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Old 04-16-2017, 02:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Honeycomb Mesh Build Report

I was very intrigued when I saw this pen, made from from some sort of aluminum honeycomb mesh and alumilite:

More4dan's Majestic Squire

So thought I’d give it a whirl. I found the honeycomb mesh here:

Honeycomb Mesh at Amazon

Others no doubt were similarly inspired... here’s another crack at a pen based on this:

Cwalker935's Honeycomb Pen

I had some old Allumilite (the kind that you have to warm up to even come close to pouring), so thought I’d just use it up trying to make a block of blanks from the mesh.

I used a Ptownsubbie 5.25” x 6” x 1” mold. Using a bandsaw, I cut a chunk of honeycomb mesh to size. I went slow and it cut easily. These blanks take a lot of Allumilite, as the mesh doesn’t occupy much space. I measured out the amount of water needed to fill it to ¾” tall at 375 grams. And then mixed up about that much alumilite. I had a half a dozen or so plastic cups waiting with yellow, green, and blue mica powers, and stirred in the resin cup by cup. I took each cup and poured it randomly into the mesh. I guess Alumilite weights more than water, or my math was off somewhere, because I was way short – maybe 100 grams or so short of having enough. So I quickly mixed up some more clear resin and just dumped it on to the mesh to fill things up. The mold went into the pressure pot and sat overnight.

The block looked good, though I was regretting not throwing some die in with the mica powders – without die sometimes things get too translucent for my taste. And dumping that clear on top to fill things up probably didn't help either. Oh well. For a pen kit, I decided to try a Le Roi Long Body, as it’s a thicker walled pen, and I knew from other reports that this mesh may want to come apart. I cut a blank sized chunk of the block with no issue, and turned it round between centers. So far, so good. I then mounted it in a collet for drilling. I center marked it, then, starting with a quarter inch bit, worked my way in a couple of steps to 25/64. Drilling went fine. When I tried to pull the drilled blank out of the collet, it came apart in the middle. Oops… I should have pushed it out of the collet instead of pulling. It was a clean separation – a little medium CA and then clamped it tight back together – you’d never know it happened.

I back painted the blank yellow, the tube yellow, and mixed a little yellow die into the epoxy. I tried to be extra thorough with the epoxy when gluing the tube into the blank. I figured it was the epoxy that was going to hold this thing together from the inside once I started turning it. It turned like Alumilite. Failry early on, I had a small “hex” chunk come off the very end. I continued to turn it down and the same thing happened on the other end – a small “hex” chunk came off. I was able to finish turning, but had those two little pieces missing on the ends to deal with. I mixed up some epoxy and mica and filled in the “hex hole” with that.

I finished it with a little CA, wet micromesh through 12000 then Novus #1 & Novus #2.

The only kits I have on hand in the Le Roi Long Body are gold and gun metal – I did not like the looks of this blank with that. I have some black and chrome on order, so will wait for that to assemble it into a pen. I don’t expect any issues in assembly.

Next up, I'm going to try a cigar out of these blanks.
Attached Thumbnails
mesh1.jpg   mesh2.jpg   pens-9078.jpg   pens-9080.jpg   pens-9082.jpg  

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Old 04-16-2017, 03:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Looking promising. I am going to try a little aluminum etch before casting my next one. Thinking of trying this:
Krud Kutter 32 oz. Metal Clean and Etch-ME326 - The Home Depot
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Old 04-16-2017, 10:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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That is a very attractive blank !!! . Thanks for telling the "whole story".
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I like the etching idea.

I thought about just segmenting on a thin strip of aluminum to each end. Etching sounds like it would be easier.
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Hi Roy - The copper mesh works well too.

I posted this last year - a variation on the theme:
Meshing around with Copper and Color (experimental pen)

Your post has inspired me to revisit the possibilities - thanks!

- Bob
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I had a second go with another blank from this block that I made. It was an "all silver" cigar (e.g. no black or colored trim), which I think is a good match for this blank.

No issues drilling this time.

My original idea was to segment a thin piece of aluminum on each blank end, as a way of preventing the chip off's that occurred on my first pen. After thinking about that, I really didn't think I'd like the look of additional horizontal "silver" pieces being introduced. So I decided to just coat the ends with CA and see if that would buy me enough protection.

The result was that I only had one of the four ends chip out on me (it's a cigar, so cap and body each have two ends... four total). And that chip out (see pic) was on a little piece that was completely unsupported by the bushing. The good news, was... since it was completely unsupported, it also was going to be completely turned away, so it didn't matter that it chipped out anyway. So I didn't have to do any repairs on this after I turned it (yeah!).

I wonder if the bigger cigar tube (vs. the Le Roi) actually helped, since it provides more surface area for the glue to hold the blank together.

Pictures of the finished pen over in the "Show Off" forum:

Honeycomb Blues Cigar

I like the color separation this mesh gives you vs. just dumping resin together.
Attached Thumbnails
cigarbuild.jpg  
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Another quick observation... I regretted not putting some dye in with the mica because the result was so translucent.. However, I actually think I prefer it.

My wife latched onto the pen as soon as she saw it. When I walked by her desk this morning I was struck by how much the interior metal was catching the light. I snapped a quick pic with my cell to try and capture what I was seeing.... No flash used in the pic.... Just the light from the window across the room.
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quickhoneycomb.jpg  
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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That does give a very neat effect for sure. Nice work.

Lewis
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