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Topic: The random RESIN question thread!  (Read 453583 times)
Tags for this thread: resin , mold , catalyst , resin_problems  Add new tag
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Maya Remblai
« Reply #1600 on: August 03, 2010 05:24:31 PM »

I think that type of resin (UV-activated, not tweaked epoxy like Easy Cast) also has problems with humidity, but don't know details.

The Zerovoc page says that it doesn't absorb humidity, so I would assume that means it's unaffected by humid conditions.
Maya Remblai
« Reply #1601 on: August 05, 2010 05:11:27 PM »

Just got my Zerovoc! Cheesy I'm curing some test pieces now. So far, I've only gotten a tacky cure, but I'm using a UV lamp that is probably the wrong wavelength, and it's cloudy and nearly dusk so I can't try it in the sun. Even if the end result is tacky though, I can just treat it the same way one would treat polyester resin and I'm sure it'll be fine. On to the info I've gathered so far:

  • The resin is crystal clear!
  • It does have a smell, but it's not very strong. It's sort of like paint, but I don't think it's harmful as long as there's decent ventilation. It's marketed as having no VOCs at all, and it's exempt from California's strict pollution laws, so I'm not concerned.
  • It cures from the surface down, for obvious reasons. It's evidently best to cast in layers.
  • It's very thick, a bit thicker than EasyCast (the only other thing I've worked with), but thins when it's warm. The instructions say you can microwave it for 5 seconds at a time, though I would just use a heat gun. It would probably dome quite well when cool, I haven't tried yet though.
  • No bubbles! If you do get bubbles though, from mixing in pigments for instance, the heat gun trick would work since the resin thins when it's warm.

I'll post pictures and more info later, after I've experimented some more. So far though, it looks like a useful product for certain types of casting! Smiley
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« Reply #1602 on: August 10, 2010 07:44:36 AM »

I've been using the drill bit that came with my Dremel. It's a bit large for my tastes, but it does the job very well. If you have a Dremel, they have a kit with tiny little drill bits, but you'll have to buy the new collar as well.

"It's not an obsession. It's a quest for excellence!"
Maya Remblai
« Reply #1603 on: August 11, 2010 08:49:24 PM »

The final verdict on Zerovoc:

Personally, I love it. If you don't rush it's bubble-free, doesn't smell very much, and cures very rapidly in a UV curing station. (I got the Lisa Pavelka one...her resin is expensive but the lamp wasn't!)

There are cons related to its nature as a UV curing resin. You pretty much have to use a translucent mold (such as polypropylene) otherwise the lower part won't cure. That's because once the resin cures, it actually seems to block UV light! That explains why it doesn't yellow in the sun like other resins can. (The ones that don't yellow have a UV-blocking agent in them, and apparently Zerovoc does too.) This isn't a problem if you're just coating something, but something in a mold will need to be able to get light from all angles. Coatings still cure, up to maybe 1/8". Beyond that, the resin stays liquid. My casts done in Amazing Mold Putty never cured past a "crust" on the top where the light hit them, even if I layered it. Casts done in a store bought mold (made by Castin' Craft, I think, and made of polypropylene) come out perfect every time. I even did a fairly thick one (around 1/3" deep, maybe a bit less) cast in layers and it came out fine as well, though it did have bubbles because I spread the resin around in the mold to make a thin layer at first. Inclusions can be done, but again you have to make sure the light can get to all areas. I embedded a couple of tiny peppers in resin inside tiny jars, and they did cure but it took several cycles. You can cure the resin in the sun, or under a UV lamp. You want to be careful if using an artificial UV source though, because the curing still generates heat just like any other resin, and if it gets too hot during the curing process the resin can yellow. Larger casts make more heat, just like other resins. You'll want to follow the instructions to only expose the resin to UV light for 10 seconds at a time, followed by a minute of rest, and do a few cycles like this for the clearest results. You don't have to be so careful with sunlight, but that takes longer. It also tends to remain tacky on the side exposed to air, though it's not bad and can lessen over time. Most of us treat the exposed side with a clear coat or paint anyway, though. Continued cycles under a UV light can take care of the tackiness if you're patient, unlike me. Wink

The end flexibility is similar to Easy Cast, perhaps a bit softer. Certainly hard enough for most jewelry applications, I would imagine. It's pretty durable, you have to really try to scratch it. It seems pretty resistant to heat as well: I accidentally left one of my test casts in my pocket while I went grocery shopping on a very hot day. When I got back, it was pretty much the same as when I put it in my pocket! It had started out with a very slight tackiness to it (not completely cured), and it hadn't changed in the heat. Just got a little fuzzy. Tongue

It accepts paint as well as other resins: You'll likely need two coats, and a protective finish to keep it from getting scratched off. It can be dyed, but you have to remember the caveats of allowing UV light through. I wouldn't bother dyeing it, myself. If you want opaque dyes or heavy particle inclusions (like glitter throughout the whole cast) I'd stick with standard resins. Zerovoc is great for clear casts, but not much else.

