Tag Archives: advice

Observatory Plans Advice Issues

For member-designed observatory plans, seeMember Products & Designs(also linked from homepage)

Observatory Plans URL–huge list of observatory websites

Article — Design Phase of Building Your Own Observatory, by Jay Ballauer –outside link

Article — Construction Phase of Building Your Own Observatory, by Jay Ballauer–outside link

Observatory Design On-linePDF Document

Roll-Off Observatory Design Based on a Utility Trailer–separate page

Plastic Shed Observatories–separate page

Conversion of Garage Loft to Observatory–outside link

Tele-Station by Pier-Tech–outside link (commercial roll-off observatory)

Temperature, Thermal Effects, Dewing & Similar Problems–separate page

Observatory Ventilation Issues–2 parts

Wall Height of a Roll-off Roof Observatory?

Advice on HomeDome Observatory Domes–4 parts

New Dome Manufacturer– Clear Skys Inc.

Remote Control Observatories Publication–on Remote Control topic page

Starting a Robo Scope Directory–on Remote Control topic page

Running Power to Remote Observatory–16 parts on Remote Power topic page

Off the Grid Observatories–6 parts on Remote Power topic page

Pier Location in a Dome for Wedge-Mounted LX200–2 parts

Observatory Design Considerations–2 parts

Plans for Building an Observatory on the Roof of a House

Issues in Building an Observatory on Top of a House

Observatory Design Books & Other Sources–5 parts

Determining SkyShed Observatory Dimensions

Zoning, Covenants, and Deed Restrictions Concerns–8 parts

Keeping Insects out of a Closed Observatory?

Ive searched the Web to plan a backyard observatory and found a few to learn from. Ive made a simple

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Youll find a really helpful .PDF document, At Home in a Dome, at Home Dome website:

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Dont let the title put you off. Download the whole .PDF doc (about 44 pages), and youll find a wealth of info.

I have worked with both roll off buildings and with domes for some years. I originally built a roll-off building because I liked the idea of having the entire sky visible to the unaided eye. On a dark night this is a wonder to behold. It is also nice to be able to slew from one part of the sky to another without having to worry about moving a dome.

That said, I would NEVER again build a roll-off structure. The dome protects against wind, is darker inside, and gives appreciable protection from the sky on clear nights. In a colder climate especially, your body is protected against radiation to the cold sky. I am in Wisconsin and have found that being totally exposed on our wonderfully clear winter nights is a severe trial. The comfort factor of a dome is appreciable. Dewing is much less because the scope is not exposed to the dark sky either. For more of Doc Gs thoughts,click here.

I now highly recommend a dome-type structure. This is especially true since the newer domes are entirely automated. I have just ordered a Pro Dome from Technical Innovations. These domes are well developed and have all of the features you need for full automation.

Editors note: there is a good dome manual at:

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Okay, Im confused. Ive always heard that you *do not* insulate so that

the building interior is reasonably close to outside ambient. In the

last year, perhaps on this list or the observatory list, some members

have indicated that they *do* insulate, and condition the buildings

interior air to keep it close to the expected night temperature, keep

the humidity down, and perhaps the bugs. Which is it? Im close to

constructing my own shelter, and would like to get it right the first

time…. I would certainly appreciate a consensus on this.

Either will work. Actively cooling to the expected nighttime temperature is perhaps the most effective method. The CFHT uses this method, although they keep it at about 0 degrees C — which is warmer than nighttime temperatures — simply for reasons of economy. On the other hand, unless you have something the size of the CFHT its probably overkill.

A few years ago I built a 12 x 12 observatory with extremely good ventilation — lots of hidden vents along the floor line and vents in the roof. It also has a highly reflective roof. The combination keeps the observatory only a few degrees above ambient even in full sunlight — it feels wonderfully cool when you step inside, rather than stinking hot like most sheds. When night falls the outdoor temperature falls, and the observatory temperature falls with it. So there isnt a big change when you open the roof, and the seeing is excellent from the get-go. When I built the observatory my local seeing mysteriously got MUCH better!

One idea to keep dust, etc., out of the observatory is to build it with hollow walls that are well ventilated. A friend of mine built his observatory that way, and it seems to work very well.

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If you are going to condition the buildings where a rather large temperature differential exists between the inside and the outside during the day some insulation will make holding a large temperature differential more efficient. If the temperature differences are not large between day and night, some fans will be adequate. It is always the case that the night is cooler than the day. Sometimes this will be 10 to 20 degrees and sometimes it might be 40 or 50 degrees. For the former, fans should do the job. For the latter, differential cooling might be worth while.

