Metal Casting - Lost Wax Process - Safe Work Practice Manual

General

 

  • Regularly review the Safe Work Practices Manual-this is an important resource.
  • Know the material you are working with and read the SDS labels and information sheets to ascertain the proper safety precautions you should take.
  • Wear the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment when working in the workshops. For example, you may need to wear a respirator and work in a ventilated environment based on the information provided with this material.
  • All materials, supplies, and works in progress must be stored appropriately with the understanding that W840 supports all studio programs.
  • If you are unsure about which tool to use or how to use it consult the safe work practice manual, a Technician, and your Instructor before starting.
  • All placement of art outside the 8th floor must be approved by OH&S through the completion of the Art Placement Form.This form is on the OH&S website of the university and must be completed five days prior to the installation of your work.
  • Do not use headphones or personal listening devices in workshops.
  • Be aware of the impact of your work on the work of others in the woodshop.
  • All containers must be labeled, do not use food or drink containers for any controlled substances such as paint thinner, glue, patina solutions, etc.

 

Housekeeping
 

  • Do not block fire exits and fire-fighting equipment.
  • Store materials in designated storage areas or in your studio spaces.
  • Wash charcoal dust and paint off table tops at the end of each work period as studios are shared spaces.
  • Keep your studio facilities and classrooms clean and tidy.
  • Respect your work and the work of others.
  • Keep all disposal bins tidy with no projecting articles.
  • Clean up spills immediately in order to avoid a slipping hazard.
  • Remove large projects immediately after they have been graded to open up space to make more work.
  • Keep aisles, walkways and stairs clear.
  • Clean and put away all tools and materials in designated storage areas when job is done, and at the end of each workday.
  • Wear the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment when working in Art Studios and Workshops.
  • Sweep floors, equipment, counters, and tables after completion of tasks and at the end of every workday.
  • Avoid causing trip hazards with extension cords and air hoses.
  • Be aware of the impact of your work on the work of others in the woodshop.

Each person in the School of Fine Arts is responsible and accountable for his/her own safety performance. It is important that each person understand that he/she is also expected to work in a manner that will not cause harm to any other person within the University community. Art materials can affect the body in various ways. There are three major routes of entry: inhalation, ingestion and skin contact.

  1. Inhalation: The most common ways that foreign substances enter the body are from vapors, fumes, dust, gases or mists that can be inhaled into the respiratory system. The substances may damage the nose, mouth, and upper respiratory tract, lungs or be absorbed into the bloodstream and travel to other organs in the body.
  2. Ingestion: Substances may be accidentally or willingly ingested through the contamination of food, drinks, cigarettes and hands. These substances may affect the mouth, throat and/or stomach or be absorbed into the bloodstream.
  3. Skin Contact: Substances may attack or destroy the natural protective barriers of the skin, damaging the skin itself, and enabling toxic chemicals to enter the bloodstream, where they are carried to various organs of the body.It is imperative that eating and/or drinking do not occur in any work area.

It is imperative that eating and/or drinking do not occur in any work area.

All students are required to participate in the Safe Work Practices. This includes participation in training and instructional workshops, reading the information sheets that accompany the training sessions, and signing off on their understanding of the information before beginning work in the studio facilities.

HOURS OF OPERATION –W840 Sculpture

Once the training requirement has been met Students are allowed to work in the Sculpture Facilities W840 according to the following schedule:
8:30 am – 8:00 pm Monday–Thursday
8:30 am – 4:30 pm Friday
9:00 am – 5:00 pm Saturday

Summer Schedule
8:30 am –4:30 pm Monday -Friday

It is the responsibility of every person in the area to be aware of his or her surroundings, which in turn will create a safe working environment. Particular attention should be paid to the following:

  1. Telephone: located inside the studio at the exit. Emergency numbers are posted beside each telephone.
  2. First Aid Kits: located in each area and are clearly marked. These are for emergency first aid procedures only. Do not use supplies for any other use.
  3. Eye Wash Stations: located in each area and are clearly marked. Eye wash stations are tested every month, by the department Safety Representative.
  4. Fire Extinguishers: located in every working area.

The following materials and substances cannot be used in student projects: ammunition or explosives, flammable liquids, biohazardous material or waste.

WHMIS information sheets and proper labeling according to WHMIS regulations must accompany all controlled products. WHMIS training is provided by OH&S, as a student you must complete the WHMIS Online Training Course offered through OH&S on Moodle.

