This is a list of casting products that have been reviewed by our customers. Many countries and products are not listed because I have not received any information from cutomers in those locations. If you have information on a product that you like, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. so I can add it to the list shown here.
Please note that I have not tested these out personally, so I can't guarantee that the reviews are accurate. These comments are taken directly from the message board on my web site.
I've found an awsome site for those people of australia who are looking for casting/molding/sculpting supplies! Go to www.Barnesproducts.com.au, they are a supplier to the entertainment industry for special effects and such. Also if looking for plasters in local areas look in the yellowpages under ceilings, there is heaps of plaster supplies!
Whilst hunting down dental plaster suppliers (Denta Vision Ph:9899-6555)I was led to a plaster manufacturer in Marrickville, Sydney called Ainsworth Dental Company P/L. (Ph:9519-7223) They suggested an industrial plaster called Patternstone H at a cost of approx A$50 for 22.5kg. (Add extra $8 for local delivery).
The dental stones cost locally around A$100-120 for 25kg vs $50 for the Patternstone H mentioned above. Therefore it is half the price for an industrial grade high strength plaster compared to dental stones. The people at Barnes are very helpful and have a showroom you can visit on weekdays with their casting and mould making supplies.
Here's another source for the Patterstone H. Size: 22.5kg bag, Price: AUD$50 (Including GST) plus $10 home delivery per bag in metropolitan area. Company: Ainsworths, 26-28 Smith Street MARRICKVILE, Ph:9519 7223.
Robert adds this comment "It can be bought for around $54 in a 22.5 Kg re-sealable buckett, or for $49 in a 22.5 Kg bag from Ainsworth Dental Company. It is also rated at 10,000 psi, so I expect it will have similar properties of the Die-Keen that is avaliable in America."
I've cast a whole 22.5kg bag of Patternstone H - I got about 200 (large) moulds cast from this bag. At AUD$60 with delivery that's 30c per cast or say $6 per small model. Not as expensive as I first reckoned.
With some nice dry bricks I've done my first strength test, the method been to attempt to break a standard brick with long nose pliers. My POP brick disintegrated with minor pressure, with very hard pressure the Patternstone H brick suffered from some minor fragmentation along its corner edges where in contact with the pliers. Very impressed but have yet to attempt sanding of these pieces. The blocks end up weighing approximately double the weight of POP. Patternstone H is white. -Bossman
I found that Heraeus Kulzer have an office in Sydney, who are willing to sell Die-Keen direct to the public. And at AUD $76 + GST (about AUD$83) collected, it's comparable in price to the costs mentioned on the list for America - considering one Australian dollar (read "peso") is only worth 50c US. Their phone number is (02) 9417 8411. You'll likely need to pay by credit card or cash. The address is 18/390 Eastern Valley Way, Roseville, NSW 2069 -Mike
Here in Australia i buy my plaster from Halas which have offices all over oz. They sell to anyone (public). I bought some stone called coe cal it set me back AUD$160 I think, this particalar stone is very strong. They stock a great range of plasters. They also Have a site at www.halas.com.au -daddykool
CSR Gyprock manufacture all kinds of plasters. On their website (which is one of the sadest sites I have seen www.gyprock.com.au) there is a link to all the kinds of plaster they sell (7 in total). I purchased some casting plaster from them and it's properties are the same as PoP. With the exception of it takes maybe a fraction longer to set, it came in a 20kg bag for $13.00AUD. The casting plaster is cheep and very good, (the castle I entered in the HADD is made from it) -Dennis Bryson
Barnes Products in Melbourne. www.barnesproducts.com.au
Hydrostone, 10,000psi, $41.80/ 22.5kg bag
Hydrocal White, 5,000psi, $41.80 / 22.5kg bag
Reg Dental Plaster, 2,000psi, $30.80 / 22.5 kg bag
These prices are current as of August 7th, 2006. All prices include GST. -KingdomBuilder
I use "Modellgips" from a firm called "Rigips", located in Bad Aussee. It is a finer version of the standard POP, costing around 5€/4,5$ per 5 kg bag. There are smaller bags too. It can be found in any home working market ("Baumarkt" - Obi, Imo, Hornbach...) - though they do not send it to your house. I found it reasonably strong (there is no Psi indicator on the bag and the salesperson didn't quite understand me: "Psi? Wos is'n des schowieda?") and did not look for anything else.
