Acrylics!!-- A Rant

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bmachin

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Actually not mine, but a couple of recent posts reminded me of a great thread from a couple of years ago which is well worth reading for those who weren't around then and re-reading for those who were.

Bill
 
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bmachin

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Thanks Ed,

Duh!!

To late to edit. Here's the link:

 

jttheclockman

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Also within that rant was another true statement not all woods react the same way either. Each material needs to e treated in its own way and the more you work with these materials you learn the properties. This hobby is simple to a point but within it there are complexities and the more we stay in the hobby and expand our talents the more of these complexities surface. Enjoy the ride and learn as you grow.
 

WriteON

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Also within that rant was another true statement not all woods react the same way either. Each material needs to e treated in its own way and the more you work with these materials you learn the properties. This hobby is simple to a point but within it there are complexities and the more we stay in the hobby and expand our talents the more of these complexities surface. Enjoy the ride and learn as you grow.
The fun of it is the variations and results. The known unknown. I enjoy the different feel of each material/blank.
 

greenacres2

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Also within that rant was another true statement not all woods react the same way either. Each material needs to e treated in its own way and the more you work with these materials you learn the properties. This hobby is simple to a point but within it there are complexities and the more we stay in the hobby and expand our talents the more of these complexities surface. Enjoy the ride and learn as you grow.
Shoot...i've had blanks cut from the same stick of wood react differently!! (surely it could NOT have been me!!!!!) ;)
earl
 

penicillin

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It is an old thread, so I will post here.

I understand that there are many types of plastics that are used in pen turning. When I am talking with my friends who turn pens, we use the word "acrylic" as a generic term for "plastic." Just to be clear, it was obvious to me from the start that a specific term was incorrectly used to mean the generic category, but it happens all the time and I did not fret over it. When we are talking about specific properties of a specific material, we get more precise with terminology, saying something like "Inlace Acrylester", for example.

This use of the word "acrylic" as a generic word for "plastic" is contextual to woodturning and mostly pen making. "Acrylic" is not used by the general public to mean "plastic."

Professionals in all fields have to deal with incorrect usage like this all the time, including me. When I deal with my peers and other people in my field, I use specific terms with specific meanings. When I deal with the public, I use words that are not as nuanced or precise, but they are the commonly used terms that people understand, even though they may be incorrect by professional standards. Of course, they are the "correct" words if it helps people understand what you are trying to convey.

One of my children loves to point out that people use the word "literally" when they actually mean "figuratively". It has reached the point where it is being added to dictionaries as an alternate definition. Does "bad" still mean "good" in certain contexts or has it finally faded away?

I will continue to use the word "acrylic" to mean "plastic" in the pen making context because that's what people understand, even though it is incorrectly used that way. If others start switching to "plastic", I will be the first to join in.
 

Woodchipper

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Why don't we lump them together and call them synthetic? Sort of like "good" and "well." My son is in the appliance industry and differentiates between stove and range. A stove burns coal and wood. A range uses gas or electricity.
 

Sylvanite

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I will continue to use the word "acrylic" to mean "plastic" in the pen making context because that's what people understand, even though it is incorrectly used that way. If others start switching to "plastic", I will be the first to join in.
But when you say "acrylic (meaning inlace acrylester) is chippy and difficult to turn", or "acrylic (meaning clear urethane) is difficult to polish to a high shine", or "acrylic (meaning epoxy) yellows with age", you mislead other penturners. In actuality, acrylic is among the easiesr plastics to turn, polishes readily, and is one of the most UV stable materials available. Acrylic is also one of the hardest and most scratch-resistant plastics. Inlace Acrylester (over-catalyzed polyester), urethane, and epoxy are NOT "acrylic".

So do people a favor - stop perpetuating misinformation just because others are lazy with terminology. Don't wait to "join in". Be the one who sets the trend by calling materials by their correct and unambiguous names.

Sorry, I guess my rant got extended,
Eric
 

1080Wayne

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I totally agree with Eric . This forum prides itself on helping other penturners , whether veteran or newcomers . Basically , that is done through education . We can only do that when we know the material being used , be it a specific wood , plastic , metal or stone .
 

mmayo

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What material is used to cast the steampunk blanks I buy? It is not listed. All of them turn like butter and are crystal clear. I’ve bought them from five different vendors.
 

penicillin

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[...]

So do people a favor - stop perpetuating misinformation just because others are lazy with terminology. Don't wait to "join in". Be the one who sets the trend by calling materials by their correct and unambiguous names.

Sorry, I guess my rant got extended,
Eric
No. I am not going to stand up among my woodturning friends and start using different terminology to help force the pen turning world to conform to your desires. I will not be your crusader for correct terminology. I will wait to join in. You lead. Good luck.

I am misleading nobody. My woodturning friends and even people I just met seem to have no confusion at all. You may detest it, but someone may ask, "What kind of acrylic were you turning when it happened?" and we all get it. I am confident that everyone here gets it too. Even you.

Specialized, topic-specific terminology is often used as a barrier to entry against outsiders. This smells like that. This also smells like, "The whole world is marching out of step except us!"

Obviously this issue rankles you and a few others a great deal, but the vast masses of woodturners don't care. They see wood and "acrylics." To them, pretty much any pen blank that is not wood is "acrylic." (Let's ignore the natural stuff like deer antler and buffalo horn, okay?) It has worked well enough for the last couple of decades. Nobody has died over it.

Pick your battles. This is not one that I want to fight.
 
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djrljr

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What material is used to cast the steampunk blanks I buy? It is not listed. All of them turn like butter and are crystal clear. I’ve bought them from five different vendors.
You could reach out to Chad @ Turners Warehouse, I know he makes those.
 

Sylvanite

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No. I am not going to stand up among my woodturning friends and start using different terminology to help force the pen turning world to conform to your desires. I will not be your crusader for correct terminology. I will wait to join in. You lead. Good luck.
My desire is that people use the correct terminology instead of incorrect and misleading terminology. Why would you insist on using incorrect terminology? I am leading. I invite you to join in.

I am misleading nobody. My woodturning friends and even people I just met seem to have no confusion at all. You may detest it, but someone may ask, "What kind of acrylic were you turning when it happened?" and we all get it. I am confident that everyone here gets it too. Even you.
You may understand that there are several different materials, and your woodturning friends may understand it, but many, many newcomers to the IAP most certainly DO NOT. Referring to synthetic materials generally as "acrylic" when they are in fact something else confuses them. They don't know to ask "what kind of acrylic [sic] were you turning" and will misunderstand your comments.

Specialized, topic-specific terminology is often used as a barrier to entry against outsiders. This smells like that. This also smells like, "The whole world is marching out of step except us!"
Absolutely not! I am not trying to exclude newcomers. I am trying to keep from confusing them.

Obviously this issue rankles you and a few others a great deal, but the vast masses of woodturners don't care. They see wood and "acrylics." To them, pretty much any pen blank that is not wood is "acrylic." (Let's ignore the natural stuff like deer antler and buffalo horn, okay?) It has worked well enough for the last couple of decades. Nobody has died over it.
Nobody has died over it, but the topic arises frequently (do a search and see) and new penturners are frequently confused by the implication that all plastic materials are "acrylic". They are not. "Acrylic" is a specific kind of plastic. The properties of "acrylic" are different than the properties of other plastics. Calling inlace acrylester "acrylic" is like calling amboyna burl "balsa" and water buffalo horn "bone".

Pick your battles. This is not one that I want to fight.
I don't view it as a "battle", just a peeve.
 
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