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"Buffing" your silicone to a brilliant sheen?

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  • lionpride4
    I m in a quandry at the moment. I m working with some two part molds that I m going to use to cast crystal clear urethane. But one problem I m encountering
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 2, 2007
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      I'm in a quandry at the moment. I'm working with some two part molds
      that I'm going to use to cast crystal clear urethane. But one problem
      I'm encountering is the "sheen" of one of the flat mold halves.
      Silicones and resins, I've noticed, are very prone to getting
      scratches or just blots, and even the smallest ones can cause issues
      and affect the recasted piece. Since I'm recasting clear pieces, I'm
      trying to get these molds to be as clean as possible.

      So my question is, is there a good way to clean your silicone molds
      and kind of buff them to a glossy shine? Especially for larger, flat
      surfaces. I don't think I can coat it with Future Floor Wax or
      Testor's Glosscoat, since the silicone's flexibility would cause it to
      crack. But, is there any other way to clean it, or something I could
      coat the molds with to give them a glossy sheen?

      Thanks for any and all help!
    • DOC
      I m not sure this will work but you might try PVA (Polyvinyl alcohol). DOC Have robots. Will travel. http://www.robot-one.ca
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 2, 2007
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        I'm not sure this will work but you might try PVA (Polyvinyl alcohol).

        DOC

        Have robots. Will travel. http://www.robot-one.ca


        At 09:22 PM 1/2/2007 +0000, you wrote:

        >I'm in a quandry at the moment. I'm working with some two part molds
        >that I'm going to use to cast crystal clear urethane. But one problem
        >I'm encountering is the "sheen" of one of the flat mold halves.
        >Silicones and resins, I've noticed, are very prone to getting
        >scratches or just blots, and even the smallest ones can cause issues
        >and affect the recasted piece. Since I'm recasting clear pieces, I'm
        >trying to get these molds to be as clean as possible.
        >
        >So my question is, is there a good way to clean your silicone molds
        >and kind of buff them to a glossy shine? Especially for larger, flat
        >surfaces. I don't think I can coat it with Future Floor Wax or
        >Testor's Glosscoat, since the silicone's flexibility would cause it to
        >crack. But, is there any other way to clean it, or something I could
        >coat the molds with to give them a glossy sheen?
        >
        >Thanks for any and all help!
        >
        >
      • Pete Brown (YahooGroups)
        If you can, the easiest thing to do will be to coat the *master* in future and then recast the silicone mold. I assume the problem is that the master had
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 2, 2007
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          If you can, the easiest thing to do will be to coat the *master* in future
          and then recast the silicone mold.



          I assume the problem is that the master had scratches, and the mold picked
          them up. If the problem is that the mold got scratches I'll have to defer to
          other folks here. None of my RTV molds have ever scratched, but they didn't
          have lots of undercuts etc.



          Pete



          _____________________________________________________
          Pete Brown - Gambrills, MD (Near Annapolis)
          Visit my personal site : http://www.irritatedVowel.com
          (wallpaper, western maryland ry, .net, photography, model rr)



          _____

          From: casting@yahoogroups.com [mailto:casting@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
          lionpride4
          Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 4:22 PM
          To: casting@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [casting] "Buffing" your silicone to a brilliant sheen?



          I'm in a quandry at the moment. I'm working with some two part molds
          that I'm going to use to cast crystal clear urethane. But one problem
          I'm encountering is the "sheen" of one of the flat mold halves.
          Silicones and resins, I've noticed, are very prone to getting
          scratches or just blots, and even the smallest ones can cause issues
          and affect the recasted piece. Since I'm recasting clear pieces, I'm
          trying to get these molds to be as clean as possible.

          So my question is, is there a good way to clean your silicone molds
          and kind of buff them to a glossy shine? Especially for larger, flat
          surfaces. I don't think I can coat it with Future Floor Wax or
          Testor's Glosscoat, since the silicone's flexibility would cause it to
          crack. But, is there any other way to clean it, or something I could
          coat the molds with to give them a glossy sheen?

          Thanks for any and all help!

