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Does anyone know of a good 1 to 1 resin/catalyst and metal powder that can be gotten locally (to Phoenix, AZ)? Answered

I am making a custom sword. The intent is to make it out of resin. I have made the blank out of wood and will be making the mold from silicone. I currently have Castin Craft Clear resin. I have made a few sample casts and the results are fairly inconsistent. I have made it from straight resin (plus Catalyst) which made it too brittle or too tacky, either too much or not enough catalyst. I tried to do a cold cast by mixing in Aluminum Powder (I used Stop leak for radiator repair), but that made the cast like rubber. I am not keen on buying stuff online and can't source Real AL Powder locally and the only resin I can find is either the stuff I have or Fiberglass resin at Home Depot. I am trying to end up with a finished product that will not be tacky and will not shatter if I bump it against something. It will be used as a Renaissance Festival Costume piece, not for real use. Any other Resin casting suggestions would be welcome as well.



Best Answer 10 years ago

The short answer:Luminore, but you've got to take their class.

the long answer:
Hi! I've made weapons for many movies/tv shows. There are a few ways to do what you want. Resin, unfortunately without some sort of fiber material,is kind of brittle and prone to cracking.
It has something to do with the chains of molecules, I think.
Practically,epoxy resins seem to have better impact resistance and less warpage. Small amounts may be available at the Despot as adhesive, but ultimately it's best to purchase at least quart of epoxy resin perhaps at a marine supply place? There is also a product called Envirotex available at art/craft stores with a fair amount of impact resistance.It has a little more resilience than the Cast n' Craft.

By fiber, I mean like glass or carbon matt or chop, roving which is like glass thread woven into rope for chop guns, microspheres, or finer fabric in long thin strips.
these are to be submerged in and tamped, a few layers is best, , wear gloves and if you for some reason use carbon fiber fabric be aware it is way more dangerous!(your body can't encapsulate and push it out like fiberglass. these are the not-convenient-or-safe parts. :P OH YEAH BTW BE CAREFUL!!! this stuff can all damage ya, seriously. I take no responsibility for anyone's actions)
You can find mat and fabric usually near the paint section in the Home Despot, near boat repair, etc.(Phoenix?)This will give you a certain amount of strength and metal-like weight, but will be fragile and NOT FOR SPARRING, will chip/break. Also a dangerous pain to cleanup flashing on mold. so have halfround keys and a good level meniscus to minimize flashing(grinder If you can do it and keep most air out of the mold, it will be moderately strong and have a good shape.
good: Cheap, add some Bulldog adhesion promoter and black primer, you're ready for a chrome spraypaint finish,looks pretty nice w/ costume and can be aged for period stuff. you may find a matte clear spray here and there gives a more realistic finish, a little age on the edges sells well.
for little detail stuff,epoxy putty works well, also in paint dept.
How we did it:We used birchbox 1328 Silicone molds with fitted dowel pins (similar to this, but full box, for the mold (different type of urethane) to keep the weapons from warping(a straight weapon sells best) with slide clamps (can be found cheaply, for a sword about 30-36" long get 10 or make larger clamps with 4 clamps and two pieces of 1 by 3 glued/screwed at 45' The material we used to cast was a urethane foam, already black, then referred to as F-60 or F-80, sold by pound viscosity/density 2lb softer than say 6lb, etc. I believe this is Silpak's version, you should talk to them about it, definitely.
use an aluminum armature, flat stock cut to fit 1/8 inch beaneath surface works better than wire, but heavier aluminumwire ball peined flatter worksish. kinda bendy. meh.
Someone mentioned a reaction with copper years ago but I don't remember what. Keep away from moisture, though.
Now I know you don't like buying online, but these folks (Silpak) are one of the ones most of the professional monstermakers and propmakers use, and they're helpful and cool, especially if you're specific.. If you tell them what you're trying to do and how far you want it to go, they'll set you right. plus I think they're mail order only anyway.
Another more inexpensive way to go- get aluminum flat stock about 1/4" thick and use it with a sculpted/ molded handle or even cherry/hardwood and you can work it with grinders/hammers/anvils/sanders/woodchucks/logs/dremel, etc, make it full tang and drill/rivet on a guard of your choice .
Aluminum works about as easy as wood, and is able to be polished and patina-ed many ways
Actual metal almost always looks better than a paint job, and a few metal pins through a well finished handle also do it nicely a lot cheaper than a lot of things.
If you don't have to cast the blade, it's the easiest and cheapest no matter what.
you can also cast the handle around it in many things cheaply, including a mix of Bondo and fiberglass resin with both catalysts at a moderate levels , this gives you a little more grog and sand/paintability. you can also sculpt/ cast guards and pommels as fiber-backed shells separately from and attach them with rivets (grommeters/riveters in tool corral at despot.but please buy local if you can.Copper ones look great with dark woods for swords.
Your local hardware store is a worthwhile part of your community, and with the way things are, it's time to value community, and cooperation.
We can survive better working together. Lecture over. ;p
There are some great Dover books on metalworking and heraldry you can have sent to the bookstore of your choice, and if you like the aesthetic of Ren Faire, chances are if it's metalworking, woodworking or moldmaking, regardless, you are going to value your own a lot rather than the 65 dollar replica company version.
Have fun, and remember, you can use these same techniques to do much much more than a sword!
Gauntlets, armored pads, crazy guards, helmets,Samurai bhuttos and masks,
You can build in many many ways.
If pattern-making seems daunting, try using the heavy duty aluminum foil-and-duct tape method, it works well!
Thanks for asking a great question!
I really enjoyed answering it!
I hope this was what you were looking for!