Material Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are provided in all studios for all controlled products supplied by the Department of Art to support instruction.

Controlled products for your personal use must also have appropriate WHMIS labels and accompanying SDS information sheets.

  • All containers must be labeled (including harmless items like distilled water). The label should contain the proper name of the material (Turpenoid, Varsol) and the name of the user if appropriate, a statement of hazards should also be listed.
  • Do not use material from unlabeled containers. The need for adequate labeling extends far beyond the immediate individual user, as they may not be present if the container spills or breaks.
  • It is important that no unidentified materials are left in unlabeled containers, jars, or bottles. Proper labeling is important since it is difficult and costly to dispose of unlabeled chemicals.

Each individual has the responsibility for seeing that waste chemicals are safely collected, identified and stored for disposal, and that anyone involved is fully advised of the need for any special methods or facilities for proper disposal.

Handling of Waste

Chemicals are everywhere: they can be found in animals, plants and water as well as in many commercially available products including medicines, detergents, paints,and foods. The risk may be low, but present. In order to keep the risk to a minimum, all chemical waste must be disposed of properly. Once a material is declared a waste, the first responsibility for guiding its proper disposal rests with the worker. He or she is in the best position to know the degree of hazard posed by the material they haveused and must provide sufficient information to fit it into the correct channel for disposal.

Some Acids & Bases

The following acids and bases have been approved for drain disposal while flushing drain with water, if the pH range is between 3 and 11 (prior to draining).

Sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide.

Any chemical which qualifies as a hazardous waste must be collected for proper disposal through OH&S. A waste may be designated as a hazardous waste if it meets one of the following criteria:

  1. Acute hazardous waste is a waste which has been found to be fatal in humans in low doses or, in the absence of data on humans, has been found to have, in laboratory animals:
    • An oral LD50 (Lethal Dose of 50% of the test subjects) of less than 50 mg/kg.
    • An inhalation LC50 (Lethal Concentration) of less than 2 mg/l, or
    • A dermal LD50 of less than 200 mg/kg.
  2. A waste is hazardous if it contains any of the toxic constituents listed in the regulations.
  3. A waste is hazardous if it exhibits any of the following characteristics:
    • Ignitability
    • Corrosivity
    • Reactivity
    • Toxicity *
    • Sharpness
  4. Each Studio generating chemical waste in the Department has a designated location within the room for waste accumulation.
  5. Hazardous Waste Disposal containers are located by the sinks in most studios. As well sharps containers are located in various studios for the safe disposal of glass, knives or saw blades.

All workplace hazardous materials must be identified and disposed of according to Provincial Regulations. No substance that may affect the Environment, Plant, Animal, or Human Life can be disposed of in the garbage or flushed down the sewer system. Consult with a Technician before you act.

Effective ventilation is the best method for controlling contaminants generated and released into the studio atmosphere. There are two basic types of ventilation: general and local exhaust. Local exhaust ventilation is required when working in:

Painting Studio W817
Metal Shop W840
Advanced Studio W823
Kiln Room W890D
Wood Shop W840A
Clay Mixing/ SlurryRoom 890A

Spray Booths are located in W840 + W520, use these when spraying fixative to drawings or when using spray paint. If the contaminant is highly toxic or large amounts of the toxic material are produced a respirator must also be worn.

As a result of the hazard assessment performed by the Technical Staff of the Department of Art working alone is not permitted. All work planned after 8:00 pm must be done with another student. Any Students found working alone in any studio area will be asked to leave the facility by Security personnel. The buddy system should now be enforced in all of the following workspaces: W817, W823, W869, W871, W890, A, B, C +D, W520,L804, W844, W842, and W748 A-K. Excerpt from Art Safety Policy (1992);

In addition, students working after hours are required to have a buddy present. A buddy is another student who is enrolled in and cognizant of the School of Fine Arts Safety Policy. The buddy must remain within the same studio at all times.

The University of Lethbridge now has a Working Alone Safely Login that informs Security that an individual is working alone on campus. All Faculty,Staff, and Students are asked to use this system to login and out with security when they are on campus after regular hours. This policy was developed through the guidelines found in the booklet “Working Alone Safely: A Guide for Employers and Employees” as developed by Alberta Human Resources and Employment.

Fire

In the event of fire, please phone the following EMERGENCY number immediately: 911 or 403-329-2345.

