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Some tips for making orgonite with polyester resin
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cassiopeia
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Joined: 12 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:52 pm    Post subject: Some tips for making orgonite with polyester resin Reply with quote

So I have been making orgonite for nearly two years now and I have learned a lot from this community. I want to give something back, so I thought I'd share a few tips and tricks that I have picked up. Some of them may already be on this site, but I haven't seen them. These apply to polyester resin as I don't use epoxy.

Cold Weather Pouring

- Pouring in cold weather can be a pain since the resin takes forever to cure. Speed this up by putting the resin in a bucket of warm water. What I do is pour resin from the dunk into a smaller container and sit this in a bucket of water for a while before pouring. It takes some practice to get to know the right temperature, the first time I did this it was way too hot and the resin cured about five minutes after I put the catalyst in! The water shouldn't be too hot to put your fingers in comfortably.

- Buy some vacuum clothing bags! These are good for two reasons. One, you can store your resin indoors without any smell escaping. You can also cure your resin indoors. Just make sure that you open the bags in a well-ventilated area as the fumes will waft out.

Offgassing

- My pieces used to offgas for a while ater pouring, but now I have a small toaster oven that I use at the lowest setting to post-cure the pieces. DISCLAIMER: I don't want anyone to start a fire. Please do realise that there is a risk of this, so you have to be as careful as possible. I have never had any incident, because I do use some precautions. The oven is always on the lowest setting (60 degrees celsius). The pieces should have cured for at least 24 hours before and be completely hard to the touch. I only keep them in there for 20 minutes max, then air the oven out, then stick them in again. Also, I have a fire extinguisher nearby (as every person who works with resin should anyway). Also, I use this mainly for pendants, larger pieces may offgas more. Don't put too much in the oven. Obviously don't use the oven for food after this.

Then there's also the method of using an infrared lamp in a cooler box, which has been mentioned here before. Less chance of a fire, but I prefer the toaster oven method.

Varnishing

This has been my biggest issue with making orgonite, and even after much experimentation I am still no expert. But, I'll share methods I have tried with success, and my experiences with them:

-Spray lacquer. This can work well and leaves a nice glossy finish, but although the lacquer will be touch-dry in minutes, it can take weeks to fully cure, and using the orgonite before this can leave scratch marks or imprints. The cure can be speeded up by putting the lacquered orgonite in a hot place (on top of a heater, in the sun, in the toaster oven).

Also, there are diffferent types of lacquer. I have had the most success with acrylic lacquers. Nitrocellulose lacquers dry faster, but I found them a bit trickier to apply (a few coats that I sprayed too thick got weird and bubbly, also they yellowed when exposed to too much heat). Never spray nitrocellulose on top of acrylic or vice versa, they don't go well together and will peel off.

Lacquer can be a skin irritant - I had a customer who got a rash from a pendant that had been sprayed with lacquer - for this reason I no longer use it on the backs of pendants.

- Nailpolish. Not just any old nailpolish, but one of my glossiest pendants has a top coat of this product:
Sally Hansen Top Coat. It dries hard within 24 hours, and contains UV filters to keep the polish from yellowing. I would recommend this over lacquer for someone who just makes a few personal pendants for themselves, but it can be tedious to apply on more than a few pieces at a time.

- Right now I am using clear gloss furniture varnish. This had been recommended by other people who work with resin (pen turners, surfboard makers, etc). Cures faster than lacquer and less VOCs. So far so good, but I haven't been experimenting with it long enough to give my full opinion.

These are just a few things I can think of now, I will update the thread if I think of any more.
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orgone-growth
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post - thanks for sharing.

I found your vaccum cleaning bag storage technique brilliant ... I'll have to try that one.

Just an FYI as it relates to cured pieces that are still a tiny bit sticky or not completely done I have been putting them in a zip lock bag and then placing them in the freezer for 24 hours. When they thaw out I usually place a couple of drops of lavender essential oil on each one and leave them in the sunshine ... so far so good.

Namaste,

O.G.
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emlong
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of the finishes will experience retarded or lengthy cures because they are reacting with the polyester, and sometimes what looks like a slow finish cure is just the still soft polyester underneath fingerprinting through the thin finish. Ideally, one should let the polyester dry at least two weeks before applying finish, but who is that patient? I now use brush on polyurethane and then a top coat of Rennaissance Wax. The finish will still fingerprint, but simply renewing the wax coat and buffing it out will restore the shine.
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cassiopeia
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emlong wrote:
A lot of the finishes will experience retarded or lengthy cures because they are reacting with the polyester, and sometimes what looks like a slow finish cure is just the still soft polyester underneath fingerprinting through the thin finish. Ideally, one should let the polyester dry at least two weeks before applying finish, but who is that patient? I now use brush on polyurethane and then a top coat of Rennaissance Wax. The finish will still fingerprint, but simply renewing the wax coat and buffing it out will restore the shine.