          __._



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • lionpride4
          Well, you see, here s the issue I ran into. And anyone can read this, I could use any and all advice, hehe. This is part of the Cygnus recasting project I
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 2, 2007
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            Well, you see, here's the issue I ran into. And anyone can read this,
            I could use any and all advice, hehe. This is part of the Cygnus
            recasting project I referenced in another topic of mine. Sorry, but
            it requires a bit of explaining.

            The inside of the Cygnus pieces are really rough. They have gigantic
            letters to distinguish parts, and a ton of pits. Here's a silicone
            casting of the inside of one of them:

            http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y286/Obsidian451/IMG_0680.jpg?t=1167806912

            You can see the big "E" there... I can't recast these pieces in clear
            resin with such a rough surface making up the second half of a
            mold/other side of a piece...

            To compensate, I cut out strips of thin cardboard and lined them with
            overhead projector transparency, then used double sided tape to put
            them into the pieces. This gave the inside of the piece an even
            surface so I could make the inside of a mold. It also gave it a nice
            flat surface without the need for extensive sanding and a coat of future.

            http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y286/Obsidian451/IMG_0678.jpg?t=1167806952

            The results were pretty darned good - I could practically see my
            reflection in the silicone "plugs" that I created. The plugs would be
            the second part of a two part mold. The problem is, some of the molds
            wound up getting dusty and dirty (just the nature of my workspace, it
            could't be helped, rubber from the other half seeped in, etc). I
            tried cleaning them with a little thinner and q-tips, and also rubbing
            alcohol and q-tips. But compare one that's been "cleaned" with one
            that hasn't:

            http://farm1.static.flickr.com/156/343718485_a91669378c_b.jpg

            The one on the left is a regular block of silicone - no cleaning, no
            tampering. The one on the right, I had to clean some dust and
            blotches off of, but it dulled the thing down considerably. Its sheen
            certainly isn't in the realm of that other silicone block:

            http://farm1.static.flickr.com/163/343718488_a3c16b70d3_b.jpg

            The problem is, if that gets blotched from any outside source, I don't
            know how to clean it without dulling the surface and really messing it
            up. My concern is that it'll seriously affect the casting, as the
            clear pieces will have a different transparency or roughness because
            of the surface conditions of the two molds.

            Hence, I'm looking for a way to buff the molds themselves, buff the
            silicone to a good sheen, even coat it with something that'll give me
            a "glassy" look. Technically, those dull purple molds are still flat,
            but I'm concerned the dullness will create some ill effects on the
            clear recasts.


            ~MGL

            --- In casting@yahoogroups.com, "Pete Brown \(YahooGroups\)"
            <YahooLists@...> wrote:
            >
            > If you can, the easiest thing to do will be to coat the *master* in
            future
            > and then recast the silicone mold.
            >
            >
            >
            > I assume the problem is that the master had scratches, and the mold
            picked
            > them up. If the problem is that the mold got scratches I'll have to
            defer to
            > other folks here. None of my RTV molds have ever scratched, but they
            didn't
            > have lots of undercuts etc.
            >
            >
            >
            > Pete
            >
            >
            >
            > _____________________________________________________
            > Pete Brown - Gambrills, MD (Near Annapolis)
            > Visit my personal site : http://www.irritatedVowel.com
            > (wallpaper, western maryland ry, .net, photography, model rr)
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Himawari
            I know exactly where you are coming from since I ve encountered a similar experience when/while making some molds for clear parts. Not sure if it makes any
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 3, 2007
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              I know exactly where you are coming from since I've encountered a
              similar experience when/while making some molds for clear parts. Not
              sure if it makes any difference, but I was using dow's J platinum
              cure RTV silicone. I also tryed just using parafin mold release, and
              even mineral spirits which I think made it even more flat! Probably
              the best result if any (that I've had) was just using detergent. I
              think it may have to do with the phosphates, but I'm no chemist.
              Thanks. -Himawari




