Six Simple Plastics Formulas

Simplified Plastics

This is the age of plastics! One of the most amazing developments in this age of wonders . . . NEW developments and discoveries are constantly being made in the plastic field. Here is a truly rich field for experimentation. There are big opportunities in this field.

The history of Plastics dates back to about sixty years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. About that time two chemists, Leibig and Wehier, first succeeded in combining certain elements to form UREA, thus creating a synthetic substance from inorganic materials.

In 1868 John Wesley Hyatt, in his search for a substitute for making billiard balls, created a substance which became known as CELLULOID. This was the first real plastic and marked the beginning of the plastic industry in the United States.

Years later, Dr. Leo Backeland, developed a new material, non-inflammable, and one that could be molded into strong products. This PHENOL-FORMALDEHYDE product became known as BAKELITE. These Phenolics are among the most widely used of all resin plastics. They may be cast into fine costume jewelry, or molded into large gears and other industrial machinery. Resins may be purchased form producers in liquid, granular, or powder form, and performs for whatever type of work the molder desires.

Plastic compounds are heavily covered by patents and many are beyond the means for the small manufacturer to produce. There are, however, numerous plastic compounds that may be produced from common everyday substances without expensive equipment and which can be profitable to be used for making novelties of all kinds. While some may challenge the term plastics for some of these compounds - the following formulas, nevertheless, will give the home manufacturer the opportunity of creating plastic like substances from materials which are generally obtained quickly and easily.

It is to be understood that although the amount of ingredients used in these various formulas is considered to be correct, it is often necessary for the molder to use his own judgment and do some experimenting upon his own. For instance: In Formula 1 - the resultant factor may be that five parts of Wood Flour may not become sufficiently kneadable with fifteen parts of Sodium Silicate. Room temperatures may be lower in some cases and therefore an addition of more Sodium Silicate has to be added to obtain the proper flow properties.

Formula 1

Wood Flour  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5 parts
Water Glass (Sodium Silicate) . . . .  15 parts

Mix the Wood Flour and Sodium Silicate together. Add more water if necessary until a dough like mixture is formed by kneading with the hands. This material may be molded into hard objects by pressure. Colors may be added while kneading. Use aniline dyes or dry colors. This material is suited for plaques, book-ends, statues, etc.

Formula 2

  1. Dissolve 20 parts of flake glue in water or a double boiler. Add the dissolved glue to 90 parts of gelatine.

  2. To 50 parts of finely screened sawdust (or wood flour) add 300 parts of powdered Chalk.


Mix 1 and 2 together to make a heavy batter. This is done in enough warm water to "loosen the material". Add dry colors (obtainable at paint dealers) and mold under pressure.

Formula 3

  1. To about 100 parts of ZINC OXIDE add 4 parts of SILICIC ACID.
  2. To 2 parts of POWDERED BORAX add 2 1/2 parts of POWDERED GLASS.


Mix 1 and 2 together well. Grind until fine and then bring it into solution by adding a concentrated ZINC OXIDE solution.

This is an ideal material for small objects but it must be worked fast because of its rapid drying qualities. Color in usual manner. It may be pressed with regular hand press or in a drill press.

Formula 4

Dissolve one pound of flake or powdered glue in water by boiling. Shred enough tissue paper into the solution to give body and then stir until a thick batter results. Add one cup of LINSEED OIL into the solution and one cup of POWDERED CHALK. Stir well and then remove this mass from the double boiler and when cool enough, knead with the hands and press into molds. A pair of old gloves, slightly oiled with pure light oil may be used to protect the hands when kneading these materials.

It takes a few days for this material to thoroughly harden but at the end of that time, it should be as hard as stone and resembles carved wood. It will make excellent art goods such as book ends, tie racks, coat hangers, statues, etc.

Formula 5

To 11 parts of EPSOM SALTS, add 36 parts of FRESHLY CALCINED MAGNESITE. Mix well and then add 2 1/2 parts of LEAD ACETATE. Mix all of the above THOROUGHLY. Then add just enough water to hold the material together and mold under pressure. Many outdoor decorations may be made form this material such as small ducks, birds and other garden ornaments. Objects may be painted after molding.

Formula 6

To 12 parts of PITCH add 6 parts ROSIN. To this mixture add a mixture of 1/2 part of CASTOR OIL and 1/4 part WAX. Powder this mixture by using a tamper and melt at 250 to 260 degrees F. Press while hot into cold die. Many useful articles may be made form this material.

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