Making Drip Tips
Sometimes I get a little squirrely and attempt to make something that is easily and inexpensively attainable for the fun and challenge of it. Just for giggles, I thought I might try to make drip tips.
The first step is to remove the rubber o-ring from a drip tip. Then clean the drip tip off carefully removing any nicquid from the exterior and interior.
I liked playing with Playdoh when I was a kid, and Amazing Mold Putty is even more fun. You take equal parts of the dough and squish them together until it no longer has yellow and white zebra stripes. Do this quickly because it doesn’t take long before this stuff begins to set up. I usually knead for less than a minute. You have approx. 3 minutes after that to make your mold. That’s not much time.
First I created a longish “worm” and filled the interior of the drip tip. In future attempts, I will handle this differently (I’ll explain later). Then I added a pad of putty at the base of the drip tip, making sure it connected to the worm. I also squished putty into the O-ring track of the drip tip. After that it was just a matter of creating a “surround” for the entire drip tip. Make sure that the putty is snugged up to everything well, especially the base that goes into an atomizer or cartomizer. It seemed best for me to leave a thin shell over the top to be sure that the putty couldn’t contract away from that section.
The instructions say to let this harden for 25 to 30 minutes, but my putty was kinda old and didn't really completely harden for about 3 hours. The mold will remain quite rubbery so that you will be able to remove the drip tip. Before I removed it I scraped the thin shell off of the top.
Click link for pic (I'm only allowed so many inline pics) Trim the top
I then carefully pushed down the mold at the edges of the drip tip – working out the o-ring channel. This is where “the worm” first became a problem. I had to push down on it too in order to keep it from tearing. Anyhow, with great care I removed my drip tip from the mold. The final mold now looked like this:
My resin of choice is EnviroTex Lite two part polyester resin. Even a dufous like me can mix two equal parts of resin and hardener. All sorts of nifty things can be added to it. There are coloring agents that can be added as well as PearlEx powders. The only problem with PearlEx powders is that they can prevent the resin from completely hardening. I did use PearlEx in this experimental drip tip – Antique Copper color.
Mix the two equal parts of resin together quite well and then add whatever colorants you choose. In a mold this small, you can’t really pour it in – you drip. Very slowly, one gooey drop at a time. This is where I ran into more trouble with “the worm”. The little devil wanted to lean to one side which would have made my drip tip structurally weak. I solved the problem (kinda) by piercing the mold at the opening with a straight pin with the point of the pin propping the worm into position. What a pain! Next time I’ll spray a cocktail straw with a mold release agent and push it into the center. *I think* Maybe a better idea will occur to me.
Now I let it harden all night (about 12 hours). I tested to see if the resin was set by peeling the dribbles off of the side of the mold. They were no longer sticky at all. The drip tip seemed firm. Another good way to check for hardness is to check the mixing cup remnants to see if they are good and hard.
Now I repeated the same procedure that I used to remove the drip tip Master – carefully removing the tip from the mold. It’s normal for the drip to have some mold material cling to it. You could use a mold release, but it would be difficult with such a small mold.
Okay – so it turned out pretty much as ugly as a mud fence. That’s to be expected. I set about locating a file, some coarse, medium, and fine emory cloth and steel wool. Then I got to work eliminating as many of the imperfections as I could until it looked fairly respectable.
It was quite difficult to get rid of the snags in the o-ring channel so I didn’t really knock myself out trying to. This would have been much easier to accomplish if I’d had a Dremel to trim, sand, and buff. Experience has taught me not to loan my tools to anyone – just not soon enough to still have a Dremel. I would highly recommend using one if you masochistically decide to try making your own drip tips.
Click link for pic: Trim & sand & buff
Okay – I’m nearly done. Now I put my new drip tip on the end of a cocktail straw and loosely taped the straw so that it would securely support the drip tip. Then I gave the drip tip a light srpray coating of Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating. A couple hours later, I gave it a second coat. I let that completely dry and added the rubber o-ring to the channel.
Click link for pic: Straw mount
This is the finished drip tip:
Certainly not perfect, but no bad for a first try.