The point of this project was less about the end result and more about the casting process itself. I wanted to try and preserve a piece of cooked bacon in a block of resin.
Would it look good? Would it react to the epoxy? Would it last over time? I had no idea, but I wanted to try…
I started with a simple mold that measured 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ x 7″. This mold was assembled from shop scraps and secured with super glue. I make these disposable, as I never know what shape I’m going to want next…
The total volume was about 12oz or so.
The product I’m using is called Easy Cast, and I really like working with it. It very good for larger casts, and tends to have fewer bubbles.
The bottle has very good directions, most of which, I ignore. The boiled down version is this:
Use equal parts resin & hardener: I used 3 oz of each
Pour no more than 6 oz at time: Too much and it will overheat on you.
Mix well: I would say ‘slowly’ to keep down the bubbles
Use in a well ventilated area: This is nasty smelling stuff, your lungs will thank you later…
I poured 6 oz in the bottom of the mold and then used a small lighter to pop the bubbles.
After about an hour or so it will be hard to the touch and ready for the next step.
This bacon was cooked the day before in the oven and placed in the refrigerator overnight. It laid nice and flat in on the epoxy. What you want is it to be in the dead center. Especially if you will be turning this round. The other crucial bit, is to give yourself room at one end for holding and cutting off the blank, so make sure you’ve got space all around the cast material.
This is also a good time for a quality assurance taste test.
Next mix up a small amount of resin and coat the bacon well back and front, then pour a small amount for it to sit in. The point of this is just to give it a small bed of epoxy. If you were to pour, lets say, another 6 oz at this point, your bacon will float to the top and not be in the center of the mold. Don’t ask me how I know that.
It took about 20 minutes to harden and allow us to get to the next step..
Now that we’ve got the bacon firmly set in the center of out mold, we need to do one last pour to finish off the casting.
I mixed up yet another batch of resin, about 6 oz, and poured it right to the top edge of the mold. As you can see, this created quite a lot of bubbles. Bubbles will spoil your casting if you let them.
I decided to brake out the big guns and hit it with my propane torch. It is best to use the lowest setting possible, because too much heat can destroy a casting and burn the resin. A few quick passes and the bubbles were all but gone. It is a good idea to check on your casting once more, before cured. If there are any more bubbles pop them with heat before it sets.
After the 24 curing process I removed my bacon block from the mold. (I simply broke the mold apart with a few well placed chisel whacks)
It is a strange sight to see something frozen in time like that. Even stranger an object that is prone to disappearing quickly like bacon.I wanted to keep this project simple, so I mounted the block on my lathe and used the roughing gouge to turn it into round.
There was a hitch.
My bacon wasn’t perfectly centered, and so I had to stop short of rounding it over. The last thing I wanted was exposed bacon bits on the sides. So, I was left with a *mostly* round handle with a flat spot. Honestly, it worked out well….
Sanding sucks. It just does.
Even more so with resin because you have SO MANY grits to progress through. I started at 400 grit and worked through 10 grits to 12000. Also because of the aforementioned flat spot. I had to sand it all, buy hand…
While browsing the dollar store I saw the vegetable peeler and knew I had the perfect topper for my crazy bacon handle! What meat lover doesn’t want a bacon handle veggie peeler?!
So the last operation thing I did was drill a 1/4″ hole to accept the veggie peeler hardware I got.
I then simply pulled the cutter from the dollar store handle and glued it in mine with a spot of crazy glue!
And now you’ve got a Ron Swanson approved potato peeler!