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Building a Silicone Rubber/Foam Latex Injection Gun

 
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GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten)
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:45 pm    Post subject: Building a Silicone Rubber/Foam Latex Injection Gun Reply with quote

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by Matt Pfingsten

When casting in foam latex (not to be confused with slip-cast latex rubber) or silicone rubber, there are two ways to fill your mold. One method is to fill your large mold piece with your casting material and then replace the other mold pieces and close the mold. The other method is to use an injection gun and fill an already closed mold through an injection hole.

An injection gun is little more than a giant syringe, but such items typically sell for hundreds of dollars from special effects supply houses. However, you can easily create an injection gun from $30 worth of parts that you can find at your local hardware and hobby shops.

This tutorial will show you how to build and use an injection gun for foam latex or silicone rubber.

Materials: About $30

  1. 3-inch by 2-foot Schedule 40 PVC pipe (1), Plumbing department of Lowes or Home Depot ($4.49)

  2. 1/2-inch by 5-foot Schedule 40 PVC Pipe (1), Plumbing department of Lowes or Home Depot ($1.47)

  3. 1/2-inch by 36-inch Threaded PVC Riser (Sprinkler System Pipe) (1), Plumbing department of Lowes or Home Depot ($2.47)

  4. 3-inch PVC Cap (2), Plumbing department of Lowes or Home Depot ($0.79)

  5. 1/2-inch PVC Schedule 40 Threaded Male Adapter (1), Plumbing department of Lowes or Home Depot ($0.26)

  6. 1/2-inch CPVC or PVC Threaded Special Female Adapter (1), Plumbing department of Lowes or Home Depot ($0.92)

  7. 1/2-inch PVC Schedule 40 Tee (1), Plumbing department of Lowes or Home Depot ($0.48)

  8. 1/2-inch by 1/4-inch Iron Reducer Coupling (1), Plumbing department of Lowes or Home Depot ($0.84)

  9. PVC Cleaner (1), Plumbing department of Lowes or Home Depot ($4.94)

  10. PVC Cement (1), Plumbing department of Lowes or Home Depot ($5.62)

  11. 2-inch flat washer (2), Hardware department of Lowes or Home Depot ($0.27)

  12. 1/2-inch by 2-inch hex bolt (1), Hardware department of Lowes or Home Depot ($1.49)

  13. 1/2-inch hex nut (1), Hardware department of Lowes or Home Depot ($0.14)

  14. 3-inch Du-Bro Low Bounce Model Airplane Tire (1), RC Plane Shops ($5.90)

Tools: ($60 to $90)

  1. Electric Drill, Tools department of Lowes or Home Depot ($40-$70)
  2. 13/16-inch drill bit, Tools department of Lowes or Home Depot ($4)
  3. Hack saw, Tools department of Lowes or Home Depot ($10)
  4. Retractable knife, Tools department of Lowes or Home Depot ($5)
Skills

  1. PVC gluing
  2. Drilling
  3. Sawing


Last edited by GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten) on Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:25 pm; edited 28 times in total
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GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten)
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Location: Nashville, TN, USA
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:59 pm    Post subject: Building the Nozzle Reply with quote

The nozzle is the front-end of the gun and will be inserted into your injection hole on your mold. The silicone rubber or foam latex will come out through the nozzle. To build the nozzle, we will need one of the 3-inch PVC end caps, our 1/2-inch PVC pipe, and our 1/2-inch male and female fittings. We will also need our 1/2-inch drill bit and drill and our PVC Cleaner and Cement.

  1. Begin by using your 13/16-inch drill bit to drill a hole in the center of the 3-inch PVC Cap. Use a knife to clean the shavings from the hole.

  2. Use PVC Cleaner and Cement to glue the 1/2-inch Threaded Special Female Adapter in the hole you created in the 3-inch PVC Cap.

  3. Use a hack saw to cut an 8-inch long piece of the 1/2-inch PVC pipe. You can actually cut any length you want, but eight inches will allow you to reach the injection hole in deep molds that are too narrow to allow the body of the gun to fit.

