Instructables

Liquid glass or solid water is the look I am trying to achieve.

Does anyone know of a solution that becomes a clear solid other than an expensive epoxy? I am filling 48" vases with broken glass holding tree branches for an event. I need to permanently anchor these. I have been using an epoxy made for this application however, because of the size the cost is becoming prohibitive. Parafin is not strong enough. The sodium silicate from the "cash for clunkers" program is not clear. Ice is not practical. Even something I could melt and reset may work.

abbicorwin (author) 4 years ago
Probably the most practical & economical idea is using the distilled water with the epoxy on top. However, because of time constraints I went ahead with the whole epoxy thing. I did find info on sodium silicate which is what the govt. mandated be used on the engines of the "cash for clunkers" thing. From what I read, it performed much like the epoxy and was only $10.00 per gallon so I ordered a gallon from an auto parts store but it came in with a dark colorant added so that was a dead end as well. I'll try the water & epoxy on top in the future. Thanks so much for all your suggestions.
lemonie4 years ago
Gelatine? I.e. fill them with jelly. L
jtobako lemonie4 years ago
And after a week or so, you have pre-loaded petri dishes of enormous size-or a small nation's worth of penicillin : )
lemonie jtobako4 years ago
Well yes, but the event might be over by then? L
Kiteman4 years ago
There is a product called E-Z Water, which is a clear plastic used by scenery modellers.

You melt it in a pan, then pour it into whatever you want. It cools and sets.
I'd give that a try. Amazon has it for $7.15. Tower says it drys "transparent" but I couldn't find out if it was clear like glass.
seandogue4 years ago
Styrene. comes as liquid and activator, cures clear, unless you choose to tint it.
Good quality styrene isn't cheap, and it's unpleasant stuff. L
Yes, one has to use proper caution (venting, handling, cleanup) when mixing molding, and curing styrene, but it fulfills the technical requirement very well. I've used it off and on since I received a kit when I was ~13 for a birthday or Christmas. Cheap is a relative term. Capping the packed glass with Styrene need not require huge amounts of plastic.
Re-design4 years ago
I like jtobako's idea of just using the clear epoxy on top. You could fill the vase with distilled water then float an inch or so of epoxy on top.
jtobako4 years ago
Have you considered not filling the vase with epoxy, but using it to seal the top inch or so? That way you would have the weight/look of the broken glass in the bottom and the hold of the solid top without the full cost of filling the vase.
Re-design4 years ago
Acrylic. It might be too expensive but it worked great for me in the past.