Have you ever had scraps of wood that's either too lovely or expensive to throw out but not large enough or uniform in shape to be useful? If your like me, and I bet you are, they end up left in the scrap bin for that ' One day'. Well ladies, gents and robots. today is that day.
These pendants are a fairly quick project (apart from waiting around for the resin) and make great gifts for others. theres also no reason to limit yourself to pendants. You could make bangles, keyrings, earrings, rings, knife scales and anything else your wonderful noodles can think up.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
You will need.
Resin ( I used fast glass resin, it seems to be the easiest to get hold of here in the UK. it's often on offer in Halfords).
I'm using cherry burl but this is anything you want. lumpier, bumpier and funkier, the better.
A mould. I used plastic cups, but I also made a custom one from card and cellotape if you were to make a lot of whatever your making then a silicon mould would be a good idea (and mould release spray).
A measuring jug you really dislike (it will not be the same again).
Mask (this resin is pungent)
Spray on poly (or acrylic)
A belt sander and/or files
A band saw or coping saw
A drill and small drill bit
A hot glue gun or double sided tape.
All the sandpaper grits known to human kind, I used 240-7000.
Dremmel/ rotary tool and buffing wheel.
Step 2: Making Your Blank
Note: I fell at the first hurdle, the instructions I am giving are based on my mistakes, I made them so you don't have to.
First take your piece of wood and cut it to fit in your mould, you should have an idea of how you want your pendant you look, this will influence how much wood you want and how much resin you want around it, it's also easier to cut away wood and resin than to add it on.
Next( this is where I messed up), wood floats, great for boats but annoying if you forget. To get around this, put a splodge of hot glue or double sided tape on the bottom of the mould to hold your wood under the resin level.
Trust me you need to do this, I didn't and had to rig a little thingymajig to hold the wood under the surface.
Step 3: Mixing Your Resin
This really depends on the resin you are using. With the fastglas you use 1 pea sized drop per 10ml or resin.
The main thing is to thoroughly mix the resin, and keep it at the recommended temp when setting.
You will get bubbles in your resin, if you have a vacuum chamber then you are lucky and I am jealous. Some resins you can use a heat gun to pop the bubbles, I find that the fastglass is pretty bubble free by the time it sets.
But if you want bubbles, no problem, let's not bubble-shame.
Have everything ready before you mix the resin, some resins set very quickly so you want to be able to pour as soon as the resin is mixed.
Step 4: Wait.
Pour your resin into the mould and put it in your vacuum chamber if you have one.
Leave The blanks to set and cure for a few days until it's not tacky.
Once dry, get them out of the mould, and start planning your design.
Step 5: Shaping
I first cut the blank into sections, I had a few large bubbles that I had to work around but it wasn't an issue in the end as I sanded past their level.
Once you have your pieces, sketch on your design.for this design I chose a simple tear drop but there are plenty of options to go with.
Take a file or belt sander to the piece till you have the desired shape roughed out.
you also want to drill a hole for the string using a small bit. it's best to do it when you have more material to work with.
If your belt sander is like mine it will eat material like no man's business so take it slow and finish shaping with the files and sandpaper to avoid deep scratches.
Step 6: Sanding, Sanding and Sanding.
To get a good finish you really can't rush this part.
Start off with a course grit to finish the shaping, apply light pressure so you don't leave any deep scratches.
I started with 240 and ended at 5000.
I used wet and dry and you can use a washing up sponge to form to the curves in the pendant.
Step 7: Done
Wash it off, buff it with some paper towels and put a string through the hole.
Bish-bash-bosh, one resin and wood pendant, there are a few areas I would like to improve, the colour didn't come out as amber-esque as I'd like so next time I will use pigment, maybe some glow in the dark powder but I have lots of this blank left to play around with.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the ible, feel free to vote for this on the jewellery competition.