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How to decide on applying epoxies/super glue or opticon as a possible option

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Author Topic: How to decide on applying epoxies/super glue or opticon as a possible option  (Read 15093 times)
Taogem
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« on: July 30, 2009, 10:52:59 pm »

Thought might just start off with a few cabs I have to use.. I will start off, and hopefully others can add some examples that they have come across. Then for what ever reason we either decided to, or not to consider sealers as an option and why.

This first cab is likely going to get scraped or at least trimmed a whole lot due to the one crack upper left..

The area I wanted to share as an example is the very small vug, and the long gap where the agate and lace material meet. It is not a crack or fracture.. Presently it has a bit of polish in there.. I will give that a go around with the sonic cleaner prior to applying the epoxy.

For me, this would be a candidate for filling. Because the stone consists of a lot of agate, once filled it will blend nicely and look like a natural agate filled fracture. Although a good candidate, for me it is borderline.. If it were not for the other crack I might well be ok with the natural appearance and don't feel overall that it makes the stone unusable or unsellable. Same with the small vug. I would leave it be too..



This agate has a crack. Actually similar as it is where the Marcisite and agate meet. In this case it can not be repaired.. joint/crack is just too tight to even consider getting any sealer into.

So I am going to just whack the end off considerable and go with a completely different shaped stone. Freeform ! Gotta love it ! ;D



This next Plume was plagued with pitting. The one thing I have noticed with the two part epoxy 330 is that when used on a clear agatized area, the epoxy just stands out like a soar thumb. Maybe someone can share a better experience with Opticon or Superglue, but the 330 has proven for me to be a unusable option on a clear agate area like this.



I am going to fill the area on the lace agate and show the results before I scrap it. Hopefully it will turn out with the agate filled appearance I expect.

These are just a couple of examples to talk about. I will add more as they arise. Hopefully others can share some other comparisons of dealing with pitting, fractures, etc, and best use of sealers for different problem areas.





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bobby1
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2009, 12:00:01 am »

I find that if a fracture has any color such as rust or black it won't do any good to use Opticon. I reshape the cab to exclude the fracture. I also find that Epoxy 330 doesn't work well for filling fractures or vugs. It doesn't match the cab material at all.
Bob
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Bluesssman
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2009, 09:27:00 am »

George, this is a great topic! I have several cabs with pits that are too nice to just toss or don't have enough material to reshape. I do not know anything about using fillers, but if they do work, I would use them on a few cabs I have that could use a good filler...

I will be following this thread closely!


Gary
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bobby1
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2009, 11:25:43 am »

Gary,
I routinely use Opticon to seal fractures in my finished cabs. It is about 75% successful. Getting the Opticon to penetrate deeply into the fracture and make it not (or less) visible is the trick. I always treat the cab after it is fully cabbed and polished. If you try it before cabbing you have some problems:
1. You grind through the treated depth in some areas of the fracture leaving a partially sealed fracture and some shallow sealed areas that are readily visible.
2. Trying to retreat a fracture is rarely successful. The opticon won't go back under a partially treated areas.
3. The heat of dopping weakens the previously sealed fractures.
After the cab is completed it is almost mandatory to put it into an ultrasonic cleaner to get all of the polish out of the fractures, vugs and pits.
I thought I did a tutorial on this process, but maybe it was on another forum.
Bob
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bobby1
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2009, 10:52:03 pm »

This on is a Brazilian Agate sliced parallel to the bands. It is 2 1'2" high. An ugly fracture propagated from a small one on the back to a major one right up through the middle front. I had to do the Opticon fracture sealer treatment after I finished cabbing it this afternoon.
Bob
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Taogem
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2009, 01:49:45 am »

Wanted to move this over here Bob..

You had absolutely great results with the Opticon !

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Mark
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2009, 08:48:46 am »

Bob, where is the fracture?  Boy, that opticon worked great on that one.  I have used it a couple of times and it was ok, but the slab was often sticky.  I tend to use Hotstuff a lot more.  It does a good job of filling small pits and cracks and dries clear like agate.  Being an impatient person, I hate waiting for opticon to dry.

