MC - Methyl Cellulose

General discussion area for learning about paper, and the different types available.
ligerzilla2014
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Re: MC - Methyl Cellulose

Post by ligerzilla2014 »

Is there a particular kind of paper that I should use with MC? I have been trying it with Kraft paper, which is super thin and somewhat similar to tissue, but it seems like no matter how many or how thick of a coat I put on, the paper doesn't crisp up. I mean it should come out almost like foil right? The consistency of my mix is almost a gel, so I think it should be fine. What kind of result should I be seeing?
ligerzilla2014
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Re: MC - Methyl Cellulose

Post by ligerzilla2014 »

My paper just doesn't seem to get crisp no matter how much I pretreat with. I'm using German Kraft Paper, which seems pretty similar to tissue and my MC consistency is almost like a gel (probably a bit thicker than egg whites). How should the paper feel after the pretreatment? I thought it would almost become like foil. (when i spot treated my models that is what happened, but it doesn't seem to happen with pre-treating)
Baltorigamist
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Re: MC - Methyl Cellulose

Post by Baltorigamist »

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "come out like foil." If you're implying that the paper should have a metallic sheen to it, or that it should automatically hold its shape like foil paper, then that's incorrect. All the kinds of paper I've MCed (unryu, mulberry, gampi, hanji, and a few others) have dried with a very similar texture to what they originally had. The main difference is that they're stronger than they were, and that the side which adhered to the acrylic was smoother.
You might have had the "foil" result after wet-shaping a model. In that instance, MC is used to hold the layers together.

Personally, I don't think Kraft paper is a good idea when you're pre-treating. It's fairly crisp and strong already, and in my experience it doesn't take MC very well.
Methylcellulose works best with softer tissue papers that have longer fibers. I'm not entirely sure how it works--someone else can probably explain it better--but I believe MC helps bond the fibers together, hence the term "sizing" (which is used to describe it). So I would recommend getting some unryu or similar for practice with MC.

It's also possible that you were treating the paper incorrectly. You first need to coat the acrylic (or glass) with a thin layer of MC over an area that's larger than the paper, then lay the paper as flat as possible in the middle. Then cover the paper with another layer of MC, pressing out any bubbles as you do so. Finally, repeat with any other sheets you're trying to bond to the first one.

Note that (and anyone can correct me if I'm wrong) MC doesn't bond well with the standard tissue paper you'd buy in a grocery store. You'll need a different kind of white glue for that.
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bobzomgville
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Re: MC - Methyl Cellulose

Post by bobzomgville »

Most of my double tissue is made from the cheap tissue I buy from walmart and it works fine. I do think the problem is that ligerzilla is still new to mc and doesn't understand how it works yet (Thats fine, 2 years ago I didn't either!) but you've done a fine job of explaining it :). In short, the reason why it isn't working for you is because Kraft paper doesn't need MC. It is foldably without any additives and won't rip or become soft and fabric like once folding. Papers like tissue, unryu, and mulberry on the other hand do need mc so they aren't hard to fold. The use of MC after folding is for shaping and not for treating the paper. It stiffens the paper in the folded position which is the reason for the foil effect. Since while you are treating the paper flat, it is not folded, it has no reason to stiffen in any other shape. This is how I understand it but I may be wrong so please correct me if this is the case! :)
ligerzilla2014
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Re: MC - Methyl Cellulose

Post by ligerzilla2014 »

Thanks guys. I realize that this paper doesn't take MC well. After a thick coat, it feels more like the paper is laminated with plastic on one side (the surface contacting side) than soaked through with glue. This actually worked out pretty well though, and has made reversing folds and whatnot much easier. I've got some unary coming in soon, so I'll be trying that with some stuff. Lesson learned about the Kraft paper I guess, though I think pretreating will still make wet shaping somewhat easier.
Baltorigamist
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Re: MC - Methyl Cellulose

Post by Baltorigamist »

I've MCed several sheets successfully over the past several weeks, but the piece of gampi I tried treating the other day ended up as a wrinkled mess. I covered it as evenly as I could during both coats of MC, and the paper was flat when I laid it on the acrylic.
The only thing I can think of that went wrong is that the gampi seemed to "bubble up" in several places after I applied the second coat of MC.

Does anyone know how I can prevent this from happening in the future?
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al-black
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Re: MC - Methyl Cellulose

Post by al-black »

The wrinkles are most likely from the bubbles. I remove them by letting the paper sit for a bit and then gently brushing bubbles out toward the side of the paper. I sometimes also use a foam roller that have. Both work though I think the roller is better. One thing to mindful of here is being gentle, when its wet like its pretty easy to tear.
Baltorigamist
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Re: MC - Methyl Cellulose

Post by Baltorigamist »

Thanks for the tip. I'll have to try using a roller like you suggested.
The sheet of unryu I treated the other day turned out fine, so perhaps the gampi was an anomaly. lol
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PleatBox
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Re: MC - Methyl Cellulose

Post by PleatBox »

I recently bought MC and tried to mix it with water, but it only formed clumps and it couldn't dissolve, any ideas on how to fix this?
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yagowe
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Re: MC - Methyl Cellulose

Post by yagowe »

Add a bit more water, break the lumps up as small as you can (with a whisk is best) and let it sit. The lumps should dissolve within a couple hours.
PleatBox
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Re: MC - Methyl Cellulose

Post by PleatBox »

Thanks for the reply, I have already solved my problem though.. sort of. It seems that it only dissolves when water is warm enough. But it still caused me problems. Whenever I make tissue paper it doesn't stick very well to the glass I am using, this happens only on non bleeding colored paper, however when I use it in white tissue paper it seems to work fine
bethnor
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Re: MC - Methyl Cellulose

Post by bethnor »

be patient. if you leave it alone for a couple days, even if you don't use a whisk, the lumps go away.

even with the same brand of tissue paper, different colors appear to have different properties. white is often very waxy and seems more resilient than colored paper.
ligerzilla2014
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Re: MC - Methyl Cellulose

Post by ligerzilla2014 »

the water should actually be cold, and you need to let it sit for around 24 hrs. I usually just leave mine in the fridge.
Baltorigamist
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Re: MC - Methyl Cellulose

Post by Baltorigamist »

I lost another two sheets yesterday after trying to backcoat them together. I didn't see any bubbles in them before they dried, so does anyone know what the problem might have been this time around? I'm thinking they might have dried unevenly somehow.
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Merlyngami
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Re: MC - Methyl Cellulose

Post by Merlyngami »

Possibly your sheet is drying too fast? I find when I make double tissue if it's in the sun, or sometimes even if it's just daytime, it starts to unstick itself from the glass and tear itself.
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