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Old 10-31-2012, 11:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
cschimmel's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Default PR vs Alumilite, a test

A little test I did with alumilite and PR, hard to believe I'm not a scientist right.
Pen Making Shop Test Polyester Resin PR vs Alumilite on a stamp pen. - YouTube
Chad Schimmel
Gilbert Arizona
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are Alumilite castings as clear as PR castings?
Nice job on the video, good information.

don't go there, under construction........
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, I could not post on the video, because I don't have an account. I enjoyed the video itself, but just in watching you personally. The information is far from scientific as it doesn't represent the real world. There's a big difference between a piece of paper and a pen. You also do not say how you are applying your stamps to the pen, which also will make a big difference on the final outcome of each product. I am a fan of Alumilite too, so don't get me wrong there, I buy 150 gallons of it a year, but either way I look at it, to make stamp pens it's going to fail every time, if not right now, then later it will come back and haunt you.
I will break things down some.
You put Alumilite on paper, but did not use the pressure pot, which is what you would do in real life. The pot will penetrate the paper all the way, but nothing wrong with that at all, in my opinion that's actually good news.
you put alumilite over top of modge podge, and CA. BUT, you didn't spin it. you didn't take a chisel or knife to it to see how the bond is. I'm unsure about the modge podge, but i do know that if you cast Alumilite over CA it won't stick. It might seem stuck, so if you flip it upside down it stays, but it isn't truly stuck, so once the chisel hits it on the lathe and it gets them vibrations, it will break free. So...the stamps are directly applied to the tubes, the result will be that when you install the pen parts, the expansion of the tube will seperate the Alumilite from the CA. If you get super luck and that does not happen, it will happen eventually as people use the pen and squeeze on it, that's 100% guaranteed. Now if you were to make a wood barrel and then apply stamps over top and use CA to seal it, and then Alumilite on top, OR, forget the CA, just use Alumilite on top and the idea is that you are going to spin the Alumilite really super thin, like a finish/sealer, well now you are screwed both ways again, because when you spin Alumilite super thin, it will let go. No tube castings with Alumilite will hold up, even if you color the alumilite, it will be weak at the ends due to loss of adhesion to the tubes and eventually fail, break, whatever. This is why you will not find a single mass produced tube casting in Alumilite on the market, Everyone uses PR. If you find someone selling tube castings in Alumilite, they are a private seller that is new to the business and soon to experience the ultimate doom of failure and hopefully doesn't have too many blanks out in the public because they will be coming back to haunt that person soon.
I have cast 10's of thousands of pen blanks and have experience with both products and I do not say one product is better than the other, because that is not true. Really it's an even match, as both products are the best when used with their proper applications. This is just one of the situations where Alumilite is wrong.
A true test of Alumilite vs PR, will involve making actual pen blanks. You will need to make tube casts with both. You will need to make just resin only pen blanks, and you will need make pen blanks with objects cast in them such as worthless wood or pine cones. Then you will have a variety of different situation where you will begin to unveil the real strengths and weaknesses of each product. You will see how different they perform, starting with the pouring, and then the spinning and then the finishing and the final assembly of the product.
Jeff Powell, Master Scroller
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