Deadwood Revival Design Giving Sustainably Harvested Trees New Life

May 24, 2018

Deadwood Revival Design’s workshop

Deadwood Revival Design is custom wood furniture company located in San Luis Obispo, CA, focused on craftsmanship and sustainability. They make beautiful, heirloom quality furniture from wood that has been harvested locally because of disease, structural instability, insects and fire damage, and drought. Because Deadwood Revival creates their amazing furniture from less than perfect pieces of wood (battle scars make the character of the wood and the character is what makes it interesting and beautiful, says Founder Daniel Torres), they use our AeroMarine Products 300/21 Epoxy Resin to bring functionality to the piece by filling in cracks, dents, and holes.

They do everything in-house, tree and log removal, milling, drying the wood, woodworking, and steel fabrication. Because of this, every piece that comes out of Deadwood Revival Design has been crafted with incredible attention to detail and care.

 Large Slabs waiting to become beautiful furniture.

The driving forces behind Deadwood Revival Design is Daniel Torres, Founder/Sawyer/Furniture Craftsman, Jose Sanchez, Founder/Metal Craftsman/Designer and Mitch McCormick, Owner/Metal Craftsman/Furniture Craftsman/Sawyer.

 Smaller slabs hanging around outside the front door.

Danny showed me around their workshop, which is a magnificently organized with an amazing array of wood slabs, projects in various stages of progress, metal work, and tools galore. Outside is parked a custom modified truck trailer for hauling logs and trees back to the workshop. Homeowners often call about fallen trees on their property that they would like to donate or have turned into furniture so the truck is a pretty important part of Deadwood Revival Design’s operation.

 Danny demonstrates his customized 2017 Diamond box trailer with 9,500 lbs winch pivoting custom metal arch.

Here’s a brief story that really captures what’s so special about Deadwood Revival Design, in Mr. Torres’ own words; “We were contacted by a homeowner that had a tree removed from her property. The crazy thing about this tree is that the house was built around it. Unfortunately it started to die due to disease, so (the homeowner) had to make the the tough choice of having it removed. (They) contacted us and asked if we would mill some logs she had saved and build her a table from the tree since it meant so much to her. Took three months but we got the job done and it turned out AMAZING! The wood had a lot of cracks so it was a great opportunity to showcase our resin skills!”

 Finished table made from the customer’s tree

Beautiful, custom made table

 Close up of AeroMarine Products 300/21 Epoxy Resin filling in cracks.

In addition to offering beautiful, functional furniture, Deadwood Revival Design includes a USB drive with pictures and/or video of the piece being made, so you can enjoy the entire process from start to finish. They guys at Deadwood truly enjoy their work and the connection to nature that it affords and want their customers to share in that connection as well.

 View of the upstairs work area, with epoxy pours curing on a slab.

Danny and everyone at Deadwood believe it’s important to give back to nature because nature gives us all so much. They work with the non-profit American Forests, which works to protect and restore forests. Last year Deadwood helped American Forests plant over 1,000 trees! By purchasing from Deadwood Revival Design, you can help reforestation efforts. You can also get involved and donate directly by visiting http://www.americanforests.org/

Deadwood Revival Design is an amazing company producing beautiful, quality furniture that helps connect their customers to the natural world while giving back to their community. You can visit their website, http://deadwoodrevivaldesign.com/ to learn more about their mission, check out their current projects, shop their store, or commission a custom piece. They also offer timber milling and kiln drying services, woodworking and steel fabrication services, and architectural drawings and 3D modeling. You can also contact them if you are a homeowner in the San Luis Obispo area in need of tree removal if you would like to donate a tree or commission a piece from said tree. You can also follow them on Instagram, @deadwoodrevival to see pictures and videos of their many projects. For more videos, check out their YouTube channel as well, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA9hxNC0ThWEM-ew7DjQK5g

For questions or more information about our 300/21 Epoxy Resin, you can drop us an email, info@aeromarineproducts.com, give us call at 1-877-342-8860 or contact us through our website, www.aeromarineproducts.com

Frank Holder, Artist, Sculptor of Foam

May 14, 2018

 Frank Holder Curved Form No. 2

Frank Holder is one of the most innovative customers we have at AeroMarine Products. As an artist, he was already accomplished at metal work, painting, sculpture, and mixed media before he chose to use our urethane foam in a new and unexpected way.

 Frank Holder Curved Form No. 7

Mr. Holder has a very impressive background in botany, dance, and as a choreographer.  His creative background really comes through in his art, which is full of movement, flow and elegant organic shapes.

 Frank Holder Blue Dance Form. This piece sways gently in a breeze.

I visited with Mr. Holder in his colorful studio in Greensboro NC in early March of this year. Outside and inside the studio there were lovely metal sculptures from when Mr. Holder worked in metal, before switching to other sculpture mediums. It was too cold to be working with AeroMarine Products’ expanding urethane foam that day.  So, the projects I saw at Frank Holder’s studio were beautiful two dimensional paintings using acrylic paint in a glaze medium.

