Tin-Cure and Platinum-Cure Silicones

Silicone rubber is a material of choice for many mold makers and casting artists. The excellent flexibility, superior strength, enhanced resistance and long life work in its favor apart from the versatile usage for almost any application.

Silicone rubber comes as a two-part formula that can be poured, sprayed or brushed on the model/mold. In fact, it is safe and can be used for both mold making and casting as long as it suits your application. Another benefit is that silicone does not stick to anything, so a release agent is mostly not required.

Silicone rubber is often used for general mold making applications as the molds manage to capture fine details and can be made very quickly as well. Most materials – all types of resins, foams, wax and some low-melt metals – can easily be cast in silicone molds. It is also suitable for making soaps and candles, sculpture reproduction, cold casting. Special rubber variants can be used for making food molds, realistic masks, doll reborning, special effects and even life casting.

Types of silicone

Silicone rubber polymers come in two variations – platinum-cured and tin-cured. Both these types are very different from each other and are not even compatible with one another. Let’s find out how:

  • Tin cured silicone rubber uses tin salts (usually 5%) as a catalyst to initiate the cure from liquid state to solid. This is also known as condensation cure. Platinum cured rubber has a platinum catalyst (usually 10%) for curing and is also known as addition cure.
  • Tin cured silicones require moisture for proper curing and excess humidity can accelerate the cure time whereas humidity does not have any effect on the curing of platinum variants at all.
  • Tin cured variants are less expensive and also prove to be easier to use while platinum based ones turn out to be quite expensive.
  • Tin cured silicone molds and casts may tend to shrink a bit at times while the platinum cured counterparts enjoy virtually nil shrinkage.
  • Tin based silicone is tear resistant and even considered biodegradable. Its counterpart is considered very pliable and tough.
  • Platinum cure silicones offer exceptional heat resistance and work better in high temperatures than tin cure ones. The former can even be heat accelerated for faster curing.
  • Platinum cured silicones require very accurate and careful mixing, but this is not the case with tin cure ones.
  • Tin cured silicones are primarily suited for general silicone mold making, prototype applications and prosthetic works. Platinum cured silicones provide good dimensional stability and work well for precision molding, special effects applications, encapsulations and paints. The latter comes in food safe, skin safe and transparent versions also.

So, go ahead and make your silicone mold by all means, but do choose the type of silicone rubber with care.

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Description of Marking, Measuring, Cutting and Sewing Tools in Leatherwork

There are several tools used in the field of leatherwork. Most of these tools are locally made while others are bought from shops that sell imported leather tools. The tools used in leatherwork are very many and varied. Therefore, for purposes of easy identification and study, marking tools, measuring tools, cutting tools and sewing tools are described in this article.

1. Marking Tools-
This category of leather tools is used for marking purposes. They are used for creating lines to serve as a guide before sewing, cutting, thonging or stitching is carried out. Examples of tools under this category are:

Edge Creaser- This tool is usually dragged along the edges of leather products to create a creased guideline for sewing and thonging purposes.

Edger- This is a marking tool that is used for creating lines along the edge of leather items to assist in sewing.

Leather Marker- This tool is used for marking out lines as a guide for cutting and designing purposes.

Tracing Tool- It is used for marking and tracing out lines of templates or patterns before sewing.

Spacing Wheel- This tool is used for marking equivalent spaces on leather before punching holes for sewing.

Stitching Groove- It is used for marking lines to serve as a guide when stitching.

Edge beveller- This tool is used for beveling and neatening the edges of thick leather.

Edge groover- This is a metal tool with a round wooden handle. It has a snub end with an adjustable screw recessed into the end, and the groove cutter extends out from the tool on a metal shaft that can be adjusted in length by means of the recessed screw. It is used to produce a shallow groove on the surface of leather into which the thread is recessed below the leather surface.

2. Measuring Tools-
These are tools that are responsible for ensuring straight and accurate routes for stitching, cutting, thonging and decoration. Examples of measuring tools used in leatherwork are:

Dividers- It is used for measuring, creating small intervals for stitching and the setting of circles for the cutting of strips and thongs.

Metal Ruler or Straight Edge-It is used for measuring. It also serves as a guide when creating straight cuts of leather.

Measuring Tape- This is a long rubber tape used for taking accurate measurements.

3. Cutting Tools-
This group of leather tools is used for general cutting purposes. They are used for cutting patterns and pieces or parts of leather. Examples of cutting tools for leatherwork are:

Shears or Scissors- This is a paired sharp cutting tool used for the cutting of cards and papers for use as templates and for the cutting of light leather, linings, foams, and fabrics.

Skiving Knife- This is a sharp knife that is used for removing the bulkiness of leather by thinning. This technique is commonly referred to as skiving.

Strap Cutter- This cutting tool is used for cutting long straps of leather used in making handles of bags, belts etc.

Swivel Knife- It is used for making light cuts or beveled lines to aid in the folding of leather.

Head Knife- This knife is used for cutting and trimming thick pieces of leather.

Gouge- This cutting tool is used for creating grooves to make folding and creasing easy in leatherwork. V-Gouge- This type of gouge is used for creating ‘V’ grooves. U- Gouge- This type of gouge is used for creating ‘U’ grooves.

Bevel Point Knife- This cutting tool is used for cutting leather at right angles.
Glass or Zinc plate-It is the surface on which the leather is placed for cutting.

