New to casting, what size to make molds? - International Association of Penturners
     International Association of Penturners
Pens for Service Members
 
Support The IAP

Go Back   International Association of Penturners > Community Forums > Blank Making > Casting & Stabilization
  Forgot Password
Register FAQ Members List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Casting & Stabilization Making your own blanks & stabilizing wood blanks.


Logged on members can hide ads!

Welcome to penturners.org!

You've found the home of The International Association of Penturners. You are currently viewing our site as a guest, which gives you limited access to view discussions, photos, and library articles.

Consider joining our community today. You'll have full access to all of our content, be able to enter our contests, find local chapters near you, and post your questions and share your experience with our members all over the world.

Membership is completely free!!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-24-2017, 10:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Northfield, MN
Posts: 8
Photos: 0

Default New to casting, what size to make molds?

I am just starting to get into casting alumilite with and HF pressure pot. My plan is to use 1/2" "plastic" to create molds. Would anyone have any recommendations on what size to make the interior cavity for the most versatility?
I am also returning to pen making after about a 15 year absence and am amazed at the number of different pen tubes/types available. Is there a recommended mold length to allow for efficient use of material for both single tube and double tube pen types?
Lastly, is there a recommended size for casting bottle stoppers?
Thank you for any insight anyone is willing to provide.
Bill
BillS is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 01-24-2017, 07:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: South Florida
Posts: 22
Photos: 0

Default

If you are just getting started casting your own pen blanks, I believe you should start with Silmar 41 instead of Alumilite. It is much cheaper. 3/4"x 6" pvc pipe makes a good starter mold.
RetiredGuy23 is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 01-24-2017, 09:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
TattooedTurner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Surprise, Arizona
Posts: 559
Photos: 137

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RetiredGuy23 View Post
If you are just getting started casting your own pen blanks, I believe you should start with Silmar 41 instead of Alumilite. It is much cheaper. 3/4"x 6" pvc pipe makes a good starter mold.
I agree 100%. I bought one long piece of 1" OD pvc pipe and cut it up into a boatload of molds. You're going to have a learning curve, best to practice with the cheaper stuff. Another plus for Silmar 41 is that it polishes to a higher shine than Alumilite, at least IME.
__________________
Jay
TattooedTurner is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Advertisement
Old 01-30-2017, 03:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 695
Photos: 0

Default

if you have a shop you heat in the winter or can't ventilate well GO with alumilite. Not that big a learning curve. more tools needed. I heat my detached garage and there is no way I could cast PR or other resins that have a toxic smell in my shop and stay in there.

Any alumilite questions feel free to let me know. I've already sold over 200 alumilite hybrids this month.
__________________
Ethan Cook

Jesus Was A Woodworker Too!
etsy.com/shop/cookcrafted
facebook.com/cookcrafted
My Lathes
Jet 1014VS, HF 12x36, Nova comet II
endacoz is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 01-31-2017, 10:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Northfield, MN
Posts: 8
Photos: 0

Default

Thanks for your advise with the Alumilite. Like you, I live in Minnesota and a heated shop is a must. After attending a seminar recently I have decided to go the Alumilite route. Can you provide any advice regarding mold sizes to cast blanks? I am planning to use HDPE to construct the molds but am not sure what size to make for efficient use of the resin. In addition I would like the mold size to allow to cast different pen blanks from the same mold.
Thanks for your help.
BillS is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 01-31-2017, 02:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Lawton, Ok
Posts: 2,650
Photos: 7

Default

Bill ... the typical size for pen blanks sold and available commercially is around 3/4" round or square by 5" - 6" long


You could get away with 5/8" round, and some people prefer having 1" round. Round is pretty simple to do if you use PVC pipe for your molds, and a simple cork with a plastic baggie over it to stopper the end. Make the pipe around 6 - 7 inches long so that you aren't in danger of spilling overage, and after it's cured it will simply pop loose without the use of a mold release agent. (Alumalite shrinks a tiny bit when cured.)

To make the large swirled patterns you see available through PSI and other places, they typically use some metallic flake imbued or pearlized dyes and a large squared or rectangular pan made of HDPE cutting board or other similar material. I've seen some suitable material available from Academy Sports in their outdoor cooking area - a very large cutting board 3/8" thick, perhaps 18" x 24" surface. It was around 25 dollars, but I think one of those would suit for making several rectangular blank molds.

Once you've got the mold built (use screws so you can knock down a side to remove the alumalite easily), you just need to add some silicone to the inside corners to ensure that it will be leak-free. Mix your alumalites and dyes, pour them in carefully after allowing them time to "pre-set" so that they won't easily flow into each other and mix the colors ... and gently swirl them together to create your desired patterns.

The mold dimensions can be pretty much whatever YOU want for your own convenience .... the finished alumalite block can be milled down into pen blanks with a table saw or band saw. You want at least one dimension to be 5 - 6 inches, with whatever dimension you wish for the other direction, as long as you get a reasonable number of pen blanks from it.
__________________
Click Here to go to Pen Turner's Anonymous Meeting

Attendance is not mandatory, unless you're addicted to turning pens.

Last edited by Skie_M; 01-31-2017 at 02:40 PM.
Skie_M is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 01-31-2017, 04:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Northfield, MN
Posts: 8
Photos: 0

Default

Thanks for the information. I've decided to go the plastic mold way. Today I searched around for cutting boards but the only ones I could find where a 1/4" thick...until I went to Costco. Costco has a set of three plastic cutting boards which are all 1/2" thick. The set has one 15"x20" board and two 15"x10" boards. The cost is only $19.99. This should give me plenty of material to get started.

Is there a standard blank size for bottle stoppers?
BillS is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 01-31-2017, 05:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Owensboro, KY
Posts: 168
Photos: 0

Default

Bill,

Go here if you haven't already for a cutting list for molds:

https://www.turntex.com/help-center/...ng-board-molds

While you're at it take a look at the whole site. If you aren't already aware Curtis is the resident Alumilite guru.

Bill
Likes: (1)
bmachin is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Related Content
Logged on members can hide ads
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
alumilite , casting blanks , molds

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:18 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0

Content Copyright © 2003-2016 by Penturners.org, LLC; All Rights Reserved
Terms Of Service   Acceptable Use Policy