I went to a hobbyist store ("Kaspar Harnisch" in Graz) and found other materials which are considerably more expensive, costing around 15€/13,5$ per 5 kg bag and more. I might try them once and mail you the results.
Then there is "Reliefgiesspulver". A person from the board told me about it and I found it also at "Kaspar Harnisch". I didn't use it myself since it is horrendously expensive (25€/22$ for a 5kg bag) Maybe the person from Vienna could give you more details. (sorry, I forgot the name...) -Stephan
I just used the "Relief Giespulver" because it is available at the Hobbystore just around the corner, and had some experience with it (mix it, pour it and so on). It has a little bit chalky finish when completely dry and takes paint very well ,i.e. soaks it up. The downside is, it chips off very easy, especially were the buildings come apart.
These are the reasons why I´m trying to get the Dentalplaster from Germany, Andreas St had mentioned ( www.norisdent.de ), but I don´t know yet if they send to Austria without further costs, but the price is much better then the stuff I´m using now. -ACE
I got my dental plaster through my dentist and he got it from Ash Temple: www.ashtemple.com/ash/index.html. I haven't tried purchasing from them directly yet, but they do have offices in BC. -Jasper
For the Montreal area, you can find plaster, dental plaster, USG products and Polytek resin and silicone products at Webster et fils inc, 2585 cote de liesse, Montreal, 514 332-0520
You can also find smooth-on product and plaster of all kinds at Sial / Poterie St. Catherine, 2860 Lecorbusier, Laval, Quebec H7L 3S1, (450) 687-4046, FAX (450) 687-4105 -Luis Fernandez
In Canada (Quebec), you can get USG Hydrocal, Hydro-stone and Drystone from a company called Groupe Bédard. They have four warehouses: -Louis
I would like to suggest the following place:
Excel Dental Laboratory Sources, Ltd.
1627 West 2nd Ave, Vancouver, BC
I just bought a 50lb. box of Coecal plaster (1 hour psi at 4400) for just around $40CAN. They might have other types, but this should definitely be hard enough (and cheap enough) for what I'm working on. -Chris Cleroux
I found a place in Toronto called Del Dent that sells Excalibur in 50 lb. boxes and debbublizer in 1 gallon jugs. $75 Canadian for the dental stone and $65 Canadian for the debbulizer. Their address is: 127 Willowdale Ave., North York, Ontario. Phone number is (416) 222-8469. -Ian
I have used a product called 'Alabaster gips' to cast my first roofing sections. Its made and sold in Århus by a small company called Panduro Hobby and can be bought for 20 kroners per kilo. It dries hard within 30-60 minutes. www.pandurohobby.com -Jan
I have used plaster that is called Primodur 100 which is very hard (13 000psi compression strength) and colored light brownish/pink. I purchased it from a company called KeraPro that is located in Espoo, Finland www.kerapro.fi and supplies mainly clay and plaster to artists. At the moment it costs 1,5€/kg when purchased in quantities less than 40kg:s. If you buy more it costs 0.96€/kg if you purchase it less than a ton at a time :) They sell the plaster in 1kg steps and mine came packaged in 5kg plastic bags (those looked just like the cocaine bags from the movies :) They also sell plasters called Primosupra 60 and 70 that are not as hard but cost less (as low as 0.47€/kg for more than 40kg).
