Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Turning acrylic pens

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    72

    Turning acrylic pens

    My daughter was with me a few weeks ago while I was picking up some pen parts at the local Woodcraft and grabbed a arylic pen blank out of a discount bucket. Of course, now she wants the pen. Any hints on turning & finishing (polishing?) this stuff would be appreciated. I'm most likely going to just do a 7mm twist pen.

    Thanks in advance,
    Ed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    dawsonvill GA
    Posts
    298
    Hi Ed,

    I just turn acrylic to shape and then sand through the 400 with regular sand paper. then I go through the grits of the micro mesh sand paper. this usually finishes the pen to the point that a little wax and they are good to go.

    HTH
    Roger

  3. #3
    Ed,

    Acrylic pen blanks can be a little bit "tricky" when turning. Make sure you have a sharp tool, and use lite passes when tooling. Some acrylics like to "grab" in certain spot of the material. Good tool control and easy gentle passes the closer you get to done works well.

    Start sanding with 400, then 600, then proceed through the grits with MicroMesh starting at 2400 grit. Once you get to 12000 grit, the blank will shine like new money!!! A coat of Crystal Coat and your done.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
    Get the Benefits of Being an SMC Contributor..!
    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

  4. #4
    There are a few types of plastic for pen turning. Some are soft and turn clean and some are hard and can "tear out". If you are working one of the soft plastics then the truning process is eaiser but the sanding process is more prone to guming the paper. If you are working one of the hard plastics then the turning is slower but the sanding is more predictable.

    I usualy sand to 400 grit and then use automotive rubing compound to get a nice shine. A little auto wax is okay but the plastic pen will look great without the wax.

    The soft plastic seams to pick up scratches faster than the hard plastic but the hard plastic tends to show the scratches more.

    Thanks
    The Large print givith
    and the fine print takith away

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    37,522
    Barry Gross did an article on turning acrylics in one of the issues of Woodturning Design...I forget which issue and I'm not at home to look it up. Perhaps someone else can point you. Barry works in plastics and corian A LOT and really knows the in-s and out-s of this material.
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

    If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say -- talk in your sleep...

    Be safety conscious. 80% of people are caused by accidents.

    Equestrian Sports. The most fun you can have with your boots still on...


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Kennewick, WA
    Posts
    349
    Ed,
    I've used Novus plastic polishes. Sand as everyone else above recomends. Then use Novus #3 which is semi-paste like, removes heavy scratches; Novus #2 is next, more liquid, almost like a very fine abrasive polish and Novus #3 for the final coat. It looks like water but my oh my does it shine. In each case, a little bit on an old tee shirt or cotton sock. Apply and buff. Get it at Novus windshield repair facilities.
    I have no financial interest in Novus. Just love how the polish works with acrylic pens. And, if you buy it at the Novus windshield repair facility, its fairly inexpensive.
    Just my $.02
    Ernie
    Ernie on-the-dry-side; WA

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    72
    Thanks all. I'll let you know how it works out. Mom-in-law stopped today with a small project to make 8 doll cradles for a craft fair by 9/1. I made the templates tonight (well maybe this morning) and it's off to the lumber yard in the AM for some pine. So much for finishing what I was working on or getting to the acrylic this weekend.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Oak Ridge, NC
    Posts
    458
    Go back to your Woodcraft. They have a little plastic bag with about 6 little foam pads that are different colors. Each pad is an abrasive and each color indicates the fineness of the cut. They are made especally for polishing plastic pens. I don't remember the cost but I had one of the bags in my hand yesterday, looking at it. One of the sales guys showed me a pen he had just finished with them and it was beautiful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Wichita Falls, Tx
    Posts
    17
    After going through all your usual sand paper grits try a final polish with toothpaste for
    your plastic/acrylic pens. Works for me.

Similar Threads

  1. Freedom Pens - General Information
    By Keith Outten in forum Freedom Pens
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 06-07-2005, 8:12 PM
  2. Gear needed for Turning Pens?
    By Gilbert Vega in forum General Woodworking and Power Tools
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-21-2004, 8:36 AM
  3. Freedom Pens First Shipment 02-23-04 (Totals)
    By Keith Outten in forum Freedom Pens
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-21-2004, 12:40 AM
  4. Getting Started Turning Pens??
    By Travis Lanman in forum General Woodworking and Power Tools
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-12-2004, 1:07 AM
  5. Turning pens on a ShopSmith
    By Ron Jones near Indy in forum General Woodworking and Power Tools
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-30-2004, 8:45 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •