So an update from the previous post –
So Lucas and I contacted the company that manufactured the epoxy, since we wondered whether it was the plexiglass particles or it being in a non-vaccum that caused it to bubble so violently. Apparently it was because of moisture, since we didn’t check if the sawdust was completely dry before using it. Lesson learnt: dry wood before mixing it into any plastic or resin mix
Admittedly the exterior looks kinda gross (I keep thinking it looks like nose booger) but the interior is pretty cool, and polished surface looks really different. The 1:1 gives the most sponge-like air pattern, while the 1:1.5 looks like dry bone marrow and 1:2 looks like sourdough bread. It’s surprisingly strong material (we had to cut it through twice for the thicker parts with a table saw) but quite brittle? It’s really light too. The addition of sawdust does change the weight significantly, but because the resin is so light it doesn’t really matter anyway. I think this would be a good material if you’re trying to achieve a giant cork-like texture or some kind of organic material (bone, sponge, mucus etc) It might look really cool in a large-scale sculpture
Anyway besides using 550 epoxy, I’ve been exploring other options as well such as Ecopoxy Systems. The company looks pretty slick, but I had so much trouble communicating with them (never replied emails, calls at the worst hours and their credit card system is taken over the phone) However their testimonials were pretty good, especially for their UV600 series so I bought a quart of it to test out. Not only is it enviromentally friendly, but it has a decent working time (20~mins); is UV resistent; dries clear and can be mixed with different retardents and hardeners to achieve different consistencies. Also their technical documentation is fantastic
So, prep work:
Hand-cutting hickory chips for the resin. The sawdust was really too tiny to give much of a feel or texture, it basically just had a woody colour but no real wood feel. So we decided to use larger chips, as well as dry them on our own (instead on relying on outside sources). First we bought a bag of wood chips from home depot, then baked it for 2hrs~ at 350F with a half-open door to prevent combustion. Then I slowly trimmed them down into smaller inch/half inch pieces so that they would pour better. I might bake them for a 2nd round again before using, just to ensure that all the moisture is really absolutely gone. I’m hoping to line them like a base, pour resin, line again, pour etc so it creates a lovely stacked effect especially if they’re all laid in same direction. Could possibly be pretty……. also smells a lot better too!