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1  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Naming my e-business Black Banana- bad idea? on: June 15, 2010 12:21:17 PM
Hmm! My initial idea was more along the lines of racial indications (we all know "Black" but "Banana" would also mean an Asian person who cannot speak their own language, or has lost their heritage). I think the Black Banana is a unique name and you have a good story to use with it but in the long run, I think you'd be cutting off a big group of consumers from buying from you. My two cents!

2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Scratch Resistant Sealant? on: April 13, 2010 07:06:57 PM
I've read that you should never bake resin because doing so will release very toxic fumes. I've read one person say she actually bakes it all the time though, but you have to do it at a low enough temperature so as not to burn the resin.
3  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Scratch Resistant Sealant? on: April 13, 2010 03:33:03 PM
I put my item in my toaster oven for 5 minutes at 200 degrees f as stated here: http://www.polyclay.com/varathane.htm

When it came out, I let it cool and tested a scratch with my fingernail on the surface. It still created marks Sad Don't think that worked! Also, as of today, it should be day 5 or 6 of being dried. No difference, still scratches.

After I baked it for a bit, the existing scratches that were on the surface was supposed to make them disappear (polyclay.com mentioned minute brush marks disappearing, so maybe scratches are too deep?) but they were still there.

Failed experiment it looks like!
4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Scratch Resistant Sealant? on: April 11, 2010 12:55:43 PM
I got the interior water-based type. On the instructions on the can, it says it'll work best above 50 degrees fahrenheit and below 90 degrees f. My room temperature is 70 degrees fahrenheit and I would say that there's a good balance of coldness and humidity - kind of in the middle. But technically I can't say for sure.

It says to recoat only after 2 hours when the first layer has dried and feels hard, which is how I did mine.
It also says that you can subject the item to light use after 24 hours, but for normal use, you'll have to wait 3 days. It's almost been three days for me and it seems to take to scratches a little better now. When I apply some pressure with my fingernail and drag it across lightly, it seems more resistant than it did 1-2 days ago!

I guess that since it doesn't say that it's flammable, I'll take your advice and try to heat it in my toaster over for a bit. I hope it works Smiley

I'm using this on shrinky dinks, the inkjet type.
I'll work on it and let you know what I find out!
5  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: The random RESIN question thread! on: April 11, 2010 09:48:24 AM
Not sure what's happening but don't know that silicone molds always need a release.

Bubbles are normal and they should rise for about 10 minutes after pouring but not sure about their all collecting at the bottom of the mold --is that what you mean by the "base"?  Most would generally rise to the uppermost areas, gravity-wise.
(And btw, you should be able to use your breath --through a straw if you want-- to pop the bubbles after they really start coming up, or to pass a lighted match over them. Both those create the carbon dioxide needed for popping, but won't blow dust around which can settle on the resin. You don't need to pop them all right from their first appearance, and many will pop on their own as the resin heats up.  A toothpick can also be used for larger bubbles.)

Other possibilities?:

Make sure resin isn't too cool when mixing (which can create extra bubbles and later cloudiness).  If necessary, warm by putting the bottles into container of warm/hot water for few minutes... should feel just warm to the touch (70-85 F).
Moisture in the resin, which may come from humidity in the air or from unsealed embedments, can cause the resin or casting to be cloudy.....keep resin capped tightly when not in use.
Are you using any inclusions that might be have trapped air, or contain any moisture?  
Don't use waxed cups for mixing since that can also make resin cloudy. And what are your stirring sticks made from?
Some people also recommend a whipping action rather than "stirring" to keep from incorporating too much air.
One person also recommended pouring the resin from the cup (into another container or a squeeze bottle) slowly which may reduce some of the bubbles.
Just having scratches (even hard to see ones) in a mold will cause cloudiness because the surface isn't thoroughly smooth.  Which brand of 2-part silicone putty did you use, and did you make it *very* smooth (some brands, e.g., don't really end up with very smooth surfaces, like the Amazing Mold Putty I hear).  It's even recommended not to "wipe" molds dry, even the HDPE ones made for resin casting, since that can scratch them --instead, air-dry.
(Will write more if other variables occur to me, but there's also lots of info on my resins page:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/other_materials.htm )

Diane B.



Yup! I read up about how bubbles will be normal and that with Easy Cast resin, it will automatically degas itself. That wasn't the case with me though! Yes, the bubbles collect at the bottom of the base. I am trying to make 1 inch resin domes with CastinCraft Easy Mold.