         

                   Current Frank Holder works in progress, acrylic paint in a glaze medium.

AeroMarine Products’ expanding urethane foam is a pourable material is used for flotation and insulation. It is usually applied on boats, in coolers and refrigerators, as insulation and soundproofing in homes, and as a water tight, lightweight filler for many applications. In other words, our two part polyurethane foam is not generally used in fine art. Mr Holder has developed and perfected several techniques for using our urethane 2 part pour foam in sculpture that none of us at AeroMarine Products had ever even considered. Based on Mr. Holder’s work, we will soon post a how-to blog and a video showing how to utilize his unique techniques that he so graciously explained to us.

A brief explanation of Frank Holder’s technique: Using foam board (he prefers blue insulation foam 1 or 1.5 inches thick, cut to 4 feet by 6 feet) covered with an inexpensive plastic drop cloth as a work surface, he pours the mixed foam (about 32 ounces) out in a straight line. By lifting and tilting the foam board he’s able to achieve a fairly even shape. The foam will expand and, at just the right time (still warm, slightly tacky, but not coming away on a gloved hand when touched), Mr. Holder will start at one end, lifting and bending, very gently, the still pliable foam. If  possible, he’ll have an assistant working on the other end of the foam. If no assistant is available, he will bend the foam with the flat of his hand around his arms, body, or props like a five gallon bucket cut in half. Once the foam is shape desired, he just has to hold it in place until the foam until it cools and finishes curing. Fortunately, the foam cures in 15-20 minutes.

Once the foam shaped is cured, Frank Holder uses a paddle drill bit and a bread knife to further refine the shape and create more negative space. He finishes with Bondo applied by hand and sanded smooth followed by paint and clear coat. It is clearly a very involved process. However, Mr. Holder says the material lets him know where it wants to go.

 Frank Holder Foam Organic Turning Form, a piece in progress. This piece twists and turns in the wind.

Mr Holder hopes that, by sharing his technique, he can inspire other artists, especially young artists, to use this incredibly fun way to sculpt with foam. It’s not the easiest way to work with a material but he says half the battle is learning how to work the foam and it’s limitations. Hopefully, we will be able to cut down on the trial and error for people by sharing his hard earned knowledge!

 Frank Holder Curved Form No. 3

You can see all of of Frank Holder’s amazing art on his website,

http://www.frankholderart.com/

You can also follow him on Instagram, @frankholderart

We will post a how-to blog and a video of Frank Holder’s technique on our AeroMarine ProductsYouTube channel soon!

If you have any questions, please email us at info@aeromarineproducts.com or call us at 1-877-342-8860 or go to our website:  https://www.aeromarineproducts.com

 

Mold Makers! 5 Reasons Why to Buy Mold Making Materials from AeroMarine Products

May 11, 2018

Molds & castings made with AeroMarine Products silicone RTV mold making rubber and urethane casting resin

Hey Mold Makers!

So sorry that  A-R Products is gone.  Come to AeroMarine Products now.  Join our knowledgeable, super creative family!  Here are 5 reasons why to buy your silicone RTV rubber mold making materials and urethane casting resins from AeroMarine Products:

  1. High quality silicone RTV rubber, urethane casting resin, and mold making accessories.
  2. Expert technical advice in-person for free!  Call us, visit us in person in San Diego and/or email us. We know our stuff.
  3. Easy to use, secure website.  Buy your mold making supplies from your phone!
  4. Competitive pricing.
  5. Quick shipping. Your order ships out same business day if you order before 2:00pm Pacific Time.

Need more information?  Help with your multipart mold? Want to chat mold making mintuiae with our mold making “mad scientists”?  You can contact us at 1-877-342-8860, email us at info@aeromarineproducts.com or stop by our warehouse at 9020 Kenamar Drive #206  San Diego CA  92121.  We are here for you Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm Pacific Time.

Happy Mold Making from AeroMarine Products!

www.aeromarineproducts.com/product-category/mold-making/silicone-rubber-mold-making/

Epoxy Comic Book Tabletop

April 6, 2018

We have received lots of phone calls from people wanting to use old comic books and epoxy to make comic tabletops, bar tops, and floors. Wherever the installation, the basic steps are the same. In this post, I’ll show you how to make a small tabletop decorated with comics and epoxy.

Materials needed:

  • Wood tabletop (I used 3/4″ thick, round plywood)
  • AeroMarine Products 300/21 Epoxy Resin and Hardener
  • A clear urethane or acrylic sealant spray
  • A comic book (Since this table is small, I only need one comic book. For a larger area, you will need more comic books.)
  • Scissors
  • Plastic measuring/mixing containers and utensils
  • Inexpensive brushes (I used 1 inch chip brushes)
  • Gloves
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sandpaper (I prefer 60 grit)
  • Acetone and a clean rag
  • Heat gun or propane torch

If your tabletop is not yet attached to legs, then you will need the following as well:

  • Something to keep your tabletop lifted off your work surface. I used little yellow plastic triangles from the hardware store. You can see them in the first picture below.
  • Four 2″x2″x2′ pieces of hardwood for the legs
  • 16 small L brackets and 32 1/2″ wood screws

Your work area:

  • Clean, level work surface, covered in paper or plastic for easier clean-up.
  • All materials comfortably within reach.

