How to Work With SOLAREZ Safe Resin
Solarez: Use it for casting, sealing, laminating . . .It does anything the smelly resins do . . . safely!
My friend Pat creates pressed flower arrangements with dried flowers and leaves. Most of her work is arranged on paper, then matted and framed behind glass. She also makes pins and bookmarks of leaves and flowers. Last year she broke out in a rash on her face, hands and neck from working with resins.
Soon afterwards she found SOLAREZ, which is a sunlight-cured resin that doesn’t gas off in the same way and she had no allergic reaction when she worked with it. She put her work in the sun and it hardened quickly; she also could have used a sun lamp. It worked well for some things, but she complained that it was “too thick” for her fine work.
Well, Solarez comes in several viscosities. There’s a more liquid formula that is just right for working with fragile leaves and flowers, it’s the Solarez Laminating Resin. In fact, if the Solarez epoxy resin formula you have on hand is too viscous, (thick), pour a small amount into a paper cup (not styrofoam), and microwave it 5– 10 seconds, depending on the quantity. It will pour like water.
I talked to Gary Fisher, of Wahoo, International, manufacturer of Solarez. He suggested a glass sandwich for this kind of process. He says Solarez is safe to use, but he doesn’t like to say it’s ‘non-toxic.’ After all, you can’t eat the stuff!
You’ll need an old towel to pad your workbench or table and two pieces of thick plate glass, (1/4’ or even 3/8” but not single-strength window glass). Use a good auto wax, like Turtle Wax, or any carnauba-based wax, a wide flat-blade screw-driver, and duct-tape for the edges of the plate glass.
Wax the inside of the glass sandwich, both pieces.
Then polish the glass with a soft cloth to remove the extra wax and to get a good slick surface.
Duct-tape at least one edge of each piece of glass to protect it later when you wedge them apart with a flat-blade screw-driver. (I would prefer to tape all four edges of each piece to protect my hands.)
Use the cloth or old towel to pad the workbench, and put a piece of glass on it, waxed side up.
Pour a small amount of Solarez resin large enough to be a bed for your work onto the waxed surface of one piece of glass.
Use a toothpick to remove any air bubbles.
Lay your flowers, leaves or other project on the resin.
Pour a bit more resin on top, and remove air bubbles again with the toothpick. You'll have plenty of time to work, SOLAREZ will not harden until sunlight hits it.
Now lay the top of the glass sandwich, wax-side down, on your work and press down.
Set the glass sandwich in the sun, or under a sun lamp, which will set the resin in just two or three minutes. (If you use a sun lamp, wear shields/sunglasses on your eyes!)
When it has set, use a screwdriver to wedge between the taped edges of glass, gently, carefully prying them apart.
Now you have a perfectly slick surface on both sides of your project, and you can trim off the excess.
Gary says you can also use heavy-weight clear mylar (about 10 mil) instead of glass. If it’s not thick enough, mylar will curl. Glass gives your product the smoothest finish.
Use Solarez for any clear casting job or gloss coat. It seals wood, mends fiberglass, metal, etc. –in fact, it does anything the smelly resins do, more safely and cleanly.
It also mends and restructures siding; wood, fiberglass, wooden window frames, gutters, ducts, flashings, - so don’t keep it in your workshop, - make it work all over the house, - literally!
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