              --- In casting@yahoogroups.com, "lionpride4" <lionpride4@...> wrote:
              >
              > Well, you see, here's the issue I ran into. And anyone can read
              this,
              > I could use any and all advice, hehe. This is part of the Cygnus
              > recasting project I referenced in another topic of mine. Sorry,
              but
              > it requires a bit of explaining.
              >
              > The inside of the Cygnus pieces are really rough. They have
              gigantic
              > letters to distinguish parts, and a ton of pits. Here's a silicone
              > casting of the inside of one of them:
              >
              > http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y286/Obsidian451/IMG_0680.jpg?
              t=1167806912
              >
              > You can see the big "E" there... I can't recast these pieces in
              clear
              > resin with such a rough surface making up the second half of a
              > mold/other side of a piece...
              >
              > To compensate, I cut out strips of thin cardboard and lined them
              with
              > overhead projector transparency, then used double sided tape to put
              > them into the pieces. This gave the inside of the piece an even
              > surface so I could make the inside of a mold. It also gave it a
              nice
              > flat surface without the need for extensive sanding and a coat of
              future.
              >
              > http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y286/Obsidian451/IMG_0678.jpg?
              t=1167806952
              >
              > The results were pretty darned good - I could practically see my
              > reflection in the silicone "plugs" that I created. The plugs
              would be
              > the second part of a two part mold. The problem is, some of the
              molds
              > wound up getting dusty and dirty (just the nature of my workspace,
              it
              > could't be helped, rubber from the other half seeped in, etc). I
              > tried cleaning them with a little thinner and q-tips, and also
              rubbing
              > alcohol and q-tips. But compare one that's been "cleaned" with one
              > that hasn't:
              >
              > http://farm1.static.flickr.com/156/343718485_a91669378c_b.jpg
              >
              > The one on the left is a regular block of silicone - no cleaning,
              no
              > tampering. The one on the right, I had to clean some dust and
              > blotches off of, but it dulled the thing down considerably. Its
              sheen
              > certainly isn't in the realm of that other silicone block:
              >
              > http://farm1.static.flickr.com/163/343718488_a3c16b70d3_b.jpg
              >
              > The problem is, if that gets blotched from any outside source, I
              don't
              > know how to clean it without dulling the surface and really
              messing it
              > up. My concern is that it'll seriously affect the casting, as the
              > clear pieces will have a different transparency or roughness
              because
              > of the surface conditions of the two molds.
              >
              > Hence, I'm looking for a way to buff the molds themselves, buff the
              > silicone to a good sheen, even coat it with something that'll give
              me
              > a "glassy" look. Technically, those dull purple molds are still
              flat,
              > but I'm concerned the dullness will create some ill effects on the
              > clear recasts.
              >
              >
              > ~MGL
              >
              > --- In casting@yahoogroups.com, "Pete Brown \(YahooGroups\)"
              > <YahooLists@> wrote:
              > >
              > > If you can, the easiest thing to do will be to coat the *master*
              in
              > future
              > > and then recast the silicone mold.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > I assume the problem is that the master had scratches, and the
              mold
              > picked
              > > them up. If the problem is that the mold got scratches I'll have
              to
              > defer to
              > > other folks here. None of my RTV molds have ever scratched, but
              they
              > didn't
              > > have lots of undercuts etc.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Pete
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > _____________________________________________________
              > > Pete Brown - Gambrills, MD (Near Annapolis)
              > > Visit my personal site : http://www.irritatedVowel.com
              > > (wallpaper, western maryland ry, .net, photography, model rr)
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
            • Julia Tanner
              It has been my experience that you cannot buff or put a release inside of your mold if you want crystal clear parts. If it is a true clear resin, the release
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 3, 2007
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                It has been my experience that you cannot buff or put a release inside of your mold if you want crystal clear parts. If it is a true clear resin, the release or any agent in the mold will show up in your part. To clean your mold, try baby wipes with alcohol.

                Julia

                lionpride4 <lionpride4@...> wrote:
                Well, you see, here's the issue I ran into. And anyone can read this,
                I could use any and all advice, hehe. This is part of the Cygnus
                recasting project I referenced in another topic of mine. Sorry, but
                it requires a bit of explaining.

                The inside of the Cygnus pieces are really rough. They have gigantic
                letters to distinguish parts, and a ton of pits. Here's a silicone
                casting of the inside of one of them:

                http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y286/Obsidian451/IMG_0680.jpg?t=1167806912

                You can see the big "E" there... I can't recast these pieces in clear
                resin with such a rough surface making up the second half of a
                mold/other side of a piece...

