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UV vs 2 part resin

I use small amounts of colored 2 part resin to add color to some of my price point earrings. I usually end up throwing most of it away because it needs to be mixed in 1/2 oz minimums to cure. I have been looking at UV 1 part resins. You can use small amounts with no waste and it can be immediately hardened with a UV light rather than waiting 2 - 3 days as I do with 2 part resin. Does anyone have experience with UV resins and can you recommend a particular product. It does appear to have a short shelf life, but it can be purchased in small quantities. I haven’t found any that can be dyed opaque like 2 part resin. Thanks…Rob

I have played with the basic brand you can get at Michael’s craft stores. I have had a really difficult time curing it using the little lamp it comes with, and only got it to fully cure by leaving it out in the sun for a day. That said, I was just using the little lamp that the kit comes with, which has a button you have to press over and over to get one minute increments of UV. Though it hardened up pretty quickly from the original gel state, it just stayed tacky. You could probably get better results with a better lamp though!

And no, I don’t believe you can dye them opaque, because the light has to pass all the way through to harden it.

Another option besides the 2 part resin would be automotive or model paint. I know some people who use those with great results on their costume jewelry. Personally I have switched from 2 part resin to regular two part epoxy. I bought the bottle kind, not the hardware store kind that has the injector. It has a 30 minute work time, which allows me to color it (I use acrylic paint) and apply it to several pieces. I have had good success with this one: 30 Minute Epoxy | Slow-Cure I just eyeball the drops at 2:1 and mix up very small amounts at once. Much easier than resin!

RMeixner, I suggest that for information on UV (and other) resins, consult wwwThe BlueBottleTree (Ginger Davis Allman). Ginger once recommended the Chinese UV resin-- it comes in a smallish bottle with a distinctive blue floral design and can be gotten through Amazon. In the limited use I’ve made of it, it was very good.
Judy Bjorkman

Judy…Thanks, I will give it a try…Rob

We’ve used the ColorIt UV resins for years now. The initial setup is…well to say it’s expensive is a bit of an under-exaggeration. But, it really is a wonderful product. You can easily mix colors to get just what you want, as well as do cool things like gradients. It’s also particularly neat because you can sand and polish it once it’s in place.
Might be a bit overkill for what you’re after though.

Gesswein sells the kit in the US, and the basic kit with the UV cure light is around $3,000. But, if you end up going the route of making a bunch of designs with a plique a jour motif, then I don’t think there’s a better product.

Oh I forgot to mention in relation to making things opaque: Most of the resins are fairly transparent, but you can mix them with a small amount of white or black resin to get the level of opaque that you’re after.

I’ve tried the UV resin from Berea Hardwoods.
It works, no waste & sets up fast with the flashlight.
I was trying to clear cast a pen blank over a topo map, and it didn’t work for that because you could see faint casting lines, after each layer set.
But I think for a solid color it would work fine.

Here’s the pen blank video so you can see exactly how it works.
But it sands & polishes. Hope this helps.