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Stone setting in plexi


#1

I’m currently doing a research project on Plastics. Plexiglass in
particular actually. I’m going to be experimenting with stonesetting
in plexi, and I was wondering if anyone had some experience to share
on this matter, or knew someone who would. Or even if anyone knew
some sources of I may use in my research!

Thank you
Emilie


#2
I'm currently doing a research project on Plastics. Plexiglass in
particular actually. I'm going to be experimenting with
stonesetting in plexi, and I was wondering if anyone had some
experience to share on this matter, or knew someone who would. Or
even if anyone knew some sources of I may use in my
research! 

One cute trick you could use with fair ease, at least in flat plexi,
would be to use standard stone setting burrs to cut a well fit seat,
slightly undercut, into which the stone would almost fit. Cut a
slight undercut with a bearing burr just at the seat, which will also
be slightly too small. now pop the plexi in an oven at the right
temp to soften it, same as for bending (I don’t recall the exact
temp), maybe a tad warmer. At that temp it gets not just bendable,
but slightly rubbery too. And in that condition, owing to both the
soft rubbery nature of the hot plexi, and the fact that on heating it
expands slightly, you’ll be able fairly easily to pop the stones down
into their seats. once the plexi cools, and shrinks a bit in so
doing, the stones will be securely held. The stones, as the plexi
cools, will force the plexi to slightly deform around the girdles,
giving a very nicely tight fit, yet not so much as to break most
harder stones, since most of the deformation occurs while the plexi
is still hot and softer. probably not good for very soft and fragile
stones, or those that can’t take even this fairly gentle heating. But
for most, it will be fine.

and for even stronger, more heat resistant stones that could hold up
to the heat and temp of a vulcanizer, here’s another trick, adapted
from some work by a friend of mine during her undergrad days at Tyler,
where she had fun putting various scraps and bits of various colors
of acrylic (plexiglass) into a “sandwich” or laminate stack, and
putting them into a mold vulcanizer. As the plexi got warm, she’d
tighten it down, and the soft rubbery plexy deformed around the
various pieces flattening everything a bit, smooshing it together
into a tight single piece that was well bonded, just by the pressure
and heat, even though it didn’t melt. She incorpoarted various
objects, wires, etc, into these laminates, then cut the results up
into bits and pieces which were now like mosaics and other oddball
shapes she could then use in her pieces. Nice work. Any, this could
be adapted to imbedding stones in the plexi just as well. Just heat
some plexi sheets in the oven till rubbery, place stones table down
on one clear sheet, and cover the culets with another sheet, either
the same stuff, or another color, or even a solid color. whill all
are still soft and rubbery, put the sandwich in the vulcanizer and
smoosh it all together tightly. The two sheets will flow around the
stones imbedding then nicely at the junction between the sheets, and
when done, the result can be cut up and the bits containing the
stones used as desired.

It’s important to anneal the plexiglass after these deformation
operations, especially with imbedments, even more than one needs to
do it for just benidn the sheet. Follow the manufacturers
recommendations for annealing the material. Again, done just in the
kitchen oven is fine, though if I recall, the temp is a precise
enough range you’ll need a seperate oven thermometer to make sure
it’s right. since most kitchen ovens aren’t all that accurate.

Have fun.

Peter