Project steps:

  • I decided to use a newer comic book for this project for two reasons; 1. The paper newer comics are printed on is usually thicker than the paper older comics are printed on, which was barely a step up from tissue paper. This means I don’t need to apply as many coats of sealant to the comics, saving a little time and materials. 2. I am reasonably sure I’m not cutting up an expensive collector’s item. If you are using old comics, I recommend Googling your comic book titles to make sure your not about to cut up your retirement fund and encase it in epoxy.
  • When doing larger areas, most people just use pages of the comic book. Since I’m doing a small tabletop I’m cutting out panels and arranging them in a way so I can show characters and scenes that I like. I also tried to be aware of the colors of the panels, so all the predominantly brown (or green or blue) panels don’t all end up in one spot.

  • You can see that the comics hang over the edge of the table. It will be easier to glue them down this way and then use an X-acto knife to trim them. Make sure you take a picture of the layout of the comics for reference.
  • Next, I need to seal the comic panels with a clear acrylic sealant spray. Epoxy will penetrate the paper and give it a permanent “wet” look if the paper is not sealed first. Please read the directions on the can of sealant you are using because they all have slightly different directions and you’ll want to follow them carefully. I applied two coats of sealant to each side of the comics.

 

  • Your comic book pages/panels should feel like plastic at this point. That’s the result we want.  It means that they are completely sealed and ready to be epoxied onto the tabletop.
  • Next, I set my tabletop on my work space. Since my table doesn’t yet have legs, I set it on these little yellow triangles I picked up at the hardware store. They make sure that any excess epoxy doesn’t puddle under or around the tabletop.

 

  • I mixed up a few ounces of the AeroMarine Products 300/21 Epoxy, according to our directions, and used a brush to apply a thin coat to my tabletop. This coat seals the wood and will reduce the amount of air bubbles that can arise when we do the next coats, with the comics and the following thicker pour coats.
  • After the epoxy cured, I laid out the panels next to the table top. I mixed up about 3 ounces of epoxy and brushed another coat on the tabletop. Then, working from the picture I took, I laid the panels on the wet epoxy. For panels that were laying on top of other panels, I brushed a small amount of epoxy on the back before setting it in place. Once all the panels were in place, I used the remaining epoxy to brush a thin layer on top of everything.

  • Once the epoxy was cured, the comics were stiff enough to trim with an X-acto knife.

  • Since I cut the sealed paper, I used my spray sealant on the edges of the cut comics. It does’t matter if you over spray a bit and get sealant on the top where the epoxy is. Once you do the remaining top coats of epoxy, you won’t be able to tell.
  • I did one more thin brush coat to make sure all comic panels were all sealed down nicely.

 

  • After the epoxy cured, it is time for some thicker pour coats. First, I used painter’s tape to seal the edge of the table.

  • Then I use the tape to create a dam to stop the epoxy from rolling off the table when I pour it  on the tabletop.

  • I want to do a fairly thin pour coat, enough to evenly cover the whole tabletop, but I’m not going to pour the epoxy to the thickness I want for the finished product. I like to do several thinner pours rather than one large pour, because it cuts down on air bubbles and also gives me a chance to sand out any air bubbles between coats.
  • After the pour, I used a heat gun to pop any bubbles that rose up. I used the lowest setting on the heat gun and held it at least 6 inches away from the epoxy. I also kept the heat gun moving fairly quickly, so as not to heat up any one spot of the epoxy. You can also use a small propane torch to do this. The same technique still applies.

  • The first thin pour was bubble free thanks to the heat gun. So, I left the tape in place and did another thin pour coat, again using the heat carefully to pop any surface bubbles. You can see in the picture below how glassy and even and bubble-free the epoxy is turning out.

  • Next, after the epoxy cured, I pulled the tape dam off. It can be hard to see bubbles at the edge, next to the tape, so I want to check the edge and sand down the meniscus (where the epoxy meets the tape and wicks upward). After sanding, I wiped the whole table down with acetone on a clean rag.

 

  • The edge looks nice and bubble free, a quick sanding and then taped back up for the next pour. This pour should even everything out, making the epoxy even and bubble free so I can do the final, finishing pour coat without the tape dam.
  • I pulled all the tape off, gave a light sand to the edge and top. Now, I’m ready for a final pour coat to bring it all together.

  • After I did the last pour coat, I waited about 25 minutes and came back and used a plastic scraper to to remove the drips. 25 minutes gives the epoxy time to gel so the drips don’t form again.

  • Lastly, I attached the legs with “L” brackets and wood screws.

  • When I have time, I’ll go back and seal the underside of the table and the legs with some epoxy. Just a couple of brush coats of the AeroMarine Products 300/21 epoxy will work well. However, that can wait until I find some more time in my busy project schedule. I think my epoxy comic tabletop turned out quite nicely.

