What Polyresin Material to Use?

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DRAT

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Joined
Jul 8, 2011
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74
Location
East Tennessee, Madisonville
I've been thinking for some time about pouring my own PR blanks. I am most interested in trying to make some pearl/abalone type of blank.

I imagine that not all resins are of the same quality. What resin type do you recommend?

I've also been thinking that all those special molds may not be necessary, but I don't really know for sure. I'm thinking I may be able to use 1" PVC tubing as a mold. But I don't know if it should be sprayed first with a mold release.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
DrAT
 
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frank123

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Feb 5, 2012
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Colorado
I'll let others comment on the resin, but for a round verticle mold PEX is my choice. I've used PVC as well but really don't like it as much, you can use CPVC couplings and they will fit just right to put a piece of plastic bag over the end of the tube and have that stretch and hold it in place so there isn't any need for making a plug of any kind.

FWIW I use the 3M fierglass resin mostly as I'm still learning and it's very cheap compared to experiment with compared to the others I have readily available (15 bucks a quart vs 20 bucks a pint) and I can vary the conisitency (hardness) of it all the way from rubberlike to brittle hard by the amount of catalyst I use. Only drawback is it is sort of transparent amber in color (good if you are making fake tortise shell, not so much if you are making white) and alters the color of any lighter color or pastel dye somewhat.
 

redneckmedic

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Dec 15, 2012
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265
Location
Greenfield, IN USA
I am in the same place you are... but I'm about to pull the trigger on the set up for the vacuum set up as well. Here is what I've read not learned through trial/error...

3/4" ID PVC is fine why waste expensive product when your blank is already round and you have no waste removing linear corners, just turn down, in fact if you are proficent at drilling out the core, for a pen like a slim line... 1/2" might even save you more room.

No release agent needed the curng process actually shrinks the cast just enough to release on its own.

I'm going to start with a hobby lobby polyester resin craft kit resin first... but move onto alumilite as apparently it turns like magic.

Search YouTube for pen blank casting and cactus juice.

HTH RNM
 

sumterdad

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Sep 1, 2011
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1,159
Location
sumter sc
If you can use a silicone mold that would be best. You can make it yourself with some tin sil 70-25. Or just buy one. If not PVC pipe works well just spray them with mold release and you should be fine. I have made hundreds of blanks with PVC with only a few that would not come out. The resin I use is silmar 41
 

Kenny Durrant

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Joined
Sep 11, 2012
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1,832
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Sachse Tx. 75048
I've used Castin Craft from Michaels and Silmar 41. The only thing I've found is the resin must be fresh. They have a 3 month shelf life and Silmar 41 ships it straight from the tap, so I was told. With the C.C. you don't know how long it's been on the shelf. The only time I had problems is when I was casting snake skins. I didn't have any trouble with pictures printed on paper. If your casting a solid blank I don't see you having any trouble. Good Luck.
 
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