Epoxy resin jewelry is becoming more popular every day. Various pendants, earrings, bracelets, rings. The beauty of such products is simply fascinating. But in the market, the cost of such jewelry is quite high, so many people learn to create masterpieces on their own. Is it easy to make rings from epoxy resin, let’s try to figure it out.
Types of epoxy resin rings
Jewelry made of epoxy resin surprises with its variety. The general manufacturing technology remains unchanged, but the introduction of some nuances allows you to achieve a truly unique type of decoration.
The epoxy rings are surprisingly smooth and even. What are they like:
- transparent without patterns;
- with chip inclusions;
- with dried flowers;
- half made of wood.
These are only the types of rings that are most common. The ring can also be ordinary jewelry and only a small part is made of epoxy resin.
The main requirement for fillers for products and wooden parts is that they must be completely dry. Even a small amount of moisture will cause the product to become cloudy from the inside. In dried form, any, even organic materials can be used, for example, insects to simulate amber.
What will it take to work
To make rings from epoxy, the master will need a set of certain items and tools. The list can be adjusted, depending on the selected pattern.
First, you should prepare the workplace. This will require a table that needs to be covered with oilcloth or cellophane. Such measures will protect the surface from accidental ingress of resin particles, hardener or other component.
It is necessary to work in a well-ventilated room, high-quality ventilation is one of the most important components of employee safety.
At the workplace, you should prepare:
- epoxy resin and hardener, you can buy a set for needlework;
- mixing container, an ordinary plastic cup is enough for one ring;
- a mold for filling the composition, a cardboard box wrapped with tape, or a special silicone;
- dye to give the desired color to the ring;
- wooden sticks (spatulas) for stirring the composition;
- wood chips, sequins, dried flowers or other filler;
- sandpaper of different grain sizes (P60-P2500);
- drill with a drill bit, with a crown or a ball;
- round file;
- linseed oil or polishing paste.
Some masters use a lighter, grinding machines, vacuum devices in the process of work.
It is also necessary to think about security during the workflow. Having prepared all the components for making the ring, it is advisable to change into work clothes.
In addition to working ammunition, you will need:
- Respirator, there is a lot of harmful dust and fumes from the resin during grinding;
- Safety glasses, will prevent eye damage by shrapnel or shavings;
- Gloves, rubber or latex, to protect against the ingress of aggressive polymer on the skin. The denser, the better.
Having prepared everything necessary for work, you can start making a beautiful ring made of epoxy resin.
Stages of work
Before you start working on making an epoxy ring, you should decide on the type of decoration. It is more convenient for beginners to work with a cast ring, since it is more convenient to grind it. If there is a desire to make a ring, then you should first prepare a wooden base from a cube of wood.
Preparation of epoxy composition
Carefully pour the epoxy resin into the prepared mixing mold and mix thoroughly to remove excess air.
Pour the wood chips, chips, sequins into the container, then mix again until a homogeneous mass is formed. If tinting is planned, add a dye (regular color, epoxicon or other options).
A polymer hardener is poured into the resulting mixture. In most cases, the optimal ratio is 1:10 (1 part hardener, 10 parts epoxy resin). The exact proportions are indicated on the epoxy box. For better mixing, you can pour the composition from one container to another several times. After that, everything is stirred again with a wooden stick.
The proportions of the resin and hardener ratio may be different. It is mandatory to follow the instructions of the epoxy resin manufacturer at this stage. You need to be very careful when measuring the components.
In most cases, weight ratios are written in the instructions. For example, for 100 grams of resin, you need to add 20 grams of hardener. In this case, it is necessary to use conventional electronic kitchen scales to weigh the components. The method of measuring by volume, and even more approximate proportions, is not applicable in any case. The epoxy resin either will not harden completely with a lack of hardener, or will boil from its excess.
Removing air bubbles
Many people prefer completely transparent rings made of epoxy, so you will need to rid the resulting mixture of air bubbles. There are three ways to do this effectively:
- Water bath. The container with the resulting mixture is placed in a water bath (the temperature should not exceed 60°C/140°F) and stirred with a wooden stick until the bubbles completely disappear. This is due to the fact that the epoxy resin is more elastic when heated, which makes it easier to squeeze out excess air.
- Lighter. It is possible to squeeze out air bubbles from the resulting composition using a conventional lighter. A lighter flame close to the mixture heats the top layer of resin, and the air is removed. Hot air from a construction or household hair dryer will also lead to this effect.
- Vacuum. Some masters own a vacuum installation. By placing a container with a polymer mixture in the installation, air is pumped out within 3-5 minutes. The result is a complete absence of bubbles.
The best way, if you want to produce products in sufficiently large quantities, is vacuum chambers, which can be of different sizes.
After ridding the resulting mixture of excess air, it must be poured into the prepared mold. It is worth remembering that if the form is homemade, then its inner surface should be wrapped with tape (food wrap). It is not necessary to lubricate the inner surface with a greasy cream or vaseline, since the epoxy will react with it.
The mold should be placed on a flat surface and carefully filled with epoxy resin. Leave the resulting mass to freeze at least for knocks. The ideal time for solidification is 36 hours.
If the master uses factory molds, then it is necessary to control the filling capacity. The composition should not overflow over the edge.
The epoxy mass has frozen. It’s time to cut a ring. You can do this with the following tools:
- Professional emery. The blanks are ground and the inner hole is cut out.
- A drill with a crown. In the absence of such a nozzle, it is enough to make a hole with a conventional drill and sand it with sandpaper rolled into a tube or a round file.
Boring and grinding operations should be carried out exclusively in a respirator.
Dried epoxy resin is chemically inert, but breathing its fine particles is just as harmful as sand dust.
Grinding of the product
The cut-out blanks should be sanded. To do this, sandpaper of different grain sizes is taken, starting with the largest. If there are many inaccuracies, irregularities that you would like to grind off, you should use sandpaper with a grain size of P80 or even P120.
The grinding quality is controlled by the inner hole. It is considered optimal when the master begins to like inner diameter. Also, the sandpaper corrects the size of the inner hole and the symmetry of the entire product.
The outer diameter of the epoxy resin ring is also sanded with sandpaper. It is recommended to use a water-resistant one, since a soap solution is used during external processing, this allows you to control the quality of grinding.
Polishing of the product
The final stage in the manufacture of a ring made of wood and epoxy resin is polishing. It is performed using polishing paste, linseed oil or car polish. For polishing use:
- fine-grained sandpaper;
- boron machine with a soft nozzle;
- polishing wheel.
The final treatment consists in rubbing the decoration to shine with wax, linseed oil or polish.
The whole process of making an epoxy resin ring takes an average of 3-4 hours. If the solidification time of the mixture is included in the process, it turns out that it takes up to 48 hours for one ring.
Creating jewelry from epoxy at home is quite real and very exciting. This lesson is suitable for almost everyone who believes that they can work with their hands.