Action to be taken (R.E.A.C.T.)

  1. Remove those in danger.
  2. Ensure the room is closed. This step will confine a fire to the room of origin. This will also prevent the spread of smoke and toxic gases.
  3. Activate the fire alarm. This will occur automatically with smoke and heat detection equipment. There is nothing wrong with calling the Fire Department for assistance and providing details of the fire.
  4. Call the Fire Department. 911 or 329-2345. A person should be designated to call the Fire Department even though the building alarm system is automatically connected to the Fire Department.
  5. Try to extinguish or control the fire. If there is any doubt in the mind of the person(s) attempting to extinguish the fire regarding their ability to do so, then confine the fire to the room of origin by closing the door.
  6. Evacuate.
  7. Keep people from re-entering the building until directed to do so by the Building Fire Warden of Campus Security.

Air Contamination

Should you smell any foreign or unrecognized odors, please phone the following EMERGENCY number immediately: 403-329-2345.

What to report:

  1. The location of the odor.
  2. Time the odor was first apparent.
  3. Any physical symptoms experienced by persons in the affected area, ie. headache, feeling of nausea.
  4. Any information suggesting the odor's origin.

Open any windows or doors to attempt to dilute the polluted air with fresh outside air. Stay out of the affected area and await further instruction by safety personnel.

Chemical Spills

Should a chemical spill occur in your area please phone the following EMERGENCY number immediately: 403-329-2345.

What to report:

  1. The location of the spill and any evidence that tells what the chemical could be, ie. an empty bleach bottle lying on the floor indicating the substance may be bleach.
  2. Any odor, ie. a strong smell of ammonia.
  3. Any visible chemical reaction that may be occurring, ie. a substance bubbling on the floor.

When proper personnel have been notified, no one should enter the contaminated area. If an odor is present, open a window and post a guard outside the odorous area keeping untrained persons away. NO ATTEMPT SHOULD BE MADE TO CLEAN UP THE SPILL. Await arrival of emergency personnel.

Overview

There are times when exposure to toxic materials cannot be prevented, and as such any person working in the area must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment. Contact the Technician, your Professor, or OHS for assistance in selecting the correct PPE. It is not only important that the correct PPE is worn but that the equipment fit properly. For instance,respirators must have a mask to face seal and facial hair prevents a tight seal.

General Information

For detailed information please refer to information sheets included in the Workplace Safety Manual located in W840.

Eye Protection

  • Prescription lenses and sport glasses are not an acceptable substitute for proper, required Industrial safety eye protection.
  • Contact lens should not be worn in Art Studio Environments. Contact lens may trap or absorb particles or gases causing eye irritation or blindness.
  • CSA approved eye protection must be worn when working in W840 and elsewhere when the activity demands it.
  • Eye protection should fit properly, with or without prescription lens.
  • Return glasses to the proper storage rack face up to avoid scratching lens.
  • In this storage rack you will find a variety of styles pick the one that fits you best.

Hearing Protection

  • There are two common types of hearing protection: earplugs or earmuffs.
  • One or both types must be used when working in W840 and W890B (grinding room) and at all times when equipment is operating.
  • These studio workshops are high noise areas and hearing protection is a must even if you are not the one making the noise.
  • Hearing loss, which normally occurs over an extended period of time, is one concern in high noise areas. The immediate effect of high noise areas is fatigue-when we are tired we make mistakes, some of which could be serious.

Foot Protection

  • Students are required to wear good solid shoes when working in Art Studio. Leather shoes with closed toes are best. These protect your feet from most substances used in studios-for example,spills: photo chemicals, acids, and paints. Open-toed sandals should not be worn in any studio, and are not permitted in W840.
  • If you have safety boots wear them and if you know you are going to live in these studios buy some safety footwear.
  • Employees must wear safety footwear in the above areas and in the performance of the majority of their duties.

Respiratory Protection

  • Dust masks must be worn in W840, W840A, and W890 A, B, and C when the activities in these areas are dust producing.
  • Local ventilation and air extraction equipment must be utilized in the above studios depending on the nature of your activity.
  • Spray Booths are located in W840 + W520, use these when spraying fixative to drawings or when using spray paint.
  • If the contaminant is highly toxic or large amounts of the toxic material are produced a respirator must also be worn.

Limb & Body Protection

Due to the variety of studio activities you must consider further personal protection that may take many different forms such as leather gloves, nitrile gloves, leather/chemical aprons etc.