When I used my hairdryer on the resin to release the bubbles, I saw some raise to the top and disappear VERY slowly. But most hang around at the bottom and they seem stationary :O

I did warm up the bottles before I used them, and they felt warm to the touch so I'm sure I did that right! I worry that maybe with the small amounts that I use, they just end up cooling down while they're exposed to air for the 3 minutes of mixing and double mixing.

I use non-wax cups and my mixing sticks are the wooden popsicle kinds.

At the moment I can guess that the molds are probably the cause of the cloudiness and bubbles. There are probably teeny tiny scratches on them that I can't see, but it seems likely for them to be there! Sad
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Scratch Resistant Sealant? on: April 10, 2010 10:27:17 PM
Quote
I heard (more like read) Diane B. say that clear polyurethane would work well to make an item more scratch proof. What brand and type would you recommend?

Well, polymer clayers like the brand Varathane (now by Rustoleum), and the indoor gloss version has something special called IPN (interpenetrating network) too, as well as being UV-resistant to avoid later yellowing from UV light or heat.  (The same product is probably being re-bottled these days under the Studio by Sculpey gloss finish name, but would be more expensive of course.)
Clear acrylic fingernail polishes are tough too.
Or for a thinner finish that isn't UV-resistant, floor polishes like Future or Mop'N Glo are also tough.

Quote
I've tried 3D Crystal Lacquer and embossing powder and know that these two scratch easily. I've read that Diamond Glaze can give people nightmares with their bubbles, so I steer clear away from that too.

Any polyurethanes (from the hardware store, and sometimes rebottled at art/craft stores) or those things just mentioned though will be better than any of the "white glue" based finishes (including the dimensional ones like Diamond Glaze or 3D Crystal Lacquer, etc) or than clear embossing powders, gloss acrylic mediums, etc.

Polyurethanes are also often used as a final coat to create stronger finishes over epoxy resin items (like Envirotex Lite, Easy Cast, etc), decoupaged items, Diamond Glazed areas, etc., as well as just being used alone.


Diane B.


Thanks Diane!
I tried using the varathane polyurethane you recommended. I've let it sit for a little over 2 days now with 2 coats of the polyurethane. When I run my fingernails lightly across the surface, however, it scratches it terribly Sad Am I not doing something right?
7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: The random RESIN question thread! on: April 10, 2010 10:25:35 PM
Argh! I'm getting really bummed out with my resin! I use Easy Cast by Castin Craft resin and I can't seem to get it right.

I've tried it about 4 times already and so far I've learnt things along the way. I know that I have to mix the resin in equal parts (no estimating!) which I do with measuring spoons. I know that you have have have to "double mix" and I do. I also spray mold release on my silicone putty molds before pouring in the resin.


The problems I have are:
1) My resin forms bubbles at the base of the mold. I use a hairdryer to try to get rid of them as I've read in this thread, but I sit there for a good 10 minutes and the bubbles are still there! Sad

2) Once hardened, the bubbles all form at the base and it looks cloudy. I just can't seem to create that crystal clear resin you guys seem to be able to get right!

Poopsies Sad
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Scratch Resistant Sealant? on: April 05, 2010 01:52:42 PM
Everyone's using resin because apparently it dries super rock hard. I prefer to stay away from resin because it takes way too long to cure. Unless there is a quick-drying resin that I don't know about?

I heard (more like read) Diane B. say that clear polyurethane would work well to make an item more scratch proof. What brand and type would you recommend?

I've tried 3D Crystal Lacquer and embossing powder and know that these two scratch easily. I've read that Diamond Glaze can give people nightmares with their bubbles, so I steer clear away from that too.

Help?
9  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Toaster Oven on: March 01, 2009 09:02:53 AM
Hi there Sandy.

Thanks so much. I've been using a regular oven all this while and I got so used to that that it just slipped my mind that I was supposed to let it cool first. I was being impatient! I slept and woke up the next morning to find the little test piece as hard as a rock.

Thanks for the input!
10  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Toaster Oven on: February 28, 2009 11:27:03 PM
Hi, I just got myself a toaster oven (Rival brand) and I've also put in a Sculpey oven thermometer to check the temperature. I've got that right at 275 F  and I chucked in a little piece of clay (perhaps smaller than an 1cm x 1cm cube) on a ceramic tile, with an aluminum foil roof over the clay piece. It's been sitting in there for over an hour and it's still a little soft inside. I've put the toaster oven to "Stay On" rather than use the timer.

I'm not sure what's wrong! Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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