Anything From Blanks to Bowls
Best Resins in the Wood Turning Industry
Combine wood with Alumilite resins to produce a glossy custom blank ready for unlimited turning projects.
- Customize – Alumilite resins are easily dyed or pigmented.
- Vacuum or pressure casting is recommended for bubble-free results.
- From bowls and plates to pens and bottle stoppers, the possibilities are endless.
See the Possibilities
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Turn Wood & Resin
Achieve wood moisture content of 0%Alumilite Resin is sensitive to moisture, wood must be completely dried and as a best practice stabilized.
How to Dry Wood
Time. Drying too fast will cause wood to crack. Green wood must be air dried before using a kiln or oven, a rapid change in moisture content causes cracking and unusable wood.
Speed. To speed up the drying process, rough cut your blank slightly oversize and place it on a drying rack to allow airflow on all sides.
Seal. End grain cracks during the drying process as moisture escapes more readily. You must seal the end grain of green wood immediately after sawing. It’s important to seal the end grain in air or kiln drying. Do not seal the end grain for oven drying, rather cut wood much longer than your final blank needs to be.
Species. Each tree species vary in density, oil, structure affecting each factor described above. When using a wood new to you, research for best practices.
Cactus Juice (TurnTex)Stabilizing is required to achieve the best possible results.
Cactus Juice Stabilizer Process (TurnTex help page)
- Dry the wood using a to a moisture reading of 5% or less.
- Weigh wood down in a vacuum chamber.
- Apply full vacuum to chamber and keep your vacuum pump running until bubbles stop.
- Release vacuum and soak blanks for at least twice as long as you had them under vacuum.
- Remove blanks, then wrap in aluminum foil.
- Cure at 190-200° F (87-93° C) until Cactus Juice has solidified.
- Remove foil, allow to cool to room temperature.
Casting with Clear Resin
Add wood, Alumilite Clear and Pigments to mold boxLet cure in pressure pot of 40-60 psi.
Pressure Tip: moisture in the air compressor is an issue when curing resin and can result in a white hazy coating on top of the blank. To eliminate this, drain compressor tank often and install an inline desiccate filter.
Deflector Tip: for pressure pot lids with direct air lids, a deflector can be placed on the mold box.
Alumilite Resin ribbons when turnedThere are no special tools required for turning Alumilite blanks.
On your lathe at a low speed, start with 320 grit sandpaper progressively moving up to 20000 grit working from side to side. Then use polishing compound and cloth to polish.
Finish with our surface coating resins (Amazing Clear Cast, Alumilite Water Clear or Alumi-UV), lacquer, wax, boiled lineseed oil, etc
What moisture content should my wood achieve?
0% moisture content or as low as you can get.
When all of the moisture is removed and the wood is stabilized, the resulting piece has no chance for expansion or warping which can ruin knife handles, pens, and other turned treasures where tolerances need to be tight.
NOTE: Stabilize your dried wood immediately to prevent re-entrance of moisture.
What is stabilizing and is it required?
The basic principle of wood stabilizing is to take a piece of soft or plunky wood and inject it with acrylic resin to create a stable, hardened wood blank that is safe to turn. The resin fills air pockets where moisture resides throughout the grain structure, creating a dense blank that is nearly impervious to moisture changes and can be polished to a high gloss.
Stabilizing is required to achieve the best possible results. If wood is not stabilized, there will not be a definite edge between wood and resin as well as the wood will be vulnerable to moisture changes.
What is the difference between Alumilite Clear and Alumilite Clear Slow?
Open time and cure time are different, while all other properties are the same.
Alumilite Clear can be open and worked with for up to 7 minutes, then is takes about 45-90 minutes to cure fully.
Alumilite Clear Slow can be open and worked with for up to 12 minutes, then is takes about 2-4 hours to cure fully.
Do I need a pressure chamber to cast blanks?
Yes, using a pressure chamber produces the hardest possible blank and eliminates the possiblity for air bubbles in the casted resin.
It's possible to cast without pressure, but you are subject to air trapped in casting resin. Be very catious in mixing resin to reduce air bubbles and carefully pouring to not introduce pockets that air could be trapped in.
How do I finish my turned resin and wood piece?
Our woodturning resins sand, polish and finish just like wood.
On your lathe at a low speed, start with 320 grit sandpaper progressively moving up to 20000 grit working from side to side. Then use polishing compound and cloth to polish. Buy Alumilite Polishing Kit in our store.
Finish with our surface coating resins (Amazing Clear Cast, Alumilite Water Clear or Alumi-UV), lacquer, wax, boiled lineseed oil, etc.
Where can I buy Vacuum Stabilizing Chambers?
- TurnTex sells various size of Cactus Juice Vacuum Stabilizing Chambers.
- WoodCraft is a great resource to find Vacuum Chambers.
- Packard Woodworks - the Woodturner's Source
Pressure Casting - how long and what temperature?
The length of time depends on the casting resin's cure time and temperature. The manufacturer lists the cure time based on 72 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature lower will take longer to cure, conversely a higher temperature will cure faster.
For best results, curing should be done near 72 degrees Fahrenheit. We don't recommend anything lower than 60 or above 80.
Watch our video on How Long Do You Need To Keep Resin Castings in the Pressure Pot - Resin Casting Quick Tips
Can Clear and Clear Slow be mixed together in the same pour?
As long as equal parts are used of each system it should work fine.
Cast lamp 12" high and 6" diameter with Clear Slow in a PVC pipe. Used 108oz as needed. Put in pressure pot for 24hrs. Had to put on lathe to cut off PVC mold. Had a small void in resin, but the resin cracked and split to unusable. What happened?
The void was caused by shrinkage. The larger the mass, the quicker the cure, the more heat, the more shrinkage. The heat also caused the crack as well. The maximum you can cast is about 2500 grams (about 5.5 lbs). Beyond that it gets tricky with the heat that is produced.
Recommended resin and technique for coating an ash flower pot?
Likely Amazing Clear Cast, User will have to rotate pot on a rotisserie for 4-6 hours (@70-75F) or until resin thickens enough to stay in place and not sag to the lowest point.