The only advantage of insulation is to make it easier to hold a temperature differential. The disadvantage of insulation is that it tends to hold the heat of the day and will impede cooling at night.

This is a complex topic so what is best for any situation will vary quite a bit. In all cases a very large air flow through the building during temperature changes is essential to quick equilibrium of inside and outside temperatures. Larger scopes, say 12 and over, really need integral fans to attain thermal equilibrium quickly. You need large air flow, big fans, to do the job. Turbulent air transfers heat up to 100 times faster that slow moving air. I rather think that the issue of insulation is not as important as moving a lot of air. If I were in a hot daytime situation, I would seriously consider using an air conditioner to get the scope down to night time temperatures as quickly as possible.

You do not really have to guess at the night Time temperature. The weather reports about night time temperatures are generally quite accurate since it is very short term prediction and is based on solid data that exists during the day. There are other reasons for not insulating and not air-conditioning, but the anticipated nighttime temperature is not one of them.

Just because one is an amateur does not mean that they do not have an investment of 50K$ to 100K$ to nurture, protect and utilize in the most effective manner. Todays amateurs come in many sizes. Air handling and air-conditioning are effective and not necessarily high cost solutions to the temperature problem. The day of keeping expensive and delicate equipment in a hot, stuffy shed are over for many amateurs.

When humidity is a big problem, you have to be sure that the interior, scope and equipment, is not below the dew point temperature. Otherwise everything fogs up for a while when you open the building.

Each climate, indeed each day in may places presents its own problems. Things differ from day to day. I would say if humidity (the dew point) is close to the ambient temperature you are best off simply moving a lot of air to get thermal equilibrium as quickly as possible. In humid climates, the night time low temperature tends to drop and then limit at the dew point temperature. There may be no good solution at all to some air conditions. One simply has to close down for the night when the dewing gets too bad.

I have a different type of roof (fold-off) on my observatory, but I find that wind protection is very useful (and fortunately, easy to arrange with my roof). So I would make the east and west walls high enough to block off the lower 10 to 15 degrees of the horizon (unless your horizons have much cleaner air than mine). Another option is to put wind barrier panels along the sides that can be raised and lowered. The north peak can be pretty high, since everything there will rotate into view at some time of year. So that leaves the south end as the most critical. From the altitude of the major southern constellations (Sag, Sco, etc.), you can calculate what the angle of the scope will have to be to get them and that will give you the maximum height you can get away with for the south end. I found that making the south end (a peak in my structure) fold down worked well. You can see the arrangements in the observatory page on my website:

Is there a rule-of-thumb for the wall height a roll-off roof observatory?

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It is always a tradeoff between blocking too much sky, and keeping the scope low out of the wind.

I have some neighboring farm lights, low skyglow, and a lot of wind, so for my 12 LX200, I figured on about a 20 degree loss of sky from the horizon (LA = Loss Angle) was acceptable and then I did the trigonometry. Who said we would never use that stuff in real life?! I started with the height of the scope base as mounted on its wedge and tripod to calculate how high to build the pier. This also gave me the DEC axis height from the floor. Subtract half the diameter of the OTA and you have the wall height (WH = Wall Height) to look completely horizontal and not loose any sky or have the OTA blocked in any way. Measure the distance from the crossing of the DEC axis and RA axis (inside the tube) horizontally to the walls (SW = Scope to Wall distance) and you have all the info you need to use to calculate the additional height to add to the wall (AH=additional height) to get the desired coverage.

For my 10 by 12 roll-off (pier is offset 1 to the South so the E, W, and S walls are all 5 from the pier) the 20 degree protection cost me an extra 22 on the walls ( 60 * Tan(20) = 22), bringing them to a final height of 62. Dont forget to calc in the stuff that may not be mounted right away like the rails for the roof wheels. They may adjust your framed wall height.

Also, while your pier may be evenly spaced from the walls, dont forget that the RA and DEC axis on an LX200 on a SuperWedge do not cross directly over the center of the pier. I made that mistake, and because I made my walls the same height all the way around, I can actually get a touch closer to the horizon looking South compared to East or West because the distance is a few inches greater. I didnt worry about North (same height as all the others) except to make sure in my calculations that the roof would roll off far enough for the scope to get an unobstructed view of Polaris.

I found the ProDome considerably more difficult to assemble that I had expected. The drawings are not very good. I too would have liked to see some photos. I and my group of helpers spent about 105 man hours getting the dome together. I Spent another 10 hours doing the electrical work.