  4. Use PVC Cleaner and Cement to attach the cut piece of 1/2-inch PVC pipe to the 1/2-inch PVC Male Adapter.

  5. Once the glue has cured and the parts are bonded, screw the two pieces together.
Your nozzle is now finished.


Last edited by GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten) on Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:49 am; edited 14 times in total
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GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten)
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Joined: 30 Mar 2001
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Location: Nashville, TN, USA
Medals: 1 (View more...)
Rebel Legion Supporter (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:59 pm    Post subject: Building the Plunger Reply with quote

The plunger goes inside the gun and pushes the silicone rubber or foam latex out through the nozzle. To build our plunger we will need our Du-Bro model airplane wheel, as well as the threaded PVC Sprinkler system pipe, the 1/2-inch threaded tee, and our washers, nut, bolt, and the iron reducer coupling.

  1. Begin by removing the plastic wheel from the tire. This can be tough. I used the flathead screwdriver on my multi-tool to pry it out by pushing it in between the wheel and tire and forcing all the way through. Be careful not to puncture the tire.

  2. Take the bolt and put a washer on it.

  3. Put the tire on next.

  4. Put the second washer on after that.

  5. Screw the nut onto the bolt until the washers are tight. Make sure the washers are centered on the tire.

  6. Test fit the plunger in the 3-inch PVC pipe. Keep adjusting the tightness of the nut until it just barely fits inside the 3-inch pipe.

  7. Screw the 1/2-inch end of the Iron Reducer Coupling onto one end of the 1/2-inch Threaded PVC sprinkler pipe. Stop when it is tight.

  8. Screw the bolt of the plunger into the 1/4-inch end of the Iron Reducer Coupling until it is tight.

  9. Using your drill and your 13/16-inch drill bit, drill a hole in the top of the remaining 3" PVC Cap.

  10. Slide the threaded end of the 1/2-inch PVC sprinkler pipe into the hole in the end cap.

  11. Screw the 1/2-inch Threaded PVC Tee onto the other end of the 1/2-inch PVC sprinkler pipe to form a handle.
Your plunger is now finished.


Last edited by GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten) on Mon Oct 15, 2007 5:55 am; edited 9 times in total
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GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten)
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Joined: 30 Mar 2001
Posts: 3803
Location: Nashville, TN, USA
Medals: 1 (View more...)
Rebel Legion Supporter (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:01 pm    Post subject: Final Assembly Reply with quote


  1. Take your 3-inch PVC pipe and place the nozzle on one end. Do not glue it.

  2. Put the rubber tire end of the plunger into the other end of the pipe.
  3. Push the end cap down onto the end of the pipe. Do not glue it.
Congratulations! You have finished your injection gun.


Last edited by GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten) on Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:57 am; edited 7 times in total
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GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten)
Active Legion Member


Joined: 30 Mar 2001
Posts: 3803
Location: Nashville, TN, USA
Medals: 1 (View more...)
Rebel Legion Supporter (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:34 pm    Post subject: Using Your Injection Gun Reply with quote

To use your injection gun, you will need to create an injection hole in your stone mold.
  1. Use a small drill bit to create a hole all the way through the core of your mold. This hole should be over the lowest point of the mold, typically the chin on a mask.
  2. Use your 13/16-inch drill bit to enlarge the hole to fit the nozzle of your injection gun. Only drill part way though the core.
  3. Clean any stone dust from the hole and assemble your mold. Use duct tape or mold straps to secure the mold pieces.
  4. Remove the nozzle from your injection gun and pull the plunger handle all the way out.
  5. Prepare your foam latex or silicone rubber and pour it into the open front end of the injection gun.
  6. Replace the nozzle.
  7. Insert the nozzle into your mold's injection hole. Slowly and gently press down on the plunger until excess foam latex or silicone rubber vents from the edges of the mold pieces.
You may need to drill air holes over certain areas in order to allow air bubbles to escape.
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