I have been asked to do this but I have never done anything like it before so I hope that you will bare with me.
I have been playing with pens for just on 13 months now, but that was never the intention when I got my lathe. I was a BOWL man and a few other items, but somehow this pen making has become a big part of my hobby.
Being a person who is never happy to just do the same thing I am always looking for ways to improve/improvise.
I have heaps of wooden pen blanks that I have purchased and cut myself. As you do.
I’ve also seen all those wonderful Acrylic/Resin blanks on various sites and purchased a heap of them too.
After following some posts about CASTING, I decided that I would have a go at some myself, you know, just to see how they worked.
I did already have a 1kg tin of Crystal clear Polyester Resin, that I got for another reason. All I needed was a mould of some sort, some colouring and something to create a bit of interest. There are so many things that can be cast in Resin but I decided to go simple first. Less chance of failure that way. LOL
My first several attempts were not very good, I did manage to get 1 usable blank but that was not without some minor flaws. Pretty disheartening, because I like to get things right the first time. So, after a few days I decided to try again.
So, to get started it is most important to have all your ingredients set out in easy reach. These are;-
Mould. (I use PVC pipe, two wooden plugs and two hose clamps.) The side of the pipe is cut off leaving an opening all the way along the tube.
Mixing cup, measuring cup and stirring stick.
Colour powder, if required
Objects to be cast into the blank.
Probably the most important thing is to know exactly how much hardener is required for the amount of resin that you are going to use. Once the powder and other objects are added to the resin there will be more, so the calculation is done first.
Step 1. Make sure the mould is ready to use. ( Set up in position etc, nice and level)
Step 2. Measure out the resin, gently stir in the colouring powder, being careful not to create bubbles in the mixture. Bubbles can be a real problem.
Step 3. Add the other cast ingredients, (Glitter) and stir in. Again being gentle to prevent bubbles.
Step 4. Add the hardener and stir again.
Step 5. Depending on what type of resin you are using, it will be necessary to keep stirring it until it just begins to thicken. Otherwise the Glitter??? will settle before the resin sets and you will have a mass of colour in the bottom of the blank. If you are too slow the resin will set in the cup.
Step 6. At the first sign of setting, pour the mixture into the mould, and leave to set. The time will depend on the type of resin.
Step 7. When the resin is hard, remove the hose clamps and gently prize the PVC away from the blank. When it is free simply push the solid blank out of the mould.
Some resins can be used quite quickly (Alumilite) while others require a few days to cure completely. The resin I use takes a couple of days in the sun to be ready to turn.
Obviously different moulds can be used, especially if you want to make more than one blank at a time. If using a mould for multiple blanks then Step 5. can be achieved in the mould itself.
I’m sorry there are no Photos, for some reason I am unable to post them.
I hope this is some help to you all.
-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.