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Dual Component Key Casting

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MrAnybody

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Post Sat May 31, 2014 11:58 am

Dual Component Key Casting

I'm interested in messing with low temperature metals to cast keys. It's just something I fancy having a mess with, and I'd really like to source the appropriate resins for casting instead of buying kits such as the High-Tech Key Casting System or the Quick-key system.

The more liquid resins in the High-Tech system are more my interest, but I have no idea exactly what they would be. I'm sure I'd be able to source them on hobby sites at a fraction of the price of the kit form, so I'm hoping someone can point me to the same products.

I find a couple of threads knocking around on these kits in google search, but I can't find anything specific on the what and where to source the chems. I'm thinking I need to look at quick hardening silicone, but it looks like I need to be more specific than that.

Once I have a source for the liquids, I'd be free to set my own kit up.

Anyone with experience in this?
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GWiens2001

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Post Sat May 31, 2014 12:33 pm

Re: Dual Component Key Casting

Have not done any of this (yet), but am waiting with baited breath to see what the responses are. Would love to give this a shot myself.

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MrAnybody

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Post Sat May 31, 2014 1:10 pm

Re: Dual Component Key Casting

UPDATE:

For the low melt metal, Wood's metal has been suggested to me as a very good option with a melting point of approximately 70C - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood%27s_metal.

Hopefully, someone will pop up with the silicone side of things :smile:
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MrAnybody

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Post Sat May 31, 2014 1:53 pm

Re: Dual Component Key Casting

UPDATE 2:

Just thought to add this nice vid on the High-Tech Key Casting System I linked to earlier. It would be my preference to get into if I can just source the same types of chems. Using syringes makes everything more manageable, while the other system is using solids and they need to be handled.



Really cool.

I've yet to hear if the results are better with one system rather than the other, but I'm thinking the liquid forms would give better results with active/passive pins along the edge of a dimple key blade.
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rerun12

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Post Sat May 31, 2014 8:32 pm

Re: Dual Component Key Casting

really interested in seeing how this projects pans out for ya Andy. im no engineer, but i have heard woods metal is some really great stuff from people who know more about metalworking than i do. good luck! so tempted to buy that kit...if your plan is successful i might try your method out myself :) thanks for sharing
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Neilau

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Post Sat May 31, 2014 10:34 pm

Re: Dual Component Key Casting

Here's a post I did a way back on low temp casting metal FYI.

http://keypicking.com/viewtopic.php?f=120&t=8151&p=71925&hilit=+metal#p71925
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Post Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:10 am

Re: Dual Component Key Casting

This site has a lot of information about fast setting two part silicones. Getting one of their 'low shrinkage' formulas might be important. http://www.smooth-on.com/Silicone-Rubbe ... index.html

They have two part systems with cure times as low as 6 minutes. These very fast systems are in the 'life casting' section.

Also - the home made low melting point metal described in Nielau's thread uses lead. Please be aware that melting lead is quite toxic & appropriate safety measures are a must!

Hope that helps,

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Post Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:00 am

Re: Dual Component Key Casting

Been breathing solder fumes over half my life.

And I can assure you that there is nothing me wrong with. :???:
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MrAnybody

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Post Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:39 am

Re: Dual Component Key Casting

Neilau wrote:Here's a post I did a way back on low temp casting metal FYI.

http://keypicking.com/viewtopic.php?f=120&t=8151&p=71925&hilit=+metal#p71925


Many thanks for the link to your metal thread, Neilau. At first I was looking at Wood's metal (like rerun mentions), but then I found a none toxic version of pretty much the same thing called Field's metal since there's 26% lead in the Wood's metal. The one you describe looks close to Wood's metal.

Would be interesting to see if there's are more pros and cons to either of these besides toxicity of using it in a non-ventilated area.


mercurial wrote:This site has a lot of information about fast setting two part silicones. Getting one of their 'low shrinkage' formulas might be important. http://www.smooth-on.com/Silicone-Rubbe ... index.html

They have two part systems with cure times as low as 6 minutes. These very fast systems are in the 'life casting' section.

Also - the home made low melting point metal described in Nielau's thread uses lead. Please be aware that melting lead is quite toxic & appropriate safety measures are a must!

