My experimental DIY attempt on the John Hammond Cane Top(with Easter egg)

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ArcSpectator

New Member
So I heard a few people mention an alternative to the silicone molds often used for amber eggs, Easter eggs.
I decided to try improvising my own version. Which involved drilling a hole on top of the Easter egg and putting a PVC pipe on it to make a mold for the stem of the amber egg(yeah that sorta didn’t work, so I’m going to have to used something else next time).
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And from there on I pretty emulated the rest of the process with what was done in this DIY video from AWE me:
Though I used castin craft resin
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and had two cups each with half the resin(only putting catalyst when ready to pour for each). And despite the Easter eggs having two halves, I didn’t take the two halves apart for fear that the bug would be placed to high or to low and used electrical tape so the liquid resin doesn’t leak out(also I did spray mold release on em as well), while putting the bug inside through the hole I made.
When I poured both cups of resin the resin didn’t even reach the stem(despite having checked the volume with water and a measuring cup before, but the thicker resin turned out slightly different), until I had to quickly mix another small batch to fill the remainder in(though it may be part of the reason much of the stem didn’t completely attach to the egg as there seems have been bubbles that built up, which is odd relative to the rest of the amber egg coming out more complete).
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Also when I put the bug in I wasn’t sure if it was in the middle so I moved it and accidentally broke a leg off(later dawning on me I tried facing the crane fly vertical instead of horizontal). At the very least I caught 3 crane flies, preserved them in alcohol, and for this first attempt I used my least favorite of the three(generally having an awkward pretzel pose) for this experimental DIY. Even with much of the stem missing, I bet this can be super glued onto a cane. The bug does have a few small bubbles assuming that I could’ve waited longer for the bug to dry or that possibly in result of breaking the leg off it may have exposed its blood or something.
I didn’t take much pictures of the process because I doing this alone and had no one to take pictures for me while my hands were full working with the resin.
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With all that said though, this first attempt came out a little better than I expected(especially despite having seen tutorials this was like my first time working with resin) and I still have two more crane flies, but I’m thinking about maybe using fake bugs atm until the stem stays finally attached. After the essential failure of the PVC pipe piece, I’m try another item that may work better.
I wouldn’t recommend anyone else doing this(especially with a few aforementioned problems I have to deal with) unless they could try at their own risk, and even so improvise if they do. I did this to see how if it works or not.
 
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ArcSpectator

New Member
Ok, so I just followed up from my previous attempt with this new version of my Easter egg mold. With more pictures than last time.
Unlike the last time where I used a piece of a 1/2 PVC pipe fitting, I decided to try something different yet locally available. I chose the top end of a plastic water bottle(where a cap goes) and held that together with as much hot glue as I could put on it to ensure waterproofing and reinforcing it.
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I didn’t show it on the first attempt but I made this stand, ramp or whatever out of what I think was an empty cardboard aluminum foil roll. To keep the mold placed horizontally.
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I used like a couple more ounces(6 ounces in total) resin than last time to ensure filling it up to the top. It was actually a bit more resin than I needed that I actually used the excess to put a piece of a popsicle stick in amber to give me a reference to if the resin inside the egg was good enough to sit the bug inside. And just before the resin became as tacky as jelly I put in the cranefly so I don’t break its legs off while positioning it inside.
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Oh and the cranefly I used being the biggest I caught has its legs folded in and no matter how much I tried to carefully spread its legs out they were just so stiff the kept bending back folded again. Craneflies seem to usually die like that as far as I know.
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Speaking of which, to ensure I placed the bug in the middle, I marked a tweezer with a sharpie to indicate just how far I put the insect inside.
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It became tacky almost tacky like glue in around half an hour, I waited few more minutes till the resin was almost like gelatin finding it the most ideal stage in ensuring the bug and half the resin stay put as I pour in the other half, especially flipping the mold up to a vertical position. I only mixed catalyst in two separate halves when either of them was ready to be poured.
Here you can see that while curing I kept it held up with a pvc fitting glued on the bottom plus using some super sculpey polymer clay.
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A day later. I took off the electrical tape and technically the bottom of the Easter egg off, but the top and bottle neck I found that I probably should’ve sanded the hole on the egg down more to better match the diameter of the bottle end.
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I decided to tear off some of the glue with pliers and take the neck off so I can more easily wriggle the mosquito in amber free and success I now have both the amber egg and the stem in one piece this time.
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Though I actually filled the resin all the way to the point where I could be close to spinning, once cured, the hardened resin probably shrunk a bit, so I may have to go with a slightly longer bottle end.
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Otherwise this stem could still be enough to secure it to a cane, but I’m only planning to make a stand. It doesn’t appear clear here, at least not until I spray clear gloss enamel on it after wet sanding. And even sanding off any unwanted marks, like the line in the middle.
I’ll post it finished later.
 
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ArcSpectator

New Member
UPDATE: I finally sanded and polished the new cane top!

I first had to filed away that center line.
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Wet sanding with 600, 1000, and 2000 grit sandpaper.
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And finally to give it its maximum clarity, clear glossed it with crystal clear enamel spray.
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It’s nice, though I probably would’ve preferred tinting it a bit darker in color, so I might try playing around a bit more putting more drops in until I know the approximate amount of drops of amber dye.
ALSO, what used to be the top of the Easter egg(to cast the bottom of the cane top) did result in being all partially squashed looking or something. It was actually almost like that after the first attempt, but here after the second attempt it’s more severe, so it’s good for at least within 2 tries, though the Easter egg bottom still seems in shape. Fortunately, I still have more Easter eggs at my disposal.
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ArcSpectator

New Member
Great outcome. I enjoyed reading through your process and the steps you're taking to improve the final look.
Thx. Before this I actually got one of these paper weight version of the cane top for in case it failed. But it turned out nicer than expected.
I also plan on doing an experimental diy barbasol cryocan, but that may take longer.
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