Responding to your additional questions:
Can Colorit hues be deepend with the addition of powdered pigments
like regular resin?
No, as this would interfere with the photoinitiators. I think it's
safe to assume the manufacturer has pushed the pigmentation as far
as it can go. The "Deep" Black, Blue, Red, etc. are darker, but
without reaching that 0.8mm depth threshold, you won't get a true
opacity. (One idea I tried is to use bake-on paints underneath, and
for black, a silver blackening solution. The paints don't work,
really, because there isn't enough space for them and the Colorit in
a shallow channel. The silver blackener does work to a certain extent
as a "base coat," but obviously it only helps when you are using
black Colorit above.)
Is the Colorit sticky and viscous? Can it be thinned for easier
Colorit has wonderful properties of thixotropy and viscosity. It is
really easy to work with, and stays where its put. It isn't thinned,
but it does need to be heated before application. I use a $5 coffee
mug warmer for this. You could buy an expensive heater, but I don't
see the point.
Did you find it necesary to buy the special applicator and mixing
The applicator is good for the cyanoacrylate bond, which will ruin
brushes. For Colorit, you can use drugstore dental picks or your
favorite art store tools. Just make sure they're steel and can be
cleaned with rubbing alcohol. I wouldn't use a brush.
For a mixing dish, I use a very small piece of glass laid on top of
the coffee mug warmer. It works fine. I do have the covered
workstation, which is not that expensive, and will keep the product
from prematurely curing. It also works in reverse as an eye shield
should you decide to use a UV wand or gun.
Does this material pose less breathing hazards than epoxy resin?
I can't comment on the specific hazards with Colorit. In my
experience, there are no strong vapors as there are with some of the
epoxies and thinners. I expect Gesswein can send you an MSDS.
How do you remove Colorit from a piece?
You can use methylene chloride to help dissolve it, but it won't do
the job completely. (Keep in mind the dental precursor of this stuff
is made to go into people's mouths for 10, 20 years or more without
deteroriating.) After dissolving as best you can, you have to pick
out the pieces with a small knife, graver or scriber. It's a chore
and I wouldn't recommend it unless absolutely necessary.
Did you find it easier or harder to grind than glass enamel or
epoxy? Do you use 3M wheels to grind? Or hand sanding?
The cured product is actually slightly harder than sterling silver.
It is far harder than epoxy, even well-cured Ceramit or Durenamel.
I've found that fine files, sandpaper and tripoli or steel rouge
followed up with white diamond rouge works well. I use a handpiece
with micron-graded papers on tube-shaped mandrels running at a slow
speed. I generally lubricate them with water and/or bur lube when
sanding. I run from 180 or 220 up to 1200 then swich to the rouges.
Your mileage may vary. The only strong piece of advice I have in
this area is to not use 3M bristle wheels on Colorit; their smearing
action will ruin the finish.
And lastly, is it possible to apply this material to a flat
surface, like for instance as a clear coat for protection, without
it cracking, popping or peeling off?
You can use it as a clear coat. The clear version runs like water and
levels really well. The key, however, is that it must bond onto
something. It won't stick to bare metal, which has to be primed with
the Colorit cyanoacrylate bond product (basically a UV-curing Crazy
Glue). It will, however, stick to cured epoxy enamels, and I have
used it as a durable clear-coat over Ceramit that was abraded or had
minor optical imperfections. It's clear as glass when it cures.
There are more tricks to this, and I have to say again that if you
have the money the full kit Gesswein sells might be the best route.
If not, you can figure out a lot of it on your own.