Hope that helps,

...Mark


Thanks Mark. I'd had a look over the Smooth-on site you link to a couple of days ago, but I got the impression that even the Life Casting materials were all pastes of one type or another. Maybe I missed something, but I couldn't see low viscosity stuff there. They do have great curing times though. I'd be concerned of losing detail in the cast of a key with high viscosity stuff like that. I think I've got to stick to low viscosity to duplicate the components in the High-Tech Key Casting System that's also in the vid.

Thanks for the reminder on low shrinkage.

And my thanks for the responses and links, guys. Keep it coming if you've got useful stuff on this area of things. My priority remains to be sourcing the same 3 (or similar) components to the High-Tech Key Casting System, but I'm open to anything useful.
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Post Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:17 pm

Re: Dual Component Key Casting

FOUND MY NOTES!!! knew this would come in handy :D

Check out this site:
http://www.rotometals.com/Low-Melting-F ... s-s/21.htm

I bought some Gallium from them, and they pretty much have the best prices on the low melt stuff.
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MrAnybody

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Post Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:55 pm

Re: Dual Component Key Casting

macgng wrote:FOUND MY NOTES!!! knew this would come in handy :D

Check out this site:
http://www.rotometals.com/Low-Melting-F ... s-s/21.htm

I bought some Gallium from them, and they pretty much have the best prices on the low melt stuff.


Nice one, mac. Thanks for adding that.

All that's needed now is to ID the silicone products.
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Post Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:01 pm

Re: Dual Component Key Casting

Just a side note gallium reacts to aluminum look it up very neat stuff
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huxleypig

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Post Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:11 pm

Re: Dual Component Key Casting

Mr A, I have been playing around with this very concept for quite a while now.

I use an epoxy silicone for the mold. Siligum (blue/white in 2 tubs). It is exceptional at bringing out fine detail, is really easy to use and sets in 5 minutes tops. It was made for mold making and in particular, low melting point alloy metals. Also, there is the advantage of not having air bubbles in your mold anywhere with the 2 part epoxy silicon.

It is very versatile stuff, i use it for lots of things.

So if you are after a molding material I highly recommend it. You could always go with messy and long winded plaster of paris method.

By the way, I have seen it called different stuff. It always comes in 2 tubs, one white and one blue or purple.
Last edited by huxleypig on Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ARF-GEF

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Post Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:54 pm

Re: Dual Component Key Casting

Have you considered dental impression materials, there are a plethora to choose from both in silicon based and in plaster based, they are easy to use, and when handled correctly they make extremely exact impression.
Possible cons: not sure how heat resistant they are and they are probably not very cheap.
Last edited by ARF-GEF on Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MrAnybody

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Post Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:23 pm

Re: Dual Component Key Casting

huxleypig wrote:Mr A, I have been playing around with this very concept for quite a while now.

I use an epoxy silicone for the mold. Siligum (blue/white in 2 tubs). It is exceptional at bringing out fine detail, is really easy to use and sets in 5 minutes tops. It was made for mold making and in particular, low melting point alloy metals. Also, there is the advantage of not having air bubbles in your mold anywhere with the 2 part epoxy silicon.

It is very versatile stuff, i use it for lots of things.

So if you are after a molding material I highly recommend it. You could always go with messy and long winded plaster of paris method.

By the way, I have seen it called different stuff. It always comes in 2 tubs, one white and one blue or purple.


Cool beans! Hux to the rescue! I was looking at Siligum as well as something like this. But, my mind is still wondering around looking for liquid solutions as in the High-Tech Casting system.

I'm beginning to think that these sorts of materials are like ARF says. Dental stuff.

Interesting adventure though. Learning a heap on this sort of tech as I go. I've also signed up to 5 hobby forums to pick their brains for the liquids, but no firm leads so far.

Requirements I'd like to nail are:
Very low viscosity, two-part, RTV silicone for creating molds of small 3 dimensional metal pieces and casting with Field's metal
1 minute pot life on the mold mix
Air cured at room temp
10 minute demold (with the addition of catalyst)
Heat resistant to 150'C or more
Minimal shrinkage
No vacuum required
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