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Old 03-03-2012, 08:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Default alumilite clear issue

last night I decided it was time to try some casting again. I had a great piece of cherry burl that was thoroughly dried. and a piece of mango which was dried.
I used alumilite clear.
I used alumilite blue dye, and alumilite pearlescent pigment.
I added the dye to the A side, until I had equal weight for parts A and B.
I thoughoughly mixed both parts together, added the pearlescent powder, stirred a little more, and poured into my mold. set it into my pressure pot, and pressurized to 100psi.
I left it overnight since I did this rather late.

This morning I dropped the pressure, removed the piece and it looked good. nothing tacky, nice color etc. I cut it into workable blanks, drilled it. epoxied in my tubes, and this evening I turned them down.

once turned down, i was ticked, as all the "seams" where the alumilite met the wood either had tiny air bubbles(which I could deal with), but the big issue was where the alumilite met the wood, it was no longer transparent, but it was almost opaque. it basically changes from a vivid color to a pastel color.

I know my blanks were dry and the alumilite was mixed good. i didn't add anything different than alumilite products. the only thing I can think of that I've read before was that I should have put the wood in a warm over for a bit prior to casting.

Does anyone have any experience with why this may have happened, or more importantly what caused it? At the moment, I'm thinking maybe moisture played a part, but I did this in my basement, where teh temp was around 70, as was teh temp of the materials. I also have a water seperator on my compressor, but it's a cheaper one. I appreciate any sufgestions. I can get pics if needed.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If I forget to warm or microwave (dry) the wood before I cast with Alumilite, the smal amount of residual water in the wood will react with the Alumilite and cause it to turn white or opaque.
Alumilite hates even the smallest amount of water.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Any chance of a picture of the blank? That'll help us help narrow it down.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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The only answer is moisture. I have had that same issue. As Monty said, warm it in a toaster oven just prior to casting. Frustrating when a beautiful piece does that.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Monty, how long do you nuke the wood for? Or do you use short cycles? More Alumilite is in my future and I hate to mess it up. Thanks.
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Ill get some pictures later on.

last night i did another cast. same everything except i just made a smaller batch because I wasn't going to screw up another beautiful piece. finished a pizza in the oven, so i popped the wood in while it was at 425*. set it to 150*, came back about 20 minutes later, took it out, mixed my alumilite and poured and into teh PP. took it out this morning, looked a lot better. turned it down. got right to the bushings, and it had done the same thing, just not as bad.


i just did a batch of clear with no wood in it to make sure that atleast comes out right. will try one more time tonight, am going to cook the crap outta that piece of wood.
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