By: Trevor Nakata
The Zhou Dynasty was an ancient
civilization that existed from 1046 B.C. to 221
B.C. The civilization is known for its many
bronze artifacts the people made. The Zhou
people perfected their art of bronze casting
during the warring states period (475—221 B.C.)
through the lost-wax casting technique. By
following these few steps you too will be able to
create bronze casting as the Zhou had by using
the lost-wax casting technique.
The first step in the lost–wax casting is to
select and make a model of it out of wax, clay, or
other materials. Wax or oil based materials are
best suited for the model.
A mold is then created of the selected item.
The mold is made up of two parts the inner and
the outer mold. The outer mold is more rigid and
tough then the inner mold and could be made from
plaster or fiber glass. The inner mold is softer
and is created out of latex rubber or silicone and
is supported by the outer layer.
Once done with creating the mold of the
object, the next step is to align the inside other
the mold with wax. There are two ways that this
can be done. First you could poor molten wax
inside the mold until the desired thickness is set
on the mold. From there the excess wax is poor
out and the mold is left upside down for the wax to
cool and harden. By doing this you loses more
control over the thickness of the wax though.
The second way is to fill the mold with molten
wax then swish around the wax till it evenly lines
the mold usually around 1/8 of an inch or 3mm
The hollow was coating is then removed from
the mold. The wax copy is then chased: a heated
metal tool used to rub away the marks of the
parting line. The wax is then dressed to hide
imperfections and should end up looking like the
The wax is then sprued with a treelike
structure wax allowing the molten casting material
to flow in and allow excess air to escape. A wax
cup is connected to the top and various wax
cylinders connect it to various points on the wax
The wax copy is then dipped into a slurry of
silica, then into a sand like stucco or crystallized
grain silica. The product is then left to dry and is
repeated till there at-least 1/2 inch of coating.
The bigger the object is though the thicker the
coating needs to be. The inside is the only part
that doesn't have to be coated. The coating is
called the ceramic shell mold material.
The model should now consist of the wax
model covered by the ceramic shell. The model
then has to be placed in a kiln standing on the cup.
The wax should melt away leaving the a hollow
ceramic shell., and a hollow cup and cylindrical
The shell is taken out of the kiln and placed in
a tub of sand. The metal is then melted and then
is carefully poured into the shell. If the shell isn't
heated then the temperature difference would
cause the shell to shatter. When the shell is full
with the molten metal, the shell is allowed to cool.
When the shell is finished cooling and the
metal is solid, the shell can be hammered away
leaving the metal product. Like the wax model, the
metal needs to be chased in order to get rid of any
About The Author
Trevor Nakata wasborn in the UnitedStates
and has traveledaroundthe world through the military.
Through schooling he had learneddifferenttypesof
information andthrough that haswritten bookson
thingshe has learnedor discovered. He plans to write
more storiesincludingfiction andHow To Guides.
The Zhou dynasty perfected there
casting techniques by using the lost–wax
process. Now you also can cast metal by
following these few simple steps.