I travelled to New York the last Christmas and I enjoyed it as much as troubles me and my family had there. One of them was my sister's camera. It lens got blocked; maybe because of the high changes of temperature (We live in Canary Islands, so we aren't used to control those things). The thing is that we couldn't take photos there with that camera. Now, I decided to take the piece that wasn't working (aperture) and sink it into resin, making a gift for my sister in order to remind her the good (and bad) times we had in New York.
This 'ible is an example of what can you do with transparent resin, so the following instructions can be taken for other ideas. The resin used is Transparent Polyester. I bought it on this store , very cheap by the way.
Step 1: Safety First
Resin can become an hazardous issue if you don't take the correspondent precautions. There are required some protections:
- Latex or nitrile gloves.
- A Mask for the fumes
- Acetone (is the best product for clean polyester resin).
Step 2: Tools and Materials
· Wet sandpaper 120
· Wet sandpaper 360
· Wet sandpaper 1000
- Sander (optional but recommended)
- A graduated cylinder (to measure the resin)
- syringe (to measure the catalyst)
- A stick
- Solder iron
- Hot melt glue gun
- Polish paste
- Polyester Transparent Resin
- A object to sink (in this case an lens aperture)
- A mold (I used a tetra brick pack, but I recommend crystal or plastic, you wont have to sand with them)
- 4 LED's
- Plug conector
- 12V transformer
Step 3: Dissasemble the Lens and Aperture
My first idea was to sink all the lens exploded, but I haven't so much resin.
Take apart the aperture and disassemble it as well.
Step 4: Make the Mold
My pattern was a 5x5 cm of base, even when the aperture has 3 cm of diameter. I did that so as to let a security space for any problem that can happen (at the end, I sanded the piece, letting it in 4x4.5 cm)
My mold was made on tetra brick, because I haven't anything better, but plastic and crystal containers are a better option. Silicone is the best option, but is a waste of money if you'll only use it one time.
I made two pieces. One for the base, which is illuminated by four LED's, and other for the aperture piece.
Step 5: Make the Base Light
Solder the four LED's in series to a 12V plug. Make a hole for the plug in the base mold. Stick them with hot melt glue, which will be easy to remove later.
Step 6: Prepare the Resin
After take all the security measures, it's time to mix the resin with the catalyst. Polyester resin is often sold with the catalyst, so don't get mad about it.
Catalyst quantity may vary depending on the temperature of the environment, but is always between 5 and 2% of the volume of the resin.
After mix them in a recipient, stir it with a stick drawing an eight. That will erase most of the bubbles that can appear.
Resin dries relatively quick(around 5 - 10 min.), so you'd better control your time.
Don't make a big amount of resin for this project in a time, because it will be poured by layers.
Step 7: Pouring the Resin
Right after mix the resin with the catalyst, pour it into the mold. Put the first aperture piece with care then.
To create the "exploded" effect, I put the resin by layers, each layer for one part of the aperture.
Wait around 30 minutes so as to let the resin dry well and prepare more resin mix for the next layer.
After make all the layers, let it dry 12 hour's.
Step 8: Extract the Resin Piece
After the resin dries completely, take it out of the mold. If you won't use the mold again, simply break it.
Step 9: Sand the Piece
So as to smooth out the bigger irregularities, use a sander with a wood sandpaper.
Afterwards, sand the piece first with the 120 sandpaper, then with the 360, and finish with the 1000.
I sanded the base only with the 120 and 360 sandpaper, giving it a semi-transparent look.
This is the hardest step so far. I spend at least 4 hour's sanding, just because my mold was very irregular, so take care about that.
Step 10: Polish the Piece
Blend the polish paste with a bit of water and moisten a cloth with it. Make circular movements with the wet cloth in the faces of the piece. After that, dry it with other cloth.
Step 11: Finished!
So this is the result of the hard work! I hope you enjoy this instructable.
Please, post your questions or examples of this technique bellow.