 

 

If you have any questions about this project or any other projects, drop us an email at info@aeromarineproducts.com or call us at 1-877-342-8860.

The Bloopers Blog

March 1, 2018

I’ve done a lot of projects in the last 7 years I’ve worked here. Which means I’ve messed up a lot of times as well. In this blog post, I’ll go over some mistakes I’ve made and how you can avoid them.

General Bloopers:

  • The most common problem I had when I first started was not having my work area properly set up before I began mixing products. I would carefully weigh out my silicone and catalyst and suddenly realize that I forgot to grab a mixing utensil. Or, I would start mixing epoxy and find that I forgot to tape up the edge of my tabletop to make a dam. After a few of these problems, I started taking a few minutes to walk through the steps I would take for the project, after I gathered my materials but before I started measuring, mixing, and pouring. This quick extra step has saved me countless headaches and wasted product over the years.
  • Always read the directions on materials you haven’t worked with before AND give them a brief read if it’s been awhile since you worked with the product. I’ve always been good about reading the Technical Data Sheet the first time I use a product.  However, after messing up the mixing ratios a couple times, I learned that I shouldn’t rely on my memory for product directions. I always double check mixing ratios and product directions now. Obviously, if you only ever work with one product this isn’t an issue. If you have a lot of different types of projects using different products, it is always good to give the Technical Data Sheet a quick read before starting.

Product Specific Bloopers:

  • Epoxy: The epoxy resin 300 and 400 resins can freeze at a pretty high temperature, 50F. However, unless it’s really cold,  the resin doesn’t freeze entirely.  Instead, it partially freezes, usually at the bottom of the container. You might not notice the white, frozen crystals until you are adding the hardener. At least that’s what I’ve done. If you notice the epoxy is partially frozen before you mix it with the hardener, it’s easy to defrost and use. However, if you miss it and mix it with the hardener, you will have cloudy epoxy that can’t be fixed. So, now I always inspect the whole bottle, give it a thorough shake and turn it around, before I measure out  the resin to be mixed.
  • Urethane: The most frequent mistake I make when working with urethane is mixing it with wooden stir sticks. Urethane is very moisture sensitive before it cures.  Any moisture that might be in wood or paper products will create bubbles, discoloration, and result in a poor quality rubber or foam. So, do not use wood mixing utensils and/or paper mixing cups for measuring and mixing urethanes and do not use urethanes on rainy or humid days.

 Moisture damaged Urethane Rubber

  • Silicone: My most common silicone mistake is not mixing up enough silicone for the mold I’m making. Instead of measuring and calculating the volume needed, I have often just decided I can eyeball how much material I’ll need. Several times this has ended with me frantically mixing another batch of silicone to make up the difference. Now, I always measure my mold box, measure my part, then subtract the volume of the part from the volume of the box. This gives me the cubic inches of silicone I need. I can mix it accordingly.

Specific Project Bloopers:

  • Small Epoxy Tabletop with embedded pictures: This was my very first project, just a few months after I started working here. I glued down some photographs to a square piece of scrap wood about 12 inches by 12 inches, made a tape dam that rose about an inch and a half from the surface of the wood, mixed some 300/21 Epoxy and poured it a little over an inch thick onto the wood. Everything looked awesome for the first 10 minutes or so. Then, I saw a bubble, then another bubble, then oh man, so many bubbles everywhere! I had poured the epoxy way too thick for the small surface area of the tabletop!   The epoxy had boiled, resulting in a bubbly, uneven mess. It looked like a pot of boiling water frozen in time. This project has long since been thrown away because I was so ashamed of this terrible failure, though I wish I had taken a picture. I have since reminded everyone who is pouring a tabletop or bar top that it’s best to keep the pours under 1/4 inch at a time and do multiple pours to build to the desired thickness.
  • AeroMarine Products Logo Block: This wasn’t too bad, but it was frustrating. I was trying to make a small silicone block mold of a small cube that has our raindrop logo on the top. I was trying to save time and not wait for the hot glue gun to warm up, so I used some clay to stick the cube to the bottom of my mold box. I have successfully used this method with small pieces in the past. This time I mixed and poured the silicone and when I came back the next day the block had dislodged and floated to the top of the silicone. So I cleaned it up, used a dab of hot glue to anchor it to the bottom of the box again, mixed and poured the silicone. Again, I came back the next day and it had floated to the top. I applied a very thick layer of hot glue to the bottom of the cube the third time and it finally stayed put. You can see in the picture, the cube is hollow and I should have known it would need to be anchored very securely to the bottom of the mold box. Lesson learned.

 Hollow cube that likes to float in silicone.

  • Foam Pumpkin in a Latex Mold: Everything went wrong with this project. I decided to do a latex mold for the blog.  I had a pumpkin that would be fun to use because it was Fall.  I wanted to demonstrate casting with foam for the blog as well. Generally, you don’t want to use urethane in the latex because the heat the urethane generates can damage the latex over time. However, I only needed one cast so I knew the latex would be okay for that. I also didn’t want to take the extra time to make a mother mold to back the latex. I figured on setting it in a box of sand to support it for the cast. This has worked for me in the past with small to medium sized pieces. Making the latex mold went fine.  Latex doesn’t heat up as it cures so it’s fine to use on organic things, like pumpkins.