Generally the following rules apply when working in studios and shops:

  • All rings, bracelets, necklaces, and watches should be removed. Long hair must be tied firmly back and tuck in. Short sleeves should be worn when working in the wood shop and shirttails must be tucked in.
  • If you bend over nothing should fall away from your body.
  • When working with metal or hot processes long sleeves should be worn, and clothing should be made of natural fibers. Synthetic fibers melt onto the skin and can cause severe burns.
  • Shirttails should not be tucked in when working with hot processes, no cuffs, and pocket flaps should be closed. You want any hot particle to be able to pass through your clothing and not to become trapped against your skin.
  • Shorts and open-toed shoes or sandals should not be worn in the studios. You must keep in mind that many of the products you will use are absorbed through the skin, and could be corrosive.
  • Wash hands and arms thoroughly before leaving the studios after working with potentially hazardous material and before eating, drinking, smoking, etc.

This space will operate on a one-week rotating schedule, and it is your responsibility to schedule your time in this space. At the end of the exhibition period the following procedure must be followed:

  • Get the paint kit from technicians. In this kit you will find the following supplies:
    Paint Brush, Roller sleeve and handle, pole sander and sand paper, Extension Pole, Wall Filler, putty knife, Tape, White Latex paint, Paint Tray and drop cloths, brush, and roller spinner.
  • Lay down the drop cloths tight to the walls, if necessary tape these down with painters tape. They should overlap each other by 24”.
  • Remove all nails and fastening devices, with pole sander lightly sand the walls, smoothing out the dimple caused by your nails.
  • Prepare a small quantity of wall filler and apply leanly to all nail holes.
  • When this is dry lightly sand the walls again taking care to make the walls as smooth as possible.
  • Stir your paint well and only use the latex paint provided.
  • Fill the paint tray with a moderate quantity of paint working only on the drop clothes.
  • With a paintbrush first apply a brush coat on all filled areas, then carefully cut in the edges of the walls. Do not paint concrete, floors, baseboards, or electrical outlets.
  • Once you have finished cutting in use the roller to apply a light even coat of white latex paint to the walls.
  • After you have completed the painting scrap excess paint from roller into tray, with a brush, clean paint tray returning excess paint to paint can.
  • Roll or fold up your drop cloths and sweep the area before returning paint kit to W840.
  • Return all used painting equipment to W840 and carefully remove the roller sleeve and thoroughly rinse it in the sink making sure all paint is washed out of roller and paintbrush.
  • Using the paint spinner in the sink fit roller sleeve over end of spinner and spin roller to remove excess water. Stand damp roller sleeve upright for finally drying.
  • Using the paint spinner, place brush handle into clamp and spin to remove excess water. Smooth out the bristle while brush is still damp and lay brush flat to dry or hang on wall over sink.
  • W840 has a dedicated wax working area.  All wax working must be confined to this part of the studio.
  • Food is NOT permitted in the wax working area.  Beverages must be in a container with a lid. Open toed footwear is NOT permitted in wax working area.
  • Foundry wax is a blended microcrystalline wax.  Foundry wax is available to students in both sheet and molten form. 
  • Wax which is maintained in molten form presents burn hazards to skin, and precautions must be made when handling molten wax.   Proper work clothes will minimize exposed skin. 
  • The lid of the wax melter should remain closed unless it is in use.  Ladles and other wax pouring equipment should be stored appropriately.   
  • The wax working area is equipped with a large downdraft table to exhaust smoke and fumes that are created when modeling and constructing wax forms with soldering irons and soldering guns.  Caution must be exercised when working with soldering equipment as it has the potential to burn skin and start fires.
  • Combustible materials should be removed from the wax working area. 
  • Wax drippings should be removed from the work surface on a regular basis. Wax working tools should be kept clean and stored appropriately.
  • Plaster molds must be soaked in water for at least 15 minutes prior to pouring wax in them.   Although wax will not adhere to hydrated molds, it will stick permanently to dry plaster.  When possible wax should be poured into molds in the wax-melting table. 
