This object exists for the sole purpose of allowing me to say, "I made a clipboard out of paper and crayons..."
For the record, it also took about 10oz of resin and some clipboard-specific hardware, but that doesn't roll off the tongue as easily.
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Step 1: Making Micarta
The base of the board is going to be micarta!
What is micarta? It is a very strong and durable material comprised of either paper or cloth adhered together with resin. In this case, we're going to use paper. Specifically, 12 sheets of black cardstock I picked up at the office supply store.
The process for making micarta is simple. Lay down a sheet of paper, pour on some resin and then use a glue roller to spread it out evenly. Add another sheet and repeat. Be sure to wear gloves and lay down some parchment or wax paper on your work surface as this is a super messy process
The resin I'm using is called ArtResin and it was my first time with this product. I mixed up 3oz, and it was more than enough to cover all 12 sheets. One nice thing about this resin I was using, was that it has a 45min working time. So there was zero need to rush. It took about 20 minutes to do all 12 sheets of paper.
Leave the last sheet dry. Just like a sandwich (because who wants mayo on the outside?!)
I then added a second sheet of parchment paper to the top of the stack and then a wide board on top of that to evenly spread out the load. The wieght, in this case, was just 2 - 1-gallon paint cans I had on hand. That's all there is to it. You don't need clamps, the resin will cure hard and bond well since it has been absorbed into the sheets.
Step 2: Grinding Crayons for Pleasure and Profit: How I Love Being Juvenile.
After 24 hours the micarta is complete. It is a very HARD and strong material. It can withstand being hit with a hammer and is pretty hard to flex yet is easily cut with woodworking tools. If you need more strength, you can simply add more layers.My board was about 1/8" thick.
There was a bit of glue squeeze out, so I trimmed it up at the table saw. A sharp utility knife will accomplish the same thing.
Now for some FUN! The next part is just about embellishing your clipboard, in my case I chose to add some color with crayons! So, I peeled a bunch of crayons and bought a cheese grater....
"Just tell me 'when' sir..."
"Keep going, I like my pasta colorful."
Once I got good coverage, I spread out the shaving so I could coat it all with a protective layer of resin. At least that was my initial plan for this project. They had a cool sorta had a fruity pebbles vibe here, but it just didn't really POP for me.
Step 3: Throwing Out the Plan and Picking Up the Blow Torch!
It seemed kinda bland to me, so I decided to throw my plan out the window and grab my blow torch!
I started with the blowtorch. Then added some more crayon flakes.
I then switched to my heat gun which smeared the colors more than melted them, so I added, EVEN MORE, crayon flakes and re-heated those with the torch.
I'm super happy that I did! I love this melty crayon creation. It looks to me like a nebula, something Hubble may have discovered in the kindergarten galaxy.
Step 4: Add a Glass Like Finish!
Now to seal it all in! I mixed up another 3 oz of resin and poured it on top! Due to my garage being a bit on the cold side, the resin flowed sorta thick. After talking to the manufacture this product really needs to be above 75 degrees Fahrenheit for best performance!
Yes, it is super sensitive to temperature. Cool does = less viscous (thicker) resin and 50 degrees Fahrenheit is way too cold! Bring it into a warm place, and then see if it gets hard in a few days.
There is a VERY GOOD REASON for slow curing resin. The faster the cure, the shorter the lifespan of the resin, because of a rushed chemical reaction. Some museum resin takes 7 full days at room temperature!
No worries! I'VE GOT A TORCH! The heat from the torch warmed up the resin and allowed it to flow and self-level. It also allows air bubbles to easily rise to the surface and pop. In theend you get a really awesome glass like finish
Oh, don't forget to lay down some more protection for your work surface. This is a pretty messy process!
I waited a full 48 hours for my project to cure and harden.
Step 5: Add Hardware and You're Done!
Once the resin had cured, I was left with a beautiful board. To make it into a clipboard, you just need to drill two holes and add a couple of specialty split-screws. Done!
I love the look and feel of this, and I've already put it to work holding my sheet of ideas for future crazy projects!
Thank you very much for looking!