The quality is very good, but the manual is not as clear as it might be. What is it about manuals that make them so difficult to decipher? Three of us read each section of the instructions and then voted on what was said.

I sent about a dozen posts to home dome asking for clarification or commenting on what would help to make the manual clearer. Some of the diagrams are rather amusing as well as confusing. Photos would help a lot.

Nevertheless, we have a nicely working dome at this time. If I were to ever do this again, I would get the pre-drilled version. It was very difficult to do all of the measuring accurately and actually drill the fiber glass.

The only thing I do not like about the dome at this time is the terrible noise the motors make. The noise suppression covers help, but only a little. The shutter mechanism is rather a kluge, but works surprisingly well. I was pleased with the shutter operation.

We probably spent extra time since we were very careful to get things right the first time. We did make one error on the shutter assembly but fixed it all right later.

All in all however, it is a nice dome.

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From: Jon Brewster jon_brewster

For the record, I now have my Boyd Dome operational.

It took a day to unpack, and a day to build for 2 of us. The instructions were terrible. No pictures. Must be an industry standard. Automation seems to work great. Software by our friend Brent of Satellite Tracker fame.

Editors note: Boyd Domes is out of business, butClear Skys Domesseem to be a very similar design.

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When I ordered my ProDome, I ordered the pre-drilled version, and Im glad I did. I hired a contractor to finish the assembly on site, and it went up very quickly. The money I spent for pre-asssembly assured that the dome went up per specs, and saved costs on the other end.

I believe the manual is written by the founder of the company, John Menke. They are very hands on mom & pop shop, and they farm out the fiberglass construction. They also modify the manual as per customer suggestions. Ive owned the dome for over 4 years, and it works like a dream.

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I was in the past going to get the ProDome, but after meeting Col, on this group, I got his dome. Will be here soon. Whats nice is that he assembles all the takes it apart, and has all marked with simple 1 or 2 page instructions. All holes are drilled, no need to spend weeks doing the job, and also less people, to install it in a few hours. And even more so, its less money, even with shipping cost. That is the website:

I have installed a 10 Pro Dome along with the motor drive and the DDW (Digital Dome Works). I could write a book about the good and not so good things about it.

I strongly suggest you have it predrilled. Putting it together and doing the drilling etc. is a very, very difficult job, in my opinion. Even with the help of several very excellent helpers, it took 30 hours over a period of 4 days to get it all perfectly aligned. I was very fussy about the alignment and felt that some of the parts did not fit as well as they should.

A number of the brackets required some machining to bring them up to the standards that I required. The electric shutter drive and the motors required considerable additional skill to get them adjusted to work as they should. I had to purchase additional bolts because I felt some of those provided were too short.

I got the Pro Dome version which has additional base rollers. I strongly recommend that you get the extra rollers. After careful assembly, the dome worked very well and has stood up mechanically for almost a full year now under regular use.

I had some difficulties with the DDW which requires a dome motion sensor. The sensor was wired backwards and thus the DDW did not work at all. After fixing this, I found that the DDW was temperature sensitive. It did not work at temperatures below 35 F. It turned out that the PIC had a programming error. This was fixed with a new PIC after some considerable amount of testing and a time delay. I discovered the temperature problem myself and reported it to Technical Innovations. This is no longer a problem since the programming has been fixed.

The dome slaves to the LX200 telescope but only for short slews. When a large slew is done by the telescope, the dome will not follow and the DDW reports an error condition and shuts the dome down. I have been informed that this problem is being worked on and that a new PIC will be provided. I do not know the time frame for this fix, but I am hoping it will be soon. Our application requires large slews for the most part.

We use the dome in the slave mode and with a computer. Both mode of operation work similarly. Except for the large slew problems, the DDW now works well. We do not use the weather station or automatic opening/closing features.

The construction and tweaking of the dome did require considerable mechanical work and considerable electrical smarts. At this time, the Pro Dome is working well. It is sturdy and stable. In general Technical Innovations was helpful in solving problems. Technical Innovations in under new management, as of this year, and I have no first hand experience with the new management. Except I did get a promise to get a new PIC out to solve the slewing problem. I will keep you informed about progress on this matter.

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Go to my site below…it has pics and facts on the Home Dome:

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From: Ted Van Sickle tvansickle

I built a 10 Home Dome last September. Everything that Tom has said (below) is true. Especially about the pre-drilling. Actually, Technical Innovations, TI, assembles the dome completely, disassembles as much as necessary, and then ships the unit. There are literally hundreds of holes, and they all line up at assembly time. Also, some very important items are assembled when it arrives. There must be at least 25 castors mounted. Well worth the cost. I expect that it cut the assembly time by a factor of three.