 Making the latex pumpkin mold.

I removed the finished mold off the pumpkin and placed upside down in my box of sand. I sprayed a little urethane mold release into the mold, mixed up some urethane pour foam and urethane colorant and poured it into the mold. Almost immediately, I can tell I mixed and poured too much urethane foam and its going to overflow. That’s fixable because I’ll trim the excess off after I de-mold it. Then, I noticed that the expanding foam is distorting the mold. Okay fine, maybe the pumpkin will be a little rounder than the original. When I de-molded my foam casting, I had trouble getting the pumpkin out with the foam overflow.  The pumpkin foam casting stuck to the latex in some places where I didn’t spray enough mold release. So, I had to cut the mold apart to remove the pumpkin foam casting. This is where I noticed that there are large voids, probably from the mold distorting. Unfortunately, both the piece and the mold are both complete loss. So, because I didn’t want to do two projects to demonstrate two products, and because I didn’t want to take the time to make a mother mold, I ended up with nothing to show for hours of work. Lesson learned: always take the time to do the project properly.  Don’t cut corners!

If you have any project questions, or projects you’ve messed up and are looking to fix, please call us at 877-342-8860 or drop us an email at info@aeromarineproducts.com

 

Concrete Stamp Made from Urethane Rubber

February 14, 2018

Urethane rubber has many uses because of its strength, durability, and flexibility. It is often used to pot or encapsulate underwater electronics, make shoe insoles, make molds for concrete bricks, blocks, and statues. It also makes an excellent stamp for concrete, where it is pressed into fresh, wet concrete to create a pattern. In this post, I’ll show you how to make a urethane rubber concrete stamp.

Materials needed:

  • Tiles, or something that has a pattern that you want to stamp into concrete
  • AeroMarine Products 75A Urethane Rubber with Mold Release
  • AeroMarine Products AM128 Silicone (not necessary for all projects)
  • Spray paint or spray sealeant
  • Plastic mixing cups and utensils
  • Hot glue gun
  • Cardboard
  • X-acto knife

Your work area:

  • Clean, level work surface, covered in paper or plastic for easier clean-up.
  • All materials comfortably within reach.

Project steps:

  • For this project, I found interestingly shaped tiles that I want to use to make a concrete stamp. Since I’m not doing a driveway or other large scale concrete stamping application, I won’t make a large 2ft x 2ft original with tiles thin-set and grouted into place. Instead, I’m making a smaller concrete stamp as a decorative accent.  I will use silicone to reverse the tiles, so that when I make the concrete stamp, I’ll be pressing the shape of the tile into the concrete, rather than pressing the space between the tiles into the concrete. When using a concrete rubber stamp to mimic a tile or brick pattern over a large area, you will do the opposite, so that the tile/brick pattern looks like the real thing.
  • First, I cut out the cardboard and glued it together with hot glue to make a mold box.
  • Next, I glued my tiles down and mixed up some AeroMarine Products AM128 Pourable silicone. I picked a corner and poured the silicone slowly, letting it flow around the tiles. After 24 hours, the silicone cured. I removed it from the mold box. Again, if you are making a stamp to mimic brick/tile work for a large area, make the mold box around your tile/brick work, but don’t pour silicone into it. You would apply mold release to the tiles and pour the 75A Urethane into instead. I go in to more detail on mixing and pouring the urethane in the next few steps below.

 

  • For the next step, I need to construct another mold box around the silicone. However, this is the box into which I will be pouring the 75A Urethane Rubber.  Urethane is moisture sensitive before it is cured. Things like paper, wood and cardboard can retain moisture from the atmosphere and cause bubbles in the urethane. So, I am going to cut out my cardboard for the mold box and then seal it with a clear acrylic spray. You can also just paint it using any old can of spray paint you have around.

  • Once the sealant is dry (read the directions on the can), I used my hot glue gun to build the box around the silicone piece. This is easier than building the box and then trying to put the silicone piece in it.

  • Before I mix and pour the 75A Urethane Rubber, I need to apply some mold release to the sealed cardboard. This 75A Urethane Rubber kit comes with a silicone based mold release paste that I am going to apply with a clean rag.

  • Now I’m ready to mix my 75A Urethane Rubber. The mix ratio on this product is 1:1 by volume. I mixed a pint of part “A” and a pint of part “B” vigorously by hand for about 60 seconds and then poured it into the mold box. This product has a short pot life, at about 3 minutes at  70 F, so mix quickly and thoroughly, taking care to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing container.  The full cure takes 12 hours, so I’ll come back to de-mold tomorrow.

  • Fully cured now, my concrete stamp is ready to go!