Mark
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2009, 10:37:25 am »

Mark,
Here is a photo of the sealed fracture. I'm going to resand the cab to see if I can minimize the surface apprarance. It fully filled the internal part of the fracture so that the only thing that you can see is the surface crack under strong light at an angle. I soaked and heated the cab in Opticon for about 3 hours under my bench lamp, removed it (the cab was too hot to touch but I could see that the fracture was fully filled) and wiped all of the Opticon off. I then mixed a small amount of Opticon with hardener and applied a small line of it over the fracture. I placed it under the light for two hours and then filed the hardened Opticon line off. Altogether it took about 5 hours to do the sealing. I was busy taking the grandkids swimming most of the time.
I knew it would work well on this fracture because it was fresh and clean. It didn't have any reddish or black color intrusions that an old fracture often has.
I was pleased with the penetration that I got on the fracture. I changed my procedure slightly on this one as an experiment to see what depth that I could get the Opticon to travel. The difference is how hot I got the Opticon and cab. I figured that if I could get the cab hotter then the fracture would open up more to let the Opticon in. It worked!
Bob
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Taogem
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2009, 11:53:25 am »

Interesting that you used the Opticon alone with no hardener to fill the crack first. I bet that because it had no hardener in it that it allowed it to seep down into the crack a whole lot better.

Think I read that Opticon by itself will harden eventually.

Seems like applying a small line of Opticon with hardener over the top that it would sand away leaving the Opticon with out the hardener exposed.

Good stuff Bob !
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bobby1
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2009, 12:12:29 pm »

George,
I've had Opticon for many years and have had no problems with it hardening on its own.
On another forum we had a chemist explain how Opticom polymerizes when it comes in contact with hardener. This action causes the Opticon within the fracture to harden. For many years this had been a question in my mind until  the explanation.
Bob
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Raqy
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2009, 02:24:33 pm »

Thanks guys.  I had always wondered about using opticon.  I have asked vendors at gem shows and they seemed a bit confused or just plain against it.  Has anyone here ever tried it on boulder opal?
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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2009, 03:40:27 am »

Bob, that worked great.  I will have to keep that in mind.  I have a little cheap toaster oven that I bought for baking stones with opticon treatment.  I have heard of people using opticon with vacuum chambers to drag the stuff deep inside a fracture.  I've always wondered about coloring the option or hotstuff to try and match the stone color.  My wife has so many things from the art world, that i could use, like pigments, chalk dust, oil paints, etc.  On a side note, I have often had irritating chips, cracks, fractures, and breaks.  But recently, nothing.  Everything i have worked on for several months has gone well.  Not a single crack or chip.  I have been warming my cabbing water before use and i wonder if that is it?  I can still be kinda hard on stones when grinding, but I haven't had a problem in months.

Mark
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bobby1
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2009, 10:37:16 am »

This is my method of treating fractures with Opticon. I almost always treat the fracture after all of the grinding, sanding and polishing steps are completed. I have found that treating before cabbing usually results in the fracture propagating more during the cabbing and the new fracture area is obscured by the Opticon so it can't be retreated.
I use my bench "gooseneck" lamp with a 100 watt clear bulb to heat the cab and Opticon. It provides more than enough heat to achieve a good healing action.

Here is a photo of the Opticon and hardener. This size container is the most popular and will do many cabs.

I use wells cut from an aluminum muffin pan to do the heating steps. You can shape a little spout on the edge to pour the excess Opticon back into its container.

I place the cab in the well and cover it with Opticon. Make sure that you have cleaned the cab with soap and water. I also place the cab in my ultrasonic cleaner to get all of the polishing compound out of the fracture. I have found that it is almost impossible to remove the polish with hand scrubbing. A few seconds in the ultrasonic is all that is needed. The last step before placing the cab in the well is to clean all the fingerprints off with denatured alcohol.

If the cab is a little large for the well you can easily reshape the well.

Next I place the well under the lamp.

Lower the lamp down as far as you can get it without the bulb making contact with the Opticon. I like to place something under the well as a heat shield to protect the bench top from getting overheated.

The heat will cause the Opticon to give off some odor so if this is objectional you can place a fan nearby. I leave the heat on the Opticon/cab for 3 hours. The cab will get so hot that you cannot touch it with your bare fingers! By getting it this hot the cab will expand and the fracture will be wide enough for the now very hot and fluid Opticon to fully fill the fracture.
After the three hours you can remove the cab with tweezers or pliers and wipe the excess Opticon off with a napkin. Wipe off all that you can get off. Carefully pour nearly all of the hot Opticon back into its container. Leave about 1 teaspoon of resin in the well.i

Pour this excess resin into a paper cup that has been cut down shorter.

