RESIN MIXING TUTORIAL & CUSTOM TOOLS

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Durasteel Corporation, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. Durasteel Corporation

    Durasteel Corporation Well-Known Member

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    I get emails and PMs every so often (and of course see posts here asking about fiberglass to sculpting).

    Well, Ive been meaning to mention this for a while.

    There are several ways to mix a good gelcoat and here are a few I like:


    Catylized resin mixed with either -plaster -talk or -cabosil.

    You can mix up about upwards of a 1:1 mix if not a bit more.

    This is ideal as you wind up getting more resin once mixed.


    Well my early issues were how to mix the plaster, talc, or cabosil in such that I didnt get a bumpy, poorly mixed batch which can lead to problems when casting a good homogenous surface.

    What I would up doing is getting some high carbon steel strapping you find at
    the hardware store. Its often black and about a half inch wide.

    Then I cut out a roughly 1.5" long X 3/8 wide rectangle from this steel strapping with some avaiation snips...its VERY hard stuff to cut so youll have to use some elbow grease.

    Then I rounded the edges of the metal strip slightly.

    Next I drilled a hole in the middle of the rectangular strip just wide enough so I could insert a dremel sanding disc base screw down through the hole.

    I also cut out a tiny round 'washer' with a similar sized hole.

    Put the screw through the 'washer' and through the rectanglar strip.

    Make sure its screwed down INHUMANLY TIGHT.

    Then with two pairs of pliars, take each end of the black rectangular strip and bend the edges of the strip in opposite directions. Not much, about 15-20 degrees.

    You are making a high carbon mixing propeller for your dremel.


    Now once youve got your mixer in the dremel, mix up the resin/powder mix and blend away for about a minute.

    I have found this approach to be wonderful and VERY FAST. About 5 minutes faster than a hand held mixer, via elbow grease and like I said, more homongenous blend.

    And youve got homemade gelcoat.

    Im still working out various thicknesses via diferent powder blends to achieve better cling and working time but the dremel propeller mixer has saved me a lot of time.

    I can make these if you guys want, no charge. Just lmk.

    Good luck mixing
    D
     
  2. blufive

    blufive Sr Member

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    Sounds good. Thanks for sharing.

    Do you happen to have any photos?

    :D
     
  3. Durasteel Corporation

    Durasteel Corporation Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I guess I could take a few, sure.

    Its not really that difficult, just a little tedious with the propeller mixer.....drilling the tiny hole and such. Not hard.


    Heres a quick sketch I made....remember the actual propeller is about 1.5 inches long...this is obviously an exploded sketch.


    [​IMG]



    few things to note:

    the mixer ends are round so as to make sure it wont cut if you knick it and so as to avoid any cutting of your mixing bowl or whatever.


    I also mix my resin in a home made silicone cup as well as a paint tray...which is great to lay out your fiberglass cloth in as well.
     
  4. vistaVision

    vistaVision Well-Known Member

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    Drew:

    Thanks so much for this kind of info. Just a day or two ago I was reading your bio info on your website and was so impressed. Now I find you're so willing to take time and share your knowledge/experience. I know that I can put this advice to good use almost immediately. Again, thanks.

    Sincerely,
    Marcus
     
  5. Durasteel Corporation

    Durasteel Corporation Well-Known Member

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    Im glad to help.

    If there is interest I take a few minutes to make some of these propeller mixers...... just lmk.

    hmm, one other thing...

    regarding the rounded edges and why..

    In my painting tray (its metal as the resin wont eat through it chemically), the rounded edge allows you to mix any stray resin that might have flowed out....in other words sometimes if you pour alot you might rotate your pan or cup and get a few runny beads. The rounded edge of the mixer will minimize chipping of the fiberglass layer that has hardened before your current "wet" layer...so you can use the mixer to sorta drive it back to be mixed.

    WEAR GOGGLES regardless.


    _______________________________________________________


    Now I am also working on a small hand-held press which allows you to put a pre-cut square or piece of fiberglass into a .....press for lack of better word.

    The press has resin inside it, so when depressed it saturates JUST ENOUGH resin into the fiberglass cloth.

    You have to clean out the press, by wiping it down afterward, yet its ideal as it only allows a select amount to enter the chamber, minimizing waste.

    This press is nice as it also means you technically save time trying to saturate the resin without the wipe-off of 'hairy, fiber masses' which tend to pull off as excessive resin is wiped off.

    Ive thought about using a teflon tray...just dont want to canabilize the George Foreman Grill .... :lol Im going to go to the thrift store to see if I can find some old teflon.

    Ill post blueprints when Im done.
     
  6. Durasteel Corporation

    Durasteel Corporation Well-Known Member

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    A rough idea....Ive got to incorporate some suction or the like, but the fundamental idea is to recycle the resin while maximizing saturation and minimizing waste.

    The press prototype requires me to fill it up....but it still saves time. Even a few seconds or minute here and there adds up when fiberglassing a lot of pieces or a big project.

    [​IMG]

    If you notice in the upper part of the tube (right side of photo) the arrows multiply. The idea is to squirt the resin via a thin/wide hole or through smaller holes...I like the wide thin hole as its easier to clean than lots of holes.

    But in doing this, the resin is flattened out quick and a press can be faster.


    I would like to take a lay up project which goes from an two hours down to 45 minutes.
     
  7. Durasteel Corporation

    Durasteel Corporation Well-Known Member

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    oh that ball looking knob deal is just a handle...to push the waffle top down....I might simplify to a simpler shape, resin can stick to undercuts like a ball handle....ideas and input welcome
     

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