Cast Epoxy Resin Bowls

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Introduction: Cast Epoxy Resin Bowls

About: I am a Marine Engineer in the RNZN (41 years done in various navies) and am looking forward to retirement!!! so I can do more messing about with tools

I decided that I wanted to try some experimentation with casting epoxy resin, I hadn't used it much before but found a local place in Auckland that was selling it at a really reasonable price,

Initially I bought 3 litres (2L epoxy, 1L hardener) The guy at the shop was really helpful and gave me loads of advice - They make wood and resin tables which retail for as much as $60,000 (yes 60K!!!)

My first piece I have made for an art exhibition at the NZ Navy Marae commemorating the 100 years anniversary of the end of WW1, The second was a fun piece.

Step 1: The Epoxy

So this is the stuff I'm using, they do several grades, this is the quicker drying stuff (about 5 hours)

When you mix it you weigh each part (2 to 1) and stir until it becomes clear

You can't make too much at each time as it is exothhermic and causes problems when pouring, so I mixed about 300 cc at a time

Step 2: Bowl 1

As I said I wanted to make something appropriate to commemorate WW1, so I got some rusty barbed wire and a couple of polythene bowls, The resin doesn't stick to plastic and these bowls are flexible so I should be able to get them out on completion

Step 3: First Pour

I cut some pieces of barbed wire and laid them carefully around the inside of the larger bowl, I then poured some resin in the bottom, I also dropped in a couple of bullets that I had lying around (I am in the Military after all !!)

Step 4: Inner Bowl

The smaller inner bowl had a base ridge on it so I "Dremeled" it off and sanded it, I also sprayed it with Plasticote spray to make it smooth

Step 5: Carry on Casting

I then inserted the inner bowl and weighted down (once again using a jar of pasta sauce! This is becoming a casting theme!!)

Over the next few days I did several pours (one at 5am before I left for work and one at 5pm when I got home) until the void between the 2 bowls was filled

I dropped in a few more bullets and on the last pour added a NZ "ANZAC" 50c piece (it has a silhouette of a NZ and Australian soldier) and a poppy lapel badge

Step 6: Release the Kraken --- Sorry I Mean Bowl

The 2 plastic bowls were released relatively easily, you just push, pull and bend a bit until they come out, and there it is!

I have decided to name this one 11/11 (the date of the Armistice 11th November)

Step 7: Bonus Bowl

Having made the first one I decided to try another

This one uses about 200 M8 nuts arranged in a bowl

Step 8: Casting

I used a different outer bowl but the same inner bowl and added some colour to the resin, unfortunately the outer bowl was much less flexible than on 11/11 and I ended up having to chisel it off which took some time

Step 9: Bowl 2

Once finally released I polished it up.

This one is named "Nutjob"

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    15 Discussions

    0
    SakuraChibi
    SakuraChibi

    Question 1 year ago on Step 8

    Hello! I love this, and I'm planning to do something similar with my students. I've a few questions:
    1) How did you make sure that none of the barbed wire was poking through on either side?
    2) Was there anything holding the inner bowl on top of the resin (I mean, since it's weighed, won't it sink?) aside from the wire? Or did the resin dry by layers?
    3) What kind of PlastiKote spray did you use? I see several kinds on google. General purpose enamel? Acrylic? Spray Silicone? Sorry, obviously a newbie.
    Much obliged!

    0
    buck2217
    buck2217

    Answer 1 year ago

    Basically the bowl was weighed down with a jar of pasta sauce! The plasticity was clear acrylic and The wire doesn't poke through as it sits against the bowls and The epoxy resin fills all the gaps

    0
    james0219
    james0219

    1 year ago

    Love the bowls. I want to start turning bowls on the lathe with wood pieces suspended in the epoxy. Is this the epoxy to use. I am a newbie to using epoxy.

    1
    buck2217
    buck2217

    Reply 1 year ago

    Me too, however I have turned this on a lathe for a couple of other projects and it comes up nice there are various grades where I bought mine some of which are slower curing and thus harder/more brittle, this was the quicker curing one

    0
    james0219
    james0219

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you.

    0
    c-james93
    c-james93

    1 year ago

    this is awesome! love your bowls! do you know roughly how much resin you used in total for each bowl? im just starting out with resin casting and would love to make some bowls so dont want to order a big bulk amount but want to make sure I have enough.

    0
    buck2217
    buck2217

    Reply 1 year ago

    The clear one weighs about 2.5 kg so about 2 and a half litres the blue one about 1litre

    0
    OutlawKtulu
    OutlawKtulu

    2 years ago

    A tip for removing the resin from the bowls. Spray the mold bowls with a mold release before pouring the resin and allow to dry. The cured resin will pop off easier than ever. I personally use Stoner Mold Release. And thanks for the idea of barbed wire. I got 3 rolls of fake barb wire that I have no idea what I was going to do with till I saw your instructable :)

    0
    buck2217
    buck2217

    Reply 2 years ago

    I will see if I can find some here thanks

    0
    TeresaM7
    TeresaM7

    2 years ago

    I really want to do this with peacock feathers. I have a lot of them (bought a pelt off of ebay years ago) and I think this would be wonderful. Thank you for your 'ible!

    0
    buck2217
    buck2217

    Reply 2 years ago

    You're welcome would like to see that when it is done

    0
    lclaiborne
    lclaiborne

    2 years ago

    Nice!

    Really like your 11-11 piece, excellent idea and came out really well.

    0
    buck2217
    buck2217

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you

    0
    Lorddrake
    Lorddrake

    Question 2 years ago

    how hot does the resin get while it is curing?

    0
    buck2217
    buck2217

    Answer 2 years ago

    I didn't measure it but the first pour was quite hot to the touch ie like holding a cup of coffee temperature, if you do a smaller pour there is much less heat I found about 300ml(cc) was about right