  • The “hot fridge” is designed to keep wax heated to a malleable state, and is meant to be kept at a desired temperature.  Do not adjust the temperature setting.  The hot fridge must be turned off when not in use. 
  • The wax working area is intended to be an accessible work space; as such it should be kept clean and organized.  Molds and wax casts should be stored on shelves and the wax working area cleaned after each use.  When you are finished working in the wax area ENSURE THAT SOLDERING IRONS AND HOT PLATES ARE UNPLUGGED.
  • Molds can be quenched in the sink to cool the wax.  MOLTEN WAX MUST NOT BE POURED DOWN THE DRAIN.
  • Food and drink is NOT permitted in W890A
  • Open toed footwear is NOT permitted in W890A
  • Waxes which have been mounted on plumbing systems of gates and vents, commonly known as ‘trees’, must be inspected by a technician before the ceramic shelling process begins.
  • Ceramic shell is a molding process that involves dipping the wax tree into a ceramic slurry, draining excess slurry, then coating it with fine ceramic sand or stucco.  After drying for a minimum of 2 hours, this process is repeated again and again, using progressively coarser grades of stucco until a self-supporting shell has been formed.  The completed ceramic shell will be 1/4” to 5/16” thick. 
  • The Ceramic shelling process or dipping process must be done properly.  Failure to follow the prescribed process in detail can lead to weak and faulty ceramic molds which can fracture during the metal pour.  This can be very dangerous!  If molds are suspected of being improperly processed they will NOT be poured.
  • If a gate or vent is damaged during the dipping process notify a technician before advancing with additional dips.
  • Slurry is a liquid mixture comprised of colloidal silica and fused silica.  You must exercise extreme caution when working with this material.   You must activate the ventilation system and wear a dust mask when entering this space.  Inhalation of silica can be very hazardous to your health.
  •  When dipping, you must wear a protective apron and the long rubber gloves provided.  Following the dipping process the gloves must be rinsed in the bucket in the sink.  Slurry can NOT be washed down the sink drain.
  • The slurry is rehydrated often.  An orange sign will be attached to the lid indicating the time at which the slurry will be properly mixed and ready for use. 
  • The slurry tank is kept in constant motion to prevent solidification of the mixture.  During the dip, press the push bar with your leg to stop the rotation of the tank.
  • Hold the tree securely with both hands on the cup of the tree.  Avoid making contact with the wall and the bottom of the tank when dipping.  Ensure that the entire tree is dipped just to the lid of the cup.  Do not coat the lid with slurry and stucco.
  • When you have removed your tree from the tank allow the excess slurry to run off before applying the stucco.  Ensure that the tank resumes rotation and replace the tank lid to prevent evaporation. 
  • You must sift the stucco after each dip to remove any chunks. 
  • Ceramic shells are to be stored and dried on the shelves provided.  The shells are fragile and should be handled with care.  Take note of which shell is yours and its location on the shelf. 
  • You MUST document each dip on the dipping log located on the door.  This will help ensure that the minimum drying time between dips is observed and the proper number of dips is executed.
  • Food and drink is NOT permitted in W890D.
  • Open toed footwear is NOT permitted in W890D
  • Metal casting is comprised of both mold making processes and the melting and pouring of liquid metal. 
When the dipping process is complete a technician will move the ceramic shells to the foundry where they will be prepped for the pour.
  • Preparation includes the burnout of the wax at very high temperature.  The ceramic shell is then preheated to accept the molten metal.
  • All foundry work is carried out by members of the Technical Staff and trained Faculty members ONLY.
  • Students may be invited to view the pouring process. Students must ensure that they are dressed appropriately. Clothing and shoes should be made of solid, natural materials. Synthetic materials can melt and cause severe burns. Long sleeved shirts and long pants with the cuffs rolled down are required.
  • During the pouring process staff must focus entirely on the task at hand.  Students observing the pouring process should remain quiet and attentive.
  • Spectators must keep a safe distance when viewing the pouring process.  In the event of a spill, spectators are to evacuate the foundry area in a calm orderly fashion.
  • Allow for sufficient cooling period before opening molds. Cooling times are dependent on a variety of conditions. 
Generally speaking, molds are allowed to cool overnight.

