Deeper Castings, No Bubbles & its EASY to USE

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LuciClear Casting Resin

This is a collection of ideas from our experienced users.  In many cases there is more than one way to do things, and what we talk about here is what we have found works for us.  If you have some different thoughts, we would love to hear them.

 (Questions marked with § are the subject of further investigation, check back or call us for updates.)

Can I add colours?

Yes!  You can use any of the pigments, dyes or powders that work in other resin systems.  For example, our epoxy pigments.  Spirit based stains work well, e.g. Feast Watson Proof Tints.  Cement colouring powders are good.

Is this as good as "xyz super epoxy" that I can get from overseas or from "ajax trading" etc. ?

As far as we know, this formulation is the equal of the best in the world as a deep casting epoxy resin.  There are lots of epoxy resins out there, most of which are formulated to do all sorts of things well, but not deep castings.  LuciClear Casting resin will do deep casting much better than those resins.  We do keep an eye on what is going on in Canada, the US and Europe, and LuciClear is as good as the best deep casting resins currently available in those places.  If some-one over there figures out how to do it better, we will make sure we are right close behind them.

 Do I need to use a flame torch to pop the bubbles?

No.  Provided you follow our instructions, the bubbles that rise to the surface will pop all by themselves.

How do I stop bubbles coming out of the timber I am using for the river "edges" or which I am embedding?

The easiest way is to seal the timber first.  Mix up a small quantity of LuciClear Casting resin and using a cheap paint brush paint all over the piece(s) of timber.  It is very thin and it will penetrate into the nooks and crannies.   It is better to do this in the afternoon when the ambient temperature is falling as the air in the various pockets will contract as the air temperature cools and so "sucK' the resin into the little pockets.  (You can get the same effect by heating the timber to a temperature (moderately) above the tempertaure of the mixed resin and hardener.

Can I use this to coat a piece of timber?

Yes. but....  LuciClear Casting resin is formulated to be very low in viscosity, that means it is very thin.  If you use it to coat a piece of timber it will result in a very thin coating.  Our Pour On Gloss product is much more suitable if you are trying for a deep ultra glossy coating.

If I want to measure by weight, what is the ratio?

43 parts by weight of Hardener to 100 parts by weight of the resin. 

How do I stop it sticking to ....  ?  ยง

Epoxy is a great adhesive, it is is really difficult to stop it sticking to things.  In the boxes we have mad eup to do river tables, we have used plastic packaging tape with success, although it does leave lines in the material.  With a bit less success we have used contact (the adhesive plastic used to cover school books ) and thick plastic sheet (it doesn't stick, but it does crinkle and leave big crinkle marks in the bottom of the casting ).  We have heard about people using white melamine sheet, how-ever we have also heard about it becoming really well glued and having to be ground  to get it off.  We have a customer who uses corflute with success, how-ever be careful as a pin prock hole could result in all your resin finishing up n the floor.  Prespex is our next trial.  Coated from ply is also interesting.

Mould release is another possibility.  Carnubia Wax is favoured by epoxy moulders, 6 or 8 coats of it followed by one or two coats of PVA (polyvinyl alcohol .  ( TRW Mold Release Regular or Meguiars Gold Class Carnaubia for example ).

What shelf life does LuciClear Casting Resin have?

Nothing in our formulation of LuciClear Casting Resin should degrade or deteriorate with time.  The only problem might be in a cold winter, when the resin (Part A) might crystallize.  This is similar to how honey behaves in cold weather.  It is remedied the same way, by gently heating the resin up.  A temperature of 30°C for a few hours generally does the trick.  You can prevent this by keeping the resin in a warm place.

 Will LuciClear Casting Resin shrink?

Yes.  But if you follow our instructions, not very much.  In our testing, we found it easy to control shrinkage to less than 0.8%, whereas, by being a bit less careful  it was 3% or we have even seen one case where it exceeded 6%.  If you use LuciClear Casting resin, you will find it includes instructions which explain in simple terms how to get very low shrinkage.

 What sort of resin is LuciClear Casting Resin?

It is an epoxy resin.   There are other resin systems commercially available, such as acrylic and polyester which have different advantages and disadvantages.

How hard is it?  Will it scratch?

It is quite hard. It technical terms it is a Shore D 82.  It is quite scratch resistant but, yes, it will scratch with hard metals, sand etc.  If it is going to be used in a hard wearing situation, it might be wise to consider putting an even harder two pack polyurethane over the top of it to enhance its sctratch resitance. 

Is this OK with hot coffee cups?   §

This is not yet completely settled.  Early indications are that caution would be advised (place mats), but our experience suggests that it will be OK.  In any event, we would expect a post cure heating would ensure no coffee cup marks occur.

