Turning plastic ?

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Forum topic by USCJeff posted 09-05-2009 07:53 PM 1001 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1062 posts in 3488 days

09-05-2009 07:53 PM

I’m new to the pen game and have got bored with wood blanks and decided to play with some plastic and corn cob blanks. I’ve ran into a couple plastic issues. What’s your finishing strategy. Progressive grits of sandpaper, buffing, etc. . ? I’ve got paper on hand up to 1200 grit in increasing increments. I also have some limited buffing materials for polishing. I’ve seen some liquid finishes for plastic. Curious as to what works for everyone. I’m sure there’s more than one way to get there.

Also, I did attempt a corn cob blank I purchased. It blew up about half way to the diameter I was aiming for. I’ll have to take it a little easier I suppose. I’m assuming I was too aggressive with roughing it down to size. I have one more blank on hand and will give it a shot to see if slowing up helps.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

2 replies so far

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 2901 days

#1 posted 09-05-2009 10:23 PM

Hey Jeff, For plastics you’re going to want something like this for your finish sanding

These micro mesh sanding kits go up to 12,000 grit. there’s also some friction polish designed specifically for acrylic pens, but I’ve seen some good results using Mylands friction polish.

As for the corn cob, I assume you can finish it like a regular wood blank, but to keep it from blowing up in the future, try using some thin CA glue as you’re turning it down, if you start to feel it tearing out, stop your lathe and spread the glue on it and either hit it with the hardener or let it dry. CA won’t show up under your finish and will help stabilize and reinforce the blank.

Good luck.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View jHop's profile


2 posts in 2662 days

#2 posted 10-06-2009 04:25 PM

I did one of those pen classes at Woodcraft for their circuit board pen (encased in acrylic), and the finishing steps were the micro mesh pads. Recently, I’ve seen them in a catalogue for $12.00 (ish), but I’ve seen them in stores for up to $20. Sanding to 1200 is a great start, then you go through the pads. (And be sure to do them in order. I skipped one, and had to go back to take out a gouge that I accidentally put in.)

-- so, my ego has written checks my skills can't cash.... now what?

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