How do I recreate this??

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ramaroodle

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Feb 15, 2018
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Seattle
Just getting into casting and I want to try and make a blank similar to this. I think these would sell well around here as the U. Washington's colors are purple and gold and I have already had requests and 10 confirmed orders if I can produce a prototype. I've got burl, cactus juice, alumilite, dyes, pearl powder, vacuum and pressure pots. Need to make some molds but have got supplies to make silicone and HDPE molds. Any tips on how to best recreate these?? i.e. One big blank to cut down or individual 3/4 x 5 blanks etc? Yes, I could buy them, but what's the fun in that?
 
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Brian G

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Jul 2, 2013
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Bloomington, MN
My answer isn't too helpful, and more like a "well, yeah, I figured that" response.

Experiment. Take notes. Color matches are sometimes easy. I'd suggest getting the colors down first before co-casting with the wood.

Take notes so that you can eliminate what doesn't work.

Did I mention to take notes enough times? :)

Huskies Color Codes

I'd start with Alumilite violet dye, and either add blue or red to get the color closer. One of the violet Pearl Ex powders might help, too.

I think you'll have to experiment with one of the antique metal Peal Ex, maybe antique bronze with a little bit of antique gold mixed in to hit the gold color.

Oh, and take notes. :biggrin:
 

ramaroodle

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Feb 15, 2018
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Seattle
Awesome guys. Thanks! Probably should have gotten more than the quart size of Alumilite. Gotta go build some molds then start taking notes. Tow of my sons graduated from WSU so it's grey and crimson next.
 
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Kenny Durrant

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Sachse Tx. 75048
My suggestion would be first go with HDPE Molds. They're durable and will last forever. Maneater Crafts carries them. Brian has a good point to keep in mind as you go. Stabilize the wood and experiment with the colors until you get the shades you want. Most basic colors are ready to go straight from the package. When all the ingredients are ready put a mold release in the mold and when dry add the burl. I don't like any cut or straight edges to show in the middle of the blank. I want the finished pen to have all natural edges. You will need to do something to keep the wood from floating in the resin. I've used rubber bands and weights. If you use something to weight the wood down be sure to wrap it in foil or plastic wrap so you won't have a big plastic blob to deal with. You also don't want the wood to fit in the mold tightly because you want the resin to flow freely around the wood to fill all the voids. I like to warm the resin to thin it out some and I also warm the mold with the wood installed to make sure it's dry and help the resin flow. Once you start you can look at the blank and change something on the next one to fix it. The main thing is don't try to make it harder than it is and have fun.
 

bmachin

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Jul 28, 2013
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Owensboro, KY
Disclaimer: I have never stabilized anything, so I really don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to stabilizing.

That said, a piece of advice: Put away your burls, your alumilite, your alumilite dyes, and your pear-ex for a while and just stabilize some cheap wood whether it be sound, punky, or both. You've already spent a lot of money, don't waste it on failures.

Learn to walk before trying to run.

I'm apologizing in advance if I'm misreading your intentions.

Just my $.02
Bill
 

MRDucks2

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Jul 17, 2017
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Franklin, IN
I am still working with hybrid wood and Alumilite blanks, Andy, and the biggest frustration on my first few attempts was wood movement as Kenny pointed out.

Even if I kept them from floating, they sometimes shifted into undesirable positions in the resin.

I don’t have a solution I like yet. Some folks glue the wood down with a spot of CA or hot glue. Not sure I like that idea but it must work.

I am considering some type of sacrificial wood spacers to try and help movement. To help the floating issue I have set a silicon mold directly on top and not noticed any ill effects.


Sent from my iPhone using Penturners.org mobile app
 

PatrickR

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Apr 8, 2017
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Zionsville, IN
My 2 cents - Since you have an order locked up, buy the blanks. What you will pay (+ markup) is what you would want to charge for your own anyway and then you wont rush the learning process.

That said, I love making hybrids. Man eater molds are great but the best size is not in stock now and hasn’t been for a while. Second best for me is coroplast with HDPE ends. You can make any size you want and usually the coroplast can be used several times.

I use lecithin mold release and hot melt glue to hold them down it works great and with this combo you don’t need to mask the glue areas.
 
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ramaroodle

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Feb 15, 2018
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Seattle
Thanks again to everybody for help with the game plan. I've got a few months until they need to be ready so I've got time to practice with no shortage of spalted/punky wood to stabilize. Baby steps. Walk before I run. Got it. And yes. If I stumble I can just buy the blanks.

Andy - Seattle
 
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