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Thread: Pine Cone

  1. #1

    Pine Cone

    We are again visiting Montana and friends are about to complete the build of a beautiful home on the site that was once my sister's. To honour both them and my sister I would like to make a small box from a Pine Cone from at tree on their property. My plan is to place as large a Pine Cone as I can find under their tree in a container and fill it with epoxy and then turn it into a box. My question to you is will this work? Will the epoxy get into all the nooks and crannies or am I wasting my time. I do not have a pressure pot so will have to trust a thin type epoxy. Any suggestions as to the specific type of epoxy would also be appreciated.
    Pete


    * It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for life - Sister Elizabeth Kenny *
    I think this equates nicely to wood turning as well . . . . .

  2. #2
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    We've done smaller things like that by putting them in our ultrasonic cleaner to vibrate out the air bubbles. No idea how that would do on a larger object, and you'd need a pretty large machine.

  3. #3
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    I would use Aluminite casting resin. Mix is as gentle as possible to keep bubbles to a minimum. Then as Carlos stated use and ultrasonic cleaner to vibrate after being poured. Or if no ultrasonic cleaner, mount a vibrator sander upside down in a vise and set the mold and contents on it and hold in place as the resin sets.

    I have done the latter, it came out alright most of the time, it depends on how "gentle" you mix the 2 parts together. For a mold I would find a plastic bottle that is a close fit so that the pine cone will barely fit pushing it in with a little pressure. Use any plastic bottle cup the top off and clean it good, my last one was casting colored pencils in a used plastic peanut butter jar.

  4. #4
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    Cool idea on the sander. And the junkier the better, since they shake more.

  5. #5
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    Try thinning your resin a bit with acetone--it will leave far less voids and the vibration thing really helps.

  6. #6
    Thanks everyone. I will for sure try the sander deal, what a great idea. As far as acetone goes Robert will it effect the hardness of the final set and will the acetone be a pain as far as door goes when hard?
    Thinking I might want to add a little color to the epoxy, can I use trans tint water based dyes?
    Pete


    * It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for life - Sister Elizabeth Kenny *
    I think this equates nicely to wood turning as well . . . . .

  7. #7
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    It will slow it by a few hours--remember that larger amounts of 2 part resins will get warmer and cure faster than smaller amounts, in fact hot and the acetone will slow it a bit which is good.

  8. #8
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    I don't do a lot of casting. I normally use polyester resin, however I tried Alumite for the first time and was very disappointed. I had bubbles and it cracked upon curing. I didn't try any of the suggestions posted. I did make a homemade pressure pot, but limited it to 30 psi and used that. Each resin has it's positive and negative features. With Alumite positive is no odor when curing where polyester the odor should be avoided. Rarely are there bubbles with polyester. You don't need any special equipment with polyester. I have a detached shop, so if i can't cast outside i make it the last thing I do for the day. I probably won't use Alumite unless I invest in a real pressure pot and it is almost double the cost of polyester. IMO polyester is harder and clearer.
    Regardless of resin, your pine cone will want to float so you need a way to secure it in position. Some porous woods will give off bubbles, i usually seal the wood. do a couple of small test to see the reaction of the resin with your pine cone.
    When working I had more money than time. In retirement I have more time than money. Love the time, miss the money.

  9. #9
    Thanks Robert and William, good advise about resins. I will coat the pine cone first in a sealer of some sort. I'm now guessing I better take more than one Pine Cone home if I hope to accomplish this.
    Pete


    * It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for life - Sister Elizabeth Kenny *
    I think this equates nicely to wood turning as well . . . . .

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    My brother has used split pine cones cast in resin for pens, but he has a pressure pot. He’s had good results though, the pens are super cool looking. I’ll ask him about his process.
    Where did I put that?

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Blair View Post
    Thanks Robert and William, good advise about resins. I will coat the pine cone first in a sealer of some sort. I'm now guessing I better take more than one Pine Cone home if I hope to accomplish this.
    I like this idea. Maybe start by drizzling some thin epoxy into the center of the cone while turning it slowly. Maybe even do 2 or 3 coats before doing a final poor over the entire piece.

    You might try fiberglass resin. It's fairly cheap at around $38 per gallon at Home Depot.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-Bondo...0404/205798046
    Steve

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