 

  • Once the ceramic molds have thoroughly cooled the de-shelling process can begin.  The vitrified ceramic shell is hard but brittle.
  • The de-shelling process is confined to the foundry, W890D.  It is to be done one student at a time on the blue metal table with a garbage bin located beneath to catch broken pieces of ceramic shell.
  • The ventilation system must be turned on during this process.  The ceramic shell contains silica and precautions must be made to avoid inhaling dust created during the de-shelling process.  Dust masks must be work, eye and ear protection must be worn.  Gloves should be worn.
  • A variety of tools are used to effectively remove the ceramic shell from the cast metal.  Tools include pneumatic hammers and chisels, pneumatic scalers, fine chisels, picks, and splitting hammers.  The shell should be supported and cushioned with sand bags.  Be careful to avoid marring the surface of your object with the tools. 
  • Clean the working area and surrounding floor during and after the de-shelling process.  Return tools to their storage place.  If pneumatic tools were used, close regulator valve and release air pressure from line.
  • Ask a technician to assist you in cutting the sculpture from the tree with the plasma torch.   Alternatively, an angle grinder equipped with a cutoff disc can be used to cut the tree.  Review safe work practices for Angle Grinders.
  • At this stage the cast metal pieces can be sandblasted.  Further grinding and surface tooling will be required to refine the cast object.
  • Food and drink is NOT permitted in W890B.
  • Open toed footwear is NOT permitted in W890B
  • Cast metal grinding, sanding and surface finishing takes place in the Grinding Room, W890B.
  • PPE required in this room includes eye protection, face shield, and hearing protection comprised of earmuffs and earplugs.  Dust masks should also be work when grinding for extended periods of time. As metal becomes hot due to the friction caused by the use of grinding and cutting tools, leather gloves may also be required.

Down Draft Tables

  • The Grinding Room is equipped with down draft tables which are designed to assist in the elimination of airborne metallic dust that is created during the sanding and grinding process. Ensure that the downdraft table is turned on.
  • The down draft table is not to be used in conjunction with processes that emit fumes and gases.  Do not use when spraying aerosol paints, fixatives, stains, paint thinner, varsol etc.
  • Do not use with open flames, or processes that create sparks.  The grinding of bronze and aluminum does not create sparks.
  • When you’ve completed your task clean any dust and debris that has accumulated on the surface of the downdraft table.  Clean floor surrounding the down draft table.

Angle Grinders

  • Be familiar with grinder operation before commencing work. Do not use an angle grinder unless you have been instructed on its use by a Technician or Faculty member.
  • Ensure proper guards are in place.  Protect your eyes with goggles/safety glasses and a face shield at all times when grinding.  Wear hearing protection.  Wear a dust mask when grinding for long periods of time.
  • Do Not wear loose jewelry, scarves, or headphones. Tie back long hair. 
  • Your work piece must be secured in a vice on the down draft table.  Use scrap leather pieces to prevent the jaws of the vice from marring the surface of your object.
  • When mounting the grinding wheels, check them for cracks and defects. Ensure that the mounting flanges are the correct size and clean of debris. Do not over tighten the mounting nut.
  • Before grinding run newly mounted wheels at operating speed to check for vibrations.
  • Do not use grinders near flammable materials.
  • Always use both hands on your grinder.
  • Do not use angle grinders without the handle or without the disc guard.
  • There are a variety of discs for different materials and applications.  Use the disc designed for the material you are grinding and for its intended application, these are not interchangeable.  Example, cutting discs and grinding discs.
  • Never use the grinder for jobs that it is not designed for.
  • Do not use a small grinder to do a big job or a large grinder to do a small job.
  • Do not touch the work piece close to the ground surface as it will be very hot.  Allow to cool.  The work piece may also be very sharp.  Handle with care; wear leather gloves.
  • Sweep metal filings from equipment, floor and work area when you are finished working.

Pneumatic Die Grinders

  • Pneumatic tools are powered by compressed air.  Students have access to a variety of pneumatic grinders and grinding bits. These are used largely for surface refining.
  • Be familiar with grinder operation before commencing work.   Do not use a die grinder unless you have been instructed on its use by a Technician or Faculty member.
  • Ensure proper guards are in place.  Protect your eyes with goggles/safety glasses and a face shield at all times when grinding.  Wear hearing protection.  Wear a dust mask when grinding for long periods of time.
  • Do Not wear loose jewelry, scarves, or headphones.   Tie back long hair. 
  • Your work piece must be secured in a vice on the down draft table.  Use scrap leather pieces to prevent the jaws of the vice from marring the surface of your object.
  • You must ensure that pneumatic tools are fastened securely to the air hose.  Check that all connections are secure and look for any signs of damage to hoses before each use.
  • Take precautions to ensure that air hoses do not pose a tripping hazard to yourself and others working in the grinding room.   Ensure that air hoses are not in danger of being cut or otherwise damaged by the pneumatic tool in operation.
  • Die grinders should be disconnected from air supply prior to changing grinding bits or servicing.
  • Use the wrenches that correspond with the die grinder to securely tighten grinding bit in the grinder chuck.   Check that the bit is not worn or damaged.  Damaged bits should be given to a technician for disposal.
  • Do Not turn the die grinder on whilst the grinding bit is in contact with the work piece.
  • Do not touch the work piece close to the ground surface as it will be very hot.  Allow to cool.  The work piece may also be very sharp.  Handle with care; wear leather gloves.
  • Sweep metal filings from equipment, floor and work area when you are finished working.
  • Prior to the application of a chemical patina, the object should be sand blasted.

