Alumilite Pigments (Powder or Liquid or Both?)

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

VE5MDH

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2015
Messages
65
Location
Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan
I'm tripping on my toes, getting a little confused here on Casting with Alumilite. I guess my issue is that I'm slipping between Polymer Resins and Alumilite and visa-versa as I go from post to post to post, here in the forms.

Can you use Powders such as:

Mica Powder from Coastal Scents (also have turned up at Wal-Mart)
Powder Coatings from Harbor Freight
Other sources?

Or are you limited to Alumilite Liquid dyes?
Other sources?

Right now, we are in Florida gathering up items for our pen turning endeavors. We have yet to turn wood, cast a mold, or assemble a pen. We are just gathering as much information (as time permits) while on our vacation here in Kissimmee.

I have read many many threads here at Pen Turner's, and now it is getting a little foggy.

We are not too sure if we are going with Vacuum or Pressure Pots or if we plan to just place our molds in the Toaster Oven (set at a low temp) or if we will just make a stand to let the casts cure over time.

That being said, I was just wondering if powdered Mica's (which do create awesome metallic sheens) are a do-able thing with Alumilite? Same goes with the stubborn Casting Powders from Harbour Freight?

Or is one limited to Alumilites own liquid dyes (which in itself is a limited selection) ???

BTW, it is real nice being able to read through the various posts here at PenTurner's! It sure is a blessing when your internet connection reminds me of the quality of the internet back in its infancy (1986)!!! Wow, is this connection at this hotel the WORST I have encountered! Since there is limited images here, the pages here are the fastest and easiest to load.

(P.S.: I'd love to sift through the library (YouTube is out of the question!), but the PDF files are a true sponge with this internet connection! ie: for a 7.1MB file, it took me 3 attempts and more than 45mins to download~!).


Thanks in advance for assisting me, and pointing us in the right direction!

Also, are there any Pen Turner's in the Orlando area that wouldn't mind a visit? We are here for 2 more weeks before we head back home (and to a better internet along the way!).

Michael
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

TimS124

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
735
Location
Asheville, NC
I've used mica and metallic powders with Clear Alumilite...loved the way the resulting blanks turn! I've also used Alumilite's dyes with their Clear and their White resins....definitely love the powders mixed in with Clear!

I think the Alumilite docs advise keeping mix-ins to less than 5% so don't over-do it. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to take much to produce cool effects...
 

VE5MDH

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2015
Messages
65
Location
Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan
Thanks guys for the clear advice! Can anyone add input to vacuum vs. pressure vs. just letting the castings sit and cure (with adding powders or liquids to the mix). Bubbles or other things to look out for?

Looks like many variations of pigments can be used with fantastic results! This is great news.

Michael
 

TimS124

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
735
Location
Asheville, NC
Pressure is the way to go with Alumilite. Curtis has a variety of tutorials and other info on his web site (and videos on YouTube). I don't feel like having a cheap toaster oven running overnight unattended so I let my cast blocks sit for a few days after casting (Alumilite lists how long to let them sit...somewhere in their FAQ I think).

Bubble haven't been a problem other than on the top surface (which never survives turning so they don't matter). The bottom of the mold usually doesn't show the pattern well and neither do the sides. None of those survive turning anyway, so again, it doesn't matter.

Biggest hiccup so far has been trying to find a reliable method for getting/predicting swirling without causing too much mixing. Nobody likes to talk about that part....
 

VE5MDH

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2015
Messages
65
Location
Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan
Thanks again Tim for your constructive support! Once I am able to land a better internet connection (maybe I just might head to McDonald's and use their WiFi net!), I'll see if I can figure what & where Curtis' WebSite is. I've read many posts that boast how they have ordered from him, and the quality of his products produced. Should be well worth the time and effort to find him.

Michael
 

resinman

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
112
Location
Coldwater, Mi.
Pour you're base color. Then the next color. I use a popsicle stick and make ONE pass to swirl. More than one pass and the colors start to mix too much. For thin lines use a toothpick.
Alumilite has Alumidust in over 80 colors(mica powder) When added you will need to stir a bit to get the powder suspended all the way through.
 

TimV

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
5
Location
Antioch Calif.
Can some one tell me dyes vs powder. do use both at the same time. And should you heat them up, or get to a temp. before pouring into the mold then into the pressure pot?
Thanks :)
 

BSea

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2009
Messages
4,624
Location
Little Rock, Arkansas
I use both at the same time without issue. I don't heat the resin. If you do this, you'll have less time to mix & pour. I have heated the mold when I wanted a faster set.
 
Top Bottom