 

  • Because the urethane rubber is pretty stiff, I poured it thinner than I did the silicone. The AM128 Silicone has a Shore A hardness of 28, which is a little firmer than a rubber band. The 75A Urethane Rubber has a Shore A hardness of 75, which is about the firmness of a car tire. So I always want my silicone to be about 1 inch thick, but the urethane rubber can be 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
  • The finished stamp can now be pressed into concrete!

If you have any questions about this project or your own projects, give us a call at 877-342-8860 or drop us an email at info@aeromarineproducts.com

Polyester Resin Vs. Epoxy Resin

January 24, 2018

 Epoxy resin makes a strong and durable tabletop.

We frequently get asked about the difference between epoxy resin and polyester resin. Often, people say “resin” without specifying which resin. It all depends on what your project is as to whether you would choose epoxy resin or polyester resin. Here’s a quick breakdown on the differences between epoxy resin and polyester resin.

Epoxy Resin Characteristics:

  • Epoxy is extremely strong and has great flexural strength. Our 300/21 and 400/21 epoxy resins have a flexural strength of 17,500 psi. Our 300/11 and 4/11 epoxy resins have a flexural strength of 12,800 psi.
  • Epoxy has a great shelf life. While we guarantee our epoxy resins for 6 months, you can reasonably expect the epoxy to last at least a few years properly  stored on the shelf.
  • You cannot vary the cure time of epoxy resin. Epoxy resin’s cure time is determined by the hardener and the temperature. Our 300 resin with 21 hardener has a cure time of 24 hours at 70 F.  Adding more hardener will not make it cure more quickly! Too much hardener will actually make the cured epoxy rubbery. You can decrease the cure time by raising the ambient temperature around the epoxy resin. For every 10 F the temperature is raised above 70F, you can cut the cure time by 10%. However, don’t raise the temperature over 100 F.
  • A gallon of epoxy generally costs slightly more than polyester resin.
  • Epoxies like ours that are 100% solids are low to no VOC. They have a hardly any odor.  You don’t need a filter mask when working with epoxy. Epoxy is also non-flammable.
  • Epoxy cures fully when applied as a thin film, making it ideal for adhesive applications.
  • Epoxy does not shrink when cured.
  • Epoxy is very resistant to wear, cracking, peeling, corrosion and damage from chemical and environmental degradation.
  • Once cured, epoxy is moisture resistant.
  • Epoxy is not, on its own, UV resistant. Some epoxies have a UV resistant additive added to them that works moderately well. However, the best way to ensure that your epoxy doesn’t yellow or breakdown from UV rays is to top coat it with clear UV resistant urethane. Then, you will have the strength and durability of the epoxy and the UV protection of the urethane.
  • Epoxy generally has a bonding strength of up to 2,000 psi.
  • Epoxy will not bond to polyethylene, polypropylene, EPDM, anodized aluminum, Teflon or Tedlar.

Polyester Resin Characteristics:

  • Polyester resin is brittle and prone to micro-cracking.
  • The shelf life of polyester resin is about 6 months – 1 year.
  • You can vary the cure time of polyester resin by adding more or less of MEKP catalyst.
  • Polyester resin generally costs slightly less than epoxy resin.
  • Polyester off-gases VOCs and has strong, flammable fumes.
  • Polyester resin does not cure well as a thin film, so it doesn’t work well as an adhesive.
  • The larger the pour, the more polyester resin shrinks when cured.
  • Polyester resin is UV resistant and does not need to be top coated to prevent yellowing or degradation from sunlight.
  • Once cured, polyester resin is water permeable, meaning water can pass through it eventually.
  • The bonding strength of polyester resin is generally less than 500 psi.
  • Polyester resin will not bond to epoxy resin.

With its strength, glossy finish and durability, epoxy resin is ideal for things like bar tops, table tops, and counter tops,

 

Building and repairing wooden and fiberglass boats,

Making fiberglass and carbon fiber parts,

 

Coating wood and concrete,

Casting small objects,

As well as flooring, potting electronics, bonding wood, metal, concrete and many types of plastic, sealing and patching wood that has dry rot, pebble paving, and many more applications where thorough bonding, strength, glass-like finish and durability are required.

If you have any questions about what product would be best for your project, send us an email at info@aeromarineproducts.com or give us a call, toll-free, Monday -Friday 9am- 4pm Pacific time at 877-342-8860. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have!

 

Epoxy and Wood Star Holiday Decoration

January 8, 2018

Epoxy can help make wooden decorations last a long time. For this project, I will be painting and decorating a large plain wooden star that I found at a local craft store and then sealing it with epoxy. This application process can be used with any size and shape wood decoration. Make sure to use a water based stain/paint. Oil based paint/stain is quite difficult for the epoxy to bond to it. It takes a lot of thin coats and sanding to get the epoxy to look nice over oil based stain/paint. It can be done but it just takes a lot of work and that is a project for another blog post.

