Casting Hybrid Blanks in Resin

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Blog entry by monkeyman83 posted 02-28-2017 12:27 PM 694 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I know some of you out there clicked on this blog entry hoping to read how I cast hybrid blanks. I am sorry to disappoint you. This post is looking for information more than giving information. I have recently been asked to make one of the very common colored pencil bowls and I have been thinking about the idea of starting to cast my own hybrid blanks due to the large amount of unusable cutoffs I am accumulating from my segmenting projects.
I have been convinced that using Alumulite is the way to go for casting these blanks. Some may have other opinions and I am more than happy to consider them but its seems that the vast majority use Alumulite. Additionally, it can take on colors from a variety of sources which is a big plus.
Pressure Pot
This is where I am hoping the discussion comes in. I don’t have a pressure pot. I need to buy a pressure pot. There is a Harbor Freight near me that sells them and I have the 20% off coupon that I can use. However, there were very few reviews on them. Amazon has one or two options for pressure pots that are about the equivalent price as well. The next step up in price on Amazon is over double the cheaper price. Keep I mind that I am not planning on casting blanks in mass to sell. The blanks that I will be casting are going to be for me.
Final thoughts
I love woodworking. I can’t get enough of it. If I could find a way to maintain my family’s lifestyle and do woodworking full time, I would. Until I retire from the military, I will continue to learn and expand my skill set. I am sure that this new venture into wood working is going to deepen my passion. I look forward to reading any advice I receive from the community. Thanks everyone.

-- It may not be pretty...but it's functional.

2 comments so far

View Jesden's profile


20 posts in 1072 days

#1 posted 02-28-2017 02:42 PM

I bought a saw from a guy recently who had the harbor freight pot. He used it to cast resin wood like you may do. He sold them by the gross load and he told me it worked as good as any of the name brand. He was more apt to sailing me a delta unisaw for $250 than letting me have the pressure pot for $50.

-- What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

View magaoitin's profile


249 posts in 1553 days

#2 posted 03-02-2017 11:44 PM

Well I am in the same stages of casting blanks..the just getting started phase…I purchased one of the HF pots for $80 and am using the youtube video from Zac Higgins for modifications specifically for acrylic blank casting. He has a half dozen videos on casting blanks and how he has setup the HF equipment, that are great in my opinion.

For what we are doing, the HF pot seems to be a good deal without going overbaord on a $300 paint pot (complete waste of money for a beginner as far as I my pocketbook is concerned). The seals are good (on the one I bought) and by changing some of the valves and hardware for another $5-10 makes all the difference in the world.

You need:
-1/4” elbow
-1/4” ball valve
-1/4” male air hose connector
-1/4” cap
-Reducer 3/8” to 1/4”

If you dont mind a used pot, covered in paint, the trick is to find one at a garage sale/auction/pawn shop/Craigslist and then make the fitting changes. After buying a new one, I found a used pot at a Pawn shop for $15. The dial was covered in paint and needs to be replaced, but that is a $5 item for a very inexpensive one. I think it is just about the seals being good and having a readable dial indicator.

As far as material, Alumalite seems to be the go to for acrylic since it is so easy to work with but it comes in at about $1 an ounce. I have picked up a couple of 32 oz cans of Clear Cast from Hobby Lobby and Michaels Crafts in the sale rack for $0.50 an ounce that appear to work just as well.

I have read good things, but haven’t bitten the bullet yet on US Composites. their Silmar 41 Clear Polyester Casting Resin is only $37 a gallon (plus shipping). which seems like a great deal. Once I work through all of the sale resin I have purchased I plan on buying a gallon of Silmar.

I am by no means an expert at this and am just starting, but while Alumalite is the go to for most casters it is very expensive to learn with.

-- Jeff ~ Tacoma Wa.

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