Using the microwave to heat Calhoun Plastic is quick and extremely easy
* Make sure you have a clean DRY counter top or work bench to pour from. If you set a measuring cup with hot plastic in it on a wet surface it can and will explode.
* Clear your workspace of all unnecessary items. Clutter will lead to injuries or damage of supplies if you have to deal with hot plastic spills.
* Only use Pyrex brand for heating the plastic up and make sure the measuring cups are microwave safe.
* Every microwave is different so the minutes recommended might be to long or to slow. Until you know how to do it stir the plastic every 30 seconds. When you get a system down you can skip a few steps.
* Keep children out of the area, Plastic is extremely hot and it will burn you very badly.
* Test your products in small quantities first. This will prevent wasting a whole batch of plastic, glitter, etc. if the mix isn't right.
* Set up work area in a well-ventilated place
* If you are working in the house, clean up BEFORE your wife gets on your case. This scores points and ensures she will let you do it inside again. Trying to keep plastic hot in the middle of winter on the back porch doesn't work well.
* Do not have any liquids (including those beverages!) anywhere close to your plastic. Water based liquids will make hot plastic boil, which can be very dangerous.
* Do not heat your plastic too hot. If you see it start to burn (turn brown in the center of the cup) get it out side immediately. Scorched plastic will stink and smoke.
* Do not use the microwave method if your shop temperature is below 70º (bringing hot plastic in glass containers into a shop that is below 70º could cause the container to explode).
* WARNING: Do not assume your wife's kitchen is a bait-pouring supply shop! Go out and buy your own measuring cups.
* No need to buy more pots for heating different colors.
* No need to spend a lot of time cleaning pots.
* You can get the plastic and salt mixtures to a watery consistency for easier pouring on Stik Baits.
* Very little to no smoke so you can do it in your house.
* Extremely fast: in most cases 5 minutes or less for 2 cups of plastic.
* No need to add heat stabilizer to Calhoun plastic.
* You will have to reheat about every 15-30 minutes, if you dont mix more plastic than you have molds for one pour.
* 1 cup and/or 2 cup Pyrex measuring cups for the microwave (other brands, including Anchor, can explode in microwave).
* 1 cup and or 2 cup measuring cups for pouring (Anchor brand will work, but staying with Pyrex brand cuts down on confusion), or any pan you feel comfortable to pour with.
* Long ice teaspoon for mixing and stirring plastic.
* Thick pot holders/ ov gloove
Pour plastic, colors, softener, hardener, etc. in a Pyrex measuring cup, Stir mixture extremely well.
Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir well.
Heat in microwave for 1 minute, then remove and stir again. It should start to thicken at this time.
Continue heating for 30-second intervals and stir till you get the plastic to the consistency you want to pour with.
Once you have the plastic at the consistency you feel comfortable to pour with, you can start pouring direct from the Pyrex measuring cup or you can transfer some of the contents to another measuring cup if the heated cup is to hot. The Pyrex and Anchor measuring cups have nice pour spouts on them and make them very easy to pour plastic into stik molds or other 2 piece molds. For single piece molds you may prefer to pour plastic into an aluminum pan.