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Embedding with Clear Casting Polyester Resin

Article Contents:
5) Make money with your castings
 

Resins for decorative casting

1) What type of Clear Casting Resins to use?

There are many choices of resin on the market each with their own specific purpose and quality. There are however several main general purpose resins that come in either a transparent or opaque finish. In this article we are going to look at the clear types of casting resin. These are great for resin jewellery and embedding applications and are the best resins to be coloured as there is no opaque base colour to interfere with our colouring dyes.

Polyester Resin: The clear resin we use in our factory every day is the same type commonly used for embedding or casting objects. It is a water clear liquid Clear Casting Polyester Resin capable of setting rock hard when a catalyst is added. Clear casting polyester resin is one of the cheapest clear casting resins by far and its use is extremely versatile.

Dyes and colours may be added to the clear casting polyester resin as well as glitter, pearl essence, crushed glass, rock, marble dust and many other additives which can be blended into the resin before it is poured for interesting effects. This will be discussed in detail later in the article.

Polyurethane Resin: Other types of clear casting resin include polyurethane and epoxy varieties. Recently a polyurethane resin with remarkable properties has been developed called Crystal Cast Water Clear. It can be used for everything except embedding where the water clear properties of clear casting polyester resin are required. The clarity of polyester resin is still the best of all three types. The polyurethane resin sets up in 3 minutes and can be demoulded in 10 minutes. It does not have the objectionable odour of polyester but can be coloured and filled with all the materials used with polyester resin.

Epoxy Resin: Our most popular clear casting resin with our resin jewellery makers is definately the epoxy type resin. Our customers have really taken to this resin as it is very easy to use with a 2:1 mix ratio and low odour. The clarity of the resin is also extremely good.

This resin is a step up from the polyester types for those who do not wish to handle the toxic MEKP hardener and deal with the strong odours. The epoxy resin is known as Crystal Cast Clear.

Crystal Cast Epoxy resin
 
Some of the pratical craft objects that can be made with clear casting resin

Resin Jewellery

Display Souveniers
Frig Magnets
Paper Weights
Ashtrays
Figurines
Desk Pen Holders
Chess Pieces
 

2) Ready-Made Resin Moulds

The quickest and easiest way to cast resin jewellery and embedding items is to use one of the many new ready-made casting resin moulds that we have just got in stock. These moulds come in many shapes and sizes and can be cast immediately and last for a long time producing high quality glossy clear castings.

Most commercial moulds are made from heavy duty polyethylene plastic due to its easy release qualities and resistance to degradation by the clear casting polyester resin. Decorative items produced in these moulds may be made with one pour of the clear casting polyester resin or in several colours known as  “Multiple Colour Pours”. This technique will be described later in the article.

Polyethylene moulds are widely used in the craft industry because they are inexpensive, reusable, require no mould release and produce castings with a high polished finish. The plastic is vulnerable to scratches, which show up in the finished product, so care must be taken in handling these moulds.

resin casting moulds


3) Make your own resin moulds

There may be a special shape or unique design that you just can't find in our range of ready-made moulds that you wish to cast in clear casting resin. The only other option you have is to get a custom mould made by us or to make one yourself. Send us an email with your design and we can discuss the possibility of a custom mould. Click Here to email us.

You can make your own moulds out of metal, glass or heavy duty plastic, using things you have around the home. Providing the top of the mould is wider than the base and has straight sides to ensure easy removal, any item around the house can be used.

Never use plastic that is too thin such as margarine containers, as this type of plastic dissolves or melts when clear casting polyester resin is poured into it. Moulds must have a smooth glossy surface to give casts with a polished finish.

If you wish to create figurines or objects with undercuts that would prevent you from releasing them from a plastic mould due to rigid nature of the plastic, you can make your own latex or silicone moulds that function perfectly. You can find many articles on how to make moulds on our website and we also have several kits available to help you get started.

In this article however we will go quickly through the method we use to make a one-peice silicone block mould which is ideal for resin casting.

How to make a mould:

1) First we need a flat board to stick our model down to. A laminated timber board is ideal. You can use either clay or glue to stick your model down.

2) Build a mould box around your model using off cut pieces of laminated wood or similar. Clamp or glue these pieces together making sure the whole thing is water tight as you don't want expensive silicone leaking out of the mould box.

3) Mix your mould making silicone together. We recommend Aldax Craftsil 750 which is a general purpose mould making material ideal for this type of project. Make sure you use a folding action rather than whipping the mixture together to minimize beating bubbles into the mix.

4) When the material is mixted well, pour the mixture into the mould box from a high point allowing the silicone to come down in a fine stream. This will help to pop any bubbles on the way down. Try not to aim the stream on top of the model. Aim to the side so that the mould box fills up around the model. This will help to minimize bubbles on the surface of the model.

5) Allow the silicone rubber to set overnight.

6) Once the rubber has hardened you can disassemble the mould box walls and remove the model from the hardened rubber. You will now have a flexible rubber mould ready to use. For longer life of the mould it is suggested to let the rubber mould cure for an additional day or so.

