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Sculpting & Modelling => Sculpting & Modelling Questions => Topic started by: babysloth on April 23, 2012, 08:25:26 AM

Title: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: babysloth on April 23, 2012, 08:25:26 AM
I've noticed that many sculptors are using acetone to finish the surface of the clay - to get for example the fingerprints out. Now I feel quite foolish  :-[... but do I use acetone before or after baking??

So far I haven't used it at all. I really hate sanding (don't like the way it feels to my hands), so acetone might help a little bit..
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: ejralph on April 23, 2012, 09:46:56 AM
It isn't something I am familiar with - but it will be used before baking I am sure.

After baking you would need something abrasive like sandpaper to remove any fingerprints. So always try to get the clay as perfect as you can before you bake!

Emma
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: MelMcG on April 23, 2012, 01:24:25 PM
I don't really know, but I guess it could be used to smooth the clay like some people use babywipes.  I would think you'd still need to sand it though.

I also have question regarding acetone.

Can Acetone be used with alcohol inks in the same way that you'd use Adirondack Alcohol Ink Blending Solution?

Mel  :)
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: ejralph on April 23, 2012, 02:54:17 PM
Don't know about acetone - certainly you can use meths like blending solution though. The only thing is the blending solution has a longer working time I think.

Emma
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: MelMcG on April 24, 2012, 08:23:02 AM
Ok Thanks Emma.

Mel  :)
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: ejralph on April 24, 2012, 09:50:18 AM
I think being alcohol inks you can use any alcohol sucessfully as a solvent for them.

Emma
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: MelMcG on April 24, 2012, 10:01:02 AM
Thanks Emma.  I'm really enjoying working with the alcohol inks and can see myself using a lot of the blending solution. I'd bought one of the Adirondack ones, which really didn't last me long at all.  When I was in L.A. I saw loads of the 91% isopropl alcohol stuff that I've heard is used, but we don't seem to sell that here, which is ashame, because it was really cheap.

My postman has just delivered my order from you!!  Thank you :)

Mel  :)
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: Shirley on April 24, 2012, 11:02:12 AM
Shops that sell computer repair/technical bits may stock the isopropyl alcohol, apparently it is used a lot for cleaning computer innards.
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: MelMcG on April 24, 2012, 11:39:39 AM
Thanks Shirley.  I looked into that, but it's not all that cheap to buy it like that.

Mel  :)
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: Bev on April 24, 2012, 07:35:55 PM
I've sent you a pm Mel  ;)
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: ejralph on April 24, 2012, 09:44:09 PM
This is why I use meths so much. I use it for both claying and lampworking. It cleans tools, glass, raw clay etc. It works great for inks, cleaning them off things (I also end up doing lots of stuff where I write on my ceramic tiles with sharpie pens, doing baking tests and so on) also the alcohol inks as a blending solution (flicking it with a toothbrush is fun)
Oh cleaning paintbrushes with inks or liquid clays too - meths is fab for that. And its dirt cheap and available everywhere.

Emma
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: MelMcG on April 25, 2012, 09:17:50 AM
Thanks Bev and Emma.

The only issue I've ever had with meths is the smell, it gives me a headache, so I think I'll try out the isopropyl alcohol first.

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what else is in the 91% isopropyl alcohol that is easily available in the US?  I should have looked when I had the chance.

Mel  :)
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: ejralph on April 25, 2012, 10:04:39 AM
I think it is just neat alcohol and water - that is why its considered so pure and good enough for cleaning stuff. I know when we had the computer business, the tech guys were always hassling my BF at the time for it as he could get it from his doctor dad.

It could be they add bitrex or something to prevent people drinking it, but I would have thought at 91 percent proof, no one would be physically able to anyway. SO I suspect just alcohol and water.

Emma

Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: MelMcG on April 25, 2012, 01:10:46 PM
Thanks Emma.

Mel  :)
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: Bonipie on April 26, 2012, 05:16:15 AM
I work a lot with alcohol inks.  Lately, my clay buddies brought up using Rit dye instead of alcohol ink.  I started to use 91% alcohol (which is readily available in US) and notice a great difference between the 91 and 70%.  Just my experience.  And, speaking of experience, based on my testing, I will continue to use the alcohol ink, not the dyes.  Again, just my experience.  (Just in case anyone is interested.)

Hugs, Boni  8) in not so Sunny Arizona
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: polynana on April 26, 2012, 08:37:14 AM
I think being alcohol inks you can use any alcohol sucessfully as a solvent for them.

