In this How To we provide a step by step guide to casting a stunning resin and burr sphere using a Lizard Blanks mould and EcoPoxy resin.
What you'll need
Tools & equipment
- Lizard Blanks Sphere Mould
- Mixing Containers
- Mixing Paddle
- Crown Mini Carbide Pro Roughing Tip (Unhandled)
- Axminster Woodturning Micro Handle
- Sandpaper - Hermes RB406
- Hermes Wet & Dry Silicon Carbide Abrasive Sheets
- Micro-Mesh Soft Touch Abrasive Pads
- Polishing Mop Grade G - 150mm x 2 Section
- Axminster Buff Polishing Compound
- Axminster Spring Calipers External - 150mm
- Axminster Spring Dividers - 150mm
Let your creative juices flow and cast your own unique blanks using our range of Lizard Blanks and EcoPoxy resin.
Why cast your own blanks?
Casting your own blanks gives you complete freedom to create your own unique blanks. You have full control over colour, effects and can even encapsulate other objects in the resin.
The mould is key
But casting your own resin blanks can be a nightmare! Many crafters will have a tale to tell about disastrous leaking moulds as it is difficult to make your own timber moulds that will be 100% leak free.
The solution – moulds from Lizard Blanks. These moulds are perfect for casting your own resin blanks. They are made from ultra-high molecular weight plastic, which is extremely tough, making them a long-lasting investment.
They are highly wear resistant, and the dovetail joint between the sides and the base, and recessed ends, guarantees leak free results.
Threaded studs and wing nuts hold the ends securely in place and makes de-moulding simple, although we would always recommend a mould release spray for even easier removal.
What to do
Mix a small amount of resin for sealing and securing the timber blank. Meanwhile, coat the inside of the mould with mould release spray.
Pour a little resin into the mould before lowering your timber blank in and press down firmly. Now pour 2/3 of the resin into the mould, fully covering the timber.
Using a brush, coat the timber in the resin.
Add one drop of white pigment to the remaining 1/3 of resin and mix thoroughly.
Pour the white resin into the mould to fill any gaps. Coat the timber leaving some of the burr protruding through the resin. Leave to set overnight.
Pouring the GloPoxy coloured resin:
Add both resin and hardener to your mixing vessel and stir thoroughly.
Pour a small amount of resin into a separate container and set aside. Add one drop of blue GloPoxy pigment to the main pour and stir thoroughly.
Add one drop of red pigment to the smaller, separate pour and mix thoroughly.
Pour the blue GloPoxy mix into your mould just short of the top and then add the red resin. Gently swirl in the red resin and leave to set for three days.
Preparing for turning:
Once set, remove your blank from the mould by unscrewing the wingnuts and gently tap to release.
Lightly sand the top and bottom centre of your blank with 240 grit abrasive. Glue a piece of 12mm plywood to the abraded ends of your blank and leave to dry.
Once dry, centre your blank and hold between centres on the lathe.
Turning your blank:
Start by roughing your blank to a cylinder using a roughing gouge or carbide tips tools which work really well on these types of resin.
Once the blank has been turned to a cylinder, measure its diameter. Using a set of dividers, measure and mark the width to match the diameter.
Turn away the excess material outside of your measured lines, first using a parting tool and then bowl gouge or carbide tipped tool.
Next, measure and mark the centre point of your blank. Start turning your globe to shape, taking away the corners. You can make yourself a card template to help or go by eye, whichever you’re more comfortable with.
When you’re happy with the shape of your globe between centres, remove it and re-centre. To do this you will need to turn yourself a dished drive which can be held in your chuck.
To do this, rough down a piece of scrap wood to a cylinder. Prepare it to be held in the chuck by squaring one end with your parting tool. Hold in your chuck, then taper and dish at the exposed end. Then sand and soften the edges.
On the tailstock, a similar centre needs to be used. These are available as a centre or turn your own sleeve to go over one of your existing centres.
When secure, turn the lathe on and turn off the hold points, the globe will give you a ghosting image of a perfect sphere as its width is the same as its depth, all you need to do is remove the ghosting.
Keep rotating the globe and truing up until it is completely round.
Repeat this process while sanding through the grades.
After dry sanding up to 600 grit, start working your way through the grades of Micro-Mesh and then finally with burnishing cream to achieve a glass like finish.
If using a burred timber you will need to clean out the buffs after the sanding process, this is easily done with a short bristled brush.
Your globe can be polished even further with polishing mops.
Making the base:
To make a base to stand your globe on, start between centres with a piece of timber or ply measuring 60mm x 60mm x 12mm. Round over the edge and sand.
Carefully hold the turned outer surface in your chuck and start to turn the inside shape to match the outer curve.
You will need to turn one half before turning the piece over and turning the other side separately
There you have your finished globe.
Show us your creations!
We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning how to create this beautiful, unique resin and burr sphere. If you’ve made your own sphere or have tried any of the other Lizard Blanks available, we would love to see them!
Comment below or send us a photograph. Alternatively, get in touch via our social media platforms. Find us on Facebook, send us a tweet or connect with us on Instagram. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ecopoxy to @AxminsterTools.