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Thread: Adventures in BLUE STUFF

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    Quote Originally Posted by Celidude View Post
    In order for the Blue Stuff to be soft enough for molding it needs to be put in hot water, maybe it needs to be hotter for it to take the detail better?
    Thanks -- It was pretty pliable and about as hot as I could handle it. Maybe I need to use gloves to allow me to work it when even hotter.

    I actually think I just did not clean it the first time and it may have has some residual resin crumbs or dust in there...

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    As a quick experiment try filling the mold with water than freezing it. It will simulate a watery resin. If you get excellent results in ice then your mold is fine.
    Use what you know about the world to model…
    Learn from modeling what you don't know about the real world.



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    You also might try making a vacuum chamber.
    Use what you know about the world to model…
    Learn from modeling what you don't know about the real world.



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    Quote Originally Posted by McNamee View Post
    Thanks -- It was pretty pliable and about as hot as I could handle it. Maybe I need to use gloves to allow me to work it when even hotter.

    I actually think I just did not clean it the first time and it may have has some residual resin crumbs or dust in there...
    That could be as well, I'm sure it's going to be a balancing act between the mold and the casting material because you also don't want it so hot that it damages the parts either during application.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    As a quick experiment try filling the mold with water than freezing it. It will simulate a watery resin. If you get excellent results in ice then your mold is fine.
    That's an excellent idea, never would have thought of that.
    Tim

    Shoot for the stars, anything less and your selling yourself short...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    You also might try making a vacuum chamber.
    Good idea -- I just looked into this -- not as complicated or expensive as it sounds. Maybe I will make a cheap and simple vacuum chamber -- I do have a giant pickle jar as well as a bunch of old air bed pumps I could adapt... interesting...

    Let me wait till my liquid epoxy finally gets here (shakes fist in the air "Walmart"!!!) and try it with just a vibrating surface to see how it works...

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    Clean that up a bit and it would make a neat busted and rusted trailer in back of the yard.
    See ya
    Ron
    "Men go and come,
    but earth abides." Ecclesiastes 1:4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Celidude View Post
    If he were selling said copies that would be an issue but replicating objects for private purposes is fine. That law is based on creating unfair competition as far as I can tell.
    I made some Hydrocal tunnel portal abutments from molds for my layout because those abutments were no longer manufactured. So, who's going to sue me if they're already out of business?

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    When I have time I have been playing with the blue stuff and two-part epoxy for molding things.

    I am pretty happy with the results I got for the front of the trolley. Anyway, tested results with both Alumilite liquid resin (just came) as well as simple plumbers two-part epoxy putty (I prefer the putty-type epoxy so far - mainly since it is stiffer). I cut down the gray part since that is the only part I need to complete that trolley (that was the missing part). Anyway, not perfect but good enough for a static trolley model and learning experience.

    Trolley Front.jpg

    One other item I am trying to produce are battery boxes for the deck of a couple of Kato centercab switches that were missing the battery boxes. I have one and need to make three others. These were 3D enough that I wanted to use the liquid epoxy. Results are getting there -- I tried a couple of different mold designs (still learning). Also scratched the original I am copying a few weeks ago when I was first making the blue-stuff molds (annoying!). I need to play with the formulation of the mix for this liquid epoxy. The mix I made stays too soft (I think I need a bit more hardener but difficult to get mix just right in very small volumes) -- EDIT: It got harder / more stiff after a couple of hours.

    20170624_210751.jpg

    Finally, pushing the envelope a bit and wondering what it is possible to copy I tried the side of an 89' box car. Really interesting that the blue stuff picks up and transfers the lettering (I assume this is because it picks up textures really well). I was just messing around for this so did not try to hard but I also realized that since the blue stuff picks up textures so well basically anything that appears shiny is unlikely to have made good contact with your prototype. In this case I did not press the blue stuff into all the squares on the doors for example (might be bubbles here -- should probably roll the sheet of blue stuff on to avoid).

    20170624_210637_001.jpg

    Have not had time to create a vacuum chamber yet...

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    Quote Originally Posted by McNamee View Post
    Really interesting that the blue stuff picks up and transfers the lettering
    I have experienced this with silicone molding as well. I guess best bet is to strip something clean, but then you destroy a nice paint job which could be an issue. If you want to make an omelet....

    Edit: Oh, and a warning about silicone molding... it can also strip that lettering right off of your original and stick to the mold. I guess blue stuff doesn't have this issue. Perhaps.
    Daniel Dawson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile One View Post
    I have experienced this with silicone molding as well. I guess best bet is to strip something clean, but then you destroy a nice paint job which could be an issue. If you want to make an omelet.... Edit: Oh, and a warning about silicone molding... it can also strip that lettering right off of your original and stick to the mold. I guess blue stuff doesn't have this issue. Perhaps.
    I was worried about this -- partly since the blue stuff is so hot when you have to put it on. So far not an issue in my limited experience.

    However, I also made molds of the lead weights from a Life Like FA-1 and it did take the black paint off the lead weights -- not a big deal and I guess unprimed metal does not hold paint very well. Before anyone asks -- I want to make a replacement weight and plan to drop a bunch of BBs or pieces of lead in the mold then fill around them with liquid epoxy -- won't be quite as heavy as a solid lead weight but will sit in the loco properly and I don't need to mess with melting lead.

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    So I have continued to play with my epoxy and blue stuff (when the kids/wife are sleeping and I can work in the kitchen -- I guess I need a hotplate in my workroom so I can boil water). Anyway, been having better results.

    First, I made a replacement weight -- I know it is not glamorous but I had tried just working with some lead to shape it to fill the weight space and it was not working well. So in this case I made a mold with blue stuff of another weight I had (same loco / part) and filled it with as many loose lead pieces as I could. Then I poured liquid epoxy around that. I am sure I could have mixed epoxy with Tungston powder but I was not so worried about weight on this unit (Life Like FB2 so already quite heavy) and had a bunch of lead scraps from other weighting efforts. Anyway, I am guessing it is around 60% or 70% the weight of the original weight which is fine (the loco was running without a weight when I got it).

    I also have continued to work on my replacement boiler face plate and toolbox / step. The boiler front result I just got is almost perfect but had a bubble in the bottom square area of the nose. Anyway, trying one more time after stirring it a bit with a toothpick. I am making my vacuum chamber -- bought my gauge, one way valves, and tubing and found a giant pickle jar. Now to just disassemble one of my air pumps or figure out how to make it suck instead of blow.

    I also discovered with a bit of practice I may be able to use liquid epoxy with a two-part mold. If you can get the liquid epoxy to form a decent size meniscus you can actually push the top of the mold onto it and get a full mold if one side is relatively shallow. I also tried pouring in both sides and waiting till it drys just enough it will not spill out (glue-like consistency) and then forcing the two sides together (bit messy with overfill but if I get good results no big deal).

    20170716_080743.jpg

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    McNamee, look for a Vacuum Venturi generator, basically a compressed air in one port, Vacuum in one port and the third port is combined air+vacuum.
    you should be able to find one for $20-30 and can use and compressed air source.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo.0455 View Post
    McNamee, look for a Vacuum Venturi generator, basically a compressed air in one port, Vacuum in one port and the third port is combined air+vacuum.
    you should be able to find one for $20-30 and can use and compressed air source.
    Thanks Jimbo -- looks like this would work -- https://www.harborfreight.com/air-va...ors-96677.html (not sure if I will do this with an air compressor or try my air-bed pump).

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    That should do it it depends on how much CFMs your compressor has.

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