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Tips for Cleaning Resin Figures

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by PJ Deluhery, May 2, 2008.

  1. PJ Deluhery Active Member

    It seems that every time I clean a resin figure I make a mess of it. By cleaning, I mean removing the casting blocks and and other large resin chunks that always seem to be in the most inopportune of places. The larger blocks are too large to cut off with a blade, but using a Dremmel requires a mask and leaves so much dust that I'm forced to do it outside. And one slip can ruin the figure.

    I hope you guys that do this all the time have figured out a better way. Any tips on how you do it?
  2. Mongo Mel Active Member

    Hey Pat,
    I use the Dremel with the sanding drum for the bulk of my clean up. What I do to help keep the dust down is to work the piece directly ovet the hose end of my little shop vac. If I don't go too fast (me, not the Dremel speed)
    and watch the drum rotation so that the dust is directed towards the hose, it sucks up 99% of the dust.
    Hope this helps,
    PS: Good to see you and to talk with you again last weekend :)
  3. marc New Member

    I have never made a commercial resin kit myself but are familiar with the issues.
    Depending on how big and where feeds are located, removing them and tidying up the area can sometimes almost be viewed as an additional part of the sculpting process with some castings.

    Depending the resin the rough removal of thin sections can be done with a sharp knife and or saw blades.[small band saws are useful sometime too]
    Also it is possible in some situations to score DEEP lines in the resin and snap feeds of.
    Personally I think anyone who does this sort of thing should invest in a good power tool and make some dust!

    Once you have roughly cut back the feeds as close as you dare you will need
    to effectively remodel the area the feed goes into.
    Hand tools such as riffler files [curly needle files] , scrapers and fine abrasive paper are what i would recommend here.

    Best practise though is for the manufacturer/sculptor to try design things to ensure feeds are sensibly placed to start with!
  4. quang Active Member

    Hello Pat,

    Here's what I do for cleaning resin castings (and I've done A LOT of it ;)).

    First cut out the greater part of the excess with a XURON track cutter (model 2175B). It's a quality tool which provides precise cutting with little effort and is very durable.


    Then trim off the remaining excess with a X-Acto knife fitted with a #22 blade.


    For removing really big chunks, I use a jeweller's saw first, followed by the Xuron and X-Acto.


    It's the easiest and quickest way to do it properly.

    I NEVER use Dremel.


  5. marc New Member

    I guess there are lots of ways but , just need a bit of skill to get the best results.
    I have not used dremel for years, did not much like them back in the day, I am sure they are better now.
    Got to have a decent foot controller for speed and nice narrow handpiece for delicate work.
  6. RFL Active Member

    Sorry to have missed speaking with you at MFCA Pat, your painted Flats were very fine !

    Quangs system work best IMHO, make the rough cuts/trim with a Jewellers Saw fitted with a fine micro blade, or an X-Acto blade. For final triming, I use 3M 240, moving toward 600 Wet & Dry paper on a dead flat surface like glass or formica counter top, loaded with water to keep dust down. For small areas I epoxy glue the W & D paper to small wood sticks and use like a file, again with water.

    It even works indoors, just keep it very wet, and still use a mask. Resin dust is bad news.

    I avoid Dremel as well since I find it too hard to control, and if your right handed it`s rotation licks the dust and parts back into you. Great design that !

  7. IIICorps Active Member

    I use an X-acto razor saw to cut away the largest of the sprues and blocks. Sawdust only and nothing airborne. I clean up with any and all of the following: Dreml, hobby knife, wet/dry sand paper used wet and flat (taped to a pane of glass), regular sand paper, emory boards, and nippers. I also have an electric palm sander which I use to true up large flat surfaces (horse halves, tops of heads and bottoms of necks, etc.)

  8. Einion Well-Known Member

    For smallish pour blocks I'll usually pare them down with a good sharp X-Acto blade (mostly #10), then finish up with scraping and sanding, usually wet.

    For medium-sized ones I'll use a motor tool and maybe take the bulk off with a slitting disc and then sand most of the remainder off with a drum, holding the piece directly over a bin to catch the bulk of the dust. Then switch to knife and abrasive paper and film for the final smoothing.

    For anything really massive (which I would tend to avoid like the plague now if I can) I'll cut the bulk of it off with a fine hacksaw, then remove the remainder with the above techniques.

    Yeah, these can sure be placed badly! If you ever have to face one of these that is over the finished surface of the model, and especially if the surface has smooth curves - like maybe over the soft folds on a cloak - I'd recommend getting some silicon-rubber polishing heads for your Dremmel.

    These are intended for polishing metals like bronze but on softer materials like putty and resin they allow you to remove material fairly quickly but leave quite a smooth surface (the finest ones, which I think are usually white, leave the finish good enough that just a quick buff with a scrap of denim will provide a decent shine).

  9. Mark S Guest

    Pat,to remove the largest parts I use bonsai tools-that is branch-cutters,pruning shears and scissors.Bonsai tools are extremely sharp and designed for fine detailed work.The branch-cutters allow you to get very close in with precise cuts without crushing or distorting surrounding detail.They work for me anyway.
  10. PJ Deluhery Active Member

    Wow! Lots of good ideas here. The dust is my big annoyance - along with wiping out detail with my Dremmel. I'm saving this tread for future reference.

    If others have ideas, let's hear them.

    Thanks to all.
  11. EasyOff Member

    Three words: Grenades and Putty :)

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