Saturday, April 14, 2018

Micarta

Micarta is a composite material typically made up of fabric or paper , bound together with two part resin like polyester or epoxy . The material was invented around 1910 and is used  mostly as electrical insulators and aircraft or marine pulleys . I have been tempted to experiment with it for a while .
Not half bad for a first try .
Started with a cheap three dollar knife from Wallyworld . The scales are cheap hollow plastic though the rest of it is not half bad . It could be improved by replacing the scales .
 So, some cheap burlap from an Indian rice sack .
Once layered up in epoxy  . . .
. . . and cured it results in something like this .
The basic idea is to lay up some pieces of the fabric on plastic or wax paper . . . .
. . . and using some polyester resin  . . .
. . . mixed to the right proportions of ten drops of catalyst to one ounce of polyester resin . . .
. . . you layer up the fabric with the resin . 
Once you have as many layers as you figure you want for your finished thickness , you wrap it up in your plastic sheet, and clamp it together for a couple hours between a couple pieces of wood .
And a couple hours later the results once trimmed on the table saw .
Experimented with a few other pieces of fabric remnants we had . . .
and even just some resin mixed with some of that paint flake used for finishing cement floors .
The possibilities are endless .
Final results here require a bit more sanding but it all makes for a much more solid and comfortable grip .