Monday, January 7, 2008


A non-blurry, curved mirror.

In my last post, I hypothesized the problem might be too much time spent in the oven, causing some kind of degradation. That prompted epicanis to wonder if the acrylic was oxidizing. That in turn made me actually take a close look at the failed samples (why I didn't already do this is a mystery).

The acrylic is actually fine in those failures. It's the mirror backing that cheesed out on me. What is the backing made of? Who knows! What do I do about it? I dunno!

Then I was coincidentally reading a book about polymer clay and it had a tip for firing: Put it in at a sub-firing temperature to evenly heat the item, then turn it up to actually harden it. And I was all: whoa. I know that the softening point for acrylic is around 230°F, but I've had to turn the oven up to 250°F to get the samples to bend. I've been chalking it up to oven imprecision and chemical composition variation. But I think the real issue is that the core of the mirror doesn't get hot enough until the outside is too hot.

So this time I put the whole apparatus (which I should have taken a pic of, sorry) inside the oven at 200°F until a probe told me it was more or less up to temp. Then I just cranked it up to 215°F and voila, it worked.

Now I need to do a bunch of these at once (or one large sheet)...


  1. You are so brilliant, listening to other people's ideas like that!

  2. Oh right, also: Mrs DU had an idea that I initially pooh-poohed but I'm beginning to think may be pretty brill. Form regular clear plexiglass into shape, then spray mirror paint on it.

    The only question is how mirrory is mirror paint? But a whole can is like $3, so experimentation is cheap.