As far as leveling, we set a post in the center of the dome and adjusted its height to the desired height of the wall. Then a 6 carpenters level from the center post to the wall was used as the walls were shimmed until the wall height all the way around its perimeter was level with the top of the post. It worked well. Making the wall round was tough. Mine is round, but I think that the adjustments to make it round bordered on good luck.

I have not bought the Robo Dome yet. I am in Florida for the winter. That will be my first purchase when I get home. I did buy the motor drives for both the shutter and the dome. They work well, but they are very loud.

I am using a homemade pier. There is a Milburn wedge on the pier and I have a classic 12 LX200 for the telescope. The theory is that the center of rotation of the telescope should be at the center of the dome. After a couple of measurements with the scope on its tripod, I decided to place the center of the pier 6 South of the center of the ring. It seems to work well there.

I put, I think, 1.5, maybe 2, conduit in the floor to pass all control cables and power to the telescope from the wall. This conduit is plenty large and it comes up into the center of the pier. I have NOT seen any sign of interference in this short run. I put in two smaller conduits from the house to the dome, one for power and the other for a Cat 5 ethernet cable. All power for the equipment in the dome is derived from a car battery, and the power from the house is used only to charge the battery and provide a little light.

By the way, only two of us put the dome up, and I think that it required only 6 hours. The dome is a most wonderful place for observing the glory of the night sky.

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I have had some experience with the Home Dome. I assume that whatever dome you purchase will require you to do considerable assembly, and I have a couple of suggestions.

If your budget allows, pay a little extra to get a kit which has all the holes pre-drilled. My Home Dome didnt have that option, but I understand that they do offer it now. We spent a sizable portion of the assembly time in locating and drilling holes and wore out several drill bits, also.

If you are now doing any CCD imaging, or if there is any possibility that you ever will, purchase any available option for remote, motorized control of the rotation of the dome.

Dont even consider trying to use a hose device called a water level. They are cheap but useless!

One of the most difficult aspects of dome assembly is actually three things,

insuring that the base rings are as circular as possible,

the base rings are as nearly perfectly level as possible [and here is where an inexpensive laser level is worth several times the $20 or $30 it will probably cost you] and, to a lesser degree,

the rings are well centered on the telescope.

Another area to investigate is snow loading and wind loading. Many are fortunate in not requiring snow load data, but most of us are subject to wind load considerations.

Finally, I found that three is an ideal crew size for the assembly of a 10 dome. More than three tends to become a gaggle with people falling over each other and, while all of the actual physical work can easily be done by one or two people, a third person to simply do the instruction reading, and act as a gopher, can make things easier. Actually, I was the reader/gopher with my son and another young man doing most of the real labor.

Noticed in the April 2003Sky & Telescope, page 143, an ad for Clear Skys, Inc. 8.5 dome. See:

Im setting up a 10 LX200 in a very small (6) dome. It will be equatorially

mounted on a super-wedge and pier. Id be interested in hearing

from other dome owners where the center of their pier is in relation

to the center of the dome. It seems like the pier should be slightly off-center

Yes, you are correct in your assumption that the pier should be offset in relation to the geometric center of the dome. Your LX200 should be centered on the center of the DEC axis at the end of the fork arms (where the DEC manual setting circle and/or DEC motor is located). This would mean that the pier would be offset toward the south (as you face the control panel of the LX200) as you deduced. Simply use a plumb-bob tied or taped to the knob on the setting circle and suspend it to the floor to mark the spot.

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From: Jon Brewster jon.brewster

The fork mount has a fixed point halfway between the declination bearings.

No matter how you point the scope, that point will remain fixed; so it needs

to be in the center of the dome. That will mean having the pier offset to the south.

I choose instead to center the pier and offset the wedge at the top of the pier. This way if I ever go away from a fork mount LX200 I dont have to redo the pier.

It cost my a couple of hundred bucks to have it fabricated at the local welding shop, but Im sure happy with it. I may have to swap the steel out some day, but the concrete can stay untouched.

Does anyone know where I can purchase design plans or blueprints for

I think most people design their own. Heres the link I used to get ideas:

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had some great examples of observatories that looked like

they would fit my needs as well as my budget – which is in the 10K range….

…but I did not see any floor plans.

I think each observatory has to be designed for the individuals needs, since there are so many reasons to build an observatory. Here are a few factors that come to mind:

Solo or family viewing? Affects the overall size, since you need space for several people, and possibly benches or chairs for those not actively viewing.