The Sand Blaster

  • There is a sandblasting cabinet located in W840.
  • Be familiar with sandblaster operation before commencing work.   Do not use the sandblaster unless you have been instructed on its use by a Technician or Faculty member.
  • The sandblaster utilizes a glass bead blasting medium; do not add any other type of medium (ie. sand).
  • PPE is required when operating the sandblaster.  You must wear a dust mask, eye protection and hearing protection.
  • The floor area surrounding the sandblaster needs to be frequently swept.
  • Do Not fire the sandblasting gun while an access door is open. Do Not fire the sandblasting gun at the viewing window, or light, or cabinet walls and doors.  Do Not fire the gun directly at the rubber sandblasting gloves.
  • Report any operating problems to a Technician or Faculty member.
  • Do not make any adjustments to the pressure regulator.
  • Open the door and place your object in the centre of the sandblaster on the metal plate provided.  Be sure to close the door latches properly.  Turn sandblaster unit on: a) press red power button on power bar located behind the machine top right. b) open the inline valve on the air supply. c) turn on cabinet light.
  • Place your hands into the rubber gloves inside the cabinet.  Make sure that your fingers are in the proper position and that you easily move your hands and grab things.
  • Grip the gun with one hand and step on the foot pedal to fire the medium.   Aim the nozzle directly at the surface of the material.  Bring the nozzle within two inches of the surface of the material if necessary.  Move the gun in a side to side or circular motion.  Always make sure that your fingers are not in the way.
  • To inspect the progress of your blasting remove your hands from the gloves.  Wait 30 seconds for dust to dissipate.  Open door and remove object. Close door.
  • When you have finished sandblasting, sweep floor area around the sandblaster.  Turn off cabinet light and turn off power at power bar.  Close the inline air valve.  Use the dust collector shaker on the right side of dust collector.
  • Food and drink is NOT permitted in the Patination Area
  • Open toed footwear is NOT permitted in the Patination Area
  • The chemical process by which a patina forms or is deliberately induced is called patination, and a sculpture coated by a patina is said to be patinated
  • There is a designated area for the patination of metal objects located under the spray booth in W840.  This is the only area where students may patina their metal objects.
  • During the application of chemical patinas the ventilation/air extractor must be in operation.
  • Only one student is permitted to work in the patination area at time.
  • The patination process involves the application of various chemical solutions, using both atomisers and natural bristle brushes.  Care must be taken to ensure that these chemicals are not ingested, inhaled, or exposed to skin.
  • Students must wear gloves, masks and eye protection when applying patina.
  • To familiarize yourself with the hazards and precautions associated with the various patina chemicals please refer to the SDS sheets.
  • Use clean containers to hold the chemical solutions and avoid cross contamination of chemicals. 
  • There are literally thousands of different patina recipes.  Many of the patinas are considered ‘hot patinas’ and require the addition of heat in order to evoke the desired chemical reaction.  Consult with a technician for assistance with the patination process.
  • A small handheld mapp gas torch is provided.  Ensure that all flammable materials have been removed from the patination area.
  • The process of heating the metal object and then applying the chemical solution is repeated until the desired surface is reached.   Use caution when handling the object as it will be very hot; wear leather gloves.
  • The final stage in the process involves the application of a wax to surface.  The wax is intended to protect the patinaed surface of the object. 
  • Wax should be applied while the object is warm.  It should be stippled on to the entire surface allowed to sit for a couple of minutes and then wiped off with a soft clean cloth.   The surface can be buffed up to sheen with a soft cloth or paper towel.
  • When you have finished be sure to clean the patination area.  Dispose of any used paper towels and used disposable cups or containers.  Do not leave unlabelled chemical solutions in the patination area.