Oogoo, a home-made Sugru substitute

If you follow Instructables.com, it might seem like every third article lately is about Sugru, the nifty air-drying silicone putty that’s good for all manner of repairs and custom parts. It’s fantastic stuff (and we love their slogan, “Hack things better”), but one can’t (yet!) just drop in on any local hardware store to buy a quick fix…so [mikey77] has cooked up a recipe for a basic Sugru work-alike. His “Oogoo” (a name likely inspired by oobleck) is a simple mix of corn starch and silicone caulk.

A two-ingredient recipe would hardly seem adequate material for an article, but [mikey77]’s left no stone unturned, providing an extensive tutorial not only on mixing the compound, but how to add colors, cast and carve custom shapes, and how his home-made recipe compares to the name brand product. As a bonus, the article then drifts into a little Halloween project where he demonstrates etching conductive cloth, how to make conductive glue, and other hands-on shenanigans.

Comments

  1. neorazz says:

    What are the viscoelastic properties of this mix ? Could the recipe be changed to make something like greenglue …for soundproofing

  2. Saragon says:

    Neat stuff. Seems like a cheap and easy addition to the toolkit. Plus the major ingredients can be acquired very quickly – I know they don’t sell Sugru locally where I live. In the time an online order would require for delivery I could have a project pretty much done with this mixture.

  3. zypher says:

    I had my honorary troll card out and was ready to blast you over misspelling “sugar”. Now I’m sad :(

    Awesome article though!

  4. Chris Muncy says:

    I HATE projects posted on Instructables! Too many pages to click through and not the complete picture if you are not a pro member.

    • Bob C. says:

      I’m NOT an Instructable “Pro Member” and all I need to do is to sign into my free account and all is good. I can see the whole project in one page, download the PDF etc.
      I find it to be a great site and have for years!

      I just made some of this stuff and used regular household bleach instead of corn starch and a few drops of acrylic paint. 2 drops of bleach for every full trigger pull of GE Silicone I, it worked GREAT…

  5. Chris Muncy says:

    hmm…

    Looks like the comment sections doesn’t like my tags..

  6. Eirinn says:

    I made my instructable account long ago so i got most of the pro benefits without paying fnehehe.

    I’ve never really seen the point in sugru, but i might just have to check it out now it’s on HaD.

  7. HARaaM says:

    Please tell instructable to fix their login page. all I get is my subscriptions that I used to follow.

  8. ssh says:

    @ChrisMuncy greasemonkey, autopager
    all do wondrous things

  9. chippy says:

    “I HATE projects posted on Instructables!”
    +1

  10. Gordon says:

    That looks useful.
    I couldnt resist.
    Ive bought some from here.

    https://sugru.com/

    UK postage is 79p

  11. Dan Fruzzetti says:

    so it’s a little more viscous and dries tougher (and more faithful to real silicone) than silicone caulk?

    • Jerry Carter says:

      Sounds like it’s a lot easier to work with as well – probably the biggest advantage over straight silicon. Having caulked a lot of showers and tubs, I can appreciate fully the prospect of working with silicon that is more putty-like. I wouldn’t use this for that application, but the possibilities are as intriguing as the original product and I’m more likely to try some of them now that I have two recipes to try.

  12. sp00nix says:

    I’d look but i cant stand that site.

  13. David S says:

    Maybe if instructables sees enough complaints on other sites they will fix their problems. I agree about their login, so frustrating – and their site is obnoxiously filled with ads.

    Cool project though.

  14. jeditalian. says:

    weebly.com offers free hosting or whatever and no ads i made a little crappy thing about a year ago on it and its still there @ thisbetterbefree.weebly.com
    i’ve never tried making anything on instructables because instructables just ruins the experience with their ads and other shenanigans. making a page with weebly is so easy a monkey could doit.

  15. oak1780 says:

    Instructables was a good idea, but they need some moderators with standards… I’m so tired of seeing titles like “make a handmade wireless router” with steps like 1 buy a small wireless router 2 paint it a silly color 3 glue on sparkles and pipe-cleaners. CONGRATULATIONS you made your own router!

  16. Adrian says:

    I made my account so long ago that I got grandfathered into the pro-gram (heehee I’m punny). Lucky me. As for the login page “problem,” I don’t see what you’re talking about; I just click the login button at the top of the page, enter my name and password, and I see the same page I was already on.

    Now about this Sugru substitute…I think I’m gonna have to make myself a whole big bunch of this stuff. And just see where that takes me. Because I really have no idea just what in particular I would use it for. But it looks so cool.

  17. cde says:

    @ Chris
    Save this as a bookmarklet. Any time you actually want to see bigger pictures and can’t (It’s based on the amount of time since the instructable was posted btw) just use this.