Local environment. A dome isolates you better than a roll-off roof, but can be more complicated to use and maintain.

Local horizon. Affects wall height, which can change the entire design.

Visual or astrophotography? If the latter, you might need a separate control room for the computer and related equipment. Or do you want a completely remote-controlled observatory, in which case all you need is a tiny shelter for the scope.

I am looking to build a cabin and am wondering if anyone has

experience with connecting a shed-like structure to a cabin?

I would advise against this, or at least suggest first looking into a detached structure. Why? For starters….

You may have a better horizon elsewhere.

Other close-by family activities could be distracting (nothing like listening to the Simpsons on TV through the wall as you admire the Orion Nebula).

You may have light pollution from nearby cabin windows (i.e., can you turn off all the lights in the cabin when you go out to observe?).

If you need plans so a carpenter can build the observatory, I suggest you find an architect and explain what you want. Be prepared for some give-and-take (hopefully hell have lots of questions for you to think about). If you know what you want astronomically, the architect should be able to translate that into blueprints.

Finally, the cost…. Id be surprised if youll have to pay more than $5,000 to have plans drawn and an observatory built. A $10,000 budget sounds more than ample; maybe youll have enough left over to buy some CCD equipment.

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Does anyone know where I can purchase design plans or

blueprints for constructing an observatory?

Go to Joe Garlitzs web page. You can download the blueprints:

Weve been looking at a few new houses, some being

built, and some a few years old. The ability to

have a permanent setup is a high priority on our

list, either a shed observatory or a dome or roll

top roof setup. On the new houses, it would be very convenient,

because Id work it into the deal. Ive talked to a couple of the

builders that were looking at and they are completely open to it.

I find this topic is one which is very difficult to offer advice for, even though Ive been through this process. Because there are an extremely large number of factors involved both with respect to building/buying a home and in building an observatory. When the 2 are combined it can be extremely difficult to decide what is the right thing to do.

I have built my current home with the observatory design as the central feature of the home. I have only done visual observing and very limited CCD imaging to date (mostly based on time constraints). As yet I have not had any difficulties from heat plume from the house, and I live in Central Texas which can get pretty hot. Nor do I have any issue with vibration from any walking, jumping, slamming doors, etc. The pier (which is poured separately from the house foundation) is pretty tall which could lead to damping time issues from a bump against the pier or scope, but I have not had any problem with this up to this point.

Its a lot easier when you are designing from scratch, because there are design elements (placement, material choice, etc.) which can compensate for just about an

Advice on what resin to use

Where resin crafting is more than a passion, it is an OBSESSION

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originally published August 2014.  Updated April 2018.

Lots of you have asked me what resin to use for resin jewelry and crafts.  Part of the fun of learning resin is experimenting with different items and finding what works for your specific situation.  I do understand, though, that it can be confusing and sometimes frustrating not knowing which product to use or using the wrong product for a project.  Today, Im going to walk you through the resin products I use WHEN and WHY.

Note:  These are my experiences.  Please use this article as a guide and feel free to share your experiences in the comment box below if something different has worked well for you.

If Im working with molds, and I need a clear casting, I like to use theResin Obsession super clear resin.  The super clear resin is designed for molds and also casts very clear.  The super clear resin also has its own line ofresin colorants, so its easy for me to color and cast the resin as well.

See how I used the super clear resin in thisresin petri earrings tutorial.

For doming resin projects, like using it in a bezel, I will use theAlumilite Amazing Clear cast epoxy resinorEnvirotex jewelry resin.  Both can be colored and have their owncolorantsas well.  The Alumilite Amazing clear cast also comes in handy for the times I need a food safe resin.

See how you can use a doming resin tomake resin rings.

If I am making something that can be a solid, opaque color, theAlumilite Amazing Casting resinworks well.  It is a quick cure polyurethane resin that cures opaque white, but can be colored with coordinatingliquid colorants also by Alumilitethat are specifically made for coloring polyurethane (and epoxy) resin.  It  also cures hard, making it a good choice for high impact items like rings.

You can see how I used it to make resin dice:

For the projects that need to have the brightest, shiniest surface possible, thats when I pull out theCastin Craft polyester resin.  This resin is hard enough when cured that it can be polished on a buffing wheel with compound.  I have found that is the best way to get a very glossy surface.  If you want to try polyester resin, read this article first:polyester resin facts.

I used polyester resin to make thisdoll parts bangle bracelet.

For the projects where I need a glossy surface on something,TotalCastorAlumilite Amazing Clear Cast resinworks well for this.  Both work well for creating a glossy surface no more than 1/8 inch thick.

