Saturday, March 17, 2018

Getting Better at the Resin and Wood Rings

Picked up a set of Forstner bits  and what a difference they make

nice smooth drilling and holes 

This time I used oak and broke the wood better - used the triangle method seemed to work best in the vise 

I had difficulties making the ring shank even the last time but I had a clear resin button I made from a mold that worked perfect for centering and making the edge even to use the marker around so I had a line for sanding evenly 

worked great - then I sanded using 400, 800, 1000 and 2000 grit wet sandpaper 
 then went to the studio to buff it up 

I forgot I bought a bench polisher last year from Princess auto so it turned out great 

used tripoli first then some Zap polish came up nice 
then came back down to the house and used my lap mandrel with my dremel to sand down the inside of the ring 
stained the wood with a minwax stain   then sealed with minwax paste wax and buffed it up 

so had a great day and did a second one 

very happy with todays results - although the green had specks in I'll have to figure that out 

Friday, March 16, 2018

resin and wood rings

Still working on resin and wood rings

I got the blanks all done but I tried to use the spade drill bits  with my drill press and made a mess - in fact I got wacked with the blank in the thunb and that stung and it was so cold in the studio I gave up

Decided I would try using a hand drill with the bits.  The spade really tears into word and it was suggested to get forstner bits
spade bit  vs 
forstner - as you can see would cut smoother 

But anyway - I put the blanks in my vise to hold them and used the hand drill to cut the holes - now I know what they mean about the spades not great for making ring holes -  splintered a bit on cutting - and one of the blanks cracked - now  I was using cheap old pine  2" x 3/4  so its pretty soft - but I just wanted to try  making  a ring

so after cutting the hole - a bit frustrating but at least done   then used the band saw to cut excess

then I took them into the house and  sanded them down with the new toy   - did a really bad job rounding out the ring form

then set to task using  220 to 1000 grit sandpapers to shine up

Hard to see but they are shiny but  so many bubbles - mostly becuase this was not sealed wood and will do that next   but all in all a very good technique learning experience - with sanding , polishing and buffing -  all the Sandpapers  220, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 2000 I found at Canadian Tire in the car sections for sanding cars  - as they only had heavier duty papers in the tool section - then bought minwax floor polish in the wax tin  version to shine them up - wow really worked - I have a bunch of cloth mops I need to put onto a motor - got one cheap at princess auto - so I am going to convert it from a grinder to a buffing/polishing station - and I have a small  one as well and would prefer it all in one place - like the studio rather than some in studio and some in the house

All in all  the process  was not bad at all - I think better wood to start with would have been better - less chipping - and getting the forstner bits will help too and practice sanding and maybe make a template for sanding the ring hole better 

another issue are the bubbles and maybe too much dye in the resin to be able to see - making a pressure pot this weekend  and going to try out the oak tonight with resin and see how that goes 

I found some 2" x 3/4"  oak  and poplar at home depot 

A good video to watch -

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Resin and wood rings - next steps

I raced home last night with anticipation to drill the hole in my ring blank to find I could not find the chuck key for my drill press - so disappointed -

 So  I broke some more wood (I think this stuff is pine and is weathered from being outside )  and decided to make a couple more blanks
and I colored some resin - 
and tonight I will sand down to blanks 

I went and picked up a chuck key  from Canadian Tire ( the one that was on fire this morning )  so I can change out my drill press for the spade drill piece that will drill out the ring hole in the wood 
so about 1/2 hour of sanding and I'll be able to drill 3 ring blanks and spend the night sanding and hoping for at least one ring for tomorrow 

I did go to Home Depot after Canadian Tire  and picked up some  2" x 3/4 " oak and a piece of same size poplar to maybe have a better piece of wood to try out  too 
so I will be hoping to break a few pieces tonight and get resin onto them  for tomorrow 
If this works out - I hope it to be my new line this year 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Onto the next project - wood and resin ring 3d images

so onto making a ring - basic wood and resin  no add ons this time to show trees etc  I went with simple

found the wood up outside the studio and cut and broke a piece

I  used packing tape around the wood  and added some  Pinata baja blue alcohol ink to the color it

just to be careful I put it in a silicone cup in case it leaked 

I pulled it out after a couple of hours 

 then I peeled off the tape and sanded 

basic 220 sanded down on all sides with my new toy 
found a couple of air pockets that were open after sanding so I had to make a small batch and fill those in and will be sanded again tonight 
my new sander -  regular 229  at cdn tire on sale for 129  great deal 
runs like a charm
very versatile machine angle bench on the disc sander section  and the 4" x 36  can stand up as well 
and you can attach a dust collector to it as well (shop vac is what I use )

so last night I went to home depot to get a few things 
pressure release valve for my pressure pot 
the abs fittings to make the pot 
glue for abs 
and a spade bit kit 10 pcs  for making the holes for the rings was 19.99 
came in various sizes so it should cover all the ring sizes - I hope - rather than just picking out certain sizes 

