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Before you purchase resin for your project, you must ask some questions. Whether you are new to resin or have a lot of experience, selecting the right resin for your project is important to having resin casting success. Here are some questions you should ask before you purchase resin for your next project.

Will resin work for my new project

Nothing hurts worse than purchasing a resin you believe will work for your project only to understand after using it that it was not promising. Any knowledgeable manufacturer or retailer should be able to notify you whether or not this particular resin will work for what you want to create.

Tip for you

You should never hear that this resin will work for every condition. There are several varieties of resin that are designed for different arts.

2. What are the pot time, cure time, minimum, and maximum mixing quantities for this resin?

This information is important to know your time and volume limitations when trying it. These numbers will let you know:

  • How long you have to act with the resin, once you start mixing before it begins to cure.
  • How shortly you can demold castings or have to wait for the surface to become solid.
  • If you can mix a large (or small) quantity without it affecting curing.
  • You want to be clear about the resin that will fit your project.   Having these numbers will also create it easier to differ one resin from another.

3. What is the shelf life of this resin?

Epoxies commonly have a shelf life of twelve months. Polyesters have 6 months of shelf life. Polyurethanes are even shorter than polyesters. The rule to purchasing enough resin to use totally in half of the expected shelf life. Remember, you must ask this question before purchasing resin.

Pro tip:  If you realize that your resin is yellowing, it might be usable. But, don’t use it after it turns yellow.

4. Is there something I should not do with this resin?

Moving back to the resin doesn’t fit for all. you might find out that a specific resin is wonderful for doming but too thick to use successfully in molds. You might also learn like in the case of polyurethane resins, you are limited in your coloring choices. Once again, a knowledgeable dealer or manufacturer should be able to provide you these factors to help you before you make a purchase.

5. Is this resin applicable to my skill level?

This question mostly relates to those new to the resin. It is never recommended learners start with polyurethane or polyester resins since they are more difficult to measure and mix. It can also be a little tricky to get them to cast before the pot time ends. Yes, some resins are not difficult to use but some are somehow difficult.

6. Do you have a small amount I can purchase first?

You might love resin but ask about the quantity from retailers. Only buy a little bit to start. If it works for what you expect to do, then invest in purchasing a larger amount to get a better price.

7. Does this resin conform to ASTM D-4236?

Resins intended and sold for art purposes, by U.S. federal law, must conform to ASTM D-4236. This notation will be included on the product packaging or in the point-of-sale description. This certification means the resin has been reviewed by a toxicologist and deemed appropriate for art use (home, school, or anywhere in between). If you don’t see the notation, ask.

If a manufacturer/retailer says they don’t have the certification and they are trying to sell it to you for art and crafting purposes, not only are they violating the law, but they cannot tell you if their product is safe to use.

8. Can you give me a safety data sheet (SDS) for this resin?

As a part of the ASTM certificate, an SDS should also be proposed which provides you additional information about the resin such as the quality, safety precautions, and how to properly dispose of it amongst other items.

Tip for you

  Any manufacturer that won’t provide you this information either has something to hide or has not done their due diligence in getting this essential knowledge together.  You should never purchase resin where I couldn’t read and understand the SDS first.

9. What would you like to know about this resin?

Manufacturers and aware retailers know their products best and like you to be profitable. Each resin has its own factors and nuances that experienced users can share with you to ensure they have successful resin casting information.

10. How do you try resin?

This is where you can really learn about a resin and if it fits into what you want to do. The manufacturer or retailer should have extensive experience with it and be able to give you their tips and tricks on how to make it shine.  If they can’t tell you much, it means they probably don’t have the experience necessary to give you the technical support you need to make sure you have the best outcome possible.

Conclusion

Purchase resin and ask these questions. This will really help you. Resin is fun but some characteristics will ruin your work. However, all the questions discussed above will really help you while selecting your product.

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