M.B. Young & Co.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Posts
    1,074

    Replica Gutta-Percha Jewelry...Who Does It?

    Friends,

    While in Gettysburg for Remembrance Day last weekend I saw some of Beth Miller Hall's replica jewelry at Abraham's Lady. Justin Runyon mentioned that she makes it herself and I got to thinking that she or someone with her expertise might be able to help me with my own project reproducing Goodyear rubber buttons.

    I have been looking all over online for further information about others who might also be reproducing or replicating gutta percha or hard rubber jewelry but have come up short. Do any of you know of a source I'm missing?

    Any assistance would be wonderful!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    86

    Re: Replica Gutta-Percha Jewelry...Who Does It?

    Sir,
    There was a thread not too long ago about remaking good year buttons. The general observation is that its just not cost effective enough to be worth it. First off, people making reproduction gutta percha jewelry are often using a plastic resin as opposed to an actual rubber product. Also, it is almost impossible to cast the buttons in such a way that you can get both the back and the front of the button in the mold. When I attempted it the buttons where full of air bubbles and the backs just looked plain cruddy. I also ran into the problem that the working time on the product I was using was so short I could really only cast about 4 buttons at a time, which really doesn't work well when you are wasting product and the setup and clean up takes time.
    Maggie Halberg
    Milwaukee, WI

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Posts
    1,074

    Re: Replica Gutta-Percha Jewelry...Who Does It?

    I've seen very good duplicates made using high durometer colored resins. The actually had the density of original Goodyear buttons I've had tested, which is similar to that of a bowling ball. Resin buttons is actually what I'm interested in, not gutta percha...I should have been more clear.

    Backmarks are not particularly important; I would not want any reproduction Goodyear buttons mistaken for originals later on so a properly sized front is good enough.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    86

    Re: Replica Gutta-Percha Jewelry...Who Does It?

    In which case I'd recommend starting with a cast and mold company called Smooth-on. Find a rep and start talking to them about what you want to make and see what product they recommend to use for the cast. I know what I've used to reproduce gutta percha (none of which I was totally happy with) and your mileage may vary in what you are looking for.
    Maggie Halberg
    Milwaukee, WI

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    215
    Posts
    202

    Re: Replica Gutta-Percha Jewelry...Who Does It?

    Brian,
    You should contact Erik Simundson from Canada. He is a member of this board and has info for a place to get the materials you are looking for, i.e. something that when molded resembles hard rubber.
    Bill Lomas

    E. J. Thomas Mercantile
    P.O. Box 332
    Hatboro, PA 19040
    www.ejtmercantile.com
    info@ejtmercantile.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    226

    Re: Replica Gutta-Percha Jewelry...Who Does It?

    Brian,
    As above I have worked with products that appear to be Gutta Percha when used. That is a dull lustre and the same appearance that you cannot tell at a few inches.
    My former Regiment The Queen's Own Rifles was formed in 1860 and wore black bone or composite buttons. The reproductions are indistingshable from originals from the front and sides. I initially had some problems finishing the backs and placing the brass shanks. I am certain that this can be overcome easily as the manfacturer of the materials offer a help line and a little practice never hurt.
    Now that winter is here I am finally going to try the gutta percha ink bottle.
    Post or PM me and I will send the suppliers name.

    Erik Simundson
    The guy with the blue Canada cap.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    86

    Re: Replica Gutta-Percha Jewelry...Who Does It?

    Sir,
    How did you deal with the plastic shine on the backs? Its the one thing that I'm really really not happy with.
    Maggie Halberg
    Milwaukee, WI

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    State of Jefferson
    Posts
    420

    Re: Replica Gutta-Percha Jewelry...Who Does It?

    Frankly, today you can buy the original much cheaper than ever before. I collect gutta percha and vulcanite, and lately on ebay the prices are rock bottom. A pair of high relief cuff bracelets, certainly circa 1850, sold for a low as $61 for the pair! A year or two ago, you couldn't touch those for less than $150 each. Bog Oak, or Whitby jet seem to be keeping their prices reasonably, but GP&V is cheap.
    Mfr,
    Judith Peebles.
    No Wooden Nutmegs Sold Here.
    Books! The Original Search Engine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Gettysburg, PA
    Posts
    151

    Re: Replica Gutta-Percha Jewelry...Who Does It?

    Brian -

    Steve and Carol Garratano of Second Mourning produce a very nice selection of reproduction gutta percha/hard rubber jewelry and are one of the merchants in the Marketplace at the 1860s Conference. Their quality is excellent. Send me a PM or contact me off-list and I'll forward their contact information.

    Regards,
    Carolann Schmitt
    cschmitt@genteelarts.com
    20th Annual Ladies & Gentlemen of the 1860s Conference, March 6-9, 2014

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