    <a href="javascript:for%20(i=0;%20i%20Bunch of javascript

    or paste this into a new empty bookmark. Make sure there is no space between javascript, the semicolon, and for
    javascript:for (i=0;i<document.images.length;++i){if (document.images[i].src.search("THUMB.jpg")!="-1"){document.images[i].src=document.images[i].src.replace("THUMB.jpg", "MEDIUM.jpg");};void(0);};

    Replace MEDIUM.jpg with LARGE.jpg if you want hugemogous pictures. Unfortunately, you don't get the mouse-over text that some pictures have, but eh.

  18. D_ says:

    For whatever reason my free constructable account still allows me the single page, and pdf download options. There are times they don’t work ob the first try, but do so after I refresh the page.

    While I don’t seeing myself needing this often, I downloaded the recipe to have it at hand

  19. corn starch says:

    I’ve used corn starch when making a “Crayola Spray Chalk” substitute. The stuff went sour after a few days and stunk really bad. Does this project carry the same risk?

  20. Mark says:

    I was wondering how hard Sugru or this silicone caulk stuff compares to polyurethane? Would it be useful at all in automotive applications (ie motor mount inserts) or is it water/oil soluble?

    I’d like to try it for automotive trim molding too.. need something that will stay flexible and not crack. But it has to be paintable.

  21. Mr Hacker says:

    all instructables want is MoNeY , if they annoy people like us ,they will not get much and only less people will take the trouble to do that and moreover , people will turn away from them while on the other hand , if the are asking for donations instead , most people will be more than happy to kick a buck or even a thousand and they will get more people , so please dont annoy us instructables , hate you
    hatingly , your enemy

  22. anonymous coward says:

    @Mark: I’m sure this stuff is fine for the trim molding. It’s not water soluable, but I would be averse to attempting anything as heavy duty an application as a motor mount.

  23. Hackius says:

    Mr. Hacker: they don’t “want MoNeY”. They need money to run the company and feed their employees. The problem is not that they want to get rich. It’s that they’re barely making ends meet.

    They are doing stuff in an annoying way but I don’t exactly see them as greedy

  24. Mr Hacker says:

    @HAckuis ok , i agree but ads are less annoying and more easy way to get more money , website will trillions and billions will get enough money from ads and the combination of donation requests at just the right spots , they could maintain the pro and free system but couldn’t they stop annoying
    hatingly , your enemy

  25. Mr Hacker says:

    what , its annoyying that you cant edit poats here ,
    i meant website gets billions of views every month so they will get enough money ……
    NOT (website will trillions and billions….)

  26. DanAdamKOF says:

    My otaku-ness is showing, but as soon as I read “oogoo” I thought of Kanon…

  27. Trollicus says:

    No wonder they say “do not eat” this stuff tastes terrible. It’s almost as bad as a re-heated chalupa from Taco bell(almost)

    A little mint and some sweet and low made it better though.

    Makes a great denture adhesive for your dog.

    Don’t mind me I’m sleep deprived…….

  28. eeun says:

    Cool stuff. I made a couple batches up now, making a small handle for a bastard file, and a test mold of a few small plastic parts.

    Both batches were about 50/50 silicone to starch as the article suggests, 25 ml total with a drop of blue alkyd paint added for tint. Starts to thicken in about 10 minutes, and stopped sticking to my vinyl gloves about the same time.

    The file handle is nice, and at 1/4″ thickness is enough to stop it digging into my hand. The mold captured every detail of the plastic parts.

    Note that there seems to be a secondary curing about 24 hours later, with a strong acid smell. The 5-min epoxy I tried casting around this time remained tacky where contacting the oogoo, so a longer cure time for the oogoo may be required for casting. Could also be the alkyd paint I used, which is different from the oil paint in the instructable.

  29. Jon says:

    Anyone know if this Sugru knock-off should have similar temperature handling capabilities as Sugru? Most of my applications would be automotive based which can sometimes be exposed to both rather high and rather low temperatures. I know Sugru has a very large temperature range.

  30. steve eh says:

    i know this is an old post, but…i’ve been playing around, made some 50/50 mix cornstarch, made some “bumpers” for the corners of my kids tablets…well today one of them finally got ‘tested’ it survived well sort of.. the tablet is fine landed directly on a corner, the oogoo absorbed the impact, but then detached itself from the tablet…maybe i added to much cornstarch.??
    so i did a little more research and found that calcium carbonate reacts with acetic acid, to make water h2o co2 and Calcium acetate…which by my experimentation made a 50/50 mix of silicon and CC (and a tiny drop of acrylic paint) cure really fast, like…i went to check 10 or so min after i mixed and it was to cured to change its form…it also didn’t bond very well to…metal,plastic,cardboard,wood,other silicone
    so i tried a much less Calcium carbonate’y mix…maybe 6:1…much better adhesion and longer working time…its only been curing for an hour or so but its already quite stiff….and stuck to everything i tried it on

    anyone else experiment with this?

  31. steve.eh says:

    just revisited this, I was trying to remember what my original mix was, I wanted to make a mold of my finger for Halloween randomness.
    The original stuff I tried worked out great as tablet bumpers.
    I mixed this batch with a little more calcium…and it worked great as a mold

  32. franz matthias says:

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