Corona Crisis Crafting VIII: The Dragon Egg

After lots of sanding and polishing and some more sanding and polishing and then dropping it on the concrete because it’s so smooth and getting a dent in it which I won’t sand out again, the dragon egg is done.

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What you can see in this picture is that I didn’t get it completely round. For one thing, I don’t have a lathe on which I could actually turn it. The other one is that I wasn’t willing to remove so much material. The piece of burl that I used was a triangle and if I’d gone for a really round design, I would have lost about an estimated 30% in size. Also I don’t think that most people will notice anyway.

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There’s that damn scratch on top. Clearly not my favourite side. One thing about the resin I’m currently using is that it allows for rather thick pours without many bubbles. Usually the maximum in fast curing resins is 1cm (though it depends a lot on how you’re mould is. The other eggs I posted a while ago have more than 1cm in any direction, but they also have a large surface that allows for cooling). This block had a lot more than that in any dimension and actually I’d speculated on getting bubbles, which I thought would look cool. But as you see, nothing happened. Sure, it got warm and cured super fast, which allowed some of the gold leaf to stay afloat, but no bubbles. Definitely a good resin for dragon eggs.

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OK, I got one bubble, probably from when I stirred the darker blue resin that you can see in this shot in. The burl got a bees wax coating to make it shine.

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Here you can see the odd shape of the burl. The remaining bottom is clear resin. While the biggest part was poured in one go, I actually did three castings: the first one to create a solid bottom, gluing the burl into the mould. BTW, I used an old milk carton for that. The second casting added one thin layer to the burl:

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Fluorescent pigment, here under UV light. In normal daylight this is just blue as you can see in the pic above. It glows white under UV light and then…

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…it glows green in the dark.

I think I’ve proved to my own satisfaction that you can make dragon eggs without a ladle and it#s definitely something I want to repeat, probably with a somewhat larger piece, though I already dread the sanding…





  1. johnson catman says

    It is hard to tell from the pics, but how big is the dragon egg? It looks to be about the size of a regular (chicken) egg. Anyway, it turned out pretty damn cool!

  2. says

    Ladle? You mean a lathe?

    That’s really cool. Holding such things is a big problem for any mechanical polishing. The folks who do that sort of thing on lathes have all kinds of tricky holders to keep the egg from flying around the room turning 1200rpm.

    A redneck trick is to use hot glue to attach a piece of plywood with a short mandrel screwed up into it, to the bottom, then spin it in a drill. You can’t put much pressure on it but if you’re a crazy danger-ranger you can mount the drill on a sled for a table-saw and let the saw blade do the rough shaping. When you start working with a lathe, people come out of the woodwork with tricks like that. “wood lathe!? who needs one! back when I had both hands, I used to use a drill to spin an object against a belt sander!”

  3. says


    Lathe, thanks.
    I’ll correct that.
    I was thinking about gluing a bolt to the bottom and then putting it into the electric screwdriver, but then I decided that I like my eyes.
    I always take in stay burl.
    Thankfully now I have something to take with me, should I ever have to sho up at the customs office before they arrest me for some sort of drug dealing business because they think that nobody would send firewood around the world…

    It looks to be about the size of a regular (chicken) egg.

    Aboutish. A bit more slender.

  4. kestrel says

    Oooh that’s really cool. Very beautiful -- I love the glow in the dark part! Sympathies on dropping it… I’ve known that agony before too. Maybe check your local ranch supply store -- if you have such a thing, there are several near me -- for rubber mats. They have rubber mats that are meant for the stalls for a horse. The concrete is not quite so hard with one of those sitting on top of it.

    They’re a little big for a ring clamp, but there might be some other type of clamp that has rubber jaws you could use. Or, you could leave a fin of rough material on it that could be held in a ring clamp until the very end. You’d then have to cut it off and polish, but you might be able to get most of it done first.

    I hope you keep making these because they are awesome. I can totally see one of your garden dragons guarding a nest of them.

  5. says

    I realize I did not adequately explain about the hot glue. So, what you do is use hot glue to attach a piece of plywood that can hold a bolt or the tailstock of a lathe. When you want to get it off, you can use a hammer and chisel to split most of the plywood away (or a bandsaw) and then a heat gun to melt the glue until the plywood comes off. It’s an emergency technique for mounting some things on lathes.

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