Emma

I used brandy once  ;)
As I don't drink at all it smelt awful.
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: ejralph on April 26, 2012, 08:44:37 AM
vodka is often used as it supposedly doesn't have a smell, although I would beg to differ there!

I don't drink either so all alcohols smell pretty yuck to me.

Emma
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: ShawnGCreations on December 18, 2012, 11:49:19 AM
I'm a bit late on this. In my defense I only just joined. I tried a few things like acetone. I've tried turpentine and acetone. It's really best for smoothing seems and joins. Also if you don't have liquid clay you can rub some on and it'll help bond joins throughout and not just the edges.

The main drawback was that if you're not careful it can make the clay a bit hard to work with. It seems too harsh.
I eventually tried rubbing alcohol which was less harsh but the best so far has been mineral oil. I honestly just use baby oil for that now.

Although if you're looking to avoid fingerprints then surgical gloves work but get sweaty. Cornstarch is also pretty good. I've just gotten into the habit of working out the prints as I work, as much as I can.
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: MelMcG on December 19, 2012, 08:42:21 AM
Thanks for all that info Shawn.

Mel  :)
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: Carrie on December 19, 2012, 03:34:09 PM
I saw a free tutorial  where acetone aka nail varnish remover was used on baked black clay to give a very matt, velvety texture.  Acetone fumes are very bad for you, however.  I think it's a stronger solvent than alcohol.
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: ShawnGCreations on December 19, 2012, 04:14:35 PM
Thanks for all that info Shawn.

Mel  :)

My pleasure.
I forgot to mention that I also use mineral oil when I need to bond unbaked clay to a baked piece. I never could get the seems to smooth enough, and usually the joint is weak.
This way you get a better bond and smoother seams.
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: Carrie on December 19, 2012, 07:49:40 PM
I use baby oil - mineral oil - sometimes, to soften too-hard clay - I guess that would be why you get such a nice smooth seam when you use it to join baked to unbaked - softening the edges of the unbaked part  :)  Good thinking!!
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: Bonipie on December 20, 2012, 04:49:37 AM
Wow, I did not know you could use baby oil to bond clay!  I'll have to try that.  Actually, I can not remember needing to bond baked to unbaked clay.  This tells you that I'm very remiss about using cool bails. 

About the chemicals, hubby and I are always working on something.  We have an array of 'chemicals'.  We have an order of using them.  First use nothing.  If that doesn't work, use alcohol.  If that doesn't work, use paint thinner (but, it stinks).  If that doesn't work, use laquer thinner.  Then, use acetone if none of the above works.  You'll notice that baby oil and booze are not on the list.  We may have to reconsider.  Problems, we have no babies, and we just like wine and coconut rum.  Does this stuff work?? ???

By the way, we have a long history with glues, too.  Our favorite is not c/a (cyanoacrylate, or super glue), but sometimes you need to use it.  You need to have a very tight contact surface for the thin c/a (super glue) to work.  This c/a goes everywhere.  If you have a good contact with your surface and fingers, it can really burn and really glue.  I like what we call medium c/a, the more gel like super glues.  They are 'gap filling' and do not go everywhere.  You can use an 'accelerator' to make them set quicker.  You want to use just what is needed to glue, or it will run everwhere or might bubble or turn white with the thicker glues.

If I may, a funny c/a story.  I was out shopping and hubby was home repairing a very big (70" wingspan) radio control airplane.  He called me and asked if I could come home.  He had glued the airplane to his hand!  This airplane is as big as he is!  He couldn't get out of his shop to get some acetone.  (Acetone will remove super glue.)  I was afraid he would chew off his hand before I made it home.  He didn't (chew off his hand), but removed a bit of skin from his fingers to get the plane off his hand.  Called me, but didn't wait for me to get home (which I didn't think he would, anyway).  Really, this makes me laugh everytime I think of it.

Happy gluing.  And, don't glue anything bigger than you are.

Hugs, Boni  8) in Sunny Yuma, Arizona
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: ShawnGCreations on December 20, 2012, 05:30:53 AM
I use baby oil - mineral oil - sometimes, to soften too-hard clay - I guess that would be why you get such a nice smooth seam when you use it to join baked to unbaked - softening the edges of the unbaked part  :)  Good thinking!!

I find it easier to use than acetone or something like that. It's cheaper and you can control the effect more.

Wow, I did not know you could use baby oil to bond clay!  I'll have to try that.  Actually, I can not remember needing to bond baked to unbaked clay.  This tells you that I'm very remiss about using cool bails. 