Materials needed:

  • Wood star (or other shape)
  • AeroMarine Products 300/21 Epoxy Resin and Hardener
  • Water based metallic wood stain/paint
  • Glitter
  • Blue painter’s tape
  • Plastic measuring/mixing containers and utensils
  • Inexpensive brushes (I used 1 inch chip brushes)
  • Gloves
  • Acetone and clean oil free rag

Your work area:

  • Clean, level work surface, covered in paper or plastic for easier clean-up.
  • All materials comfortably within reach.

Project steps:

  • This star had a loop of twine at the top of it, so I taped that down and out of the way first. Then, I applied a water based metallic stain/paint according to the product directions. I used a 1 inch chip brush and applied 2 stain coats, waiting 12 hours between coats. After the last coat, I waited 72 hours before applying the first coat of epoxy.

  • Before I applied my first coat of epoxy on the whole star, I did a little test area on the side of the piece. I did this because it was my first time using this particular stain/paint. I didn’t think there would be any issue because it is a water based material intended to go over wood, but better safe than sorry. The test spot turned out fine, so I proceeded with the full application.

  • The 300/21 Epoxy is mixed 2:1 by volume. I measured, mixed in a clean container, then after mixing for a couple of minutes, poured it into a new, clean container and mixed for a few more minutes. I did this to make sure the epoxy was completely mixed and there wouldn’t be an unmixed material clinging to the sides of the mixing container. Any unmixed resin or hardener will make it difficult for the the epoxy to properly cure. I mixed up a total of 3 ounces, which is a very small batch.
  • Next, I used a 1 inch chip brush to apply a nice thin coat all over the star, brushing the sides as well.
  • I let each coat of epoxy cure for at least 24 hours before applying the next coat. If I had mixed a larger amount of epoxy (at least 6 ounces), if the weather was warmer or if I had a heater running in my work space, I would have only waited 12 hours between coats. Smaller batches and colder temperatures cause the epoxy to cure more slowly which is why I gave it each coat more time to cure. This epoxy does not need to be sanded between coats, unless it has been longer than 2 weeks since the previous application.

  • Once I had 3 brush coats of epoxy applied and cured, I taped off the edges of the star with painter’s tape. I want to apply glitter just to the center of the star and have a nice border of just plain gold.

  • Once the edges were taped up, I mixed up and applied another coat of epoxy just to the middle of the star. Then, I sprinkled glitter on to the wet epoxy. I let it cure for 24 hours and the applied another coat of epoxy.

  • After the epoxy cured, I removed the tape. I used some acetone on a clean, oil free rag to wipe the entire surface of the star, focusing on the areas that had been taped. You really want to make sure the cloth/rag you are using does not have any oil residue on it. Oil contamination will make the final coat of epoxy look uneven.
  • After the acetone has evaporated (just a few minutes), I mixed and applied the final coat of epoxy. The last coat will even out the difference between the glitter area and the border.

 

You can see the sharply delineated edge between the glitter and border and how the final coat really smoothed the whole piece out. This whole project took about week, applying a coat of epoxy a day. You can check out our epoxy page here, https://www.aeromarineproducts.com/product-category/epoxy/

As always, if you have any questions about this project or your own projects, send us an email at Info@AeroMarineProducts.com

 

Silicone Glove Mold and Fiberglass Mothermold

November 14, 2017

With larger pieces, it is more cost effective to make a glove mold rather than a large block mold. A glove mold is also less cumbersome than a large block mold. Glove molds do need a supportive structure since they are thinner than a block mold, so I will make an epoxy and fiberglass mothermold to support the finished glove mold. Additionally, the piece I picked for this project has a lot of detail so I will be using a silicone diluent to pick up all the detail and decrease the risk of air bubbles.

Materials needed:

  • Original part
  • AeroMarine Products 128 Silicone with Brushable Catalyst
  • AeroMarine Products Silicone Diluent
  • AeroMarine Products 300/21 Epoxy Resin
  • AeroMarine Products 6oz Plain Weave Fiberglass Cloth
  • Scale
  • Measuring and mixing containers and utensils
  • Piece of cardboard large enough for original to sit on
  • Inexpensive brushes (I used 1 inch chip brushes)
  • Gloves
  • Scissors for trimming fiberglass

Your work area:

  • Clean, level work surface, covered in paper or plastic for easier clean-up.
  • All materials comfortably within reach.

Project steps:

  • To start, I set my original on the cardboard, right in the middle. The mold needs to have a lip at the base. The cardboard is something that the silicone can be applied to and will peel off easily when I’m done.

  

  • Because of the detail on the original, I am using silicone diluent to thin the rather viscous brushable silicone. The diluent is added to the white silicone base (Part A) up to 10% by weight. For the first coat, I weighed out 150 grams of silicone Part A and added 15 grams of the silicone diluent and mixed well. The total weight of my silicone is now 165 grams and the catalyst needs to be added at 10% of the total weight. I rounded 16.5 grams up to 17 grams because my scale doesn’t do half grams. This silicone isn’t finicky or exacting, so you can round up or down. It will turn out fine either way.
  • As I applied the silicone using a 1 inch chip brush, I really focused on getting into all the nooks and crannies of the piece. This silicone has a 45 minute pot life which allows me to take my time and makes sure there are no air bubbles in my first coat of silicone. Any air bubbles in the first coat will be recreated as lumps in every casting. So while I try to avoid air bubbles in every subsequent coat, it is extremely important to not have any in the first coat.

