Pen casting experiment

So I thought I’d try a little bit of casting and see how it goes. I’d never done any casting of any kind before, so I’m glad for a good pen turning forum and that there are some very informative videos on YouTube.

My wife and I went to Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago to get some basic casting supplies. She had a 40% off coupon, which we used on the resin. Even though they didn’t have the largest selection of pigments, I got some lavender, pearl and a small bit of fine silver glitter (Note to self: fine glitter gets everywhere even when you are careful).

For the molds, I used some old schedule 40 PVC pipe. I didn’t have any corks, but I did have some duct tape which made a dandy cover for one end of the PVC. The resin was poured into some 3 oz. cups and I added the pigment, glitter several drops of MEKP (according to the directions) and stirred. When it was ready (about 15 minutes later) I was able to fill two and a half sections of pipe.

I left them to cure and knocked the blanks out of the tube the next day (it was about 23 hours later). I waited a few more days to turn the pen, wanting to give the resin plenty of time to do it’s thing.

It may not look like it with the cell phone shots, but this is a chrome cigar pen with the lavender/pearl/glitter blank. It’s been polished to 12,000 grit using micro mesh abrasive pads and then polished with Hut’s Ultra Gloss. The depth in this pen is incredible…you can stare into it, move it slightly and it just shimmers from a different level.

I’ve since done a little bit more casting, which has turned out pretty well. I’m continually amazed at where the wood turning rabbit hole can lead you.

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