About the chemicals, hubby and I are always working on something.  We have an array of 'chemicals'.  We have an order of using them.  First use nothing.  If that doesn't work, use alcohol.  If that doesn't work, use paint thinner (but, it stinks).  If that doesn't work, use laquer thinner.  Then, use acetone if none of the above works.  You'll notice that baby oil and booze are not on the list.  We may have to reconsider.  Problems, we have no babies, and we just like wine and coconut rum.  Does this stuff work?? ???

By the way, we have a long history with glues, too.  Our favorite is not c/a (cyanoacrylate, or super glue), but sometimes you need to use it.  You need to have a very tight contact surface for the thin c/a (super glue) to work.  This c/a goes everywhere.  If you have a good contact with your surface and fingers, it can really burn and really glue.  I like what we call medium c/a, the more gel like super glues.  They are 'gap filling' and do not go everywhere.  You can use an 'accelerator' to make them set quicker.  You want to use just what is needed to glue, or it will run everwhere or might bubble or turn white with the thicker glues.

If I may, a funny c/a story.  I was out shopping and hubby was home repairing a very big (70" wingspan) radio control airplane.  He called me and asked if I could come home.  He had glued the airplane to his hand!  This airplane is as big as he is!  He couldn't get out of his shop to get some acetone.  (Acetone will remove super glue.)  I was afraid he would chew off his hand before I made it home.  He didn't (chew off his hand), but removed a bit of skin from his fingers to get the plane off his hand.  Called me, but didn't wait for me to get home (which I didn't think he would, anyway).  Really, this makes me laugh everytime I think of it.

Happy gluing.  And, don't glue anything bigger than you are.

Hugs, Boni  8) in Sunny Yuma, Arizona

All it really does is soften the clay so it sitcks a little better. In the case of smoothing seems, with nothing it seems to just never smooth over baked clay. A little baby oil on your finger and problem solved.

I think i don't like using chemicals. I can be clumsy so perhaps I don't trust myself with chemicals  ;D I just buy a bottle of my local super market brand baby oil. Last for a while. I doubt wine would work. Not sure about coconut rum. Although I think just aboiut any kind of spirit would. Of course, the best way to find out is to experiment on a test piece. I do love experimenting. I find all kinds of new and useful things. I do, of course also destroy a few things but hey, that's part of it.

I generally hate super glue. Or it hates me (I once absent mindedly tried to chew off some partially dried super glue from my finger. Ended up with that hard film on my tongue and one tooth for a few days). I get better results from epoxies if I'm gluing.
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: MelMcG on December 20, 2012, 09:04:10 AM
LOL! I like super glue stories.  In my early polymer days before I discovered the gel superglue, I glued my thumb and forefinger of my left hand together just before I had to drive somewhere.  It made for an interesting journey trying to operate the stickshift as we drive on the left side of the road here.  My daughter was quite concerned at the noises that kept coming from the gearbox!

Mel  ;D
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: ejralph on December 20, 2012, 12:22:28 PM
Lol at all the superglue stories.

In regards to baby / mineral oil ,it acts as a solvent on the clay and softens it. So it can help bonding I suppose in the same way that water does with ceramic clays.

Some years ago I did some mosaic projects by baking poly clay tiles and then mixing clay and oil into a soft paste as a bakeble grout. Worked well but I decided life was too short and there are better products out there for grouting.

Emma
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: Sylvia on December 20, 2012, 02:34:19 PM
What - like grout?  :)
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: MelMcG on December 20, 2012, 03:01:55 PM
What - like grout?  :)

LOL!!!   ;D ;D ;D

Mel  ;D
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: Carrie on December 20, 2012, 04:23:55 PM
Grout works really well...to grout polyclay tiles ;D :P :P
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: ejralph on December 20, 2012, 09:21:04 PM
Bingo!

Emma
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: Minizephyr on April 07, 2013, 10:44:09 PM
I just use baby oil, but try not to erase fingertips, I see them as proof that the sculpture was really handmade.
Title: Re: Acetone - when to use?
Post by: ShawnGCreations on April 09, 2013, 06:47:41 PM
I just use baby oil, but try not to erase fingertips, I see them as proof that the sculpture was really handmade.

I agree. One of the surest signs of a handmade piece is fingerprints. Though I will say it's about where and how you use it. With a sculptural piece using a tool to drag detail in can cause it to leave 'crumbs' along the way. So to get clean lines or detail I dip the tool in baby oil.
It's also really great for blending. I now add clay onto a piece and very roughly blend it. Then I use a tool dipped in baby oil to smooth it. Much more control.

And since the clay is so soft from the baby oil you can see the fingerprints better.