  • I let the silicone cure for 24 hours. For the next two coats, I mixed 150 grams of Silicone Part A, 8 grams of silicone diluent (5%), and 16 grams of catalyst. The 2nd and 3rd coats can go on a little thicker to help build the mold. I also focused on making a “lip” all the way around the piece, extended about an inch out. I always let each coat cure for 24 hours before applying the next coat.

 

  • For the 4th and final coat, I went back to adding the silicone diluent at 10% because I want this coat to flow more into the remaining detail and be mostly smooth on top. This makes it easier to do the epoxy and fiberglass mothermold. I let the silicone cure for 24 hours before moving on to the next step.

  • Now that I have a nice smooth glove mold, it’s time to make an epoxy and fiberglass mothermold to support it. First, I peel the whole thing off the cardboard, taking care not to peel the silicone off the piece. I set it back down on the plastic covering on my work station. The epoxy peels easily off the plastic, but would stick to the cardboard.

 

  • I’m using our 6 oz plain weave fiberglass. Since this piece is mostly flat and not too large, I’m only going to do one layer of resin and fiberglass mothermold. If the piece was larger or more vertical, I would do several layers to give it more support.
  • I trimmed the fiberglass to fit comfortably around the mold and then set it in place. I pressed the fiberglass into the contours of the mold. This was fairly simple because I filled in most of the detail with the last coat of silicone.

 

  • Next I mixed 4 oz of AeroMarine Products 300 Epoxy Resin with 2 oz of AeroMarine Products 21 Epoxy Hardener. I stirred it vigorously, taking care to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing container, for several minutes. Then, I dribbled the epoxy around the edges of the fiberglass to hold the edges down. I used my chip brush to apply more epoxy to fiberglass, saturating it completely.

  • If I needed to do more layers, I would let this set up for at least 12 hours and then follow the same procedure, this time laying the fiberglass in the opposite direction for added strength. Since I’m only doing the one layer, I just let it cure for the full 24 hours before coming back to remove the fiberglass mothermold and de-mold the piece.
  • The raw edges of fiberglass and epoxy were very sharp, so I used heavy duty scissors to trim and shape teh fiberglass mothermold.

  

  • Once the sharp edges were trimmed away, I carefully pulled the mold (with the piece still inside) away from the fiberglass mothermold. Then, I carefully removed the silicone mold from the piece.

  • If I was going to cast, I would then sit the mold back into the mothermold for the casting.

Done! This was just a simple glove mold with epoxy and fiberglass mothermold. The same method can be applied to larger and/or more complex projects. As every project is different, give us a call, toll-free, at 877-342-8860 or drop us an email at info@aeromarineproducts.com if you have questions about your own project!

Latex Storage and Winter Weather

October 30, 2017

Latex is a great mold making material that makes durable, long lasting molds for concrete, plaster, hydrocal and other non-exothermic casting materials. Finished latex molds have a long library life when properly stored as well. Howeve,r winter is coming and that can mean issues with shipping and storing uncured latex.

Our AeroMarine Products Mold Making Latex is a creamy white color with a smooth texture when uncured. It cures to a light beige color. Here is what our uncured, properly stored latex looks like:

To keep your latex viable, it needs to be stored indoors at a temperature between 60F and 72F. If the latex gets below 60F, it can freeze which ruins it. Frozen latex becomes clumpy and cottage cheese like and unusable. Once the latex has frozen, it cannot be revived and used again. Here is what latex that has been frozen looks like:

  Before and after stirring 

Do not store your latex in a garage, basement, shed or any other unheated building during winter. Proper latex storage should be indoors in a heated building in a locked cabinet or closet, away from any pets or small children. When kept at the appropriate temperature, your latex should last for six months.

On the shipping side of things, we put big “PROTECT FROM FREEZING” stickers on all the latex we ship out during the months of October-April. When shipping the latex to the East Coast and other colder climates, we also generally ship 3 day shipping instead of ground during the colder months. This reduces the time the latex may spend in cold weather in transit. We ask UPS to require a signature on latex shipped during the winter to ensure that no packages containing latex are left on porches during cold weather. This method works well. We generally don’t have an issues with our customers receiving frozen latex. However, if you receive frozen latex, you can email us a picture of the latex ASAP and we will send you a replacement.

Remember, proper latex storage is indoors, between 60F and 72F.  Latex should be used within 6 months from date of delivery. Remember to check the Technical Data Sheets for any other materials that you may be storing over the winter. Many have special temperature and storage requirements. You can also read these blog posts for more information:

https://www.aeromarineproducts.com/trouble-shooting-common-problems-with-silicone-latex-urethane-epoxy/

Curing Issues- Trouble Shooting

If you have any other questions, drop us an email at info@aeromarineproducts.com or give us a call Monday-Friday 9am-4pm Pacific time at 877-342-8860.

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