I drill a little hole with my air tool which is large enough to accommodate the tip of a Monoject glue applicator. I mix the epoxy and put it into the Monoject. I inject the epoxy into the egg very carefully. I don't worry about spills because I can just wipe the shell with a piece of paper towel. The outside is going to be covered with epoxy later anyway.
Immediately after filling the egg, I set it down into a piece of styrofoam which has a small hollow in it. This way, the egg can sit up straight while the epoxy is hardening, which is about 24-48 hours.
When this step is completed, you can attach your up eye with regular epoxy glue. The next step is to paint the egg and put a decal on, if desired.
Finally, mix the epoxy resin again in a cup. This time, dip the egg in it and let it drip for a while. As it hardens, remove the excess resin from the bottom tip of the egg. You'll need it to be flat enough so you can put a bead cap on the bottom. I sometimes use a toothpick to handle the drips. You can put a toothpick through the up eye to hold it as you're dipping it. After dipping, hang the toothpick on a piece of styrofoam so the egg isn't touching anything while the outside is drying.
The result is an unbreakable egg. Careful mixing of the epoxy is very important. Take your time. I usually use those little measuring cups that come with cough medicines. They have teaspoon and tablespoon markings.
Time the mixing of the epoxy (2 minutes), then put in the Monoject. You then have 3-4 minutes to fill the egg.
Clean the Monoject with acetone right away. Nail polish remover has acetone, but the pure acetone works best (available at hardware stores).
Well, I did a bit of experimenting today with filling quail eggs. I want to paint them and make necklaces. I tried the epoxy route....and Man! WHAT a MESS!!!!! Many of you fine folks offered alternative solutions/suggestions. One of the suggestions that I got was to fill the eggs with plaster of paris. That's exactly what I tried this afternoon. WOW! What a snap! It was SO easy! The following directions will fill 2 quail eggs with a small amount of the mixture left over (discard unused portion). If you want to give it a try....here's what you'll need:
*Note: I purchased the hypodermic syringe & needle from a local farm and tractor supply store. If you don't have such a store in your area, you can probably get these from a local veterinarian. The needle was about 1 inch long....and was beveled or tapered to create a "slant" on one side. I took my airtool and cut the needle off. I left it only about 1/4 inch long. I cut it so that it has a straight/flush opening.
Make sure to check your needle to ensure that it will fit into the blow hole with a slight margin of space around the needle. The slight margin of additional space will allow air to escape from the egg as it is being filled with the plaster of paris.
Mix plaster of paris and water in a small plastic container or a disposable styrofoam bowl. Stir with wooden Popsicle stick until smooth. Pour mixture into the hypodermic syringe. Inject mixture into the blow hole of the quail egg. Wipe off any spills or drips with a damp cloth or papertowel, immediately. Sit egg upright with blow hole pointing upward. Insert the straightened end of the paperclip into the blowhole. Allow to dry.
*NOTE: I'm not sure of the drying time....but, by the time I had rinsed my syringe and then tried to insert the paperclips....the plaster of paris had already began to dry. I would imagine that a couple (or maybe 3) days, should insure a complete drying of the plaster of paris.
**NOTE: You may wonder why I inserted the paperclip into the egg..... After the plaster of paris has dried inside the egg, I want to paint pictures on the eggs and make necklaces. For a durable finish, I am going to coat the outside of the finished, painted eggs with "Verathane" (a clear, non-yellowing polyurethane sealant).
In order to apply the finish to the egg, I needed a way to coat it (hands free) and have it suspended without touching anything that would mar the sealant. So, when I'm ready to apply the sealant, I will straighten out the rest of the paperclip and insert it into a styrofoam block....or a block of wood so that it is suspended while it dries.
I've already tried removing the paperclip...and with a gentle (yet firm) tug.... the paperclip came right out. Also....if you are using the "pin" type upeyes through the center of a bail cap (for attaching to a jumpring to suspend on a chain)....the hole left by the paperclip will be ideal for inserting and gluing in your upeye! If your bail cap is made so that it includes the upeye, the small hole left by the paperclip will be concealed....and of little consequence one the necklace is finished.
I recommend mixing the plaster of paris in small quantities, as it dries very fast when exposed to air. Also, make sure to clean your syringe and needle IMMEDIATELY after filling the eggs. The plaster of paris dries quickly....and will "clog" up your syringe. Simply rinse the syringe/ plunger /needle with warm water.
If you have any questions regarding my written instructions, please feel free to email me. Just remember.....I'm still in the experimenting stages....but all seems to be going great with this method of filling the eggs!
......I too have used plaster of paris and it does get hot and crack the egg if you are not careful. Now when filling the larger eggs I fill them ¾ full with sand then finish filling them with plaster of paris without problems. When I first read Tanya's e-mail I thought she had put the pin in the hole deliberately to help disperse the heat - although there was an ulterior motive for the pin in Tanya's eggs - I'll bet this is why she hasn't had a problem with the plaster heating up and cracking the shell, and it sure sounds easier than epoxy.
...Today I filled all my quail eggs.It worked out great,I used my hot glue gun.You have to make sure they are filled to the top.No cracking at all.They are very lightweight too! I have a very narrow long tip on my glue gun.
I use the 5 min epoxy and a disposable syringe from the hardware shop. I mix for about 3 1/2 mins, scrape it up and drop it into the syringe and sqeeze it into the egg, prop it up and run to the bathroom and flush the syringe in hot soapy water, rinse and take apart to dry so I can use it again.