It does dome, a bit. If I fill my molds to the top edge when the resin is cool, the resin domes quite a bit on smaller molds. Larger ones, not so much. The largest mold I've had dome was about 3/4" across. It doesn't dome as much as resins designed to dome, but it does have some, so it's kind of like a jack of all trades: it does a little of everything, but it's not necessarily perfect at everything. Wink
Lady Lovecraft
« Reply #1604 on: August 14, 2010 01:51:17 AM »

hi! okay, im going to try to word this question as best as possible...

 i dont really want to go through the whole mold process... so are there any other things used for resin casting to get certain shapes? ive only heard  of using ice cube trays, but are there any other easy to get, or house hold items i could use to pour my resin into?
Diane B.
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« Reply #1605 on: August 14, 2010 10:12:51 AM »

Here are a couple of summaries of the info on my Resins page about molds and releases for resins if you're interested (you didn't mention the type of resin you'll be using though, and that can make a difference for some things, and you can also pour resin into lots of things it won't distort/etc but you may not be able to get it out which is fine if you want to use the resin in a shallow "cell" permanently):

. . .When dealing with resins in molds though, regular *epoxy* craft resins (brands like Envirotex Lite, Ultra Glo, etc) won't do well in molds where the resin will be deeper than about 1/2" or so (and it's often suggested to do only 1/8" layers at a time even then). Epoxy resins are intended to be used as thick coatings or in shallow permanent "cells," but they can be used in molds as long as they are shallow as mentioned. (Easy Cast is a tweaked epoxy that can be cast deeply though, but can turn a bit soft after curing with warmth or be flexible if thin.)

For deeper molds, *polyester* craft resins are the ones suggested (the main brand of that you'll see around would be Castin' Craft's Clear Polyester Casting Resin, and like the regular craft epoxy resins you'll usually find those at craft, hobby and art supply stores --or online).

As for the molds themselves, those made from HDPE plastic are the ones that can be bought at art/hobby/craft suppliers and online "for use with resin," but many people also use any "rubbery" plastics that are very smooth inside, like perhaps ice cube trays, Rubbermaid products, and one Craftster pour hers into plastic drinking straws to create knitting needles though she found polyester resins worked best, etc.

Silicone molds are fine for both kinds of resin though they (like the usual molds for resin made from HDPE) should be perfectly smooth inside with no tiny scratches, etc., to get the clearest surface on the finished resin item.
You can also make your own silicone molds from two-part silicone putties (some good brands are Miracle Mold and Alley Goop... Amazing Mold Putty is often now available at craft stores but won't be quite as smooth/good and takes longer to set up)
For more info on silicone putties for making molds if you're interested, check out this page at my site:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/molds.htm ...click on "2-Pt Silicone Putties"

If the right material is used in the right mold, no release** is needed (though a trip to the freezer for a few minutes can help in stubborn cases). Be aware though that epoxy resins are a bit more adhesive than polyester resins.

When needed, mold releases are either those that are sold specifically for that purpose, or can be other products you might have around the house.
Other mold materials that can be used for resin which usually need a release are molds made from metal, glass, PVA, plaster, wood, probably very smooth modeling clay and perhaps raw polymer clay, etc. (for glass and metal, use a release though like a spray of Pam or dried liquid soap & water solution--1 to 4 ...for the porous materials like the others, use a wax like carnauba, Pledge spray, etc.)

Also, for releasing materials cells/depressions made from of various resin-safe materials can just be blocked on one open side with things like the sticky side of duct tape, or probably modeling clay or raw polymer clay if those aren't wiggled so the fit is tight, and perhaps paraffin, etc... so they're kind of kind "releases" or molds too but some won't leave a smooth surface in that spot.

**You can read about all those things in much more detail (with lessons, examples, links, more details on releases and techniques and types of resin, etc) if you're interested on this page of my site:
...click on *Casting* under the Epoxy Resin category
...or click on some of the categories under Polyester Resin


. . . They ("empty frames for epoxy resin") are called different things depending on who's doing the naming and exactly which shapes/etc they are, and whether they're closed on the back side like I think you're thinking of, which are actually "shallow cells".
Here are some of the name possibilities:
bezels, pendant trays, cabachon settings, charm blanks, bead frames, photo "Italian charms," etc.

Other things that can take the heat from curing resin and won't be bothered by that plastic (resin), would be metal bottle caps (quite popular these days) and some plastic bottle caps, or any cells created from polymer clay that's been baked/hardened, etc., etc.

Epoxy resin can also be poured into cells with no backs, like this for example:
http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/nenam/epoxy.htm ...scroll down to "Window of Opportunity" about halfway down that page for the lesson

Or resins can be poured into temporary shallow molds, then removed.
Or they could also be created just on top of a non-stick surface material (anything made from silicone which is a lot of things, waxed paper, aluminum foil at least for polyester resins, tapes, oil-based clays, etc), with temporary walls of various kinds of tape, oil-based clays, waxed paper, silicone or paper, foils, metal, wood, etc, with releases. . .

« Last Edit: August 14, 2010 10:19:05 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

few of my photos
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
Lady Lovecraft
« Reply #1606 on: August 14, 2010 07:17:24 PM »

i have the easy cast resin, and im suuper broke so i dont really have the money to buy molds and more resin related things. could i use the easy cast in ice cube trays?
« Reply #1607 on: August 16, 2010 05:05:59 PM »

Use drill bits that are the size you want for your project--there isn't going to be an exact size, it all depends on your preferences for your piece.  Use a dremel or a drill press and go. sloooooow.  WEAR A DUST MASK.  Resin is so, so harmful to your lungs, PLEASE protect yourself.  I've never had issues with cracking resin, as long as you don't put too much pressure on the piece too quickly.  Make sure the piece is secured (put it in clamps or something) and take it easy!

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« Reply #1608 on: September 18, 2010 06:01:51 PM »

i have the easy cast resin, and im suuper broke so i dont really have the money to buy molds and more resin related things. could i use the easy cast in ice cube trays?

only if they're silicone ice cube trays. If you use the hard plastic, the resin won't come out of it.

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« Reply #1609 on: September 22, 2010 06:30:28 PM »

Does anyone have or know where I can find a mold that is round? Not a circle but with a hole in the middle...the websites I've checked don't seem to have any! Also a mold I could use to make bangle bracelets too.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2010 06:32:41 PM by browndog » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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