Add a few drops of hardener. The instructions call for a 10 to 1 mixture of resin to hardener.

Stir with a wood popsicle stick.
 
Get a paper plate, cut a few pieces off a plastic ceramic tile spacer and arrange them on the plate. These will allow you to keep the treated cab up off the surface of the plate.


Lay the cab on the spacers and apply a narrow line of resin/hardener over the fracture line. Do the same on the girdle of the cab and on the back.

Place the cab back under the light and lower the lamp to it but not as close as before.

Leave it this way for an hour or so. Turn off the lamp and when the cab is cool enough to touch check that the Opticin has set up real hard.
File off the excess hardened Opticon and admire your success. As you will see, the less excess Opticon that you add over the fracture, the less you will have to file off.

I have tried to place the heated cab in the Opticon in a bell jar  under a high vacuum to increase the penetration of the Opticon with very limited success. The vacuum tends to vaporize the Opticon especially within the fracture and draws it back out of the fracture. Maybe placing the cab in a vacuum before any treatment will pull any water that might be in the fracture might help but generally heating the cab slightly before adding the Opticon will do the trick.
Bob
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2009, 11:08:34 am »

Excellent.. Thank you Bob !
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2010, 03:49:38 pm »

Got into reading this tutorial, more than once. The jade knife I posted a couple of weeks ago, had a fracture on both sides. Well, could'nt really Opticon it, so I used the slow setting Hot Stuff super glue. It seems to slowly, suck down into the fracture, and actually had to apply it to both sides twice, to completely fill in the fractures.
This is the Hot stuff, in the green bottle, the red or orange bottles do not seem to fill in very good.
Have also tried applying heat, and the hot stuff sort of bubbled up. Anyway, I let it sit overnight, and the Hot stuff ends up like clear agate. I also use a Mystic Spot spray gun to clean out the fracture, as you sure don't want to seal in some polish or grindings.
Will get a picture of what the knife looks like now, as soon as possible, but need to get some time to take a bunch of pics, been kind of busy at work.
 
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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2010, 05:36:49 pm »

great info guys. I was wondering about the stuff.
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stonesthatrock
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« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2010, 09:16:57 am »

i thought there was another cab on here that showed how opitcon sealed the fracture on a cab, but i can't find it ... was i dreaming???
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Taogem
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« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2010, 01:54:15 pm »

Hmmmm..

I don't remember any others than what are shown.

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« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2010, 01:56:25 pm »

Before moving to Sun Valley, I worked in the granite fabrication of counter and small art projects. We used all kinds of epoxys. The epoxy that worked best for fractures was liquid flowing. You could add colors to the epoxy. IT worked like a charm. I must add we always apply it to practice piece to get the colors just right. Which some times took hours. We also heated the stones up for deap penetration also. We would also dam up around the fracture, use about a quarter inch to a half inch of flowing and heat the bottom of the stone which suck the liquid flowing into the crack. These where huge slabs.
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MrsWTownsend
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« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2010, 10:07:09 pm »

Ok, so, this was going to be my entry for the cabochon contest but there is a problem.


This is the problem


I tried filling it with Opticon, which looked like crap and peeled off (I have yet to master the mix ratio for tiny amounts).  I tried filling it with super glue which also looked like crap and peeled off while trying to polish it smooth.

Is this just a crap cab or is there a way to save it?  It is so pretty...
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Taogem
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« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2010, 10:18:38 pm »

Hang it from your lamp that has the magnifying glass attached as a reminder to look for those pesky fractures prior to cabbing..  bricks

 
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MrsWTownsend
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« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2010, 10:21:32 pm »

So it is crap then...    I swear there wasn't a fracture there when I started it... 

Well, back to the grind stone then...
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catmandewe
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« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2010, 10:26:13 pm »

I like the shape if that is any consolation.

Tony
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Michael S Hoover - Redrummd
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« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2010, 10:29:53 pm »

Those are really tough to seal.  If I were trying to fill it I would soak the piece in acetone to be certain there is no oil left in the partially healed line.  Let it dry under a shop light for a hour or two.

