June 29, 2013

Shuttle and fishes

With the dawning realization that I will never receive my "Tatted Shuttles" that I ordered from the Shuttle Shop, I decided to try and make my own. I looked online for any tutorial to give a general idea on how to begin. There were none. So, beginning with the basics I already know, I began. Using a mold off a button I made, I based this trial off a picture I saw on Ebay of a shuttle for auction. It was two hearts used to form each side of it. On Ebay, it was made of wood.

 I already have a mold that will make two separate hearts. I created another one with them facing each other to start the blade. The problem with this is that when the resin is poured, I get a flat surface. I pushed the hearts deeper into the putty mold to try and get a concave setting more like the shape of the tatting shuttle. It sort of worked. The problem being that the blades turned out to be thinner than making the hearts separate.


I used Modge Podge to glue the two separate hearts together to form another blade. I set them in the mold I made for the joined to keep the sides touching while the glue dried. If the thinner bladed setting doesn't work, I can always use it to hold the pieces together like I did here while another coat of resin or industrial glue dries and cures.

I left it sitting overnight, and in the morning it had dried clear. As you can see there is a difference in the thickness of the two separate blades. The one that is thicker will most likely hold up better to continuous use. I had to make a center post now to hold the blades together. I'm using sculpting putty to create a shape. I don't want to have it too thick because it will interfere with how much thread could be loaded. But I need it to be thick enough to support and tension the two blades together.
It took a bit of maneuvering to find a middle ground. At first I had the blades more open in the center. This left the shuttle fatter in the center. I had issues with the points touching when it was like this. Because the mold with the two hearts connected was thinner it left the blades at a skew. After guiding the sides to lay parallel I managed to find a position that would keep it all in line with the points still touching.
 Using the handle end of a paintbrush, I shaped the center post to fit. I'm not to worried about putting a hole into the post right now, I can drill that in afterwards. I may not even drill a hole, I never use the hole in my other post shuttles. I just hold the thread to the side and begin to wind. There is a little bit of overlapping skew with the blades. I'm not worried at this point, it's minor enough that a small amount of sanding with make it even without compromising the blades or the design on top.

I'm going to leaving this to sit overnight so that putty can harden. Then I should be able to make a mold for resin with it. I would like to make a 3D mold with this but I don't have enough Easy Mold to make one. Looks like I'm going to have to make another trip to Micheal's to get more. Here we have the semi-finished prototype with the post in but not finalized.

 The spacing between the two hearts is good for holding the shuttle to keep it from flying out of your hand if you tat fast. This is the size comparison to a Clover Shuttle.
It's still relatively small compared to the others. For a trial, I'm happy with how it's turning out so far. I can get and test the mechanics involved with making a shuttle and later using larger templates, make one in a size I prefer. My goal is to have it be between the SewMate and the Starlit shuttle in size.

I also made another fish keychain.
I'm keeping this one for myself.

June 13, 2013

Mold results

Perhaps transparent with glitter wasn't the best choice for the first casting of this button. Even so, the mold works great! It's lightweight, so it's perfect for adding tatting to it without the added weight of the metal button. The cast piece could use a few more hours to finish curing but it's still solid enough to not lose shape. I could probably use it now to make another mold with two of these instead of one. It will cut down production time if I need an even amount of these doodads for a project. Another plus is that the piece came out shiny. I don't have to spend any extra time buffing it. I need to pick up a few more boxes of this Easy Mold to have for any future mold making. I used up 3/4 of the bottles already.

June 11, 2013


Molds...I need them. I made a few with the Oyumaru, but they didn't hold up. It was a good starter but I decided to make permanent mold. At first I picked up (with my 50% off Micheal's coupon) Amazing Putty. Now this was an impulse buy because I wasn't actually planning on getting this. When I got home, I went online to YouTube to see reviews on this.
 I'm glad someone else did a comparison review specifically for use with resin. I'm doubly glad I didn't open the package and start playing with it. I took it back the next day and exchanged it for a box of Easy Mold. This molding product was designed for resin not clay, although you can use it for that too.

I began by making some molds with buttons I bought specifically for that. I love filagree work. The problem for me is finding 'doodads' with the filagree. I found these buttons and wanted a way to get more. I was planning on cutting the shafts off but no that I have a way to make molds, I don't have to destroy the original to get my copy.

I was getting another batch ready to make some of the larger tags. I forgot there's a time limit on how long you have before it sets and wasted it. I did learn that it gets warmer when it sets then cools down naturally when cured. After some more mixing I made four of the tags. One the longer rectangle/key chain mold, it had an air bubble in the mixture. When it set it left it marked. It's possible to fix this little glitch according to the manufacturer's website so I don't feel like it was an wasted effort. I have one more button I want to make a copy of them I have to wait 24 hours to test them. They're ready to use in like an hour but for resin they recommend to wait that long to make sure it will be 100% cured.

I made some test pieces with the Oyamaru molds and I didn't mix the resin correctly. It was still gel-like after the overnight curing. A couple of days later, they are hard on the bottom layer but the top layer is still soft to the touch. I suppose a few more days of curing  might harden them as the bottom layer did. I hope.