You can see how I used Alumilite Amazing clear castresin to coat the surface of a tile.

If I only need to mold a small item, say 1 1/2 inches in diameter or less and not very thick, I will use theAlumilite Amazing mold putty.  Because you only have a limited amount of time to mix and form the putty around the model, I only like to use it for small items.  I will also use this if I want to cast a food item, as the mold putty is FDA designated food safe.  For larger items that you need to make a silicone mold from, any of the Alumilite silicones will work fine for flat items.

In the cases of casting larger items with lots of twists and turns (and subsequent undercuts), thehigh strength 3is the best choice.  Thehigh strength 2is the better choice if youre making a two part mold because the cured silicone will be stiffer.

If you are new to moldmaking altogether, theComposimold reusable molding materialis a great choice.  You can use the mold a couple of times, then remelt and pour again to make a new mold.  Great for those times when you make a mistake!  (and its food contact safe as well)

For plastic molds, theCastin Craft mold releasewill do just fine.  TheUltra 4 parafilm mold releaseis better suited to silicone molds.  ThePetrolease universal mold releaseworks on both, and for me, is my go to mold release all the time.  It may be overkill on the majority of plastic molds, but for deep molds, like the bangle bracelets and domes, I have found it makes demolding so much easier.

If youre making a two part silicone mold, or will be casting silicone into a silicone mold, theAlumilite rubber to rubber moldrelease is a good choice.

I preferliquid colorantsoverpowder colorantsif everything else is equal.  I find Im challenged with creating lumps with the powder sometimes, although this technique shown in a video on the Resin Obsession youtube channel works well to keep that from happening.How to mix powder pigments into resin.

For the times I want to get a glossy finish on a small surface, I will coat with another layer of the same resin I used to create the piece.  If its a large item, I will use theresin gloss sealer spray.  I like the wet to the look finish another layer of resin gives, but find it can be tedious to accomplish on a large surface, especially if it has multiple sides.  When I dont need a super glossy finish, but just need to shine it up a bit, I will use theNovus polishing compounds.  You can see the difference between all of them in this video on the Resin Obsession youtube channel.A comparison of different polishing options for resin charms and jewelry.

What else do you want to know on what resin to use?  What has worked for you?

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2018 Resin Obsession, LLC

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filed under:Resin Frequently Asked Questions

Tags:beginnermold makingpolishingresin castingtypes of resin

I just completed my first ever resin casts. I embedded plastic buttons into some of my moulds, the buttons have faded. Is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening again?

@Amanda, glad to hear the super clear resin works so well for you!

@Sam, Ive never had that problem before with buttons in resin. I would suggest trying a different brand of buttons.

Great article, I have worked with both Super clear resin and Easy cast for the plastic molds. Hands down my first choice for a clear and quicker work time is Super Clear resin, with Easy cast I have to heat it up 8-10 minutes before use and some times has a yellow hue. As a working mom, I dont have much time, but its fun just sit down for a few seconds to pour your next great creation.

I LOVE working with resin. Still learning though. I poured a few pieces last night, and have a couple issues with one piece. I forgot to cover it while it hardened, and it looks like a small piece of link floated in 🙁 also, same piece, I put a little piece of dried lilac in the piece and part of it is still sticking out. Im not sure I can add more resin to cover it. My thought was to file or sand the resin and then pour another very thin coat of resin to fix it. Would that work? What should I use to file/sand the resin?? I used Ice Resin Thx!

@Joyce, this video on our you tube channel will show you hand to sand your piece down for another application of resin:

I have been working on some coasters for quite some time now. Im having problems finishing them after sanding them down. I currently have a smooth, but cloudy surface. I have tried using the resin gloss sealing spray, and also tried a thin layer of resin. The resin gloss spray was not very smooth feeling or glossy. The resin was too sticky for coaster use. Any suggestions on finishing coasters?

@Erin, were you using polyester resin by chance?

Unfortunately, I used the EasyCast epoxy. Which apparently is harder to polish??

@Erin, the Easy Cast epoxy is relatively soft resin and can be hard to polish. What is the finest grit sandpaper you finished with on the surface?

Clearly, I am new to the resin game :/ I used 400 grit and it made it smooth, but left the surface cloudy.

@Erin, 400 grit is still too coarse to get a shiny finish. Go over it again with 600, 800 and finish with at least 1000. You can get 1000 grit and higher sandpapers at automotive supply stores.

Thank you sooo much! I will definitely try that.

