Is there any kind of semi flexible resin that could be used for pouring and casting an original pick guard. I been collecting and saving "monkey fur", the brown hairy looking fiber that covers the new fronds of certain Palm trees. I've made a few knife handles of the stuff and it has a pretty cool/crazy look to it. I've also been thinking about casting a nice laminated top for a bass project, I almost have enough to cast the whole body, but I'd worry about the weight. I wonder if a vacuum cleaner has enough suck to get most of the air out.
A shop vac won't pull enough vacuum; you need way more to de-gas resin. Also, note that thinner resins with long set times are easier to de-gas than the thicker/quicker ones.
You can make your own vacuum pump from an AC compressor, but small vacuum pumps made in China are cheap. You can make your own vacuum tank from a large cooking pot or a section of 10" sch40 PVC and two plates of 1/4" aluminum.
This is a really good demo of the process:
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Post by funkykikuchiyo on Jul 1, 2020 8:31:24 GMT -5
I saw a woodworking video recently where a guy was using cut offs from a cutting board project and epoxy to make coasters. He had a similar set up of drawing out the air. It was strong enough to even be pulling air out of the wood, drawing the epoxy into the pores. He did it in a cup, so he was able to peel back the cup, smooth it out on a lathe, cut it on a band saw and finish each piece out. To do a pickguard, you'd need something ready to do a sheet, and then some way to sand it down to size. Especially for a bass, that could get tricky. But, it could also be a really cool set up that could make some money with custom jobs especially combined with a benchtop CNC setup, so I hesitate to be discouraging.
Post by funkykikuchiyo on Jul 1, 2020 9:15:39 GMT -5
Upon further reflection, there is the stuff that is used for pouring table tops and so forth. Those set up slowly enough that air can work out on its own over the course of hours/days, so maybe that is the way to go. I still would expect you'd need to thickness sand at the end, though. Are you just using the furry parts, or the whole bark?
I actually have an old medical vacuum pump, they where tossing them out and I grabbed one, I use parts they were tossing to rebuild it. I didn’t think about it until reading Geno’s post. It doesn’t have amazing flow per minute but it’s fairly powerful. I could cobble together a PVC hand pump too. The material I mentioned is pretty crazy looking once leveled polished, it does have a tendency to capture a lot of air. I have an open end 9” Jet surface sander for leveling.
I bet a vibrating table and slow set resin would also do a fair job.
The vacuum cleaner has great volume which is usually a trade off for Inches of Hg.
Thanks for getting me back on track. “o). Another idea is Spanish Moss, down here back in the Civil War they wove it into horse blankets, has a pretty wild look to it.