Buffing and Polishing the 3d wood and resin project

I was up early and was trying to finish polishing my 3d project of wood and resin - this whole piece was a learning experience from breaking the wood to adding objects to using tape and acetate for holding resin to sanding and polishing - was a great experience

so the final results although  not great  turned out clear  after sanding and polishing which I find amazing - will drill the hole to put the chain through tonight

Monday, March 12, 2018

More Resin - making 3 d landscapes with resin and wood

So I have seen the 3d rings that are resin and wood and want to make but for material sake I only had some nice pen blanks available so I thought I would attempt a 3d scene  with resin and wood

I took a couple of my wooden pen blanks I use for making pens on the lathe and followed the instruction to break in the  vise  - which was put in two pieces on one side an done in the middle and snap it (put a cutting line on one side (I put it on all but next time I will only do one side )

so that gives me some nice 3d effects of hills or mountains

Next I painted the broken areas with acrylic paint 
Just some stuff from dollar store

just some green and browns  and used white for a water fall 

once that was dry I sealed it with some ModgePodge and then added some greenery 
the greenery is for making miniatures - and its grass - two colors green - got at michaels  for 7.99 cdn (buy one and get one free) 
and the green looks like little trees

now once this was dry - I used clear packing tape but found it could not hold shape the way I wanted so used acetate -  used double sided tape arpund the bottom and then put packing tape over top - I still had leakage so next time will fold the acetate - seals it then tape around the bottom to get a better seal 
this pic is after I poured and heated the resin (see melty edge  the heat gun was a bit too close ) got most of the bubbles out 

Now after that I waited for it to cure  and then peeled off the outside tape and acetate 

so not too bad for first try  - now I am sanding it down to I can stain the wood and buff up the resin - those photos will be soon 
but this week making a pressure pot that will get rid of the bubbles to ensure a nice clear result

Monday, February 26, 2018

One more resin bracelet - 35mm film format

A friend took some pics of her drive on Sunday morning and I incorporated them into another 35mm film strip on transparency for inclusion in a resin bracelet -  will be giving this to her  as soon as our paths cross - hopefully soon

Sunday, February 25, 2018

This is "IT" for today with resin

One final one for the day -  liking  the 35mm film  images  to immerse in resin
the image in middle
 of face is back end reflection as its see through 

And..... More Resin

Having fun - actually palying - the most I've done since before Christmas

I like this 35 mm effect

If anyone wondering - I am putting images together and printing them on my color laser printer on transparencies and then embedding into resin

Saturday, February 24, 2018

More Resin

Another Bracelet and earring - skulls

and the final pendants - the  silicone molds are hard to get out but the results are nice

Playing with Resin

Have been playing over last few weeks with resins - my older material has sort of gone to amber - or least the part B and it looks like amber - I also got a sample of material to play with as my part b - I wanted 1:1  but  this is 2 parts A to 1 part B which is not a big deal

I wanted to make bracelets / pendants and earrings so today I printed some transparencies with butterflies on and use them in the  epoxy /resin
I grabbed my bin of silicone molds - pretty much all from ebay - if you can wait 6 weeks they run from .99 to 6.00  with free shipping
I got some cool small squares and pendant molds as well as a nice bangle bracelet mold 
so I mixed up some epoxy and printed some transparencies
bracelet and earrings (no real butterflies were harmed in the making of this jewelery - its all printed on transparencies ) 
long silicone mold 

having some fun 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Lampworking 101 - How can I get started

I want to make beads !

In general

When I first started I did not have a proper set up to start lampworking- I had to put it away every time I sat down and played - I then decided if I wanted to do this  - I needed a space that had good ventilation lots of fresh air and a place I did not have to set up and pack up every time.

I opted for a  window that had a fan and an open door  for the make up air  to start - something that  was circulating the air in the area I was sitting.  I put four floor tiles down on a bench  then I  got a sheet of the galvanized metal at home depot to cover my table.

