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Old 10-26-2015, 04:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Worthless Blanks w/ Polyester Resin

I tried my first casting today. I had a feeling it wouldn't work from what I read. I have turned a good bit of alumilite worthless blanks but never seen any cast in polyester that I know of. Anyhow, I tried casting some olivewood burl with colored polyester resin and both blanks blew apart at the seams. I'm guessing the resin shrunk while curing and separated from the wood. As I was turning I could see that the two materials weren't joined nicely together at the seams. Also, it felt a little bit 'gummy' in a couple spots on the inside(after picking it up from the floor). Maybe I needed more mekp? I did let it cure for almost 2 days.

Is it worth while to try again with this type of resin or should I look into buying a pressure pot and alumilite? I really want to make these blanks. Thank you all!
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Old 10-26-2015, 04:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I have used pr to do worthless wood. Well dried buckeye burl. Let cure well and soak with thin ca occasionally when turning.

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Old 10-26-2015, 05:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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PR has a shrinkage rate of aprx 3% Alumilite is aprx .6% if I remember correct. That might cause some issues. I would go with Alumilite if it were me. If you need resin check with Curtis from Turntex Woodworks (Mesquiteman on IAP). I was at his class in Sept at Arrowmont, if you have questions on casting he probably can be of great help.
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Old 10-26-2015, 06:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Casting with pressure would definitely help.
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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After you pour set your molds in a toaster oven at about 100 for an hour. then let your blanks cure for at least a week. 5 to 6 drops of MEKP should be plenty but no more than 8 (top limit of brittleness and too much in my opinion) per ounce of resin. It has been my experience that cool and slow cure makes an easier to work with blank (although I have never done worthless wood I have cast objects in the blanks). You have to experiment to see what works for you at your level of humidity, altitude, average temperature, all minor factors that could add up. It is a journey, not a destination, to get the perfect blank. Do .... Learn .... Do what you learned ..... Do something else .... continue the process.
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Old 10-27-2015, 08:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Thank you all for the responses...Will have another go and try the toaster oven out as well.
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kdoc87 View Post
Thank you all for the responses...Will have another go and try the toaster oven out as well.
DO NOT USE YOUR WIFE'S TOASTER OVEN!

At least not till after you buy her a new one. :)
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Old 10-30-2015, 01:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I have cast a few worthless wood blanks with PR. I usually soak all seams with thin ca every once in a while. It does work a lot better with a pressure pot and softer woods than hard woods. It just seems to push in a bit and grab hold as opposed to sitting on the top.
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Old 10-30-2015, 02:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Skie M is correct. Hit the Goodwill and get your own toaster oven. Should be $15 or less. DO NOT USE THE ONE IN THE KITCHEN. If you ever want to stabilize you will need one anyway.
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Old 10-30-2015, 04:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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The olive I have turned seems to have oil or a waxy feel to it. Not sure it works well in a casting.
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