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Urethane substitutes


#1

For occasional pressing (with my fly press), is there any
inexpensive substitute for using urethane? I found brief references
to leather and to hard wood, but would value more detail and other
suggestions.

Thanks!
Judy Bjorkman


#2

I use rubber, same as in shoes :). I think that you can find it in
hardware store. Be carefull with using wood !!, I don’t think it is
good idea.


#3

Urethane is really the best material for dieforming.

A great source for urethane sheets at good prices:


#4

So much depends on the application ! Other rubbers can work for some
light-duty work, but will wear out quickly with more demanding jobs.
Cheap urethane can also wear out prematurely ; Bonny Doon has a
formula that is meant for pressing. You could look in the MSC
(Industrail Supply) catalog for other rubbers, and they have cheaper
urethane (‘polyurethane’ in the catalog), and a briefing on
durometers (hardness).

Basically, harder material is needed for picking up detal and even
surface texture. I do embossing in solid plastics like
Lexan/Polycarbonate (NOT acrylic/plexiglas, because it will
shatter), Delrin (acetyl), and Polyethylene, Nylon, and hard
urethane. Softer material is used for shaping with more volume.

Using wood in the press is a terrible idea ; hard wood can shatter,
and softer wood will just get crushed. Containment is also
essentialin some situations. I generallyuse pads 1/2" thick, or less,
so I don’t need containment often. I have exploded a nylon block that
I was using as a dapping block in the press. Bad idea ! I still do
it, but only at lowpressures. I thought that when Nylon failed, it
would just crack and fall apart, but it blew up, loudly. Everybody
using a hydraulic press needs to readup some on safety and basics of
forming, if they haven’y already. There’s a bleepinggood reason they
have containment boxes and cans for this kind of work, and why they
sell urethane. .

Dar


#5

I have seen all of the following used: Neoprene. Rubber gasket
material from hardware store. Rubber roofing material. Urethane not
made to Bonny Doon specifications.

The non-urethanes did not last as long as Bonny Doon urethane. So,
they are less expensive in the short term, but not in the long term.
I have 20 year old Bonny Doon urethane that still works well.

I also have some urethane that a friend sold to me when I first
started using a hydraulic press. He said he bought it at a great
price. Well, these don’t have the working qualities of the Bonny
Doon urethanes, so that money was pretty much a waste, too.

I do not know what Lee Marshall and Phil Poirier have the
manufacturers do to the Bonny Doon urethanes beyond the colors, but
in my experience, they truly are superior.

Cynthia Eid
Cynthiaeid.com