10 years ago

Water Clear urethane casting system from Alumilte corporation is a great product that is a 1 to 1 mix and then add in your metal power that they also sell. You should be able to pick it up from any good hobby store in your area. Also check out their web site at www. alumilite.com hope this helps you out. Goog luck and keep us informed on what you use. Jax


Answer 10 years ago

So I ended up using a sand/resin mixture. I got the idea here. I poured a wax mold in two parts, mixed the sand/resin, and cast it in two parts for a trial run. It ended up taking too long to dry, so I covered my Wood blank with J.B.-Weld, sanded it down, spray painted it Chrome and it looks awesome. The sand resin mixture finally dried the other day. It turned out to be very brittle. I think if I try it again, I will use Fibreglass Resin, and add Fibreglass in the mold for more support. I'll be posting an Instructable soon on both the resin and the wood sword.


10 years ago

I'd use a core fibre material, whatever resin you use. Epoxy is strong, but it will remain brittle if you don't reinforce it with a fibre. Make your mold in two halves, so you can paint in a first coat of resin without fibre. Then put in the fibre, close the two halves an pour in the rest of your resin. Fiberglass is best, but just cotton or hemp will make your polyester or epoxy a lot tougher. It's a bit more work, but using only a resin will in my opinion give either a brittle sword or a floppy one.


10 years ago

I know you said you didn't want to buy online, but I guarantee that these guys are great. This is a store that also has a website, it is not just a web company only.

They supply casting materials for Mythbusters and this is where I bought the Food Safe Silicone for Gummi Legos
The company is called Douglas and Sturgess and their website is Artstuf.com

They sell Atomized Aluminum specifically for casting and they have Resins of many different qualities. Epoxy Resin is going to create the sturdiest casting, but be aware that you can't stay in the room while it is curing and it has to be kept warm while it sets. You might be able to do it in AZ outside on a hot day.

Just in case you don't know: the wood positive needs to be shellaced before you make the Silicone mold. Silicone won't set if you get water in it, and it will leach moisture from the wood. Just shellacing it is enough to prevent the moisture from ruining your silicone.


10 years ago

How about using one of the least disappointing of the swords you already cast and using Bondo to make it less disappointing and to your liking?