Mix and fill the line with Hxtal and let it sit for a week to cure.  Hxtal is water clear and UV stable so it will not yellow as it ages.  Since it takes days to set up and cure it will often (not always) soak down and fill these thin lines.  I use it on similar ones in Lapis Lazuli and it often soaks down all the way through a slab.  Try to keep it just on the fault line so air in the void can still migrate out of the stone.

I mix as little as four drops of Hxtal at a time.  I keep it in a refrigerator and a small bottle lasts about a year.

Okay, so what is HXTAL and why is it so great?

HXTAL Epoxy Adhesive is an ultra pure resin that remains water white (clear and totally transparent) over both time and with extreme exposure to direct light. This is an exotic and very high-tech adhesive that is far more sophisticated than hardware store epoxy adhesives or even Opticon.

HXTAL is supplied in two liquid parts, both of low viscosity. Hxtal epoxy should be weighed out accurately, (one part by weight of Part B plus three parts by weight of Part A). This assures the maximum utilization of all the adhesive purchased.

The creator of HXTAL confirms that the mix ratio is not an extremely critical factor in the quality of the final achieved glue properties but an average of 3:1 is recommended for maximum control of overall consistency.

After the two parts have been weighed into a mixing jar, mix it thoroughly with a glass stirring rod. There is no rush during the mixing stage and there will also be plenty of time for the glue to sit while the bubbles rise and pop. Freshly mixed HXTAL is very thin and this is the time to remove the bubbles from the mixture. The best way to do this is to use some kind of a vacuum to suck the air out of the glue.

Freshly mixed HXTAL has a very thin viscosity. If it is too thin, let it stand (covered) and it will thicken over a period of several hours. The bond strength of thick or thin HXTAL is the same but various gluing applications may require varied viscosities of the HXTAL. Thin HXTAL will penetrate cracks for some repair applications, making them virtually disappear from view. The best results are obtained when the glass is warmed to about 120F (a hair dryer or some other
heat source is reasonable if the object is not heated too much or too quickly). Then apply a drop of the freshly mixed HXTAL onto the crack. If the crack absorbs sufficient glue the crack will virtually disappear and the remaining HXTAL should be wiped off the surface only with a clean clothe or paper towel. Dont forget that the glue in the crack will still take a long time to cure so just let it sit for a week before continuing any other work on that piece.

HXTAL sets slowly - at 75F, it requires about one week to achieve most of the final bond strength, (see Physical Properties Sheet). However, ordinarily HXTAL is set sufficiently after 24 hours to hold the two parts together as long as no stress is applied to the glue joint. This is the best time to clean up if necessary. A single edge razor blade or an X-acto knife is a good tool to scrape off the excess resin. We dont recommend the use of any solvents to clean up at this stage
because the solvents can migrate into the glue joint and can weaken the bond with the glass. The damage may not be evident until much later and will appear to be small bubbles at the edge of the joint. After 24 hours it will be extremely difficult to remove any excess glue from the object and grinding and polishing will be the next best way to remove it.

Many glass artists use HXTAL epoxy adhesive to glue pieces of various glass together to form art.

 
 http://www.hisglassworks.com/cart/cart.php?m=product_list&c=57
 
 
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« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2010, 10:48:24 pm »

1. Clean the surface with denatured alcohol to remove any dirt or body oils.
2. Put the piece in a small hand formed cup shape of aluminum foil.
3. Place the piece on a heat resistant surface under a "gooseneck" lamp with a 100 watt bulb that is positioned as close to the piece as the bulb sheild will allow.
4. Let it heat like this for about 15 minutes to drive off any moisture. The piece should be hot to touch at this point. This step tends to open up the fractures enough for the Opticon to flow into them.
5. Lift the lamp and place a small amount of Opticon resin on the area with the fractures and position the lamp over the piece again for about 20 minutes.
6. Lift the lamp and drop a few drops of Opticon hardener in the Opticon resin. Stir carefully with a toothpick. Remove most of the Opticon but leave a small line over each fracture line.
7. Reposition the lamp over the piece. Let it stay there for 20 minutes.
8. Move lamp away from the piece and let it cool for 2 hours.
9. Gently file away the excess hardened Opticon. Be careful about removing much of the Opticon with a razor blade because it will lift the Opticon from the crevices of the fractures.
Hopefully this will work.
This is the basic method that I use to heal fractures. I find that it is critical to keep the piece hot after the Opticon resin has been heating on the cab and to quickly get the hardener mixed in and covering the fractures. The heating steps makes the cab expand and the fractures open up to allow the Opticon to penetrate deeply into the fractures. If the piece is allowed to cool with the Opticon resin on it the cab cools and contracts and the fractures close up and squeeze the Opticon back out before the hardener gets to mix with the resin in the fracture. If the Opticon hardens with the contracted fractures there is no way to reopen the fracture to get any new Opticon in it.
 I didn't confuse anyone did I??
Bob
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Michael S Hoover - Redrummd
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« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2010, 10:59:00 pm »

