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Old 02-06-2014, 11:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Indianola, Iowa
Posts: 19
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Default New to turning and penmaking


I am the new girl on the block. I have just started using my husband's Jet Mini lathe (with a bed extension) and I am having a blast. I have found turning to be so relaxing. The time passes so quickly when I am turning.

I have decided to try some pen turning. Hubby did some many years ago, but now it is my turn. We have been busy buying pen kits and all the bits we need to help me be successful. We already had the turning tools.

I have done a couple of pens from wood, one out of walnut and one out of hedge. They turned out OK, but they could use some improvement.

Then I found a couple of acrylic blanks that we had bought a few years ago when my husband was trying to get me interested in turning. I REALLY like acrylic. I think I did pretty good with those, but we had trouble getting the pen kits to fit correctly. Still don't know what I did wrong with those. They were just too tight and wouldn't go together (yes we have a pen press).

Then I moved on to some Corian blanks that we cut years ago. Corian is presenting a learning curve for me, but I did manage to get a slim line one turned. It is light in color, not my favorite, but success non the less.

We just managed to get our hands on TONS of Corian, probably more then I could ever think of using. Colors aren't too exciting, but we will see if we can mix and match the colors.

So, that leads me to my quesitons......we glued up a couple pieces of white Corian the other day then also a couple pieces of a dark grey (two different pen blanks). When the white one turned down for a practice piece you can still see the glue up joints. We did use CA glue, but reading around here on the site it looks like we need to sand the Corian down before gluing them together. Is the medium CA glue what you are still recommending? Also, should I be wearing a mask to not inhale the dust? It is a pretty large shop, but do I still need a mask?

The dark blank seemed to hide the glue line better. And actually the grey seemed to turn down to a beautiful chocolate color with specs.

I would love to mix and match and glue up the Corian. Can it be glued up with wood, then turned? How thin of pieces of Corian can be glued up to make a multi colored pen?

Oh and I would like to also learn about casting. I have no idea where to begin, but that sounds like fun!!!

THANKS for reading my ramble. I'm just having so much fun!!!
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Reno, Nv
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Welcome! Corian will always have a glue line...but think about adding metal or veneer as an accent. Try 1/8" slices and see what you think. Always...always use a respirator when turning anything!! There is no excuse for not protecting yourself and the size of the shop is irrelevant.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Sunny Murrieta, CA
Posts: 2,102
Photos: 9


Welcome from Southern California!

I haven't turned any Corian ... yet, so am unable to offer any advice on that front. As for dust, I have a reasonably beefy dust collector in my shop that I pretty much always have on when I'm turning anything. It has an intake jet on it so it's usually about 4 inches behind what I'm turning. It's fun to watch dust fall up and into it when sanding. I should wear my respirator more than I do. My face shield is worn religiously, however.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Posts: 8,671
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Welcome to IAP Denise!

SUCH IS LIFE. Down Under.
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 736
Photos: 12


Welcome aboard! For somebody that's just starting, you've already hit about half the major types of pen blanks! :big grin:

I've turned Corian a few times (or another company's version of it - not sure which)…turned nicely though very powdery.

The glue line bugged me even with sanding before gluing so I switched to a slice of Walnut between the chunks of Corian. The Walnut was maybe an 1/8" thick…it's important to drill parallel to the center strip if you go that route…or make sure you're well off parallel so it's obvious you meant to have the strip either running the length of the pen or running at an angle.

Having a center strip running almost parallel is likely to just look like a mistake.

I like the Walnut strip (the Corian is white with tiny specs so the Walnut contrasts nicely) but the buddy that gave me the Corian seems to prefer pure Corian….
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cabot, Arkansas USA
Photos: 1


Welcome aboard!!!!

Scott B
Central Arkansas IAP Chapter Member
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Ft. Mill, South Carolina
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Welcome from South Carolina.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 2,701
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Welcome from WV
The corian i have, has a smooth side and a rough side. Make sure you glue the 2 smooth sides together. Ask your countertop guy for help with the coloring your glue to hide the seams.

any day above ground, is a good day
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: West Chester, OH 45069
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I also acquired a large supply of corian. They have been selling well for me as stylus pens.

I have been making the "hidden pill compartment" key ring using different colors of corian. The hide the glue line, I glue a piece of aluminum coke can between the corian. So far, that's been working very well. Just med CA and clamp. Drill the hole slowly with a sharp drill bit to avoid the segments separating.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 1,885
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Welcome from Colorado. Glad you decided to join your husband wish I could convince my wife. Enjoy it is so relaxing and frustrating, as they say here welcome to the insanity.
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