The plaster mixes easily, can be cast using very thin mixture and still retain good strength in the finished pieces --> less bubbles. The plaster is ready to scrape in 5-6 minutes and you can remove the pieces from the molds after 15mins total time! This makes casting really fast affair. Downside to this fast hardening time is that if you need to mix more plaster within one mold, scraping the mold uniformly can be hard as parts of it can be very hard already. With this plaster I have been able to create a rotation with four molds that gives me no waiting times and was able to create a staggering amount of bricks in an evening. -Lars Laurent
I warmly recommend Staturoc material from Rougié & Plé in France. It is thinner and less subject to bubbles than Paris plaster when poured into the molds, and incomparably stronger when dry. perfect for the thinner molds. -Michel
Staturoc is a very, VERY good plaster, very hard, very smoot, a 'must have' ! but a little more expensive (28 € or 28 $ for 5 kg). I give you all the technical parts I found on this plaster:
Le Staturoc est un plâtre synthétique à couler (synthetic plaster to mold).
Cette poudre composée d'un mélange de gypse a les caractéristiques suivantes:
I strongly recommend Plâtre résine de GEDEO (Resin plaster from GEDEO), it can be easily found in stores like Cultura. This plaster is extremely thin, and don’t produce bubbles. It’s much stronger than Paris Plaster, and permit molding of hinged gate without problems. -Benoit
I thought you would be interested about an impressive material called Stewalin. It dries quickly in about 30 minutes and is already solid in about 10. When dry it is very similar to dental plaster and it cost about 9 dollars for 1 kg. It doesn't make any bubble as well, so far that the most amazing casting material i could get. -Emmanuel
SNOW ROCK DIE STONE - white color - 25kg
www.gipsboerse.de caters only in dentalplasters. They have five different plasters (at various costs) and have a wealth of information about each and every plasters they offer downloadable as pdf's. Also technical details and pricelists can be downloaded.
And Crea-center www.crea-center.de - offers liquid plaster in his shop as well. The 1l bottle for EUR 6 and refillpacks for EUR 3,- per l + pp. -Jo
The plaster I use is Sockelgips fl. You can buy it from: hinrichs-dental. Post Adresse is Ernst Hinrichs GmbH, Borsigstraße 1, 38644 Goslar. Telefon:05321/50624-25. It cost about 64,-€ for 25 kg.
Wasser-/Gipsverhältnis 24 ml : 100g
The plaster is very, very liquid, like milk. It is made for Dentists to use it without an vibrationtable. While using also the Hinrisid Oberflächenentspanner auf Tensidbasis (12,-€) the stones come out without any airbubbels. It works very good. -Fred
I have also found a source for reasonably priced dental plaster. It's a class 4 plaster having the same specifications as the "sockelgips fl" by Hinrichs. The difference is, that you can get 25 kg at 55,00 €. Mrs. Bethmann, the shop owner(ess), usually sends out the stuff without charging postage and packing. Just ask nicely. She's also sening out samples, if you want to try out before buying 25kg. The adress is www.bethmann-dental-discount.de. Phone +49 4841 935250. She also has some pretty good silikone on offer (well not as good as the stuff you use, but...). One can buy 2.000g at 35,00 € or 6.000g at 100,00€. -Uli
I asked my Dentist for Dental Plaster after having paid megabucks for "Die Keen Green", which I ordered directly from Heraeus Kulzer in Germany. The Dental Plaster recommended by my Dentist is also "Hartgips Klasse 4" and costs about €30 for 25 kg. This stuff does really well.
Food Dehydrators are made by the German brand "Rommelsbacher" and cost about € 90.-. It`s available in every shop for household electrical devices. Mine had to be ordered but I got it within 24hrs. -Michael
After some searching I found that basically all Smooth-On products can be ordered through a company in Germany:
KauPo Plankenhorn e.K.
The managing director Mr.Plankenhorn was very friendly and the company offers a great support. Ordering over the phone was no problem. -Kai
*Keramin and Keramin S:* If you are short of dental plaster and can't wait for your last order from your favorite dentist to arrive, go to your local hobby store and try one of these. The ratio is 3 parts plaster to 1 part water for Keramin and 4:1 for Keramin S. But you can fill more molds than expected with this ratio. You can also purchase it on the web at www.hobbyversand-schlachter.de.
