Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hei's Daggers - Darker Than Black: Part 3

After all of those painful setbacks with the daggers, I was actually going into this part with a heavy and concerned heart. After using a product with the Smooth-On company before, I decided to give them a call and see what they suggested. They suggested their OOMOO 25 product, and so would I.

It's a really, really simple mixture. Take container A, add matching amount from container B, pour into mold. I built a mold out of some cheap thin wood I had lying around and hot glue, proving you can make a basic mold from anything. I put my dagger I built from the foam board/clay and poured this mixture over it. Low and behold, I ended up with the mold above.

Tis floppy, no? It picks up every little detail and texture, even the wood it was poured into! Its durable stuff.

Now, the problem came that their casting resin? Is 150 dollars a gallon. Mind you, I didn't charge my client nearly enough money to buy their resin. So, it got me thinking. I spent my lunch break hunting down some more fiberglass resin since Lowes decided to stop carrying it, and I lugged home a gallon of it for 35 bucks. Mind you, I didn't have any sort of releasing agent or anything for this. Now, after the problem with 'resin dissolves foam', I decided to do a wee test batch. I took a piece of the mold and cut it off, cut that piece in two, then submerged half of one piece into a cap full of resin and slathered a bunch of resin on the other piece.

Much to my joy, the resin didn't eat the mold material at all! Even MORE of a surprise, when I gave a light tug on the piece I had half-submerged? It slipped right out! No damage to mold or resin.... PERFECT.

So, I mixed up a match of resin, realized quickly after pouring it I made way too much, and hoped.

Very quick note: I discovered that for some reason or another, the resin will stay where you pour it. Meaning if you pour it thick in the tips, instead of evening out like, say, water... it'll stay real thick at the tips. Oh well, lesson learned... the instructions for fiberglass resin says to add 'a few drops' to it - screw that. I always had 'a hefty squirt' to it. It dries faster and, if you screwed up and didn't add enough hardener, you won't accidently have half-dry-but-unable-to-finish-drying resin like I had once.  >.>

One hour later...

I had this beauty. It slipped RIGHT out of the mold without any problems or damage to mold or dagger. It is PERFECT. It took to every detail like a charm. The dagger is going to need some facetime with Mr. Belt Sander and Mr. Dremel though, but I call it a huge success.

How thick it ended up being - thicker than required but that's what a belt sander is for.

Detail shots. You can see how the angles turned out beautifully.

I actually poured a second one right after this. I will have to play with the pouring to get an even thickness, but produce four or forty of these will be no problem. I need to do two more tonight, hit the under sides with the belt sander to get an even thickness, glue them together, then belt sander+dremel v. 2.0 to get the daggers even and flat all around. Then its gesso, painting, aging, and... SHIPPING! On schedule for Sept. 1st delivery date.

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