Monday, November 17, 2008

Plastic surgery

Ever since I brought my multi-piece resins home from the party Saturday, I've been itching to start the reassembly process. However, working on resins does not help ease the tack backlog. I am determined to clear all my 2008 orders before the year's end, so yesterday I did something I rarely do--I worked on tack over the weekend. I was able to finish one order last night another this morning. I dropped them both off at the post office and rewarded myself by using the next three hours to work on Boreas.

The first thing I did was tape him together so I could record a few landmarks on both pieces. This will helped me keep him proper alignment throughout the joining process.Although he is hollowcast, this particular resin has a very solid section on the left side of his barrel. I drilled two corresponding holes into each side of this section and inserted "pins". I used carbon fiber tubing that I bought at a local hobby shop. According to the packaging, carbon fiber is stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum. It cuts easily with my small hacksaw and I find it easy to work with. However, I suspect any strong tubing or wire would work just as well.With the pins in place, Boreas is free standing. I marked a zig zag pattern of holes along the parts of his barrel where the resin walls are thinner. I then used a dremel tool to drill the holes and also to make trenches in the resin surface connecting every other hole.
Using brass wire I sewed the two sides together. I'm not sure of the gauge on the wire as I've had the spool for a long time and the label has worn off, but it's probably either 20 or 22. You want something that you can manipulate easily through the holes, but strong enough to really hold the sides in place. I flattened the wire into the trenches to help reduce bulk in the repair area. At this point Boreas was very solid. There was only the tiniest bit of wiggle in his barrel area, and even then you could only under forceful manipulation. At this point, the hardest parts are done and the fun is just beginning. I used super glue and baking soda to fill the repair area. I applied the glue first, then spooned baking soda over it, wiping off the excess as I went. The resulting "Super Soda" forms a fast and solid bond. I wasn't worrying about being terribly neat, at this point. Mostly, I just wanted to make him completely solid.I worked my way around the horse until there were no holes or gaps.The next step was to clean up the repair area. Although some additional bulk is inevitable, I'm trying very hard to keep it to a minimum. Luckily, Super Soda sands well and the bigger lumps are easily sliced off with a sharp X-acto knife. Once again, I worked my way around the horse until the repair area was nearly flush with the rest of the resin.
The last thing I did was to cover the entire repair area with epoxy. I then used a little bit of water on my fingers to help smooth and smoosh the epoxy until Boreas' barrel was lump free. I took my time with this stage, as I know that a smooth, clean surface today will translate to less sanding tomorrow.Now there's nothing left to do but allow the epoxy to dry and go back to tack making. Maybe if I finish another order, I'll allow myself to finish him up tomorrow!
I am so pleased with my new, one-piece Boreas. I don't have a draft horse in my resin show string and I am really looking forward to getting him all painted up and ready to show.

There is a small part of me, however, that kind of wanted to keep him as bookends...

9 comments:

  1. That last picture is very funny :) You did a great, very thorough fix job!

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  2. lol, thats a different way to put him back together! I cut one in half one time to lengthen a torso and I never did the wire thingy.. but just the epoxy.. yours for sure will never break! is good to see different ways of doing things.. maybe next tim I'll try the zig zag.. really goof idea there! and the wire trick! thanks for the good Post! I kinda liked him as a book holder too!
    Rebecca Turner
    www.solticeartstudio.blogspot.com

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  3. Jennifer, I am SO impressed! I am so lazy when it comes to doing this sort of thing myself. I am pleased that someone like you is up for the task!! And I miss him as MY bookends already.

    Now, let's see that 7-piece Caprice...!

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  4. you have a 7 piece caprice!! Oh I gotta see this one!! now thats going to be a challenge!! lol good luck with it!
    Rebecca Turner

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  5. Gotta ask - why on earth did someone saw the poor fellow in half in the first place? :-)

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  6. The resin model was cut in half so that he could be reborn in another medium (bone china). I don't know all the particulars, but apparently China molds are made in pieces...? Something like that anyway!

    If you want to skip ahead and see what he looks like now, put the word "Dhaulagiri" in the search box.

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  7. Ok, I simply can't believe I missed seeing the copy of a CERTAIN BOOK in that last photo the first time I read this post. I mean, DUH!!!! :) I haven't gotten it out since you came over so I think it's time I paid Davey and Diane a visit...

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  8. I didn't know you when this picture was taken, but in retrospect, I think I took it just for you!

    ;)

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  9. This looks like it's really sturdy, but isn't there a worry of him having a "hay belly" or a weird bulge when you put on the epoxy?

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