                To compensate, I cut out strips of thin cardboard and lined them with
                overhead projector transparency, then used double sided tape to put
                them into the pieces. This gave the inside of the piece an even
                surface so I could make the inside of a mold. It also gave it a nice
                flat surface without the need for extensive sanding and a coat of future.

                http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y286/Obsidian451/IMG_0678.jpg?t=1167806952

                The results were pretty darned good - I could practically see my
                reflection in the silicone "plugs" that I created. The plugs would be
                the second part of a two part mold. The problem is, some of the molds
                wound up getting dusty and dirty (just the nature of my workspace, it
                could't be helped, rubber from the other half seeped in, etc). I
                tried cleaning them with a little thinner and q-tips, and also rubbing
                alcohol and q-tips. But compare one that's been "cleaned" with one
                that hasn't:

                http://farm1.static.flickr.com/156/343718485_a91669378c_b.jpg

                The one on the left is a regular block of silicone - no cleaning, no
                tampering. The one on the right, I had to clean some dust and
                blotches off of, but it dulled the thing down considerably. Its sheen
                certainly isn't in the realm of that other silicone block:

                http://farm1.static.flickr.com/163/343718488_a3c16b70d3_b.jpg

                The problem is, if that gets blotched from any outside source, I don't
                know how to clean it without dulling the surface and really messing it
                up. My concern is that it'll seriously affect the casting, as the
                clear pieces will have a different transparency or roughness because
                of the surface conditions of the two molds.

                Hence, I'm looking for a way to buff the molds themselves, buff the
                silicone to a good sheen, even coat it with something that'll give me
                a "glassy" look. Technically, those dull purple molds are still flat,
                but I'm concerned the dullness will create some ill effects on the
                clear recasts.

                ~MGL

                --- In casting@yahoogroups.com, "Pete Brown \(YahooGroups\)"
                <YahooLists@...> wrote:
                >
                > If you can, the easiest thing to do will be to coat the *master* in
                future
                > and then recast the silicone mold.
                >
                >
                >
                > I assume the problem is that the master had scratches, and the mold
                picked
                > them up. If the problem is that the mold got scratches I'll have to
                defer to
                > other folks here. None of my RTV molds have ever scratched, but they
                didn't
                > have lots of undercuts etc.
                >
                >
                >
                > Pete
                >
                >
                >
                > _____________________________________________________
                > Pete Brown - Gambrills, MD (Near Annapolis)
                > Visit my personal site : http://www.irritatedVowel.com
                > (wallpaper, western maryland ry, .net, photography, model rr)
                >
                >
                >
                >





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                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Malcolm Spann
                AFAIK, there s nothing available to buff your silicone molds. They are too soft and flexible to buff ; all you ll end up doing is scratching them. Keeping
                Message 7 of 10 , Jan 3, 2007
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                  AFAIK, there's nothing available to "buff" your silicone molds. They are too
                  soft and flexible to 'buff'; all you'll end up doing is scratching them. Keeping
                  the molds clean (with soap and water) is about the best you can do.

                  Now, having said that, here's a thought ...

                  From your existing (dirty) molds, pull a positive in a material you can 'sculpt'.
                  Take that new positive, fill in any gaps, polish the surfaces smooth and flat,
                  and seal all the surfaces. Buff this to your desired sheen. This now becomes
                  your new master. Now, pull a new silicone mold off of your new master.

                  Probably not what you wanted to hear, but ....

                  Malcolm
                  www.artcoinc.com


                  > I know exactly where you are coming from since I've encountered a
                  > similar experience when/while making some molds for clear parts. Not
                  > sure if it makes any difference, but I was using dow's J platinum cure
                  > RTV silicone. I also tryed just using parafin mold release, and even
                  > mineral spirits which I think made it even more flat! Probably the
                  > best result if any (that I've had) was just using detergent. I think
                  > it may have to do with the phosphates, but I'm no chemist. Thanks.
                  > -Himawari
                • Ray K.
                  The ONLY reliable way to have super-shiny water-clear castings is to polish the heck out of your masters before you make your RTV molds. There is no other way
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jan 3, 2007
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                    The ONLY reliable way to have super-shiny water-clear castings is to polish the heck out of your masters before you make your RTV molds. There is no other way that I know of that will give you consistent results.