Agreed, although even when I have used lacquer on pieces that were fully cured (a few hours of post-cure in the toaster oven fully cures the piece) it would still take a while to dry completely. While doing research I found that this is a common gripe for people who use acrylic lacquer. But yes, the reaction with the polyester makes sense. When I put Sally Hansen's top coat on my nails, it takes a minute to dry completely hard, but on resin pieces it takes up to 24 hours (even fully cured pieces). Once dry it doesn't fingerprint or scratch at all though.

And orgone-growth - when I realised the thing about the vacuum bags, I wanted to kick myself for not thinking of it before! Before I got a workshop I would have to store the resin inside my studio flat, since I don't have any outside storage space. I really hope exposure to those fumes didn't do permanent damage... Shocked
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gabeff
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For finishes i've been having a lot of luck with:



It's an acrylic sealer in gloss, it tried within minutes and so far I have had no problems with it.
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emlong
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The acrylics are probably the best, but I have trouble spray applying them with lots bubbles showing up. Perhaps I should try the brushable acrylic. The polyurethane I use is brushed on. There are inevitably brush marks, but they are better than bubbles since they don't fracture light as a bubble will.
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GeeDubya
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a great thread. Lots of good advice. Thank you cassiopeia. Smile

I've been playing around with ways to get the resin and lacquer to harden quicker too.

I built a large wooden framed box in the corner of the orgone lab, with inlet for air at the bottom, and small vent at top...It is insulated (I intend to tile the inside for complete heat and fire protection) and has space to slide shelves in at various heights.

I use a hot air heater (at the moment) to heat inside the box, which warms up pretty fast. Half an hour in there, let them cool, then repeat. It has sped up the curing time, allowing pieces to be handled without fingerprints.. Very Happy

I think i'll still get some of that nail polish you mention though.....Want to try it it out.

Peace (One Day)

GeeDubya
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Lena
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silmar 41 often takes a week or so to properly cure so we have started using a food dehydrator which REALLY speeds things up... No more fingerprints... stickiness... fuzz sticking...

We use the Excalibur which is just awesome!!! but any cheaper dehydrator with shelves will do Smile

I am not going to write about how I got myself a dehydrator for food like kale chips and dog treats and my husband then looking at it with desire - stealing it... Shocked

Lena
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Ruth
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After a brief period of (less than successful) experimentation shortly after I started pouring I just concentrated on pouring as clean as possible, so extensive finishing has not been necessary. When it is I just recast them.

My local garden store has heat mats for starting seeds, low temp, water resistant, and can be left on for hours- or days Very Happy After I unmold the pieces I place them on a non stick cookie sheet (sticky side down) and leave them on the mat covered by a box for a day or two. When they're no longer sticky at all I give the sharp edge on the bottom a quick sand and they're done.

Don't overfill your molds if you don't want to spend a lot of time on your finishing work.

The surface of your mold is the surface of your piece. Glass and silicone molds have the smoothest surfaces. Take good care of your molds and you will have less finishing to do.

Ruth
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emlong
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silicone molds have so many advantages - not the least of which is the fact that they are very insulative meaning that the internal of the molded piece will stay warmer longer.
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cassiopeia
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeeDubya wrote:


I use a hot air heater (at the moment) to heat inside the box, which warms up pretty fast. Half an hour in there, let them cool, then repeat. It has sped up the curing time, allowing pieces to be handled without fingerprints.. Very Happy


I am glad you posted this, because I have been suspecting that alternated heating and cooling cycles make the lacquer cure faster and more completely than just heating them for hours. Sounds like that your experience too?
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GeeDubya
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that has been my experience. I had little mini hearts which remained tacky for weeks. I heated them up till the surface was sticky, then let the box cool slowly. They were a lot harder than at the start, yet I was still able to leave a fingerprint on the surface. So I repeated the process. This time they were even better.

I'm still not completely happy with the system I have got, so am eager to try those mentioned here and in other threads.

Peace

GeeDubya
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cassiopeia
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just updating this thread since I finally found a top coat which dries hard and beautifully glossy, it's called Bonda Seal:
http://www.blakdogtackle.com/product_info.php?products_id=674

It takes a little practice to get a good coat without air bubbles, and you have to let it dry in a dust-free environment for 30-60 mins before it is touch dry, but so far I love it!
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WhiteMonkey
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was wondering if anyone tried to use an old fridge and put an old-style light pulp in it to cure orgonites?

Cause the fridge is insulated and the light pulp creates heat so its basically like an oven but uses little electricity and u can leave your ogronites in there long time
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Lena
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WhiteMonkey wrote:
Was wondering if anyone tried to use an old fridge and put an old-style light pulp in it to cure orgonites?

Cause the fridge is insulated and the light pulp creates heat so its basically like an oven but uses little electricity and u can leave your ogronites in there long time


Yes we have Smile

Will not work for long term use since the seals tend to melt once it gets hot in there... but it's great for a while.

Lena
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