Advantages: You can mix it by eye. It is very forgiving. It is extremely hard (I did not yet manage to destroy a block of Keramin S without using a hammer or dropping it from over 2meter. It has a very smooth surface and is extremely easy to paint. and the best: you can use it almost immediately after getting it out of the mold. No joke! To be sure it is dry and ready for further usage i usually give it a rest for about 30 minutes after it came out of the mold. but then you can already paint and glue it. it is very fluent and usually does not produce any air bubbles. it is also very easy to scrape. Only Keramin S: hydrophobe surface-does not soak up water after it is hard at all. But it can be painted. so you could in theory leave it outside in the pouring rain and it would do nothing at all to your blocks.(it's painting is another thing)
Disadvantages: As for the quality of the material, none at all! But it is priced very high at 100€ for a sack of 25 kg for Keramin S is definitely too much! Keramin comes a bit cheaper for about 70 €.
So:great stuff for beginners that have problems with other materials and don't know how to spend their money. you have to make all sorts of mistakes to get a bad cast. I did not yet manage to do it. But i would only use it for parts that have to be unusual strong like some parts of windows or roofs that tend to break because it is much too expensive for every day use. -Mario
I found a supplier of Excalibur in Germany. They deliver in Europe at about 10 % of the delivery costs from USA (which, to Finland, is still ~50 % of the cost of the merchandise). They're at www.siladent.com and they do business in English at least as well as in German. Their color selection is different than what you get ordering from Garreco itself (white, dentist green, golden brown). -Antti
Stewalin synthetic moulding compound.
Package Size is 1000g = 1kg 5,99 €
It will work best by using 1 Part Water and 4 Parts Stewalin which ends up in a creamy material easy to cast and it takes 30min until you can remove the parts from the mold. Drying the parts about 24h on the central heating or in an oven before working with them works best for us.
The pieces are very very strong and form very good detail quality. They have a non-chalky surface with a brilliant white shade. There is also a terracotta version of it. -Michael
Producer is a Swiss Company with a subsidary in Germany
As a plaster I use simple modelling plaster called "Modellgipsz" in Hungary. It is quite cheap, about 1$ per 1 kg, but if I bauy a 5kg bag it is not more than 3$. I usually mix it with simple "white concrete" (called "Fehér cement") using 1:2 (concrete:plaster) ratio. This product is about the same price as plaster.
As I always look for how to reduce the time I have to spend to build I have figured out that I can add 10% brown ferrum-oxid pigments to make the finished casts to be dark brown or about 3-5% black to be medium/dark grey. 1 kg ferrum oxid is about 1000-1200 HUF (4-5$) so it is cheap (1 kg can be used for 10 kg plaster!) and quick way to add the basic color directly to the plaster. The final cast is a quite strong product and if I use ferrum oxid, it has the base color immediately! -Peter
I am based in Ireland and I was at a loss as to where to source materials, but after a little searching I settled on 'Dentstone KD'; I found at RPM Supplies with €8 shipping, and I've been extremely pleased with the results and material properties. I'm not sure how that compares to what's recommended in the US, or whether it's overkill for what I'm building, but 25kg (55lbs) is a lot of material and I don't feel like it was super expensive.
I started the project intending to use 5mm foam core as a basing material but I noped out pretty quickly after seeing how much it warped on my first few sections; right now I'm using ~2.5mm card stock which seems to have ample strength and retains the easy-to-cut-ness of the other.
I use the wet water method for each cast; I keep a pot full of water and add a drop or two of Fairy Liquid to it, and I dip the molds in for only a second then shake them off; I use the same water (Fairy Liquid included) to mix with the dental stone at a 1:2 ratio.
