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Casting Resin, Resin Casting, Metal Casting

Jun 19, 2008
Metal casting is known and loved for the high temperatures, glowing molten metal, and the possibility to make nearly anything. Metal and their alloys are not the only things that can be used in casting. Casting in plastic, most notably resin casting, is becoming popular with artists and jewelers looking for something odd and unique.

Resin casting does not involve the use of furnaces, crucibles, or casting sand. In fact all one really needs for resin casting is a mold, some resin (of course), and time.

There are actually two forms of resin casting. The first kind is the one that more closely resembles metal casting, uses a mold and even gates and runners if it's complex enough. The second type of resin casting is simply incasing an object in the resin. An example of this is using an ice cube tray and placing an object like a small pendant in one of the tray's cavities and then filling it with the resin solution. After the resin dries you can pop it out of the tray. The pendant is now encased in hard plastic. This form is usually employed by jewelers and crafty moms but tends to be fun for everyone no matter age or experience. At the very least it's a great way to get rid of some of the clutter around your house and disguise it as art. You can cast leaves, coins, and other objects in the resin to make anything from charms to magnets.

Resin casting using mold is generally used by those who work with models and miniatures. Resin casting is a great way to make several pieces at once so you can avoid shelling out money you may not have and waiting several weeks for delivery of your items. Who has that kind of time anymore?

Like metal casting, resin casting will require you to build a mold. If you are fortunate enough then you can easily find pre-made molds, especially if you are working with miniatures. If you don't feel like buying these pre-made molds or just like doing things the hard way, then you will have to make the mold yourself. Don't worry, it's still fun.

You will need to find a molding box this will hold the rubber that will be used to make the actual mold until it dries. Many who work with smaller objects find that working with toy building blocks to create this molding block work extremely well and will provide added convenience. A wooden box will work as well, of course. The box, or flask, will not have a top or bottom, just the four walls. Place molding clay at the bottom of the flask and insert your original. Make sure to add a way for the resin plastic to enter the mold. This cup or funnel should be placed at the top of the mold. You are going to prepare the silicone rubber and catalyst which will be used to create the mold. Follow the instructions on the labels since each type will vary. A process called degassing can be used which will remove all the air bubbles from the rubber. This is a fun process involving a vacuum pump.

Slowly pour the rubber into the flask, covering the original. This can take up to a day to dry, so be patient. Remove the molding clay and repeat the process using the bottom part of the flask, or drag. You should have two parts now, with the original in the middle. When dry, remove the mold from the box and very carefully split the mold to remove the original.

Place the mold back together and prepare the resin solution, follow the instructions to the letter. Pour the resin into the top of the mold, where you placed the cup. The set time for the resin should be stated on the bottle, but for most it will take up to 30 minutes. When ready crack the mold open and remove the cast.

Resin casting can be a great family craft project but just make sure to follow all of the safety guidelines. This type of casting can still be dangerous even though you are not dealing with molten metals. Often times, the solutions and chemicals used in resin casting are poisonous if consumed. Not to mention that resin casting can be a bit smelly so working outside or in a well ventilated room is advisable.
About the Author
Go to Metal Casting Zone to get your free ebook on Metal Casting at Casting. Metal Casting Zone also has Casting Resin Forum, Resin Casting Blog and a Metal Casting Blog with daily news on Metal Casting. You can Find Metal Casting Zone at www.metalcastingzone.com.
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