I have really been enjoying my experimentation with UV Resin, but when summer ended, so did available sunlight to cure the resin! So, I decided to look for a UV light. Most are basically those little machines used to dry acrylic nails, and are super tiny.
While looking around on the net I found a site by Gera Scott Chandler called, ‘a Mused Studio.’ She had a couple of posts on her site about a UV Resin curing ‘oven’ that she built! She had ordered her own UV light, so I did some research and learned more about fluorescent lights than I ever thought I would in my lifetime. hahaha! One of the comments on her post mentioned going to the pet store for a light, and I learned that UV lights are used in reptile cages to keep them healthy. Ding!Ding!Ding! I decided to try to construct something myself. I used some of the same ideas Gera used, but deviated a bit as well.
Here are the basic components I used: a plastic-covered wire pantry shelf, a couple of foil roasting pans and an 18″, 15 watt, 50 UVB T8 fluorescent light used for pet reptile terrariums. I also used a bit of wire, duct tape, foil and the lid from a shirt box.
Gera must’ve really thought long and hard about how to construct her oven, because she figured out the best way to make the basic structure. Those plastic-covered wire pantry shelves are the perfect solution for a structure that suspends the UV ballast above the pieces to be cured. I attached the ballast to the wire shelf using 22 gauge floral wire. As Gera suggested, I also removed the clear plastic guard over the fluorescent bulb to get maximum UV light exposure while curing the resin.
For the lid, I used two of the largest foil roasting pans I could find at the dollar store and molded them to fit the width of the basic structure so it’d fit over it like a lid. Since one pan wasn’t long enough, I cut the ends off of each pan. It’s very easy to score the pans with a screwdriver.
Then I used duct tape to to join the two pans together so it just fits over the wire shelf and ballast. I also duct taped the scraps that were cut off the ends to cover gaps in the middle of the lid.
To make a simple base so all of the UV light is contained, I found a shirt gift box lid that was the perfect width. It was a bit short, so I unfolded one end. It’s lined with tin foil, but mylar tissue wrap could be used and be more durable. Two more shallow foil pans could also be cut and molded to create a base, but time was of the essence (see my Domo sculpt posts,) so I used the box lid.
Now it’s all ready to cure the resin! Just put pieces to be cured on the foil box base and place the wire shelf structure over it. You can adjust it back and forth to get maximum light coverage. Then place the foil pan lid over the base and plug in the light.
Okay, so it’s not the prettiest. It kind of looks like an Airstream trailer, but it does the job beautifully!
…UV resin curing contraption, or Airstream trailer…you be the judge.