The king of all media (my first hard plastic toy)

“All media” in that I now feel comfortable making molds out of silicone, plaster, and fiberglass, and then casting those results in sliicone, candy or chocolate, wax, soap, and hard plastic, as well in the non-moldy world all sorts of woodworking and metal machining and more. Add Caitlin’s background in welding (we just got a small MIG/TIG welder) and fabrics, and my comfort level with computer design, painting, and more, then we’ve got a very capable household and that’s something I’m quite proud of. I’m just so pleased about it and I feel like we can make anything. Today’s addition to my portfolio is hard plastic. Here’s the first thing I made, and there are lots more photos after the break.

That’s a miniature skull that’s cast in urethane in one of my silicone soap molds. I didn’t completely fill up the two-part mold, so once I’d put in a bunch of liquid plastic and closed the mold, I sat there for a few minutes rotating it to spread the plastic evenly. What that means is that it’s got a nice thick even skin, but is hollow and full of air on the inside so it’s tough but quite light.

A few days ago I ordered ComposiMold, which is a reusable mold making material that I’m looking forward to trying. When I placed that order, almost on a whim, I also got a gallon and a half of polyurethane resin. It’s super cool stuff. You mix it 1:1, and then about three minutes later it changes from clear liquid to an opaque off-white hard plastic. Watching it happen is really neat. Then fifteen minutes later you can pop it out of the mold. It trims easily with a hobby knife, and even better than that, it can be machined. On this piece, and you can see this in the photos below, I’ve cut out the gap under the cheekbone (ie. zygomatic bone). When you grind it, there is zero melting. It just turns into powder. It’s really wonderful to work with and I’m quite excited thinking about all the neat things I can do.

More photos of the plastic skull (and some other stuff too) after the break.

I think I may put this sort of stuff in my eventual online store as well.

The Science Centre was fun but the exhibit we’d hoped to see had already closed so we went and saw an IMAX movie about coral reefs. The kid that Nefarious invited along had never been to an IMAX theatre before so he was a little freaked out for the first half due to the steep angle of the seating as well as the immersion nausea, but once he got over that I think he quite enjoyed it. Other than that I spent quite a while hammering some gridwork (I’m doing a 5/16″ spacing) and then doing the first couple lines of nails as a test on the nail portrait project.

This is going to be a real mountain of work and I’ve already warned my neighbors that they’re welcome to text me to take a break if the hammering drives them nuts. But yeah, a mountain of work, so I sure hope it turns out well because it would be a shame to waste that much time. My shoulder is aching right now on a few levels, so I wonder if it’s already taking it’s toll… I hope not as I’ve only just started and if this is what I’m getting already, I’m gonna just have a throbbing stump by the time this is complete.

Oh yeah — and one other thing? You remember when I slammed my finger in the big heavy muscle-car door of Caitlin’s 1973 Mach I Mustang? What was that, a month ago? Maybe more? It turned a little black up in the lunula, and the crazy thing is that ever since them the blackness has been spreading. Every week it’s more black. There’s no sign of the nail falling off or anything, so I am curiously watching its progress and wondering what’s going to happen next.

Sort of odd, right?

So tired now. I’ve spent forty five minutes staring at this post half asleep I think. It was a long day, and I suppose that’s a good thing. I will do my best to make tomorrow another long day and I urge everyone to do the same, all bullshit about the day of the lord aside. Feel free to bonk me with a meteor for the blasphemy, sky dude.


  1. MONTE wrote:

    I got $5 on it eventually falling off. ;)

    Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 12:28 am | Permalink
  2. Megan wrote:

    It’s “spreading” because dried blood is being pushed out by your body. Your nail will FOR SURE fall off, but it’s going to take a very long time. In my experience with slamming fingers in car doors, it took about a year for it to make a huge amount of progress. Be forewarned that it’s going to be a stinky, dried bloody, catch on everything, mess when you finally get to the end of nail(and I mean the end closest to the lunula. I was forced to wear a band-aid on it for most of the year. Good luck though! I didn’t enjoy watching it fall off, but I have a feeling you will lol. :-)

    Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink
  3. Dan wrote:

    OMG your finger nail looks like jack skellington’s face:

    i want one! :)

    Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink
  4. Shannon wrote:

    That sounds unpleasant Megan. Maybe I’ll just yank it off. I gotta ask Allen how his under the fingernail tattoo turned out when he lost his. Maybe that would be worth the agony.

    Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink
  5. Anselm wrote:

    Eh, I wouldn’t worry too much about the nail. It’ll probably fall off, sure, but don’t yank it. If you yank it, you’ll have a bloody nail bed, and that hurts like all hell. If you let it fall off, the new nail will grow out under it. Just take some clippers and a file and clip the loose bits off, then file down any sticky-out bits so it doesn’t catch too bad. If it bothers you, a nice fabric bandage (don’t do plastic- makes it sweaty and gross) goes a long way to covering it.

    Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink
  6. Chris wrote:

    As a fellow cripple. I was wondering if you have put any thought into making custom canes or at the least maybe custom cane handles for the canes that can have the tops threaded off and on? Nobody makes any cool canes that are even close to being affordable. I have been trying to find somebody to make me a lightsaber cane like Peter Mayhew has (chewbaca in Star Wars).

    Friday, January 28, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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