Experimenting with wood and resin

I came across this combination after watching this youtube channel Heath Knuckles he experiments a lot with resin and wood and i think it’s a great process for my light project to see how light travels through a range of materials.

I purchased a box of wood blanks online and used the two coasters from a Sapele tree and an American oak tree to experiment with resin, the best resin for turning is epoxy as I dries harder and quicker but I only have polyester resin to experiment with so I will need to leave it for a couple of weeks to dry. I’m not sure if i want to put anything in the resin yet so i will wait to see if they harden enough to turn first then start thinking of materials to incorporate.

First step was to seal the side with ‘Marvin’s marvelous medium’ which is a a strong PVA glue, than wait for it to dry for around 20min.

To help seal the base I used double sided tape then spare pieces of aluminium and plastic to hold the resin, I added 3 layers of petroleum jelly to the sides to it’ll be easier for the resin come out afterwards. Next step it so seal the blocks on to a board in case any resin escapes, plastic base clay is a good material as it can be reused.

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This was my set up, I worked on a ventilated bench with a mask on as the resin has a strong smell to it. The first step was to measure the casting resin, I decided to use 350ml for both pieces, so I weighed 350g of clear casting resin. To help the resin harden quicker I decided to add Solution MW which would float to the top and act as a seal as it’s wax based, this has a ratio of 2% for 100g so I added 7g for 350g of resin. The resin needs a catalyst to harden, the one I used has a ratio of 1% hardener to resin (25 drops to 100ml) so I used 90 drops for 350ml then gently mixed everything together to avoid creating bubbles.

I will come back to these after the Easter holidays now so they have enough time to harden, hopefully 5 weeks will be enough so i can lathe with them afterwards, this gives me plenty of time to improve my lathing sills!

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