Time to set seems about the same as the other materials listed here and on YouTube; after 5–8 mins I scrape the excess off the mold, after 20 mins it's perfect to demold (for delicate casts, like the ladder pieces from #279, I wait 40 mins).
I still have some tiny bubbles (no vibrating table or degassing chamber), but for the most part I feel like I'm getting near-perfect casts doing just the above. I did try mixing in food coloring for the lulz, but it doesn't really work — though it is fun to watch the pigments separate and slowly travel through the pieces over the several-day drying period. - Steven
I use a plaster called "Geves Gesher" in Hebrew, or "Gesher alabaster gypsum" in English. It comes in a 1 Kg green bag and costs around 15 shekels (around 3.5 $) per bag. You can buy it at any home depot or art store in Israel.
The company that manufactures it is called "Gesher". I don't have contact information for them. The plaster is very easy to mix and sets at a good speed. A 1 kg bag lasted me around 25 castings of the wizards tower mold, with some left over. The blocks come out strong, although they take a couple of days to really dry out. -Roy Hasson
I use "Kera Flott" here in Italy, good product indeed, is a kind of ceramic powder, quite strong at the end. It cost abt. 9.000 Lit (ehmm... now is 4,65 Euro) per Kg. Easy mixing, the material needs 13 minutes to set and about 20 minutes to dry. No air inclusion at all. You can find it in a big "colorificio" or "belle arti" shop. -Taklinn58
The "plaster" product I'm currently using here in Italy is named "Marmorina". It's produced by Prochima and its specifications are as follows: Working time: 10 - 15 mins. De-molding time: 30-40 mins. Hardness: 350 N/mm. It's a quite good product, but some bubble is not infrequent. -Marco
The plaster can be found on any hardware store. It calls "Yeso Blanca Nieves" Plaster Snow White. But it's so fragil. Obviusly is white. It's cheaper, it cost $5 pesos for one kilogram.
The dental plaster found here is Quick Stone o "Yeso Piedra". It came on colors (tan, gray and pink). It's great! It's harder. It set quickly. And is a little more expensive too. It cost $20 pesos for one kilogram. It has 8,000 psi. I use that, and works well for me for now.It can be found on the "Depositos dentales" Dental Deposits. There is a lot of this Deposit in the city. -EcatlOcelotl
The best product that I have been able to find is called "Kera Quick". This stuff is sold in for about f. 6.50/k9 (some 2.50 dollar/kg). It is sold in small packages of 1 or 2 kg. I get this stuff in my local hobby shop. I visited their website but there was only some info about the qualities of this material.
This material mixes very easy, the molds need not to be tapped and you need not to work the mix into the mold with a brush or a toothpick. The material needs 10 minutes to set and about 40 minutes to dry. After that the stones will leave the mold very easy and with as good as no air inclusions at all. The powder feels heavy and doesn't feel chalky but very smooth. -Nico
I am using KeraPlus now, it is "very" strong. Its ceramically enhanced and I can't break it, not even the long fieldstone piece ! It has a very smooth surface and high detail. The costs are pretty high at 20 euro's for just 5 Kg so i'm gonna have a try with some other products before going bankrupt on this stuff. -Kaag
I use superfix wit. It's really strong, but the beautiful part is that it costs only /- E24,- (could be a couple of cents of here) for 25 kg. and it is delivered at your front door. The company is called Zwolsman gipshandel, tel:015-2610034, E-mail: Zwolsman@interestate.nl -KagBB
I have also tried them. They sell two kinds of superfix wit plaster, white and extra white (wich is more consistent of colour) and the costs of the first one is euro 25,23 for 25kg and the second one euro 26,48 for 25 kg. This is inclusive tax and shippng at your door. -Henri
KeraPlus- a really fast way to cast, almost no airbubbles without tapping the mold. Really strong and a nice smooth surface and a perfect white color that takes paint very well. Price: €5,50 for 1Kg Mixratio: on the box [1 water - 3 KeraPlus] so you'll go through your stash very quickly.
