pourable THICK clear stuff

Sorry to be so technical in the title :-)
What I would like to do is get a result like those clear paperweights in a do it yourself style. I have almost finished my bar top. I have left a knot hole, (about 1 inch across) in the top with the intention of pouring this alleged clear substance (epoxy ? resin ?) to a thickness of about 3 inches (the hole goes below the level of the bartop). I will embed something translucent such as perhaps a gemstone or ? and light it from below.
I looked at that pourable bar top finish but it says only pour it to a thickness of 1/4 inch at a time, and I'm afraid repeating that process 12 times to get a thickness of 3# is not going to be the clear result I'm hoping for.
Suggestions appreciated.
Paul Denver
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Paul, I believe even if you used resin you would need to do it in 1/4 inch "steps". Both epoxy and resin gets hot during the curing process and you might actually cause a fire by pouring too thick. Gene

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Gene T wrote:

Thanks Gene ... after snooping around it seems the stuff I'm looking for is called " clear casting resin" and is some sort of poly product.
The arts and crafts people use it. Luckily I live in a big city and have found the stuff locally and will do a test pour tonight.
Thanks Gene for taking the time to reply.
Paul

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Some epoxies are available with slow-cure hardeners. These can be used for thicker layers to keep the heat down. However, I don't know if they are available for the hardnesses you'd want for a table/bar top and the slow cure (24h or more) might lead to other problems (dust, vibration-induced surface roughness???).
The stuff that the craftfolk use is made to be poured thick.
Mike
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WEST epoxy??? Only problem is usually one of trapped bubbles and trying to pour on a 3in thick layer is going to be a royal PITA to get a bubble free pour
Also, if the top is large, 3in thick is going to take a LOT of epoxy
John

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I believe that this is what you're looking for:
http://shop.woodcraft.com/Woodcraft/product_family.asp?family%5FidA40&gift lse&0pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D10000%26Tree%3D%2CDepartments&1pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D1042%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree%3D0%2CFinishing&2pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D5001%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree%3D1%2CEpoxy%20Finishes&Giftlse&mscssid70D4F78DEB41BFA9918E7641C88591

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Try Clear Cast from Micheals - easy to use, few bubbles.
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You didn't live through the '70s, did you ? 8-)
It's clear casting polyester (not epoxy) resin. It's basically the same stuff as used for fibreglass work, except that it's water-clear and it's low-heat so that you can pour and cure a single thick layer.
Talk to a fibreglass supplier. It's not cheap, but buying small quantities from a "craft" shop gets insanely expensive.
Practice using it first. Pouring technique is important, as it's easy to get air bubbles. Porous materials, like paper, often need sealing first, to avoid them turning translucent. It's usual to pour in several steps, with a couple of hours between each. The first coat is sometimes coloured, the last coat is sometimes a different formulation to give a better finish, although it's usually just polished after curing.
-- Smert' spamionam
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Andy Dingley wrote:

That stuff they used all over the place in the '70s is supposed to out-gas formaldehyde or some other nasty, carcinogenic chemical for years, I seem to recall.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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Paul wrote:

Thanks for all the responses. Some misunderstood that I was going to cover the entire bar top with this stuff.
The product I am using is clear casting resin. It is specially formulated for large castings and this specialty item is called Mass Casting Resin. I poured a test of about 1 1/2" diameter by 3" tall. There were a lot of bubbles in the test casting pour but all worked their way out before it became hardened. Hardening took less than 24 hours.
The only downside is that the stuff shrinks during hardening, so the top of my small cylinder of resin has waves. This will be addressed by adding a topping of varnish if the resin will accept it during the test, or a second application of the resin if varnish doesn't hold.
Thanks again for all your responses.
Paul
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Someone told me to use a hair dryer to get out the bubbles.
Bill

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Paul wrote...

Another option to consider, if you want a smooth finished surface, is to use enough excess to allow for the shrinkage, and then shape and polish the surface using sandpaper to achieve the look you want. You should be able to achieve a glassy finish if you use a fine enough abrasive.
Jim
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