Multicolor homemade micarta

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Mar 26, 2004
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This is a green/black/tan micarta I'm making for a customer. He wants me to sculpt the slabs to make something colorful and grippy. Since it's my first time, I tested some patterns once I cutted the unusable parts.

The clothings I bought for this.

micartajason1_big.jpg


micartajason2_big.jpg



Making the pile, aplying polyester resin in between each layer (almost 60 of them)

micartajason3_big.jpg


micartajason4_big.jpg



On the press (12 tons, and I place the clothings on some oiled 1/2" steel plates)

micartajason5_big.jpg



Right off the press.

micartajason6_big.jpg



After I tested some sculpting to gain an idea of the job ahead.

micartajason7_big.jpg



Regards,

Ariel
 

howiesatwork

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Ariel,
I like it. I find natural fibers work best. I did some once with a mylar threaded lame' as part of the fabric. It was difficult to get a smooth finish, as the polyester and mylar would not sand smooth, but a little superglue later, it came out okay. Wish I had a picture, as it was really unusual.
I see you're using polyester resin. I had to cut the hardener way down and use pressure and heat to get enough working time to get the layers assembled. :)

Howard
 
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Jan 24, 2003
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Ariel, that's really cool! It looks good, too. Hey, keep those pictures and such coming, too. I gotta give you a thumbs up, fella.
 
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Great look Ariel. My favorite though was the one you made using bluejeans. I've got some old overalls saved up that I'm going to try that with. Bluejeans just seem so much like, well.....bluejeans.
 
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I'll try to document all my work with this to have it post on the Knifemaking section of my website :)

The blue jeans was the first one I tried with the rods on the press to have it draw patterns without tooling the micarta.

Regards,

Ariel
 
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Very nice Ariel! Your posts are always interesting. I made micarta years ago but you have found a way to make into an art form!
 
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So i have to ask where did you get the "Resin "? what is it called ? that look's fun to play around with .
 
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Pinoy,

I buy the poliester or epoxy resin on a hardware store, and along with the jar of it, it comes a smaller jar with the hardener and instructions on how to mix them.



This is after I cutted a piece for a slab and rounded it.


micartajason8_big.jpg


micartajason10_big.jpg


This are the two slabs, now polished.

micartajason9_big.jpg


micartajason11_big.jpg



This is not what the customer wanted, so I'm gonna try this again with thinner fabric and I will try to make it draw on the press, on a process similar to the rods I used to make other micarta in the past. This time instead or rods, I'll use some pins to press the fabrics and get the layout I've been asked for.

This are the first flat slabs I made, but I didn't like them, so I tried with the round ones.

micartajason12_big.jpg



Shown with the round ones.

micartajason13_big.jpg


micartajason14_big.jpg



Regards,

Ariel
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2004
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That is just tooooo cool!

Since I don't have a press, you think I could sandwich some between some steel plates and park my car on 'em for a while?????

VV
 

howiesatwork

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Some steel plates with oil, paraffin, or heavy wax on them, else you'll have a steel and fabric sandwich which won't come apart. Some c-clamps would work easier than trying to drive over it... ;)

Howie
 
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Jul 9, 2004
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thanks!

I read twelve tons and did not know what kind of pressure was actually required.

Being very tool poor, the C clamp idea is lookin' real good. :D

VV
 
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howiesatwork said:
Some steel plates with oil, paraffin, or heavy wax on them, else you'll have a steel and fabric sandwich which won't come apart. Some c-clamps would work easier than trying to drive over it... ;)

Howie


What about sticking it in a vise? My friend has an old and busted car (no tires) if I jack it up, put blocks then put the sandwhich under, will that be good?

How long on average does it take for the resin to dry? While waiting for it to dry, do you put additional pressure as the sandwhich compresses?
 
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All the mentioned methods will work, the issue here is what kind of micarta you'll get.

I used to use an horizontal press to make mine and it turned out ok, but using the hidraulic press with it's full 12 tons made the resulting piece a ROCK.

The others would be nice too, but not as compressed as with a proper press.

The C-clams is a very good idea!

The resin I use took about 1 hour to dry, but again, it depends on the kind of resin and he hardener, a clerk from a hardware store should be able to pint you in the right direction.

I buy it in bulk as I already know the times and I'm familiar with the products and % for the mix, but if buying commercially, it comes with a whole set of instructions :)

And don't forget to lubricate the steel plates or you'll have a problem :eek:


Regards,

Ariel
 
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What about the materials used, will any kind of fabric do ? Woudl silk (for example) work as well ? My guts say yeah but i've never dipped fabric into polyester :D
 
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Jul 29, 2004
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That's a beautiful pattern. I'm trying to figure out the whole rod thing. Do you just place rods under the layers to achieve the pattern then put it in the press?

Joe Foster

edit to add: Ariel I just saw the other thread that had your site and the information about the rods thanks for all the information.
 
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Dec 10, 2003
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Here is an idea.

What if you were to use cloth (or paper ? can the above method be used to make paper micarta ?) which had patterns on it ?

Imagine, you have a wood pattern on your cloth/paper. You line up all the patterns, and make the micarta. I suppose the result would be like stabilized wood, except maybe even tougher ?

Is the idea valid ?
 
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