Kind of nice with bobby1 and I often giving our answers to the same question.  This really shows that there is often no one single answer and gives multiple points of view or options to consider. 
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« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2010, 11:03:51 pm »

My free form...  Trying to break out of the mold.  Apparently I broke too much...  It had a big old honkin' scratch in it that required some serious grinding action and after that is when I noticed the fracture.  DAD BURNIT!!!!!!!  I entertained the possibility of being able to polish it out but obviously that did not work.

I forgot to post my freaky scanner picture...



Hxtal...  Hmmm...  It is best to put the glue itself in the vacuum and de-bubble it before application or the stone with the glue on it or both?  I do have a gram scale (like the postal type) that I use for mixing gecko food and a vacuum table so that is totally do-able.  Thanks for that input, I'm going to look into getting some of that.  Do you recommend using this for stabilizing stone also?

So far Opticon has proven useless for me in each application I have attempted.  It is like, sort of tacky/oily and almost rubbery in texture.  I forgot to clean the stone before I applied it this time and I did not heat the stone prior to application; come to think of it, I did not heat the chrysocolla when I tried to stabilize that either (but I did clean it that time and also but the opticon on the stone and then under the bell jar on the vacuum table before heating).  This time, I heated the stone in the oven at 170 for 1 1/2 hours and allowed the stone to cool down in the oven, then applied the hardener and let it cure over night but not under heat.  I am going to print out this instruction and try it exactly as you have described it once more before I give up on Opticon completely...  I do have both denatured alcohol and acetone on hand.

I have to get busy on plan 'B' for my contest entry too.
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« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2010, 06:49:06 am »

Dang Gina I know that is heartbreaking.
It is a magnificent cab too. The colors are dynamite. And the shape, WOW, really dramatic and interesting.
I still love it  even with the flaws.
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« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2010, 08:30:24 am »

Gina that just sucks.  Really.  I have had it happen more times than i care to remember.  I started using luke warm water to cab instead of whatever came out of the cold faucet, which in MA can be really freaking cold.  I have had a lot less bogus fractures and chips since then. 

I think that part of the problem you are having with the sealing of the fractures, is due in part to the type of stone.  I find that Hotstuff (super glue) works best for me on hard stones like Agate.  Heating from the bottom of the cab to pull the sealer in deep, should also help.  Some people use vacuum chambers to pull the sealant in.  I have had my best luck with Hotstuff and just so so with Opticon.  I had Opticon that didn't ever harden and i had to scrape it off, but a lot of people have great luck with it.

That is still a really nice cab.

Mark
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« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2010, 09:06:53 am »

Hxtal does not require careful measuring.  I would mix four drops for this job.  I pull the drops out with a plastic toothpick.  I pull 3 drops of the resin first and turn the toothpick and pull one of the hardener.  I use the toothpick to mix and apply.  If you have a vacuuum chamber - it does help to put the stone in the chamber after applying the Hxtal.   Air in the crack can migrate out and be replaced with Hxtal.   I would put under vacuum for an hour or two and then pressurize to ambient pressure to push the Hxtal into any voids that originally had air.  Repeat overnight for a 2nd shot at getting it in deeper.

Put the remainder of the Hxtal in a freezer in case the stone sucks up the original application and you need to add a 2nd layer the next day.  It will be thicker after sittting in the freezer but it will still flow and bond with the first day's application.

