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Thread: casting pens question

  1. #1
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    casting pens question

    so I finally got my casting pen kit, the liquid acrylic, bought some powdered dyes, all seemed to go well, followed Jons instructions as well as the kits instructions, its been 24 hours exactly, my castings are still not dry, seemed just as damp as last night.
    solid, but wet to the touch.
    How long does it take for this stuff to dry?
    I thought a few hours, but let it cure for 24 hours, and boy o boy I am wrong.
    Theres little temp control out in the shop, so its hitting mid 80s in there, humidity is only bad at night, its been pretty dry here yesterday and today.

    I was going to pm jonathan and ask, but Im pretty sure hes so busy with school starting and all that jazz, so I figured Id ask in case I did something wrong.
    I put in 4 drops per ounce of hardener as stated in temps over 75 degrees.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails fisrtcast 004.jpg  
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  2. #2
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    I'm not highly experienced in casting, but I've done a fair amount. I add the recommended amount of catalyst, let the item sit overnight and it comes out of the form the next morning. It's hard but still needs a few more hours to feel completely dry(un-sticky).
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  3. #3
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    Hey Allen , sounds like it hasn't cured fully. I finally put two more drops than the recipe called for to get away from that scenario. Pull them from the molds and let dry or bake in the oven when Elen is at school!
    If you poured in the pvc tube, I notice some of the kids come out sticky but dry up. Had one student cast his tubes in the blank and started turning anyway. Seemed to find the hard spot or else the spinning on the lathe dried it up.
    It's only getting busy because we host our family reunion on Sunday of Labor Day weekend on our farm for the past 15 or so years and then Tuesday all day in Indy at the hospital with tests and doctor's visits.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  4. #4
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    did you overlook our invitation? I thought we were family?

    my son is doing the barbeque movie night thing sunday night.

    pens-the square mold the kit came with feels hard, only sticky to touch,as is the tops of the pvc pen blank molds, and its not like Im in a super rush to turn them, I didn't realize it can take days for a good solid cure. Tomorrow Im taking them out of the molds regardless.

    I ordered 2 dozen pen kits from woodturningz, should be here soon enough.

    I want to cast some bottle stoppers, but Im waiting to see how the color mix came out, I used the spiral from a spiral notebook as per your instructions, waiting a good 10 minutes or so for the solution to thicken up a bit, not sure how the mix in the tubes came out.
    Human Test Dummy

  5. #5
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    what a problem banging the casts out of the pvc piping, got em out, I made one too short, and when I cut down the square piece of 2 blanks, one blank split while I was drilling it....so only got 3 blanks out of the five.
    The square blank was still tacky to touch, but felt solid enough to drill and put tubes in, so by tomorrow Im hoping to turn some pens, don't want to rush, as these are experiments I have 2 dozen pen kits coming in tomorrow or Saturday.

    I used half pink, half blue, but I hardly see any pink, so I guess a little experimentation , but I still want to see how they finish with some flitz paste.

    I have a few acrylic and inlace acrylester bottle stopper blanks, that I drilled incorrectly, or just too large for the chuck, so does anyone with experience think if I fill in the holes with the casting acrylic liguid I will be able to re drill and save blanks(I can turn one over and drill other side so fill in with color that will be ok)

