Paint Shavings Hair Clip

Paint Shavings Hair Clip

I can’t stand it, I’m going up to Carl Jacobson‘s shop to get some automotive paint shavings, AKA Fordite or Detroit agate!

It occurred to me that one of the really neat things you could do with wood was to steam it and bend it. Could you do the same thing to resin? I wasn’t sure I’d seen anyone do that yet. So I figured I would give it a go.
Step 1: Casting the Resin

Mix up some resin, pour it into a mold and add your material you want to cast. I used about 2 oz of resin and a handful of paint chips that Carl let me get away with!

The mold here is a silicone container used for holding glue. Silicone molds are a great choice as the cured resin doesn’t stick to them. After you’ve poured the resin you might find some air bubbles.TIP:

Use you heat gun to evenly apply a light heat. This will draw the bubbles to the top and remove them from your casting. It works great, but go slow, as over heating the resin will cause the opposite effect and leave you with a bubbled over mess.

Now let it sit for 24 hours to give the epoxy a chance to completely cure.
Step 2: Bending Your CastingNow that the cast has cured on to the next step!


One of the really cool properties of wood is that you can bend it. You simply steam wood and it bends.
Why not cured resin? I’d never seen it done, but it sure seemed like it should work.I used my heat gun to apply even heat over the cast paint shaving and after a good 5 minutes it was pliable and quite soft.
Ahead of time I had taken a small block up wood and cut a curve in it. Now. I simply sandwiched the cast paint shavings in that block and clamped it in place. Wait for it to cool for a couple of hours.Step 3: Shaping, Sanding & Finishing

Once the casting is cool, you’re done. At that point you really have a completed hair clip but I was hoping for more of an oval look, so I took it to the band saw and shaped it.


After that I took it to the belt sander and refined that shape.

Because of that I had to sand it. If I hadn’t needed to do the shaping and sanding, there would have been no reason to sand and polish, because the casting came out of the mold with a very high gloss. For sanding, I wet sanded from 400 grit to about 12000 grit with my Miro-Mesh pads. I took about an hour, but brought the piece back to it’s high gloss.

The last step was simply hot gluing on the hair clip and taking a few pictures. In this case hot glue is a great choice, and it bonds well to the resin.
In all honestly it was a pretty simple project, but the amazing color of the paint chips from Carl Jacobson, coupled with the pleasing curve, really made this one of my favorite builds. Or maybe it was just so much fun to get to do a video with Carl! 

Carl Jacobson & Peter Brown’s video collaboration

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