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           LIFE  CASTING
    The following is a description of the steps required
for the creation of a life cast: I will have step by step
photos of all the procedures I post on this page near the
end of october.
   (Please note: The use of the products mentioned is at
the risk of the user!)
    Step 1:  Life Casting.  (face and neck)
    Supplies needed:  Dp impression cream (or dental alginate),
Ultracal 30, plaster bandages, bald cap, a straw, Vaseline,
surgical gloves (optional), bucket of clean water, and a
bucket of water for washing.
    Procedure:  The first thing you want to do is organize
your work area. Make sure everything is within reach. Pre-cut
all of your plaster bandages and cut two, two inch lengths
from the straw. Pre-measure the alginate and water. Then
have your subject wash his/her face to make sure it is free
of oil and have then slick their hair back with hair spray
or gel. Next you'll want to apply the bald cap and apply
Vaseline to eyebrows, eyelashes, and beard etc.
    Now the fun part! First have the subject insert the two
lengths of straw into their nostrils (not too far, this
is just to keep the nasal passage clear during the
procedure). Mix the alginate, this can be done by hand or
mixer (with a mixer you get a smoother result). You must
work quickly, the alginate sets very rapidly. Depending on
the temperature of the water you will have anywhere from
5-8 minutes with the Dp impression cream, and 3-5 minutes
with the alginate. 70 degrees F. is about right. Starting
first around the nostrils and then the eyes (make sure that
you get the alginate right in the corner of the eyes, this is
very important to the fit of the final appliance! Oh yeah one
more very important thing, make sure the subjects eyes are
closed! hee-hee) cover the entire area that you wish to cast.
    Once the alginate sets you are ready to apply the plaster
bandages. Make sure when you apply the bandages that you
work one way on the first layer and work in another
direction on the second layer, alternate accordingly. You
will need 3 layers total.
    When the plaster bandages are cured (about 5-10 minutes),
have the subject lean forward and support the cast in their
hands. Have them wrinkle their face gently and help them
slowly remove the cast. Immediately put wet paper towels
inside the cast, covering the alginate. This will help
prevent the alginate from shrinking while you mix the
    Mix the ultracal with your hand (this is where the
surgical gloves come in, it makes for easy cleaning of
your hand). Mix the stone slowly to ensure you don't get
too much air in the mixture. Too many air bubbles makes the
finished positive weaker. After you are satisfied that the
stone is thoroughly mixed remove the paper towels from the
cast and then slowly pour the ultracal into the cast.
    Leave the cast over night (or at least 4-5 hours). The
ultracal will get quite hot during the curing process, this
is normal. Once the ultracal is cured remove the plaster
bandages, and use a rasp to file down any sharp edges on
the stone. Ultracal is a very hard stone so any sharp edges
can be painful (plus they don't look that great).
    Well that's about it! Come back in a couple of weeks and
I will have directions on how to sculpt a prosthetic. Untill
then.....happy life casting!