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Old 02-10-2019, 11:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
jttheclockman's Avatar
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Default Watch part blank making

OK it has been long enough and there are many people who make the watch part blanks. There are many videos of these things too so the mystery is out of the bag.

But with that said I would like to try my hand at some of these. I have gathered the parts dials and have all tools including dabbler blocks pliers and what ever else. I have that covered. Now I do have a few questions and remember we are a sharing group so please do not tell me it is a trade secret.

Here is my questions. What is everyone using to glue the parts to the tubes and is one thing better than another?? I have heard nail polish, CA glue, med, epoxy. When using any or all of these how important is it to not get glue beyond the parts?? Will the glue show when cast?? Next question what resin is everyone using to cast these. I was thinking Liquid Diamonds epoxy resin. I also have Silmar. Next question, is there any other tidbits of info that you can share to make this go smooth. I see right away I will have to break out the magnifying light for sure.

I have watched Chad Schimmels videos and yes they are well done but are there any others worth while taking a look at to get a better feel for this project??

Thanks all for the replys.
John T.

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Old 02-11-2019, 12:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Trade secret.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think Pete will trade you one secret for two of yours !

At the same stage as you on this , so no specific answers . Suspect need to keep the glue under the part . For sure , a CA boundary will show under Alumilite because of difference in index of refraction .
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I received what in my opinion to be an amazing and flawless watch part pen on black carbon fiber in the Nov 2018 PITH from Jason ( Argo13). So I know he knows the answer if no one tells the trade secret maybe ask him. I been wondering the same thing so glad you asked these questions.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I am no expert but I have made about a dozen successful pens. Like you I search this site and YouTube and this is what works for me. Instead of CA for the carbon fiber I use epoxy to seal the fiber to the tube. A small amount mixed in a cup and use gloves like chad does with the CA. I had success with CA as well, just a preference.

I use medium CA to apply the watch parts. I try to use as little as possible. I use liquid diamonds to cast and it seems to work well to the naked eye. I have never checked under a loop to see if glue is visible. Iíll be following this thread to see what others have to say.

Again no expert here but willing to share. Good luck

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Old 02-11-2019, 06:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I make a 30 or so a year so I'm no 'expert'. I use thick CA (applied with a toothpick) & cast with Silmar41.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ask 20 people, you'll get 40 answers. I've showed several people how to make them, and i've made a few.

It's all dependent on the resin you use as to what glue. I use Alumilte, which has troubles with ca. If you use ca you need to let it sit for a couple days before casting. And you may still have issues.

I personally use something different. Clear fingernail polish works well, as does a few epoxies. Most have experimented to find what works for them.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Attached is one of two watch parts blanks I have made that I was able to sell to a couple of customers.

I started by attaching the carbon fiber with CA. Here is the process I used:

1. Paint the tube black.
2. Fill the ends of the tube with play dough.
3. Cut the Carbon fiber to length and insert the tube.
4. Stretch the carbon fiber tight over a frame or by tying the ends.
5. Drench the whole thing in CA and allow to dry overnight.
6. Cut the end of the carbon fiber close to the tube and remove play dough.
7. Layout all of the parts that are going to be used to get a nice pattern.
8. Ben all of the parts to the size tube you are using with a dapping block and a press or hammer.
9. Using Thick CA attach all parts as organized earlier. Use as little CA as possible.
10. Allow to dry for at least 24 hours.
11. Cast with PR in whatever way you choose to cast. I recommend no more than 3-3.5 drops of MEKP per ounce of PR. (Also I think a pressure pot makes this cast so much less frustrating.

I think that is pretty much it. I have heard others using PR to adhere the carbon fiber to the tube but I have not tried it. I have had some failures with this because I did not get the CA to fully cure or off gas.

Hope this helps someone. I am certainly no expert.

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Old 02-11-2019, 09:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow just put this up last night and get here this morning and see this many responses is great. I see others are wanting to try these too so that is a good thing. I also see again a variation of answers that I thought would happen because just like most things we do with pen blanks there is more than one way to do things. I will be experimenting for sure as I said I have 2 different resins.

Being Ron gave a detailed description and shown a great close up of his example pen I will pose this question to him. I am assuming even though you use a little dab of CA to glue parts, my hands are not as steady as they use to be and there is bound to get CA outside the parts. Will this glue show when cast or will it disappear do to the resin and is one resin better at this than another??

Or if anyone else has done an experiment with different resins have you found one better than another for hiding glue drops???

One last question does the material you use weather it is painted tube, fiber tube, or something else matter with the visibility of the glue?? Also is a certain material easier to adhere to???

Thank you all and hopefully this will help others too now and in the future when it can be linked to. Have to say this being another first brings back memories when I spun my first pen. Not knowing what to expect.
John T.

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Old 02-11-2019, 09:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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This thread needs to have a link placed in the Library!!!!
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