Tips for Successful Resin Casting
So you’re probably wondering whether resin jewelry can really be created easily at home? The short answer is;“ yes. However, you cannot just go out and purchase a couple of bottles of resin and have them mold into some sort of ornament for your wedding or holiday party. The more challenging question is;“ can you create resin jewelry from scratch? That’s a whole different article!
So resin jewelry does not contain the same kind of “safe” compounds as glass or acrylic, which are non-toxic. In fact, even the non-toxic varieties are toxic in their most hazardous forms. Resin is primarily composed of silica sand, while other additives can sometimes be found, such as nitrogen powder or boron powder. The process of converting the silica sand into liquid form is known as art resin.
Artresin is the key to making fiberglass resin jewelry, since it’s the resin that produces the fiberglass “waffle” layer. This means that resin jewelry that is fashioned after natural gemstones will always have a natural shine to them, whereas resin jewelry modeled after man-made materials will be dull and lackluster. Additionally, resin is sensitive to the air and will quickly become misshapen if subjected to too much exposure. Fiberglass resin is the most commonly used material for this, as it’s lightweight and flexible enough to be molded into any form. The resin is also unaffected by the sun’s UV rays, which makes it ideal for indoor use.
Since resin is not completely solid, molds must be used to construct it. Molds are either created from plastic or metal, and both varieties are suitable for resin casting. Plastic resin molds work well for small products, while metal molds are used for larger items. A third variety, known as a pressure molded resin cutter, can also be used to cut large areas in bulk for resin manufacturing.
Once the resin has been cast, it must undergo thorough drying. The resin is typically sprayed with a primer, followed by a finishing coat to protect it from the elements. During the spray process, special vents are located on the inside of the mold, allowing any moisture to escape and prevent the resin from drying out completely. Once the resin has dried completely, it can then be wrapped and stored in a durable container.
Before beginning resin casting, it’s important to ensure that your molds are pre-heated. This allows the molds to heat up to their proper temperature range without burning anything. Mold removal can often be difficult or even impossible if the resin is exposed to too much heat, so it’s important to follow manufacturers’ instructions when using these molds. Otherwise, the project could fail, especially if the molds are improperly preheated. You’ll want to also let the resin cure completely before beginning the casting process, since a wet mold will have a tendency to shrink.
Once you’ve got the molds ready, you’ll need to decide which resin to use. All natural resins tend to be less dense than synthetic resin, so you’ll probably want to start with this first. Resin granules can sometimes harden when they’re heated, so look for a supplier who sprays resin granules into molds. If using natural resin, you should pay close attention to viscosity–or the tendency of a liquid to adhere to a smooth surface. If you have a very smooth surface to work with, you should use low viscosity resin.
Once you’re satisfied that your resin casting is going well, you can move on to the details of the casting. The most important step of all is making sure that your molds are clean and clear before you begin pouring the resin. Use your hands to help keep the resin from dripping down into any cracks in the molds. Also, try to avoid pouring more resin than is needed to fill the mold, since this can cause it to expand. Overall, resin casting can be a fun and successful process if you follow the tips above.