There are beginner kits such as  the fireworks kit - that has basically a hot head torch -
mandrels , glass release for the mandrels and the fittings for the MAPP gas container (you have to buy the mapp gas  at Home Depot or Lowes) .
Nothing wrong with this version - its just slower at glass melting and this can frustrate you to no end  which means you may not enjoy the process.

So what do I really need

A table that can withstand hot glass dripping - ideally if you have a stainless steel table that would be perfect - but not always feasible - As I mentioned go to Home Depot and buy a flat sheet of the galvanized steel  sheeting  in the HVAC section - this is used for duct work and easy to cut to fit your table .

Positioning the table - if you can have it so that the flame will face to an open area rather than to a wall that would be great - but if facing a wall  (your table is typically about 2 feet wide ) you want to protect that wall as well - again a sheet of galvanized metal on your wall will help and protect it.

Ideally a vent of sorts that will take fumes and heat away from your torch while you are playing .  Again visit the HVAC dept go get round or rectangular vents , some metal flexible tubing (like you get for your dryer) and you will need an exhaust fan of sorts that go to the outside  for venting -  I went to  Southern Supply in Oshawa and had them build me a vent hood (was 8 x 5)  the price was ridiculously low - I thought it would be expensive but it was only about 350.00   and then I bought the exhaust fan which was also about 350.00  but the whole thing covers a huge work area in my studio-  you may have to pay about the same for the exhaust fan but in the end well worth it.

Alternate ventilation
to start get a fan that will halp with the circulation of air.  Have a window partially open - this is good in a large open space - like a garage .  Or buy a cheaper vent fan at home depot or princess auto that will extract  air from the room where your working


A proper  torch requires propane and oxygen to give you a hot flame for melting glass . I suggest the Nortel Minor (my fav of 17 years )

or the Nortel Mega Minor
either one are ideal torches


 a standard BBQ tank - a full tank lasts a long time
-Image result for bbq propane tank
guages for the propane tank (fuel guage)  there are various brands out there  - in Canada check out Praxair

flash back arrestor for the propane Image result for lampwork northern flashback arrestor(green oxy - red propane)  I prefer the quick connects (praxiar)

Hoses and fittings - praxair/princess auto , home depot  Gas Twin Hose Set

an oxygen concentrator - there are a lot of brands out ther - the higher LPM  are the ones you want  -   the cost may seem high but compared to tank gas pays off  in the long run(matter of months) and is more convenient

 I have the same 4 concentrators for the last 17 years  ( I use two concentrators on my set up but there are now oxy cons that product sufficient amount of oxygen that you only need 1 to start.

And of course a bead kiln -  Many choices out there - I love my old mailbox kiln and my big silver bullet by the Glasshive  but I also have  a 9" kiln that has a center ring that has an opening for mandrels and I can fuse with it too - so again many choices out there - I prefer the brick kilns - but the fiber kilns are equally as good - its going to be  a huge cost plus shipping here in Canada to find the best deal so check around with various dealers who bring them in such as Nortel for the Paragon kilns.

Other than a kiln options to get you started right away 

If you cant get a kiln right away  then you can use a fiber blanket  (is purchased in two pcs per pack )  or some vermiculite to start - but you need to anneal the beads in the end -
fiber blanket 

vermiculite in crock pot

Tools-Basic tools

  • Didymium Glasses - there are various out there - even basic pair to start is best - I added  bifocals to mine so I can see up close - get something that fits that your not pushing up your nose all the time 
  • Mandrels of various sizes - I prefer a 12" long of any size 
  • Bead Release - there are various brands out there for bead release - I love my fusion bead release in the large bottle - that way you can have larger dips on the mandrel 
  • Graphite paddle for shaping -
    I prefer a basic graphite paddle but there are lots out there to choose from - I like the larger  paddle so you can do from small to large - on one paddle 
  • Tungsten pick - small med large - pick the med to start 
  • Parallel mashers 
Hate to tell you but there are hundreds of designs for paddles and paddles with designs , tools of all sorts - 

 My basics on my table I use all the time 
1 pair of Didymium glasses 
1 leather apron  ( I like to torch in the summer and it protects my bare legs ) 
1 large graphite paddle
1 pair of dollar store pliers with ridges
1 pair tweezers (small )
1 pair tweezers (large)
2 tungsten pics (large) (small )
1 Sharon Sculpting tool (ss handle with razor )
1 set of parallel  mashers
lots and lots of dipped mandrels 

and of course Glass

some places will sell you a mix  grab that as you can then try the different colors 

Ongoing update to this start up - this is to just get you going

will post Nortels version of a start up  which lists all the items you need as well