Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tuesday Tip: Don't Wait til it's Too Late

mentioned last week how I'd finally gotten out my Micro-Mark resin casting materials (that I got, um, a while ago) and I thought tonight would be a fine time to finally break through and cast my first item.

The first step in casting is to make a mold. But before you can make a mold, you have to make (or have available) a master that you want to copy - and a box to hold the master, and the RTV rubber you'll use to make the mold.

Fortunately, I had a nice junk casting casting of junk on-hand to try copying and I have some experience making foam core boxes (click here for proof), so this was no problem. You can see the results above.

Now came the tough part. . .

I gathered all the materials Dave Frary recommended on the DVD included with the casting kit - and then went to open the first bottle of the two-part RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) rubber.

Well, let's just say that it did not go well. At first I thought all of the liquid had evaporated, leaving just the white residue of Part A. But when I opened it, I discovered it had "just" separated. "No problem" I thought - "I'll just shake it back together again."

No amount of shaking worked. So I decided to try and scrape it all out into a bowl to stir it back together.

Yeah. Not so much. As you can see above, I had to cut the end of the bottle off to even get everything out.

I finally got everything into a (thankfully disposable) bowl and stirred. And stirred. And stirred some more. After a while, I had to admit that no amount of stirring would fix what had separated. The lid had a couple of numbers on it -  "9/15" - and although it didn't say so, I can only imagine that was the "Use By" date. I'd waited too long and it was far too late to do anything about it.
Thank you again to all of you that expressed concern and offered up thoughts and prayers for my dad a few weeks ago. I'm very happy to report that he continues to heal well, there's no damage to his heart, and he's well on the road to recovery. Thankfully, I'll have some more time with him - and I plan to make good use of it.

Unfortunately, now it's my father-in-law's turn. The Missus got some not-great news about her dad last night. We don't have a lot of information yet, and are waiting for some more tests to come back. But continued thoughts and prayers would be much appreciated.
Hopefully, today's Tuesday Tip isn't too over the top. It should be no surprise that our hobbies - our passions - can often provide fitting metaphors for our lives. It's all too easy to wait and put things off until you think you have ideal conditions for doing what you've told yourself over and over that you'll do - soon, someday. Make "someday" today. Don't wait until it's too late - whether it's tackling that kit . . . or making that phone call.

It's easy enough to go out and buy some new molding rubber. Make sure you don't wait too long to do the things money can't buy.


  1. Chris, a post of yours has once again proved to offer more than it seemed to at first and ended up bringing tears to my eyes. I'm glad to hear your father is doing so well and wish your father-in-law a speedy recovery. All the best, George

    1. Thanks very much George - both for your wonderful compliment, but especially for your well-wishes. I'll be sure to keep you posted and look forward to the blog getting back to regular ol' model railroad stuff