@Susan, will the resin surface be exposed to the elements?

I am very keen to make a resin screen with green leaves embedded in it to fit onto a window looking out onto an unattractive outdoor scene could you you advise me what resin to use? I saw this many years ago and have always remembered it.

Hi, I was wondering if you were aware of a way when casting a tarantula to avoid or minimize color loss. I plan on using easy craft resin.

@Shane, you should try sealing the tarantula with a layer of our resin gloss sealer spray first. You can find it here:

Hey, Katherine thank you for the quick response. I checked out the link and that sounds like it might just work. Im also going to cast in multiple thin layers to minimize heat so hopefully my beloved pet of ten years will stay as natural looking as possible. Thanks again for the quick response

I am hoping you will be able to answer my question. Ive searched on the Net and found nothing!

We have a glass patio table that we glued colored gems too and are going to apply resin for a clear finish. This table will be going outside so we need to know if it will need a sealer to protect it and which kind.

Thank you so much for your time and I really like your website and product lines!

@jane, I would suggest using a resin that can coat the table and is suitable for outdoor use.

Hi Katherine, thanks for being so dedicated to helping others. I have a few questions that I hope you can help me with.

Im in college and making a 2ftx8ft beer pong table topped with beer caps, but in order to ensure that the beer caps (each is .25 of an inch in height) are fully submerged, I plan to use 3 gallons of resin (the amount of resin per square footage calculates out to a height of about .30 of an inch). I was very fixed on buying 3 gallons of envirotex lite, but after reading some posts on your website Im having some reservations.

1.) Is the depth of resin Im shooting for too deep for envirotex lite? Should I be looking into a different brand or product perhaps?

2.) The table will have ping pong balls bouncing on it at times and will be exposed to wet conditions much of the time as well people that may scratch it with everyday objects. This makes me think that a poly resin may be the way to go, but Im not sure where that would put me price wise if Im looking for 3 gallons.

3.) If you still feel that envirotex lite is the avenue I should be exploring then where can I get the best price for the amount Im buying? The cheapest I can find ANYWHERE is a wholesale website online that sells a gallon at about $65 each and with shipping my total comes out to around $220 Im from Wisconsin and even with 50% coupons, craft stores cant come close to that. Thats a lot for a broke college kid though still.

Well thanks for any help you can offer me, I would GREATLY appreciate a response to any or all of my questions if you have time.

A total depth of 0.3 inches for the resin will be fine, you will simply need to pour it in two to three layers. The Envirotex Lite should be fine for the surface of the table and all you plan to do with it. By poly resin, do you mean polyester resin? If so, I would not recommend that for your table. It will be difficult to pour a surface that large and get bubbles out of polyester resin before it starts to cure. As for a better price, I dont know of another source for you. Sounds like you have done some intense price comparisons, and the prices you quote are what I would expect for a quantity that large.

I need a resin to use in rings that is scratch resistant, very clear, wont yellow over time, shiny and is doming. What do you recommend? Thank you, TK

HI Tara, I would recommend the Resin Obsession super clear resin.

I think it does well under normal wear.

I paint hard plastic phone cases and have been experimenting with getting the best varnish. Someone recommended resin to me and Ive been using Easy Cast. Ive followed the instructions to the letter but the end product is slightly tacky to the touch and does scratch a bit. Do you have any tips? Should I sand it? Or use different resin?

Hi Ruth, I would recommend reviewing these troubleshooting articles:

Hello, I am beginning a project of making shell rings for Christmas gifts. I am planning to use a bit of resin to fill the inside of scallop shell, then place a gold filled ring in the resin to keep the shell attached to it. I am just wondering if gold filled metal is appropriate to be using with resin and if there is anything I should be worried about using these materials together? Thank you, Tawny

Hi Tawny, gold filled rings will work well with resin.

Im not familiar with paperclay. Is it similar to polymer clay?

Hello, I have some dried pressed flowers from a funeral arrangement that I would like to embed in a flat circular mold with resin and make into a sun catcher. Im having trouble finding a circle resin mold that is big enough (Im thinking 8 in diameter). Can a regular silicone baking mold be used or any plastic? Ideally, I was hoping to find a thi. Bezel type of frame for it, but havent so having the edges be open resin is a compromise. I was thinking of trying the Castin Craft easy resin and using some test flowers since this will be my first resin project. Do you think Ill need the resin gloss sealer spray for this type of project? I am hoping to get everything I need beforehand. Thank you

Hi Jessica, you can use a silicone baking mold for this project, but the surface may come out frosted. You will likely either need to coat with another layer of resin or the resin gloss sealer spray to get a shiny finish.