Beamix and Knauf modelgips- both are pretty cheap and easy to use. Not very strong but a great way to start. Price: (€5,50 for 2,5Kg) Mixratio: I use 1 water - 2 plaster which makes for quite a lot of casts (20 times 60 & #203)
Both other plasters mix very well with KeraPlus [1 water - 1 plaster - 1 KeraPlus] which makes a stronger and fasterdrying mixture. -Blafwaffel
Gips - www.zwolsmangips.nl deliver to your doorstep (rembours or creditcard)
Superfix Wit E. is pretty strong (205 n/mm2) and superwhite. 25,= euro for 25kg and takes paint superb.
They also have free trying packs (1kg) so you can order 2different ones with each order. I recommend: Dentrock Golden (360n/mm2) and Olympic Rock Creme (425n/mm2)
Just select [Kwantumprijs:Andere verpakking] -> Gratis proefverpakking 1 kg -Blafwaffel
The mentioned Beamix and Knauf modelgips products available here in the Netherlands, are at 2,5 kg both good for about a liter of casted material, after mixing & expanding. If that is enough for about 40 castings, that means you can do 8 casts/Euro, for the price mentioned.
Another option I’ve tried was Woodland Scenics Lightweight Hydrocal, which comes in at less than a cast per Euro spent (1.24 €/cast!), since I paid 17,50 € on a 900 grams carton. And hat stuff has (at 41 N/mm2) only 1/5th the strength of Superfix.
To put this in perspective: 23 kg “Superfix Wit” (the ZwolsmanGips stuff) cost me 49,31 € (incl. shipping & tax) - yeah the price must've doubled since the Crisis, but would still yield me more than 250 casts, at a price point of 12 Eurocents each. Those kilo’s might be bulky, and even more expensive, compared to Knauf/Beamix. But consider you get 3.7 times the strength! (About 6 casts per Euro spent.)
Not to turn this into a ZwolsmanGips commercial, but my own tip is their newer “HardForm Nr. 1.” Same specs as Superfix Wit, except for a little more expansion (0.20 instead of 0,16) and its pricepoint: 23 Kg for 31.50 € (incl.), about 9 casts per Euro spent: a pricepoint of almost 12 Eurocent per cast. Matching Beamix/Knauf in price, but with 3.7 times the strength. So you might splurge a little on a couple of large, airtight foodcontainers, to store this white gold, to preserve that strength. -Aart
I have found a source of Ultracal 30 here in New Zealand. Nuplex industries and they have offices in Auckland Wellington and Christchurch (the three main cities in NZ) cost is $54 NZ for a 50lb bag delivered. Contact phone number is 09 820 1250 -Flynn Richardson
I use Boral casting plaster. Price is 260.00 Php ($5.00 US) per 20 Kg bag. Its made in malaysia and can be found on ceramic suppliers. Luckily I have one near my house. -Merchazzard
A good source of materials is www.feroca.com. At Feroca they sell Hydrocal and Ultracal 30 as well as many different kinds of epoxies. They have a physical store in Madrid and also sell through their web page. -Juan
I'm using Molda Stone. It works exactly as Die Keen plaster and is just as strong as it. The number to a retailer where you can get it is 054/ 875300, Forshaga Dentaldepa (they sell stuff to dentists). Just ask for Molda Stone. it costs about 450 sek for 4.5 kilos and 1000 sek, about 90 usd (vat included) for a bag of 18 kilos. They also have Molda Synt that is a bit cheaper.
After some experimenting I found that one part water and a little less than three parts of powder makes a fairly good mix when casting. Just sift the powder into the water, wait until all of it has absorbed water and stir the mixture until it´s smooth. Beware of lumps they´ll set up quicker than the rest of the mixture, causing troubles.
