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Old 06-04-2012, 07:57 AM
Mack Mack is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: VA
Posts: 604
Putting it back together

I'm working in clay (Chavants NSP soft and La Belle Touche')here in VA and shipping the finished piece to my foundry in CA to be molded and cast in bronze. Because of damage in transit and my not always being able to be in CA when the package arrives to put the clay back into it's original shape, I've resorted to molding the pieces myself in VA. I take a rubber mold of the clay, back it with a plastic mother mold and pour a cast of Polytek's Easy-Flo 60. This gives me a hard cast that I can safely ship to the foundry where it will be molded again,( but this time by someone who knows what they're doing), for a production mold.
Here's the question...I cut up the clay figure: arms, head, torso etc. to make it easier for me to mold. I Incise some lines across the cuts so I know what goes back where, I mold and cast the parts in hard plastic and put it all back together. But rather than just epoxy it all back together, I like to strenghten the joints before gluing with some aluminum wire. I drill a hole for the wire in the end of the arm say and then another in the shoulder say where the arm joins it but I almost always never get the registration's always a little off. Anyone do this kind of thing and have a sure fire way to match up one hole to another?...or a better way to fasten? Maybe just glue the arm on without any reinforcement and then cut a slot across the cut line with a dremel abrasive wheel and stick a pin or pice of wire in the slot with some glue? ( I haven't tried this last ...its easy to fill any cuts or voids in the plastic with Bondo.)

Last edited by Mack : 06-04-2012 at 09:39 AM. Reason: Sp.
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:51 PM
Andrew Werby Andrew Werby is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 647
Re: Putting it back together

Try drilling those holes considerably oversize, and using epoxy paste to fill between the holes and the wire. This will give you the "wiggle room" you need to get the registration right.

Andrew Werby
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:28 AM
KatyL KatyL is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Clovis, New Mexico
Posts: 269
Re: Putting it back together

I was trying to visualize what you were doing, and here is a thought that I had.

Place the arm where you want it. Use the drill on a long shaft (depending on how thick the part is). Drill clear through the outside (bicep muscle), through both parts from the outside, leaving a drill hole. Use putty at the end to clean up the one small hole (from the exterior) inserting your dowel or screw.

If you drill 3 holes in a triangle pattern, you will usually get your registration perfectly. I would think that dowels and matching holes would be better if the arm is solid.

Hope you can picture this.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:09 AM
Mack Mack is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: VA
Posts: 604
Re: Putting it back together

Thank you Andrew and the interim I realised that a solution was as Andrew suggested, to drill the dowel holes oversize (or at least one of them oversize) to allow the "wiggle room" of the rod or dowel to get the registration the same as in the original clay. And KatyL's suggestion of drilling through the assembled, glued joint at an an angle and inserting a rod or dowel for strength would also accomplish the task and the drill would not have to go all the way tnrough both parts; just deep enough into the second one to receive the rod or dowel. (In my case the parts are solid.)
So using Andrews suggestion, I insert and glue the peg into the center of the solid plastic arm say or part of the torso, then in the other part, drill an oversize hole in the approx. center, pour in a bit of epoxy, spread some epoxy glue on both surfaces, line it up the way I want, press and hold them together till it sets.
Thank you!

Last edited by Mack : 06-06-2012 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:03 PM
Robson Valley Robson Valley is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: McBride, BC, Canada
Posts: 215
Re: Putting it back together

If I understand what you need to do:

I drill a single hole for a dowel peg in a wood sculpture glue-up.
Next, I insert a little aluminum plug, the exposed face/end has a sharp point.
(good hardware store, sets of several sizes, 2 each I recall so I bought 2 sets)
Line up the add-on, very gently. Then PUSH. The sharp point marks the location for the other hole, the other half of the dowel peg.
There's a very shallow rim/lip on the aluminum thing so you can pick it out of hole #1.
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