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Casting resin

I have been away so you may have already had your question answered,
but as I spent my college years covered in resin I may be able to
help. Polyester casting resin sounds perfect for the beads you want
to make. you can add transparent or opaque dyes to get an infinite
range of shades. One of the easiest ways to make one time moulds is
to use a vacuum former. You place found objects on, and receive the
pieces you need in the sheet of plastic you use - you will need to
experiment to find the type that doesn’t get melted by the resin.
Contact me if you need more help. Laura.

I am trying to fill a 1 inch frame of sterling silver with casting
resin, but for some reason, after mixing it with the catalyst and
letting it dry, the top is hard, yet I am still able to wipe my
finger across the top of the coating and it will leave a smudgy
residue (it’s defintely dry-2 days- and it stays hard, just a smudgy
looking surface). I tried to polish it with rouge, and that made it
much worse. (no more shine) I checked the archives and I found a
couple of things that mentioned baking it and then you can sand and
polish it, however, there is paper at the bottom of the frame,
therefore I don’t think I can bake it. Any suggestions on how to get
back my shiny surface (maybe a top coat of somesorts?) and how to
make it not smudge or maybe I just did it wrong to begin with.

Thanks for any advice!
Vanessa Mitchell

Vanessa, What kind of resin are you using? If you tell me what kind
of resin, and your protocol, I probably can help you out.

There could be a couple of things. One that comes to mind
immediately would be the ratio of catalyst to hardner. Epoxy, like
Devcon, wants equal amounts. Others want only a few drops. The
absolute best way I know if getting the proportions correct is to
weigh the catalyst first and then weigh the hardener until it
reaches an end weight.

Resins don’t “bake” per se, they “cure” in ambient temperature. If
your piece is smudgy, honestly, the best thing to do is to burn it
out and start over. If you do this, make ABSOLUTELY SURE you have a
well ventilated area. Resin burns at a very low rate. Burn it all
the way through until it is an ash. Rinse and then pickle.

Good luck and let me know what happens.

Karen Christians
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio

     but for larger quantities you must have casting resin. Any
other kind will heat up 

What is casting resin? For how large quantities would we need it?

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

Hi Elaine

I hope you are not expecting a technical answer here. I only ever
used casting resin. It is a kind fiberglass resin. Its a little bit
more expensive than the other kind, however, you dont have the
problem with the resin going yellow as its stays clear even in large
quantities. It does not heat up as much because it was designed to be
used in large amounts, so the reaction is much slower. It takes about
24 hours to get solid. Once I made a fake river with it in my
backyard. It just looks like water. And used to set opal chips in it
for jewelry and paperweights etc. You can set pictures in it as
well. Someone else could probably give you more of a technical

I did a little research on this a while back, and the major thing I
remember (I hope correctly) is that, once hard, this substance
doesn’t off gas. However, I couldn’t find any info on using it
"small"–just descriptions of how e.g. to make a good surface for the
top of a bar (the kind where you slam down your stein).

Lisa Orlando
Aphrodite’s Ornaments
Elk, CA

(where I am back to being a mad poster, because I can’t seem to get
myself focused on anything else…)

There is another resin system used to produce clear polymer
castings – acrylic or methyl methacrylate… This is the
material called plexiglass or lucite.

Very large optically clear objects can be cast in this material
but they require specialized knowledge ,experience and equipment. see:

A site that has a lot of material on all the various resin systems