After you´ve poured it into the mold wait about eight to fourteen minutes and scrape off the excess. This is when troubles show up if there´re any lumps, they'll make it difficult to level the blocks as there will be hard pieces in them. Another problem is that this time may vary quite a lot depending on the temperature of the water and how thick the mixture is. Then wait another fifteen minutes and the blocks should be hard enough to be popped out of the mold. It takes another two or three hours for the blocks to harden completely. Something realy nice with this material is that even if it´s very strong it´s still easy to sand and carve. It takes about one deciliter powder to cast one mold. -Simon
I got in touch with a Dental Technician, not a dentist. These are the guys that make models of teeths and stuff. They have all the plaster you need and with different properties. I was so lucky that I got hold of one that let me use his lab to cast and try out the different plasters and their properties. I now buy my plaster from him and it´s great.
They seem to work with 4 different kinds of plaster.
1. Ordinary white plaster wich is like hobby plaster (easy to chip).
- Ordinary modeling gypsum such as the things you find at the store Panduro is very bad. It will chip and is pretty much useless unless you want to try out the casting technique cheaply.
- Panduro also have an alternative gypsums, called "Stengips", stone gypsum, is supposedly stronger, but I think the strength only goes up to 8 Psi which isn't strong at all. It's actually more expensive than the dental plasters á/kg but is cheaper none the less if you buy 5kg.
- I recommend Forshaga Dentaldepa strongly. You can mail and ask them for a list of the prices on their products. I bought "Moldano blue" (416 sek + 206 sek shipping + 25% VAT = 760 sek for 25kg) this one is cheaper than "Molda stone" but has enough strength to withstand a fall from the table.
- There is also one other Dental gypsum reseller, called Unodent. You can try them as well, they have some alternatives but not as many as Forshaga.
TIP: Remember to look for the strength of the plaster, its either in psi or MPa. Moldano blue has strength of 190MPa when dried completely. Moldastone has strength up to 290MPa. The plasters are very strong compare to the ordinary white plaster that lies between 2 - 30 MPa (Depending of "class"). -Mohammad
I'm using Crystacal Alpha K. Its about twice as strong as stone powder(below), gypsum based, its pretty much same as plaster but a lot stronger. You use minimal water and a lot of powder. If you use bruces pile on till its just slightly wet method, it remains at water thickness you have to keep adding stuff. Its very strong and I cant break a normal block with needle nose pliars at all. Scrape after about 15 mins, pop after abput 40 - 45. You can get it from www.buildercenter.co.uk and it's about £25 for 25Kg.
It comes in a plastic bucket instead of a bag which is better and it takes about 6 weeks to get it though as its special order . After extensive research (really, I checked a website which had all the data sheets on it for COSHH and stuff)I reckon its as hard as the good dental plasters and is probably the hardest plaster you can get in the UK.
I've also tried Stone Powder. Scrape after 13 minutes, Pop out after 40 . Strength is very high, most people cant snap a normal block using needle nose pliars, I could just barely and im pretty big . Paints up fine, Takes glue . Price is £23 for a 25 kilogram bag . There is little to no shrinkage , the mix ratio is much the same as plaster and you can use the pouring it in till you see it at top method bruce favors. -Steve
I started a 25Kg bag of "Superfine Industrial Casting Gypsum". I bought for £8.50 ($11) in Builder Center (yep, more than 50lb for a little more than $10). I used the same method I was using for the stonecast... and that was my first mistake... The damn thing sets so quickly that with a double-cream consitency batch, I just manage to fill up 4 regular size bricks !!!!
So, I changed my ways of doing and mix this plaster to be like milk (yes, very liquid indeed - it makes almost not air bubles). In that case, and if I have everything ready, I can just manage to fill 2 molds, have to scrap them IMMEDIATLY... wait about 6 or 7 min. and uncast... this is crazy !!! Doing a turn other with 2 other molds, I manage to make 12 casting of each in just about 3 hours.
This plaster is not as strong as my old Stonecast (which I never manage to break a 1/4"*1/2"*1" block by hand...), but it is a little harder than POP (1200). It is also significantly lighter than the Hydrostone (add much more water, must be the reason). -Eric.
