Making my own grips?
Ok all, slightly intoxicated, but I think I am thinking of this correctly...
I want to replicate my Dye clear grip panels with a twist. I have had them for 10 years, they are yellowing and I would like to make a variant of them.
I was thinking, If I made a mold, for just a simple suggestion to myself using plaster of paris, or whaterver it is... dries like ceramic. do you think i could successfully make a mold of the grips? Using a wax release and a product at a local shop (epoxy resin, I have made an entire bar top out of this, 30"x60'+ using 2 gallon kits and 5 gallon buckets, it had vendor pieces inlayed in 1/4" of resin and is in use today at a local bar... crystal clear, I know how to get it glass clear and mix etc...). I wanted to make a mold out of something durable, say something I could produce 20-30 sets (IF they turned out well and people had interest)
Here is the twist, I want to inlay real carbon fiber in the grip, colored, original... whatever. I was thinking if I fill the mold 3/4 of the way and let it dry, I could cut out a piece of carbon fiber from a template and inlay it just short around the edges, then fill the last 1/4 of the mold and have the CF encased in the resin.
I have never worked with CF before... will it soak up the resin uniformly? will it float in the resin? I had to inlay some pictures and coasters in the bar top i did, i had the luxury of being able to glue them down before hand but I wont with this .
Any suggestions are welcome, Id like suggestions on a material to use for a mold (relatively cheap and avaiable to buy same day) and maybe a method or other material to use other than resin to accomplish a clear finish and have the ability to inlay colors or CF.
Sorry for misspellings, Im a little toasty
Also, Id most likely use a shallow tupperware for the mold, fill with whatever medium to make the mold, press the grips in, release the entire thing and have a nice block mold to work with...
EDIT: I also know the resin will yellow after time, but in working with it before, I know that mixing it "hot" (more hardener than resin) it combats the yellowing quite well
Big Evil on here has done some grip panels in the past and may be able to give you some pointers. IIRC, RobertSr here has done some grip panel work as well. I know he does custom jewels, and for some reason thought he did panels as well. They may or may not give you pointers since they both sell the products they make so not sure if they want competitiion. From my understanding in speaking with Big E, the material he was using to make the molds for the panels cost an arm and a leg.
I have a bunch of experience with molds from both model making and reproducing grips for paintball guns....
1) It's not that easy.
2) Its expensive. The rubber for them molds is almost 3xs the price of the plastic.
3) Any kind of clear plastic or resin needs to be degassed with a vacuum chamber. I have some of the clear material and I plan on making myself a DIY rig when the weather gets warmer and giving it another shot.
4) The best bet for custom carbon fiber looking grips is to just send something to get hydro dipped. There are tons and tons of choices for colors and styles.
5) Plaster is NOT the best material for making a mold from. It will shrink and crack.
I think I covered it... but dont let me deter you
I'm not really deterred at all actually, it kind of makes me want to do it more.
Hydrodip- I don't want the outside covered, I want depth to it, also this doesn't help if I want to make completely clear ones.
I take it the product gets de gassed for bubbles? I know for a fact a hair dryer brings bubbles to the surface of resin and pops even the tiniest bubbles. Still, I will look into it but that's not what I'm worried about right now
I know the plaster wasn't suitable. I just threw it out there because that's all that came to mind at the moment. I wasn't aware of many other products to use for molds... guess ill start looking around!
So I've done some research and pretty much landed at Smoothon.com.... after looking at 30-40 different mold materials I ended up on Reoflex urethane for the mold. Its recommended for resin molding and isn't that expensive, $25 for a trial kit... don't think id need much more than that since the molds only have to be 2"x4"x1/2" or so...
The only think I'm stuck on is there is different numbers (10,20,30 etc) does this refer to the hardness of the urethane? Or how pliable it would be? From what I understand and have googled is this particular line requires no release agent for resins.. which is nice
10,20,30 - look at the demold times. Usually its the only difference.
Originally Posted by Cokrkilr