                    Do all of your repairs, sanding, buffing/polishing on the masters and you will be rewarded with great water-clear castings every time without the need for any releases, etc.

                    I sometimes spray-paint my masters with a glossy paint to get the molds to come out super-shiny on the inside. It only works however if your master isn't pitted too badly, and will allow the paint to pretty much smooth out the surface.

                    Ray K.
                    www.telephonecreations.com



                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: lionpride4
                    To: casting@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 4:22 PM
                    Subject: [casting] "Buffing" your silicone to a brilliant sheen?


                    I'm in a quandry at the moment. I'm working with some two part molds
                    that I'm going to use to cast crystal clear urethane. But one problem
                    I'm encountering is the "sheen" of one of the flat mold halves.
                    Silicones and resins, I've noticed, are very prone to getting
                    scratches or just blots, and even the smallest ones can cause issues
                    and affect the recasted piece. Since I'm recasting clear pieces, I'm
                    trying to get these molds to be as clean as possible.

                    So my question is, is there a good way to clean your silicone molds
                    and kind of buff them to a glossy shine? Especially for larger, flat
                    surfaces. I don't think I can coat it with Future Floor Wax or
                    Testor's Glosscoat, since the silicone's flexibility would cause it to
                    crack. But, is there any other way to clean it, or something I could
                    coat the molds with to give them a glossy sheen?

                    Thanks for any and all help!





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Mike Bauers
                    Years ago......... I was shown a clear plastic HO vehicle that was automobile polishing compound buffed to a mirror-like finish. The original was one of those
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jan 3, 2007
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                      Years ago......... I was shown a clear plastic HO vehicle that was
                      automobile polishing compound buffed to a mirror-like finish.

                      The original was one of those clear polyester model vehicles that was
                      state of the art at the time. The original was one of the production
                      run with all of it's casting flaws.......... none of which were in
                      the then polished item, nor in the duplicates that were made from a
                      new mold made from that re-worked out-of-production old model vehicle.


                      Best to ya'
                      Mike Bauers
                      Milwaukee Wi, USA


                      On Jan 3, 2007, at 10:34 AM, Malcolm Spann wrote:

                      >
                      > AFAIK, there's nothing available to "buff" your silicone molds.
                      > They are too
                      > soft and flexible to 'buff'; all you'll end up doing is scratching
                      > them. Keeping
                      > the molds clean (with soap and water) is about the best you can do.
                      >
                      > Now, having said that, here's a thought ...
                      >
                      > From your existing (dirty) molds, pull a positive in a material you
                      > can 'sculpt'.
                      > Take that new positive, fill in any gaps, polish the surfaces
                      > smooth and flat,
                      > and seal all the surfaces. Buff this to your desired sheen. This
                      > now becomes
                      > your new master. Now, pull a new silicone mold off of your new master.
                      >
                      > Probably not what you wanted to hear, but ....
                      >
                      > Malcolm
                      > www.artcoinc.com
                      >
                      >
                      >> I know exactly where you are coming from since I've encountered a
                      >> similar experience when/while making some molds for clear parts. Not
                      >> sure if it makes any difference, but I was using dow's J platinum
                      >> cure
                      >> RTV silicone. I also tryed just using parafin mold release, and even
                      >> mineral spirits which I think made it even more flat! Probably the
                      >> best result if any (that I've had) was just using detergent. I think
                      >> it may have to do with the phosphates, but I'm no chemist. Thanks.
                      >> -Himawari
                    • Barry McClelland
                      Hi All, You need to stop the problem before it starts. I store all my molds in sealed plastic boxes, this keeps them clean. I also think it might lengthen the
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jan 3, 2007
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                        Hi All,
                        You need to stop the problem before it starts. I store all my molds in sealed plastic boxes, this keeps them clean. I also think it might lengthen the mold life. The theory is it keep the air in the box so the mold can't dry out (leach release agent into the air). I have seen molds leach release agent into wood when the mold sat in a drawer. It looked like the bottom of the drawer was wet where the mold sat.
                        Thanks Barry www.railway-recollections.com


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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