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Wax Reduction

Wax Reduction.  An intermediate step in a size between a large model or pattern and a small die prepared on an engraving machine and cut in beeswax or paraffin; an intermediate reduction. Such a wax model is prepared because of the limits of the die-engraving pantograph at too great a ratio. For example, a 12-inch pattern cannot cut a one-inch die (since ideally a reducing machine's limits 10-to-one). A 12-inch pattern could be reduced to a 4-inch intermediate wax, which would be touched up, cast into epoxy or metal as a new pattern and then placed back on the pantograph to cut a 1-inch die. Three-to-one and four-to-one are ideal ratios for reduction on the die-engraving pantographs. The wax can be melted and set, used over and over again.  See intermediate reduction.

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

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