3. Sewing Tools
These tools are used for sewing pieces of leather together to form the article. Some of the tools in this category help make thonging and the making of decorative stitches very easy. Some of the sewing tools used in leatherwork are:

Needles: There are various types of needles used in leatherwork. While some types like the lacing needle are used for sewing pieces of leather together, others like the Glovers and Harnesses are used for sewing thongs at the edges of leather articles.

Thimble: This is a protective metal tool worn mostly on the index finger as an excellent aid for sewing.

Sewing Machine: This machine assists in the sewing of pieces of leather, foam, and other leatherette materials.

Loop clamp: This is a tool used for holding small belt loops in the stitching clamps when sewing them closed. The jaws are small enough to enter the loop and the clamp can generally be held in the jaws of a pair of stitching clamps.

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Pattern Making and How To Design Handles in Leatherwork

Patterns are shapes or motifs of objects cut out in paper and other materials which include cardboard, tin sheet, zinc or galvanized iron sheet, plastic sheet etc. and used as a guide in producing leather articles. They also refer to already prepared designs/decorations/motifs intended for transfer onto leather and other surfaces for fixing or duplicating them on the leather.

Again, patterns also refer to impressions or decorations made on a surface. Patterns can be stamped, woven, batiked, embossed, incised, drawn, peeled, tie-dyed etc. on leather.

Functions/Advantages of Patterns

1. Patterns help in the cutting out of leather.
2. They aid in the smooth production of mass quantities of leather articles.
3. It helps leather artists in avoiding wastage of materials.
4. It helps in saving the time of the artist.
5. It ensures an accuracy of the work.
6. It serves as a way of checking whether the ideas of the artist will work before producing the actual product.

Procedure For Preparing and Transferring Designs From Patterns onto Leather

1. Draw the design/pattern/motif.
2. Cut the shape out with scissors, knife etc.
3. Place the moistened leather on a flat hard surface.
4. Place the cutout pattern on the flesh side of the leather on the reverse side. The paper pattern should be laid on the leather as economically as possible avoiding any marks or flaws.
5. Place a weight at the centre of the pattern. Small patterns can be held in position with the fingers. Straight edges are best ruled with the aid of a steel straight edge.
6. Trace out the pattern with a ball point pen, awl or a bone folder etc.

Designing Handles For Handbags

1. The size of the handbag is very important. It may be small, medium or big. This will help the leatherworker to produce an appropriate handle to correspond the size of the leather article.

2. The purpose or function of the bag must be known. This will help the leatherworker to know the best part of the bag to affix the handle whether, at the top, sides or all around the handle. This will help him in knowing the type of leather to be used in producing the handle. For instance, if the handbag is to be used for shopping it will require strong handles. Owing to this, thick leather must be used in producing the handle.

3. The nature of the handbag must be known. Is the bag having a flat top with flap over bag, bag closed with zip or top open handbag etc.? This knowledge will help the leatherworker to know where to position the handle.

4. The leatherworker must know the shape of the bag. This will help the designer to know the type of handle that will suite the leather bag.

5. The type of leather available for the work. This will help the designer to know whether to put lining or do away with lining.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9563093

Entering and Winning the Best, New Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes are a gamble. They are typically used as a promotion strategy to introduce new products. But if you are lucky, they offer a good chance to make some quick cash and earn grand prizes. There are several sweepstakes available online, that you can participate in. However, it’s impossible to enter all of them. Here’s how to maximize you earning potential from sweepstakes.

1. Google search – Google’s your go to place for all kinds of sweepstakes. It’s a broad search that gives you every type of sweepstake, allowing you to choose what you want.

2. The prize – Instead of only typing “sweepstakes”, narrow you search based on the prize you want to win. Examples include for cars, travels, grocery items. You can also customize you search based on the end date.

3. Sweepstake sites – Like you have coupon sites, there are sites dedicated to sweepstakes. They collect and display information about and links to such contests making it easier for you to choose. They are updated on a daily basis and so give you the most recent.

4. Magazines – There is nothing wrong with the gold old way. Monthly magazines also provide information on the latest sweepstakes and giveaways. Most of the magazines today have an e-version or they manage and operate a website.

5. Stop by at blogs – Bloggers post sweepstakes and contests as a strategy to attract traffic to their platform. Thus, they scour the web for not only the latest but also sweepstakes with grand prizes.

6. Fewer entries – Most participants run for the popular sweepstakes. If you are really looking to raise your chances of winning, go for those that have fewer entries. Some are restricted to specific local areas disallowing people from other states or countries to participate. Sweepstakes are also designed to target a specific gender or age group.

7. Stick by the rules – Every contest has its set of rules. And, if you really want to up your chances of winning the grand prizes they offer, you have to play by the rules. There is no two ways to it. It includes simple things like the maximum number of entries, referrals and ways to get extra chances. Missing out on even one of the rules can get you disqualified.

8. Correct info – All sweepstakes ask you to provide personal information such as your name, email address, street address. Make sure it is accurate and up-to-date. If you do not want to mix sweepstake alerts with your personal messages, you can set up a separate email account.

9. Enter more often – Opt for contests that allow you to enter more often. Contests with bigger sponsors usually allow you to enter once every day. It is sometimes not possible to do so every day due to constraints of time; however, it significantly increases your odds of winning.

10. More prizes – There are sweepstakes that will have just one winner and those that offer multiple prizes. It is obvious that in case of the latter, the prizes will be of a lower value, but you can at least expect to win something. No matter how small, it will motivate you to enter more contests in future.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9562697