I'm in the UK too (Glasgow) and also get my plaster from Builder Center. I'm using "Crystical R". It's fairly strong at around 6400 PSI and was £10. So for another £2 you get three times the strength of Superfine Industrial casting Gypsum (2071 PSI) -Alex
I've just been searching Buildercentre and have found 7 plasters that seem ok for casting blocks, ranging in price from £4.59 to £23.69 for 25K. They are: Finecasting £4.59, Dental Plaster £4.69, Herculite £6.36, Crystacal Alpha K £23.69, Crystacast £13.76, Crystacal R £8.53, Dentsone KD £11.04. -Chris Abbey
I live in the UK and found a really good UK supplier with very friendly and ready to help staff eiher by phone or email. The place is CFS Fiberglass Supplies Online. They do a varied range of supplies and materials all labeled very well with small discriptions. -Gerry
There is a company in England that sells all manner of useful modelling materials, including Crystacal Alpha-K plaster, as mentioned by Steve. It is described as "an ultra high strength casting plaster developed to replace resin in the production of fine detailed (applications)".
The name of this company, and its details are below. They don't have a web address or e-mail, but if you phone them up they will gladly send you a product catalogue free of charge. -Craig
South Western Plasters
I bought 50kg of Crystacal R for the clayman, for £48.00 (ish). It worked excellently was far harder than anything I've tried before, they are really helpfull and I got a discount for being an ex technician, so Alright lil' bandit!
A little less forgiving on the scraping than herculite 2 which was my previous plater of choice, as it tends to leave water on the top of the cast if you scrape it too soon, but I will just have to be more patient. -Twsoc
Prestia Casting Plaster - 1691PSI, 14-32s, easily carved
Prestia Classic Plaster - 2131PSI, 8-19s, carvable dental plaster
Herculite2 - approx 5000PSI, 6-20s, similar to Modell and Stonepowder
Basic Alpha Plaster - 7054PSI, 12-25s, ALPHA (for polymer resins that require the use of alpha plasters)
Modell Plaster - 9000PSI, 12-16s, good starter plaster, hard and durable but can be carved or modified, very similar to Stonepowder and Herculite2
Crystacast - approx 10-12000PSI, 14-25s very durable
Crystacal R - approx 12-14000PSI, 10-25s, extremely hard wearing, ALPHA
Plaster Polymer - similar to Smooth on Matrix NEO in that it requires an ALPHA plaster, extremely durable castings that are similar to dense resin (with filler).
CFS Partnership - www.cfsnet.co.uk - Supplier of various casting resins, plasters, sundries, and mold making supplies. I have where appropriate discussed the products I have experience in, there may be other similar products available. This is my PREFERRED SUPPLIER.
Alec Tiranti - www.tiranti.com Supplier of various casting resins, plasters, plaster mixing bowls, and mold making supplies. I have where appropriate discussed the products I have experience in, there may be other similar products available. -Elliott Saunders
I’ve been working with your moulds using Lafarge Prestia Basic-Alpha plaster and a plaster resin. In your discussion of what plaster(s) to use on your website you don’t mention anything about plaster resin and I think it would be worth adding information about.
You add it instead of water (or mixed with water – I’ve been using it mixed 1:1 with water) and it produces a very strong cast with much less water absorption when dry, making it not only much stronger but also easier to paint as it doesn’t such the water out of water-based paints. It is not a polymerising resin so should have minimal effect on the lifetime of the moulds
The supplier suggests that the resin/plaster mix is a suitable replacement for resin and also that it makes casts strong enough to survive outside, neither of which I’ve tested. I can say that it does make a very strong cast, which has been particularly useful for the iron-grating on Mould #45. One side-effect though has been that the cast pieces are much harder to sand down! I don’t know who you might be able to get it from in the US. I have been using Alec Tiranti in the UK. The items are on his website here: Plaster polymer link, Alpha plaster link -Mark
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