I do not use Hxtal to stabilize - It is far too expensive!
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« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2010, 09:55:50 am »

Gina,
When you describe your Opticon as "tacky, oily" could it be contaminated or too old? I have never encountered these conditions with my stuff and I've been using it for many years. The results will be kinda "tacky, oily" if it isn't mixed thoroughly because the unmixed areas won't properly harden.  Sometimes the hardener gets yellowish and syrupy if it has aged too much. I  have the same problems with Epoxy 330 (my one and only adhesive) when it has exceeded its shelf life. Usually after about 18 months for the Epoxy and 3 to 4 years on the Opticon hardener.
Bob 
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« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2010, 12:45:54 pm »

I don't think it's contaminated, I really think I must not be mixing it right.  The instructions call for a mixture of 1/2 oz of base to something like 50 drops of hardener but with the exception of the time I used it to try and stabilize my chrysocolla I make a smidgen of that.  I pour it out of the bottle and don't put any excess back in; I've had it since around Feb-March of this year I think (time has meshed all together).  I will focus on being more diligent in my mix ratio; I generally try to only let out about 1-3 drops of hardener; this last time I used just enough base to cover the whole top of the stone and then put 2 drops of hardener into the stone and tried to mix it up on top of the stone with a popsicle stick.  It did harden enough to make the wood stick to the bottom of the cab (had to grind that off).

I need to remember to clean the stone and pre-heat the stone.  I'm going to the jewelry supply today to get the last of what I need for my jewelry fabrication class and I am going to see if they carry Hxtal there.  It will definitely be in my possession by the end of next week (to allow for shipping).

Mark, I think your comments about using luke warm water are very interesting and some thing I will keep in mind when it gets cold enough here to actually make the ground water cold (for a day... in January... lol).  Where I live, luke warm water IS cold!  (OK I may be exaggerating a little.  2 days.  lololol)  I think I would freeze to death in Massachusetts~

What do you leave the stone on while the mixture hardens?  I have trouble with the stone adhering to the glass in spite of the fact that the mixture doesn't seem to want to permanently adhere to the stone.
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« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2010, 08:29:56 pm »

Gina..

Hope you don't mind. I merged your thread with this one. Mainly because of the relevant info from Michael and Bobby.

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« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2010, 04:56:07 pm »

Yesterday at the jewelry store I finally saw the "Hot Stuff" that you keep referring to Mark and I snagged a bottle of the runny version.  I am still getting myself some HXTAL to mess around with too and while I have zero faith in the Opticon, I am still going to give that a try again following the instruction given before I give away both my bottles.  I know it will be easy to get off if it doesn't work...
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« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2010, 06:08:22 pm »


I am assuming the "Hot Stuff" is cynoacrylic?  true false......non of the above

TOG
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« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2010, 03:47:10 pm »

Yes the bottle says cyanoacrylate adhesive instant glue made by Satellite City.
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« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2010, 08:33:07 am »


We started using this cynoacrylic when we were building model airplanes 25 years ago.  The kind we all bought went by the name 'Zap a Gap'.  The really thin stuff and there were 3 or 4 different 'consistencys'(sp), would actually puff a little whisp of smoke when you dropped some onto two pieces of balsa that you wanted to join togeather.  Don't breathe it however.

TOG
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« Reply #37 on: August 12, 2011, 07:28:15 pm »

This was such a great read!!  Being a newbe, I just learned so much!!! Thank You for sharing this valuable information. Linda
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« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2012, 10:42:12 pm »

Does anyone have experiences with the epoxy sold by The Gem Shop??? Called: Bond Optic

Seems reasonably priced
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« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2012, 02:30:53 pm »

Wow  I learned more new stuff today!  whoo  hoo  yippie  not a wasted day at all,  Thanks oh bestowers of  knowledge  ;)
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« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2012, 10:23:58 pm »

Great thread - I really hate the idea of using artificial means to "fix" or "conceal" problems with stones, but I'm getting more tired of tossing rock in the 'tumble-it' pile or the garden - and in some cases it's rock that'd make most people cry it's so pretty (why do the ugly ones never fracture like this...)

Michael, I'm glad you talked about hxtal. When I first saw the stuff on the internet it looked like a medicine show. I see only one main site and two major distributors along with two sites that just talked it up like it was too good to be true. In fact, unless they've changed that or added more distributors I'm still feeling that way; except that you, a real person, has tried it and seems quite happy with it.

