PROJECT: Making custom clear reflectors for headlights. - Page 5
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Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 1999 - 2006 Discussion, PROJECT: Making custom clear reflectors for headlights. in Cadillac Escalade Forums; uploadfromtaptalk1331434393673.jpg Pouring the second half of the mold tonight. If it goes well I will have some clear reflectors tomorrow....
  1. #61
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    uploadfromtaptalk1331434393673.jpg
    Pouring the second half of the mold tonight. If it goes well I will have some clear reflectors tomorrow.

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    Wow. That looks very familiar

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    uploadfromtaptalk1331448520322.jpg
    Well, the molds look like they turned out pretty good, but what do I know, these are my first. I will pour some resin in tomorrow and we'll see if I have usable reflectors.

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    Great. I see the keyholes. That's a plus. Make sure to use wood or ur acrylic to sandwich the molds together. This will make sure they don't form uneven........but be careful not to over do it as that will also create a problem.

    Where are u going to fill the molds from?

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    I was planning on cutting 2 channels into each lens cast on the rear mold (one channel for filling, the other for air to escape). I figure the rear mold so I won't deface the visible part of the reflector when I have to cut off the tabs that are left from the resin in the holes.

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    Good call

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    Well, the first run was a failure. The resin didn't get into any of the tabs and was still very tacky in places making me think that I didn't thoroughly mix the resin and activator. I also might need to find a way to thin the resin a bit so it will fill the tab holes.

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    Use a syringe to push the resin into all of the crevices. Do u have a vent hole? This will help as well. As u inject the resin into the first hole, keep go till it comes out the vent hole.

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    I do have a vent hole, but not a syringe. That sounds like it should help. Question: I waited almost two entire days to pull the reflectors out of the mold and they were still very sticky, did you have this at all or do you think I just need to mix the resin better?

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    For me, they were hard but still tacky......if that makes sense.

    Mixing it more can't hurt as long as u don't create bubbles/air pockets.

    Is the vent hole on the same end as the fill hole?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfv41901 View Post
    For me, they were hard but still tacky......if that makes sense.

    Mixing it more can't hurt as long as u don't create bubbles/air pockets.

    Is the vent hole on the same end as the fill hole?
    That does make sense. I ordered some resin curing spray that is supposed to help cure and harden the outer surface.

    Yes the vent is on the same side as the fill hole, anywhere else and it would be a drain. I just went and got a syringe to so we will see how the next batch turn out.

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    I told u this would be a learning experience. :

    I had to do it quite a few times till I had the process down.

    At least u were smarter than me.....I casted a mold of only 1 reflector at a time instead of both at the same time.

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    I did a little searching on how to thin the resin and found that the best method was to heat it. So I put the can in a pot of hot water for a while then poured some into my measuring cup and stirred in the catalyst. I thought I would let the bubbles work their way out while I prepped the molds. They said that heating it reduces the working time with the resin and they weren't lying. The entire mixing glass was solid as a rock in less than two minutes. I tired it a second time and this time I hurried to pour it into the already prepped molds. I think I might have succeeded in the first side, but I'm pretty sure before I got half way through the second I was pouring the consistency of toothpaste. Oh well, I'll try it again tomorrow and only mix enough for one side at a time. By the time I've gotten two usable reflectors, I will already be close to $300 into this project! I guess there is no turning back now.

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    thethein11 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: PROJECT: Making custom clear reflectors for headlights.

    Sometimes on the first casting some of the silicone mold release is still on the silicone and can cause some sticky areas for the first 1 or 2 castings. I usually leave my molds open for a day or 2 after I make them before the first casting and that sometimes gets rid of it. Did you heat cure the casting?

    A picture would really help me see where the plastic is not getting. But on fixing that its about trying different pouring methods. From the looks of the molds I would leave them open and pour the liquid plastic into the smooth side then place the side with the reflectors ridges on top of if squishing it out. If the tabs the hold the reflector in stick down into the portion of the mold I would put some plastic in there before I flipped it on to the smooth half.


    Damn 300 is not too bad I had about $1500 before I could get my production line up and running. Trial and error is a bitch.

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    Yeah, $300 isn't that bad. I was up too $500 in trial & error.

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