Hi Katherine, I want to coat an antler carving of a dragonfly wing in resin. It is a curved surface and I am a relative newcomer to resins. Can it be done/ how would you suggest I proceed? I can send photos if it would be helpful (and if you tell me how). Thanks, Jim

Hi Jim, I would suggest using the techniques I talk about in this forum post: dont need to use a food safe resin, but a clear doming resin will be fine. This chart on our blog tells you which ones are doming resins:

Thanks, Katherine, Ill give it a try.

Where can get a supplier for plastic resins such as the polyethylene to use in DIY homemade rotomolding?

I am unaware of a supplier for that type of resin.

Katherine, is there a resin that can stand heat? I want to make coasters, but I know the people I give them to will put hot things on them, like coffee cups and possibly use them for trivets.

I would suggest a polyester resin. They can hold up to heat pretty well.

Hi Katherine, do you have suggestions/videos for ideas of how to create a kitchen counter surface using resin? This would be in a 1975 home with a laminate kitchen countertop. Id like to totally cover the laminate with a resin-based design. Is this possible without disassembling the counter?

Yes, you can do this. Two suggestions: 1. Make sure your counter is completely clean. After going over it with soap and water, I would go over it with rubbing alcohol to make sure there are no oil residues. 2. Create a tape dam around your counter edges before pouring. Once the resin has cured, you can peel the tape away.

Thank you! Im excited to do this! Is one type of resin recommended?

Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all resin. There is a PDF article link on this page that details all the resins we sell. should help you make a decision on the right resin for your project.

can you use any kind of paint with resin, either mixed into it or underneath or on top?

No. Sometimes oil paints do not work well.

So glad I found this thread. My granddaughter and I are drying Queen Annes lace and plan to make resin Christmas ornaments for gifts. Can you suggest links which might guide us in the right direction? Well need molds 3-4 in diameter. Although I make jewelry, Ive never worked with resin. Looking forward:)

Hi Barbara, First you will need to dry the flowers. There are some articles on that here: for molds, there should some good options at this link:

Thank you so much. I have been reading many posts here and its getting time to start experimentingmust search around to find the right size mold for these Queen Annes lace flowers.

Perfect. We are here to help if you need us.

Hi, Im working with broken china pieces to create jewelry. I noticed as I was smoothing the edges with a dremel tool, that the front of my piece of China got scratched. Id like to use something to seal or protect the surface if the China piece to prevent the design being scratched off. Would a resin work for that, and if so what kind would you recommend?

Yes, resin would work, but it will pool. You might find it thicker in your curved areas of the plate. The Alumilite Amazing Clear cast resin would work well for your project:

Hi. I make broken china mosaics. I have used resin on some of them and had good results. If I chose to leave the finish (sealed grout and china) without poured resin could I use the resin gloss sealing spray just to make the piece very shiney?

Hi.i am designing a table top of resin. I wana know which type of resin is best for it. I am using crushed glass in resin and also guide me with selecting the depth of the tabletop.

Hi Annie, the Alumilite Amazing clear cast epoxy would work well for this. You can find it here: will self-level to a depth of 1/8 inch. If you want a pour deeper than that, you will need to cast additional layers. There is a discussion in our forum about something similar that may be helpful to you as well:

This will be my first time using resin. What would be a good and easy resin to make clear (no yellow tint) coasters with embedded artificial flowers? The coasters will

be used for mostly cold drinks. Im using a silicone baking mold, and the coasters will have the dimensions of 3.5 x3.5 x 0.875.

The Resin Obsession super clear resin works great in molds. You can find it in several sizes here:

Im making jewelry with flowers in resin, but I made 2 that cracked, I made it in 2 parts the first day, I poured a small amount and added the flowers, so since the flowers rise to the top, I left it dry and the next day I poured more resin on top to cover completely but I noticed it cracked. I dont know why

What kind/brand of resin did you use? It sounds like it got too hot.

I made a bottle captable with a2 part epoxy resin.it came out fine but I had to mask it for some table painting and I couldnt get the tape residue off so I wet sanded it and now cant remove the cloudy finish. Ive tried auto polishing compound and furniture polish.to no avail. Please Help what can I use.?

It sounds like you ended with a coarse grit sandpaper. Continue sanding until you finish with a 1000 grit or higher.

Im trying to remove the cloudy finish on my epoxy resin table top left after wet sanding.please help.

It sounds like you ended with a coarse grit sandpaper. Continue sanding until you finish with a 1000 grit or higher.

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