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  #1  
Old 03-17-2012, 10:40 PM
Hayden H Hayden H is offline
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Question Homeade Micarta

Pardon if I placed this in the wrong place. I decided last night to make some micarta. I already had played with the idea, had my fabric cut, resin, mixing bowl, and clamps arranged. I set it together last night around 1:45, and closed up for the night to let it dry.
Got out in the shop at 11 ish this morning. It looked alright at first glance. When I clamped it together my pile got a little off kilter, but hey it was try number one. I sawed off the excess resin on the sides and either end, as well as scraped it off my bench. Took me awhile to file it down enough to see my pattern. Pretty cool green, and orange alternating with layers of grey white inbetween.
Where I screwed up at was I used what fabric I had on hand, couple of green prints, solid, solid green, kinda off green, some camo, and 3 peices of khaki. It all came out well except where the print fabric was... Lesson learned use solid color fabric, not print. (Solids cheaper anyway). I'd post some pics but the cameras acting squirrely.
Do ya'll have any tips or tricks to making micarta?
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2012, 11:44 PM
jdale jdale is offline
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What a coincidence, last night was my first attempt at making denim micarta as well. I have 4 tips for you:
1 Dont use the clear polyester resin from the various craft stores, its been over 24 hours and its still not close to being set. Bondo brand fiberglass resin seems to work well (and it was $11 a quart at meijers)
2 If your shop is hot or even warm, don't use the recommended amount of hardener. I had about 8oz of resin go from usable to a solid lump in about 3 minutes (working time is around normally 15 min)
3 when counting out your drops of hardener, don't drip it directly into your container of resin. One sneeze on drop 45 can turn into crap I emptied the whole bottle.
4 Double up on your gloves!! Two reasons, I had some nitrile gloves that the resin ate through (cleaning hardened resin off of skin isn't fun). Second reason: If you have to quickly put the fabric into the press and you don't want to cover the clamps in resin you just yank off the outer pair.
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2012, 10:48 AM
Hayden H Hayden H is offline
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I paid $17.33 for a quart of Bondo Fiberglass Resin. The gallons $40. I can order a gallon of the same stuff for $22.33 at my favorite hardware store. I used a whole quart with little waste. (Made a 4 by 18 peice by 5/8ths.) I didn't measure the resin-to hardener.. I just kinda added it all in. That brings up another question, how do I get the resin off my hands? It took me 3 hours of scraping with a knife, after acetone, and finger nail polish remover. (You never know it might work.)
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  #4  
Old 03-18-2012, 08:55 PM
BItPlz BItPlz is offline
 
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Hayden,

If it is possible you should post a picture of your micarta when you get it all sanded down it sounds pretty cool.
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2012, 10:14 PM
Hayden H Hayden H is offline
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I will tomorrow after school. I re-handled one of my hacksaws with it. Most comfortable handle ever
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2012, 10:20 PM
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AUBE AUBE is offline
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The clear resin you get from craft stores is intended more for encapsulation/casting and the hardener isn't as strong. You have to use more hardener if you use casting resin...but its easier just to avoid it and get laminating resin.

If your composite is not hardening, sometimes you can bake the composite in an oven at low heat, around 150degrees, for a few hours and it will harden it...sometimes even direct sunlight for a few hours will harden it. KEEP AN EYE ON IT! Hardener has a exothermic reaction and applying too much additional heat to it can cause a fire.

To remove uncured resin there is a special formula of "tack remover" that will clean the sticky resin up nearly instantly. I pay 50cents for a few quarts.The best bet is to just not get any on you in the first place. Also the more you are exposed to resin the greater the chance you will form an allergic reaction to it. Some people use it for years no problem, some people use it once or twice then start breaking out in hives. The less exposure you have, the less chance you develop an allergy to it.
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  #7  
Old 03-19-2012, 06:55 PM
Hayden H Hayden H is offline
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How do you post pictures? It won't let me add them to the box, and when I go advanced it won't let them upload?
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2012, 08:33 PM
jdale jdale is offline
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the easiest way is to join photobucket (link below, and its free)
http://photobucket.com/

upload your photo to photobucket
copy the images URL from photobucket
click insert image button on knife network thread border
paste it in an your good to go.
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  #9  
Old 03-19-2012, 09:57 PM
Hayden H Hayden H is offline
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  #10  
Old 03-19-2012, 10:01 PM
Hayden H Hayden H is offline
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Did it work this time?

http://s1147.photobucket.com/albums/...TakeOne003.jpg

http://s1147.photobucket.com/albums/...TakeOne002.jpg

http://s1147.photobucket.com/albums/...TakeOne005.jpg
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  #11  
Old 03-19-2012, 10:02 PM
Hayden H Hayden H is offline
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Wooh! It worked!
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  #12  
Old 03-19-2012, 10:07 PM
Hayden H Hayden H is offline
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Its not completely done yet. I polished it to be sure I'd finished sanding out the areas that weren't satisfactory yesterday. Tomorrow will be the 3rd polish with Tripoli Craftsman buffing compound after its re-hand sanded from 220 to 1,000.
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  #13  
Old 03-22-2012, 02:57 PM
jdale jdale is offline
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Arrow

Got myself one heck of a deal today, found gallon containers of bondo fiberglass resin on sale for $27 each. looks like I am going to be making a lot more micarta.
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  #14  
Old 04-19-2012, 01:43 AM
metal99 metal99 is offline
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Did you get many tiny bubbles in your micarta? I made some with black linin and its got a crap load of micro bubbles in it and after its polished they show up as little pure white dots. . .
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  #15  
Old 04-19-2012, 08:59 AM
jdale jdale is offline
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I haven't noticed any bubbles in mine, I am thinking the bubbles are a result of your application method. How do you apply the resin to your fiber?
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