    I also tried to dye some polyurethane, didn't work, not even a hint of blue on either bowl I turned. Tough stuff to turn for me, dried maple, I might stick to Spanish cedar for turning, as I can sand off anything perfectly on that soft wood, just don't have enough experience, but a lot of blanks thank s to jim to keep practicing.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails day2cast 001.jpg   day2cast 002.jpg   day2cast 003.jpg   day2cast 005.jpg  
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  6. #6
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    so down to 3 blanks, one of the three cracked apart when I was barrel trimming it.
    down to 2, decided to turn a dutchess pen, not my favorite, cheap looking pen, and I totally blew it.
    Im so used to turning presimos, I left it way to hefty(fat), and no matter how much I polished it, I couldn't seem to get out some marks, never have this with acrylic blanks I purchase. Not sure why, Ill just keep trying.
    Once I put the end on, I realized uh oh, way to fat, but I know Ill never get it apart, so its an Elen pen, use it at work, cant give it as a gift, its just too ugly.
    I also noticed I could not get a high enough sheen with hut or flitz, as I usually do with purchased acrylic or inlace acrylester blanks.
    Don't know why, maybe something about the way it cured?
    So far, its been a crappy experience, a lot of time, nothing yet in return.
    Looks like its my first pen I made, but I think my first pen came out better than this one.
    You can see marks in the close up, eh......once I took it out into the sunlight, I saw it all, too fat, not enough sheen, and some scratch marks...back to casting again tomorrow, and Ill turn the other blank, a presimo, and be a lot more careful.
    Heres a pic of my crappy workmanship, Im a little embarrassed, but hey, its just a bad day, and like I said, once I pressed the end cap on, I knew Id never get it apart.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails badpen 002.jpg   badpen 001.jpg  
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  7. #7
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    Okay, just posted in your other thread, feel free to stop by on your "jaunt". If you do stop, I'll show you how to tear apart a pen (and salvage all of the parts!). I honestly haven't drilled any that I casted as I knew I wanted the tubes in first. So can't help there. I use a wooden dowel on getting the blank out. Set the pvc on something's edges so the pvc is held up and you can rap the wooden dowel pretty sharply to "break it loose" and get it out.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  8. #8
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    Is there anything you could put in the tube to act as a release? I'm not really familiar with the specific resins used here so am not sure - I see Polyvinyl Alcohol being used (sprays on, dries clear), cooking oil appears to work for some types (i.e. spray Pam)... More of a question than a thought

  9. #9
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    I used a wooden dowel in my vise, smacked it until it came lose to bottom of tube, then smacked it until it popped out.
    Tubes are rough inside now, tried to clean them out as well as I could.
    Popped out of the tray with no residue at all.
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  10. #10
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    Im guessing I turned 4 dozen or so good pens that I was confident enough to give as gifts over the past couple of years, maybe 3 years.
    I don't nor ever will consider myself a turner, I do it when Im not doing flat work, or in between projects, or to kill time when the shop is a bit cold or hot and I don't want to work on flatwork.

    So again today, I worked on 2 more casted pens.
    One tube I didn't turn that great, but I managed to get a sheen I desire on acrylics. That's one hurdle I needed to get over.
    The second pen, once again, the tube fell out. I have never had a tube fall out with that Loctite squeeze bottle, only crazy glue gel.
    I just finished casting another 8 pens, experimenting with colors and mixing color technique.

    I took a pic of the pen I made today, the picture is not clear enough to see my errors, not worth posting. Ill get a shot later if I remember.
    Its not a gifter, I like the presimo roller ball, so Ill keep it.*it was a presimo kit that I damaged and figured Id use it on a blank for me, so I did.

    After only 3 days of this casting, Im thinking to myself, wow, a lot of time, a lot of effort, and I don't think in the long run for the2 dozen pens Ill make over the next 2 years, it saves me anything, and I feel like Im using up a lot of time. Not that I don't have plenty of time, but in my head, it defeats the purpose of trying to get work out if Im waiting days for acrylic to dry, then so far, not having much luck with the blanks.

    after today, I wont put together a pen unless its giftable worthy, but Im a bit discouraged with the casting process. If I was a pen maker, and turning was all I did, maybe Id concentrate on expanding all of this, but for me, getting some acrylic blanks for 2.50 for one tube pens, makes a lot more sense.

    I will try to cast some bottle stoppers, one with the dice, and some other things.

    Each cast I ruin on the lathe or doesn't come out right is costly.

    I need a hashtag, whatever they call it, #discouragedinlongisland
    Human Test Dummy

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