4) Colouring resins and effects

There are many ways to add colour and effects to clear casting resin. You can add opaque dyes to the resin to create a solid plastic looking cast. There are a great number of opaque colours to choose from. You can find our range of opaque dyes here.

If you are looking for a transparent colour such as that of a stained glass window you will need to use a transparent dye. We have a large range of these dyes and they are very easy to use. Just add a few drops to your resin mixture before pouring into the mould. These dyes are very popular with resin jewellery creators as they can replicate many effects of real stone and natural amber. We have a full article on how to create faux amber resin jewellery. Click here for this article. You can also find our full range of transparent dyes here.

You can use transparent or opaque dyes to create very interesting effects with multi layering.

MULTI COLOUR POURS.

If you are using a multi section mould, multi colour pours are possible by covering any section of the mould you wish to isolate by covering with masking tape, until you are ready to pour that particular section. When resin poured into an isolated section has reached the “gel stage” remove the tape and pour the next section, until all separate sections are poured and gelled, then fill the mould to the surface with the final pour. Comprehensive directions follow:

1) Ensure the mould is on a level surface- to ensure that the resin will cure in a level position.

2) Add transparent dye to the clear casting polyester resin, adding a drop at a time till you have the desired colour. Mix the dye with the resin till the colour is even. Add 5 to 6 drops of catalyst per 30ml of resin and stir for at least one minute. This first pour should be about 6mm thick. Allow this pour to gel but still be “tacky” before placing embedments in the mould or simply making the next pour.

3) For the second pour mix the resin with drops of transparent dye till the desired colour is obtained. Stir thoroughly then add 4 to 5 drops of catalyst per 30ml of resin and again stir thoroughly. Pour into the mould, filling to the top of the mould. If desired a third pour of a different colour may be made to fill the mould. Use only 3 to 4 drops of catalyst per 30 ml of resin in any third pour.

4) After the surface of the mould is hard it is time to remove the casting when you see it breaking away from the sides of the mould. Do not leave the casting in the mould beyond this time. It is easy to remove the casting by gently flexing the plastic mould away from the casting onto a sheet of mylar.

Metal effects and fillers:

Dyes and pigments are not the only additives you can add to clear casting resin. There are many other additives such as glowing powder to create glow in the dark effects, metal powders to create cold cast metal parts and much more. Check our tech tip articles section on our website for articles on how to cold cast.

 

5) Make money with your castings

Clear Casting Resin has been the starting point for many interesting business ventures. Many of our customers have been using moulds for years to make frig magnets, resin jewellery and other items which they sell through their own websites, special crafty websites, ebay and at weekend markets and fairs. We have set up a section on our website called customer projects where we showcase a few of our really talented customers. You can view this section here.

We have also set up a new section on our forum where you can discuss your ideas and get some help in making them real. Visit our forum here. Feel free to email or call us to discuss your ideas if you wish to talk to someone directly.

Here are a few of our customers wonderful items created with clear casting resin.

Designs by Natalia http://www.designsbynatalia.com.au/

 
Delicious Desingz http://www.etsy.com/shop/deliciousdesignz

6) Getting started with a kit

We have a growing number of kits to help you get started with mould making and casting. In particular we have a Resin Casting and embedding kit, a Resin Jewellery kit and a Resin Bangle kit ready to get you started with everything you need.

How to Make Resin Jewellery Kit

resin jewellery kit

This is one of the most exciting kits we have assembled. It is a complete introduction to making the moulds and casting resin jewellery.

The kit contains everything you require to start producing designer quality resin jewellery. It includes the latex and full instructions on resin jewellery mould making and also a finished mould to make 11 different beads. This is a high quality assorted mould which produces high quality resin jewellery pieces.

A 24 page full colour book that is included, contains one of the best descriptions of resin jewellery making that we have seen up to date.

The kit contains high quaility Crystal Cast Clear epoxy resin which is a low odour and easy to use resin for jewellery. We prefer using this resin as it does not require the highly toxic MEKP that Polyester resin requires. The low odour means no more headaches and you can make your resin jewellery pieces from the comfort of your own living room or kitchen.

Click Here for more information



Resin Casting and Embedding Kit

resin embedding kit

This Resin Casting and Embedding Kit is based on our work procedures here at our factory. Everything you need to start an interesting craft or a small part time business is included in the kit.

It comes complete with Clear Casting resin and catalyst, two embedding moulds, wooden stirrers, a pair of plastic disposable gloves, two plastic measuring cups, 5ml resin dye, a measuring pipette, a vial of glitter and a book of instructions.

Among the many items that can be made with ClearCast are fridge magnets, ashtrays, desk pen holders, display souvineers, paperweights, figurines, chess pieces, embedding natural objects and jewellery.

Click Here for more information

 

Resin Jewellery Bangle Kit

Aldax Resin Jewellery Bangle Kit

Would you like to learn how to make a mould of a jewellery item such as a bangle and reproduce hundreds of copies. Perhaps you would like to sculpt a unique original bangle design in clay and reproduce it many times in resin to sell at market or on ebay.

This kit will help you get started with everything you need to make a mould and cast copies of the original.

The kit comes with complete instructions and further support is available on our forum or by email or phone.

Click Here for more information

 

 

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