eventually.

Needle file with gold dust

But you can brush the wax away with a toothbrush.

Needle file cleaned from dust

Carving tools

Carving tools work perfectly as well. They’re great for refining your shape and adding details. Curves or corners, both are no problem for carving tools. They leave a good clean finish on your wax.

Back view of the flower shaped pendant

Melting

Repairing: melted wax doesn’t easily move onto a wax pen. It wants to stay in its liquid puddle. Once you have it on your wax pen, it transfers easily to other pieces of wax.

If your temperature is too low, the wax gets a bit stringy.

Gold wax ring with stringyblobs of wax

Play around with the heat settings a little. At the right temperature, it transfers without getting stringy.

Gold wax ring with blob of wax over a break

You can get good blobs on your wax that file down without problem.

Gold wax ring with the blobs filed back

Remelting scraps: scraps melt quickly and evenly. You end up with a workable piece of wax again.

Round piece of newly melted gold wax.

Burring

Burring is really smooth. The burr doesn’t go into the wax too quickly, so you have a lot of control over where you remove wax. The burr leaves a clean and smooth finish as well.

Ring with burred grooves

Marking

Marking is great. The lines are very clear and easy to see. Dust sometimes clings to the edges of the mark, but they can be brushed off completely with a toothbrush.

Gold wax with pattern marked on it

Stanley knife

A stanley knife works great. You can remove thin slivers and cut out small sections.

Gold ring with stanley knife in it

The blade only cuts where you want it to and then stops.

Gold ring with stanley knife mark

See? only a very fine cut.

Verdict

Gold wax is great to work with. Shaping might take a little bit longer than other waxes, but you’re less likely to slip and dig with this one. Which saves you time in the long run!

Comment below and tell me your experience working with gold wax!