The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Cafe Society

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-24-2008, 12:27 PM
supergoose supergoose is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Craft question: clear liquid that hardens?

I have seen items that mimic the look of water using clear hardened substances (like a fake water-filled goldfish bowl, or something). I gather that it is a kind of epoxy/resin that goes from liquid to solid via the edition of a catalyst. I'm looking for one that hardens into a completely colorless, transparent, hard substance and that can be used in glass and polymer clay containers with 'floating' polymer objects (bonus points if you can put any kind of plastic in it).

I need it to not have loads of bubbles or be opaque when it sets, and to be able to use it in very small amounts. I'd also like to be able to color it without losing the transparency, and for convenience, it'd be good if I could add opaque color too.

So, any suggestions? A look on dickblick.com turns up Castin'Craft Clear Polyester Casting Resin (http://www.dickblick.com/zz335/20/). Will that work for my purposes, do you think?

Thanks a lot.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 03-24-2008, 01:30 PM
Acid Lamp Acid Lamp is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
How long do you need for drying time? If you've got time, simply pouring clear polyurethane into your pieces will achieve what you want. They'll take weeks to dry though.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-24-2008, 01:58 PM
supergoose supergoose is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Lamp
How long do you need for drying time? If you've got time, simply pouring clear polyurethane into your pieces will achieve what you want. They'll take weeks to dry though.
Weeks is fine, I don't have any deadlines or hurry in my mind. Would it still dry well if it was thickly applied? Like, a 32-ounce jar filled with it? (I go to both extremes - tiny and expansive).
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-24-2008, 02:36 PM
Acid Lamp Acid Lamp is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Yep. Just be sure to keep it out of the light while it cures so it doesn't discolor. Other than that, it ought to fine. The more you use the longer it will take, but once the "skin" forms and hardens you can move it about with ease and no warping. Try out a few different brands in little glasses before you experiment on a good piece though. YMMV

Last edited by Acid Lamp; 03-24-2008 at 02:37 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-24-2008, 03:31 PM
supergoose supergoose is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Lamp
Yep. Just be sure to keep it out of the light while it cures so it doesn't discolor. Other than that, it ought to fine. The more you use the longer it will take, but once the "skin" forms and hardens you can move it about with ease and no warping. Try out a few different brands in little glasses before you experiment on a good piece though. YMMV
Sweet! Can you color it? And about how viscous is it in liquid state? Could I suspend plastic or clay objects in it? One last question - does it shrink (or expand) as it dries?

Thank you very much for your help.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-24-2008, 07:24 PM
Acid Lamp Acid Lamp is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
You can color it with tints, or pigments. Viscosity changes from product to product. Suspension will be a bit trickier as you;ll need to wait it out a bit until it hardens up a little. I haven't noticed much shrinking, and no expansion. Another product that would be perfect for small pieces is clear craft GOOP. That will give you everything you want and you can suspend things in it almost immediately. Pricey for big projects though.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-25-2008, 01:05 AM
jellyblue jellyblue is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,291
Supergoose, for your smaller projects, you might find that this works very nicely. It dries over night and won't have many bubbles if you don't shake the bottle before using it. While it "settles" a bit after drying, another very thick layer can be added easily. And pigments/glitter/etc. can be added easily. Plus, you just squeeze it out of the bottle - nothing to mix. And it's water-based. I hope you'll post some pics of your finished project(s) .
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-25-2008, 07:41 AM
Carson O'Genic Carson O'Genic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
The resin you linked to will suit your purposes.
In terms of marine use, which is my familiarity with it, it isn't as long lived as epoxy, but is cheaper and somewhat easier to use.It is not "hard" in a glass sense, but more like perspex.You may want to consider pot life. Reaction time is within minutes.
It does exhibit some dimensional variation over time.
I've no experience colouring it but imagine UTC's would work in small percentages.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.