. . .cassiem, I use the Castin' Craft resin and just made some up this weekend. . .The Castin' Craft is pretty easy to use since you use equal parts of it. vampedangel14
...it's probably best to refer to the Easy Cast product just as "Easy Cast" since the primary resin that the company called Castin' Craft
has always made (and been famous for) is a polyester
resin (Castin' Craft Clear Polyester Casting Resin
) that's been nicknamed "Castin' Craft" over the years.
Polyester resins are not mixed one to one, but a few drops of one to a lot of the other, and also are fiddlier to use and harder on lungs, etc, than epoxy resins. It's really
easy to get mixed up between the types of resin, and a lot of people have used the wrong terms or not understood there were important differences--in fact maybe most people in the beginning unless they worked with more than one kind, and there have been many misunderstandings.
I wish they had the bigger bottles at Michaels since I have only used the stuff twice now and my bottles are already half gone!
Epoxy resins are more expensive by volume than polyester resins, but mostly they don't come a lot cheaper than what you'll see at Michaels --though slightly larger containers can be purchased in various places.
. . . The pendants and bangle were done using actual resin moulds in a flexible plastic. They finished curing yesterday and popped right out. They are completely clear and the part that was to the air is also very clear and smooth not sticky at all. They are still a tad flexible so once they harden up more (assuming they will). . .
The plastic molds you have that worked well are probably HDPE (High Density PolyEthylene plastic) and that's the primary material used to make the molds sold for resin (polypropylene works too, I think).
Flexible cloudy-plastic items like Rubbermaid and Tupperware containers, etc, are made from the same material and work well, but unless they're handled carefully (like never even wiping
them to dry, etc) they can get teeny-teeny scratches which will make the surface of the mold microscopically ragged and create cloudy surfaces in the resin.
Silicone molds can have or get teenily-uneven surfaces too, and they can also create surface problems created by the fact that they're flexible though latex and rubber RTV mold materials are worse for that.
As for the flexibility of the cast items, since you were using Easy Cast instead of a regular epoxy resin, the items could remain flexible where they're thin enough when in warm situations unfortunately.
. . . I got the Castin' Craft "EasyCast Clear Casting Epoxy" - it tells me to do even parts, which is comforting . . cassiem
... Easy Cast is an epoxy resin but one that's been tweaked so that it can be used to make thicker
items in deeper molds like the polyester resins can, but still be mixed one to one (and also be better for breathing/lungs like other epoxy resins are compared to polyesters).
The disadvantages to Easy Cast though are that if it's exposed to even body heat after curing, its surface can become a little soft and any thin areas will become flexible.
(The most common brand of regular epoxy resin is probably Envirotex Lite, and it should be available at most all craft and hobby stores, and often also in small hardware stores like Ace/etc. Regular epoxy resins shouldn't be poured deeper than 1/4 -1/2" at a time though if you want the cast to be very clear.)
I'm not too familiar with the UV resins or the one-part resins, but I've heard the UV ones (usually 2-part though) can get bubbles and otherwise be more unpredictable than regular epoxies or polyesters, as well as being more expensive by volume. There's some info on some of the one-part ones on the page at my site about resins (see link below) if you're interested though (...the one-parters have problems too, but it's what you're doing and the effect you're after that will decide which kind of resin will work best or even okay).
- I plan to use it to fill over pictures inside bezels.
As for using bezels, there you're pouring the resin in a very shallow area which is cell
(not a mold) since you won't be removing it. So regular epoxy resins will do fine since the resulting resin won't be thick, and epoxies are generally the ones used in those situations rather than polyesters**.
Also, putting resins in cells is different from putting them in molds in that you won't be seeing the part of the cured resin that had contacted anything (and that area could end up cloudy if there were any micro-scratches, etc) since it won't be the "top" of the cast resin item, it will be the bottom of the fill.
In fact for just doing the kind of thing you're talking about, you could even use clear fingernail polish for acrylic fingernails, or other things like clear gloss polyurethane, etc. And some people use the "dimensional glues" but those are scratchable so usually a layer of polyurethane is needed over them unless they're well down in the bezel so protected somewhat by the walls.
Some "pictures" will need to be sealed before pouring resin over and there are some other tricks about doing that kind of thing in bezels and other "cells," so you might want to check out that this page at my site on resins and click on the sub-category called In Permanent Cells--Bottlecaps, Etc
for those tips.http://glassattic.com/polymer/other_materials.htm
resins won't fully-cure well on any surface that's in contact with air during curing--it's supposed to be that way so that surface can stick to more layers of fiberglass cloth, etc, that might be added. There are some workarounds for that though (check the link just above for that, and look under the category on Polyester Resins).
cure fully in areas that are in contact with air.