 Can I use this outdoors?

No.  No epoxy is suitable to be continuously exposed to the full sun.  The ulta-violet light will degrade the epoxies, making it goe yellow and the surface to chalk.  We do have UV absorbers in LuciClear which does reduce this effect somewhat, but it is impossible to prevent it.  ( No matter what the web site or brochure for xyz epoxy says.)

youtube shows 30 litre and more pours at one time. How do they do that?

Frankly, we have no idea.  With 15 years in the business we can't think of a protocol which would make this acceptable, and the videos we have seen, they don't even discuss how they make it work.  We have a suspicion that they are not telling their viewers the whole story.

LuciClear Casting Resin is a bit more expensive than ....  Why?

The first thing to understand is that there is no such thing as a free lunch.  In order to make it behave as well as it does, we have had to buy ingredients which are more expensive than the common stuff which goes into the common epoxies.  We have even seen some so called "surplus" deals selling so called casting resins at very low prices.  We know what the ingredients cost, and we know that those "el cheapos" just can't be using the proper ingredients because they don't get enough money to pay for the good ingredients.

Do I need to use a vacuum chamber to make bubble free castings?

No. LuciClear Casting Resin is formulated so that provided you follow our instructions, the bubbles will rise through it and release (pop) at the surface all of their own accord.

Do I need to use a pressure pot to make bubble free castings?

No. LuciClear Casting Resin is formulated so that provided you follow our instructions, the bubbles will rise through it and release (pop) at the surface all of their own accord.  In addition, we are not quite sure how a pressure pot would do anything to make castings work better.  Some people say you can use a pressure pot to stop the bubbles coming out of the timber.  We think it is easier to seal the timber first as described above.

Can I ask you to make a river table, bread board etc for me?

No.  We manufacture the resin and hardener and sell them to people who do make these things.  If you give us a call, we would be happy to put you in touch with a local maker who is using LuciClear casting resin.

Is your system suitable for use when it is really hot in summer?

We have done large deep pours in 30°C ambient temperatures.  Above that temperature, we think large pours might be problematic.  Since there are almost no fumes coming off the system, we suggest doing in an airconditioned space when the outside temperatures are really high.

Is LuciClear Casting Resin OK for use in winter when it is cold?  §

We have had great results when the ambient temperature when the pour was done was 15°C and the overnight temperature fell to single digits, using our pouring protocol.  We are doing further work on this, however in the colder parts of Australia in winter, we suggest you do the pour in a room where it doesn't get really cold.

Can I turn LuciClear Casting Resin in a lathe?   §

Some customers tell us that it turns well, others are not so sure.  Trials are continuing.  Sharpness and shape of the cutting edges seem to be important as does turning speed.  One thing to keep in mind is that epoxy softens at moderate temperatres ( 50°C up depending on when it was cast and what has happened to it since ) so heat build up at the cutting edge matters.  Update.  I have just been shown a beautifully turned example using LuciClear Casting Resin.  I haven't yet been given the full details, but I understand that sharp, high quality steel tools are part of the method. 

I have had a big spill of mixed LuciClear Casting Resin which has gone hard.  How do I clean it up?

It depends a bit on what surface it has gone onto.  The cured material can be softened with heat ( 80°C, hot air gun on low heat, hair dryer on hig heat etc. ) and it can be sanded and mechanically removed.  We had a spill onto one of our nice laminex benches which we removed with a hot air gun.

How do I get this stuff off my hands ( skin  etc.)?

The best way seems to be a cirtus based hand cleaner.  These incorporate some citric acid ( which causes the uncured molecules to fall apart ) a soap and usually some gritty stuff like in solvol.  Vinegar is also very useful to get the sticky mess off your hands.  One thing which is an absolute no no is any sort of solvent.  Solvents thin the material out so it is easy to spread over more of your skin and they help it to penetrate your skin.

I have spilt unmixed resin or hardener on the floor.  How do I clean it up?

Wear gloves.  Get a large plastic garbage bag. Lots of newspaper (etc) and wipe the stuff up and put it directly into the garbage bag.  Sawdust is useful to absorb the liquid.  Use a shovel to pick up the sawdust and put it into the garbage bag.  After everything that can be wiped up has been, a small amount of acetone on a cloth will help to de sticky the floor.  (Be aware, acetone will go through most thin gloves really quickly.  We suggest the heaviest rubber gloves you can find for this last bit.)   If the spill is hardener, then water will also help with the final clean up.  Dispose of moderate quantites in the land fill bin.  For really large quantities, call us.

We suggest that before starting to work with these materials that you make sure suitable clean up materials are handy.  Gloves, Newspaper, Sawdust, Plastic Garbage Bag.

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and made in Australia.