July 28, 2013


I have been bulking up for supplies to make more shuttles. I made a few blades but have to make a new mold for the center post. The new shuttles I ordered to use as a template for my posts have arrived. I'm going to make the first prototype with my Oyumaru. With my Michael's having the long awaited 50% off coupon I stocked up by hitting both of the stores in my town on the two days I had to use it. First on the list was to purchase a UV lamp. This way I can make the trials at night and not be limited to daylight hours. I picked up the same brand as the UV resin, so far though, I'm thinking I got a defective unit because it isn't helping to cure anything. The room with the blinds drawn cure it faster than this lamp. I'm going to exchange it tomorrow in case it is a defective unit.

I also picked up all the bottles of UV resin both stores had. Sadly it was only 4 bottles. I wish they carried the larger bottle instead of the smaller 1 ounce size. Now that would be a coupon well spent. While there browsing the aisles I found a gloss varnish that was on clearance. After checking some reviews online, I picked up all three bottles. Combined they cost less than a medium cup of Chai Tea from Starbucks. So even if this doesn't work for my resin shuttles, it appears to be a good sealer for other things. The much needed Mold Putty is now part of my supplies as well. Unfortunately I only got one box. This was not stocked on a regular basis.

While out shopping I kept my eyes out on how to package the finished shuttles to send. After looking over different packaging, I decided on what they labeled as 'Pillow Cases'. They were found in the wedding section which meant overpriced. I was able to find a substitute at another store, and with a little bit of tissue paper in it, I believe it will give enough protection to survive the not so tender hands that manage shipping items.

July 8, 2013

Coming Together

Here is the blade with the post secured on one side. I was planning on making a permanent mold of just this portion. Unfortunately, to keep the blade detail, I would have to do a two part mold. This kind of defeated the purpose of doing one side together. I sanded the other side of the post to make it lay flush against the other side of the blade. This was a bit too long for the tips to touch to I shorten it as well until I got the fit I wanted.

I had to find a way to keep the points connected while the UV resin cured. I don't have any clamps to hold it, so I improvised with a twisty tie than came off  the packaging for my son's toy. I cut that in half and put it around where the hearts and oval connected. This actually worked out better than I expected. I was also able to adjust the tension by giving it another twist and it did not harm the blades in any way.

I was so impatient waiting for it to cure. The sun had already set by the time I had this portion ready. When I woke up I went out to my patio to get the shuttle and test to see if the resin had finished curing. It had! I was a bit apprehensive when I took off those twist ties. If it didn't set right I would have to cut off that post cast another one and redo this step. I only have half a day, a week to work on my projects, outside life takes up too much of my week. So if I had to start over it would be another week before I was able to try to fix this.
 I felt like it was Christmas morning. It worked and my shuttle retained the tension. The finished shuttle!

 I still have to decide whether to drill a thread hole into the center post or to leave it as it. For this one I think I'll leave it as is. I don't use the hole when I load my other post shuttles, so I see no need for it. Even though the center post is a bit more opaque than the rest of the shuttle, it still has those translucent flakes in it. I want my shuttle to match all the way through. There is still a small bit of sanding on one side and I'm thinking of adding some more resin to help stabilize the joining of the hearts to the center oval. The sizing compared to other shuttles in my collection.

July 7, 2013


After some trials and errors, I found a center post that should work. Originally I used regular resin, but it was taking too long to cure. Using the UV resin again, I used a glue stick and cut it to shape for the next Oyumaru mold. Twenty minutes later I had two different posts. I sanded that down and smoothed out the post. Then I added a little bit more UV resin to act as glue I set it back outside to cure. One plus to this crazy summer heat, is that I have plenty of sunshine to help dry that resin.

This current stage is the right form to make another template so I'm going to do that before I add the top of the shuttle. Since I already sanded and shaped both blades to fit snuggly together I'm going to make the second blade as a permanent mold as well. It should be a simple enough thing to connect the two sides together after this.

July 2, 2013

Shuttle take:2

Going back to the thought of sizing I went through what I had on hand to find a way of extending the shuttle. One thing I came across was the plastic tags I had picked up a few weeks ago.After playing with the shapes I settled on this oval one.
 I also found a mostly half full bottle of UV curing resin. I wanted a mold that I could create a test blade in a few hours as opposed to a few days. I went in search of my Oyumaru, and used that along with the UV resin to make another sample blade. Luckily for me, it was over 100 degrees outside, so I had plenty of sunlight to use to cure it.

I threw in some translucent flakes so it wouldn't be so see through and also so I could see how much of that resin I had poured in.

 About two hours later I had this ugly piece. The bottom was pretty solid but the top was still gel like. I think because instead of layering and curing it I just filled the temporary mold up to the rim and let it sit out in the sun. An unexpected benefit was that it was still malleable enough to bend into the curve needed for the shuttle blade.
 Here is the size comparisons to the other two blades I made previously.

After some sanding this beauty came out. It's all sparkly, it reminds me of an opal. The only downside is that I couldn't really make out the patterns on the hearts. It's been camouflaged by the flakes. I doubt it would have shown any better if the resin was kept clear.
The size is coming out better to what I wanted to encase my tatting in.Still not the right size but I'm getting closer.
 I could put some small tatting in the center oval. It is thick enough to add a motif made in size 80 thread. Also, it's not really flat there in the center. It is slightly concave so I could add a motif then add some more resin to dome it off. The underside is of course all smooth and the other side is also except inside the actual heart portions. I wanted to show off the detail so I mix up some regular resin added a small bit of black coloring and using the same Oyumaru mold, cast another blade. It ended up having a smokey cast with small bits still in it. When I checked it, it wasn't done curing. This is a good thing because I needed to bend it enough to shape the other blade. I placed both pieces together making sure the heart tips all touched, then gently pushed on the ends until I had a satisfactory bend to the center. Now the problem was keeping it like that until the resin finished curing. Surprisingly, the Oyumaru mold was the solution. It was just the right thickness to keep the bend I wanted for this piece.
The flash drowns out alot of the other detail so I took one with just the overhead lights on.

I also made a few extra hearts so I could make another mini shuttle in the smokey coloring. After they all finish curing I have to make a center post for this. For now I think I'm going to use industrial glue to put the post in. Later I think I will make a final mold where the post will be in two parts that will slide into one another, like a sleeve. I ordered some shuttles that come apart this way, and when they arrive I'm going to see how they hold up to actual use. It would make sense to have a slide in post to join so I could make the two blades at the same time with the different ends of the post built into the mold. I do believe that I will have to add another layer of stabilizing resin between the hearts and the oval. Since they aren't actually touching I don't want them to break off because of the thin layer of resin between the two motifs.