Has anyone else tried hxtal? Now I'm really intrigued and thinking of buying some.
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« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2012, 05:25:38 am »

Frank,
There are several folks on here who use Hxtal.  I haven't heard a single complaint about it on this forum.
If you take a trip down into the Rough and slabs area of the forum, Gina has a topic that is pinned with a video for a fairly cheap vacuum setup you could probably find the parts for at your local hardware store or Harbor Freight.  If I ever get a chance to get up to the one 40 minutes from me, I'll be stabilizing all sorts of things for jewelry use.
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« Reply #42 on: May 19, 2012, 07:43:15 am »

Frank,
There are several folks on here who use Hxtal.  I haven't heard a single complaint about it on this forum.
If you take a trip down into the Rough and slabs area of the forum, Gina has a topic that is pinned with a video for a fairly cheap vacuum setup you could probably find the parts for at your local hardware store or Harbor Freight.  If I ever get a chance to get up to the one 40 minutes from me, I'll be stabilizing all sorts of things for jewelry use.
Cool, thank you! I'll have a gander. The vacuum concept is interesting as well. I was hoping I'd never have to resort to stabilizing (I'm a purist, that's all, no more no less) but I swear it must be this drought we're having but I have slabs that I know were decent to superb when I got them that now have hairlines or worse. I'm planning on a humidifier but I'm having a hard time convincing myself it's not just my imagination and I must have missed those when I first looked them over...

Anyway, this is good to know as I am apparently going to, at some point in the not too distant future, have to dip my toes into the pool of fracture sealing and possibly stabilization. That or just become a rock tumbler hobbiest  chuckle

Which reminds me, I do need one of those too... oh the list, the list the list... crackthewhip
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« Reply #43 on: May 19, 2012, 09:37:21 am »

FOr the most part - I use Hxtal to fill pits and tiny vugs and to fill in the feed lines and mostly healed fracture lines in stone.  I look at Hxtal as only a tool to improve the polish and appearacne a stone will take.  I doubt you will ever add more than a tiny fraction of 1% of Hxtal to the stone.  I do not see this use to improve the polish any different thanI do using  Renaissance  wax to clean and gloss a stone as even wax will leave behind some amount of fill or coating to the piece.  I guess there are certainly different views on this topic of using Hxtal but like opinions - we all have our own.   dancer5
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« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2012, 08:24:09 pm »

I just found this thread, two days after I ordered opticon to fix a fracture in the making in a lovely piece of opalized wood that I am in the process of cabbing.  If I read everyone correctly, using opticon or another "stabilizer" at this time (just finished 100 grit wheel) will not work.  Are there any suggestions for a cab that will likely break unless *something* is done?

Thanks!
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« Reply #45 on: June 25, 2013, 01:39:40 pm »

This first cab is likely going to get scraped or at least trimmed a whole lot due to the one crack upper left..
If you are going to Scrap the 1st one....PLEASE SCRAP IT MY WAY~!!!
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« Reply #46 on: July 23, 2013, 08:56:38 am »

Another excellent thread!
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« Reply #47 on: July 23, 2013, 12:28:44 pm »

I just found this thread, two days after I ordered opticon to fix a fracture in the making in a lovely piece of opalized wood that I am in the process of cabbing.  If I read everyone correctly, using opticon or another "stabilizer" at this time (just finished 100 grit wheel) will not work.  Are there any suggestions for a cab that will likely break unless *something* is done?

Thanks!

if the fracture is too hairline to get much resin in (although epoxy diluted with acetone might penetrate) then I would recommend backing the cab - like with a thin slice of black jasper. Opticon may conceal the fracture and the backing will prevent breaking.
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« Reply #48 on: July 25, 2013, 07:03:37 pm »

This first cab is likely going to get scraped or at least trimmed a whole lot due to the one crack upper left..
If you are going to Scrap the 1st one....PLEASE SCRAP IT MY WAY~!!!

George hasn't been around for quite a while now.  Not sure he is active at all on this forum.  Besides I think he promised it to me.
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« Reply #49 on: September 09, 2013, 02:59:10 pm »

Has anyone tried this stuff XTR-311 Epoxy Adhesive?  fast curing epoxy with a thinner viscosity than HXTAL that is excellent for crack repair and quick projects where HXTAL's long cure time is not a possibility. XTR is a two part epoxy mixed 10:3 that has a 36 hour room temperature cure time for 99.9% bond strength. As advertised it appears to be more fluid than HXTAL therefore should penitrate better I would think.
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« Reply #50 on: February 18, 2016, 04:35:47 pm »

Anyone ever use Bond-Optic sold by Highland Park?
http://www.hplapidary.com/p/968/bond-optic-epoxy-kit
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