** Announcement - M3 Blanks are Coming Back **

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Last week we finalized the purchase of the M3 Composite Innovations product/process from the previous owner and inventor, Mike Kogan. Known as Macro Molecular Material, the M3 material is a premium product made from metal, yet easily machinable with hand tools. The popular Mokume Gane look is incredible on pens, rings and other jewelry.

We'll need a few weeks to perfect the process but plan on initially launching with 5-6 of the most popular color mixes in both ring and pen blank form. No pricing just yet, but it is my hope that with our equipment and bulk purchasing power for supplies we'll be able to bring it back to market at a slight discount over the last available prices 2+ years ago.

More information and of course teaser photos etc to come as we get this going.
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I was turning these blanks a decade ago and I'm very glad we get to bring them back to the market here at McKenzie Penworks.
 
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Considering your recent purchases of comapnies at or near death, perhaps you should rename that portion of your business Lazarus Labs.😂
🤣😂
It may be a bit of hubris but.... When I see awesome products that I think need to be on the market I can't help but try and bring them back! This material is really one of a kind and I think if we apply our knowledge gained from DiamondCast on process/materials/marketing/etc we can have some fun with this.
 

KenB259

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It may be a bit of hubris but.... When I see awesome products that I think need to be on the market I can't help but try and bring them back! This material is really one of a kind and I think if we apply our knowledge gained from DiamondCast on process/materials/marketing/etc we can have some fun with this.
What about Jello Pudding Pops, I miss those :D
 

Gregf

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Considering your recent purchases of comapnies at or near death, perhaps you should rename that portion of your business Lazarus Labs.😂
🤣😂
Wish someone would have bought or resurrected Dymondwood. Will never be convinced that wasn’t an insurance fire.
 

Rob_Mc

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This is great news! I am looking forward to getting my hands on some of these blanks. I have worked with this stuff years ago and have been wanting more for some time.
 

jttheclockman

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Last edited:
Joined
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Fuquay Varina, NC
I'm hoping with our ability and willingness to purchase in bulk we'll be able to bring the price point down a bit... There's only so much you can do when the majority of the product is metal, but we'll do what we can. :) And yes... the current page is WAY outdated. Working on new branding, certificates, etc and then we'll get everything redirected accordingly.
 

PatrickR

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this is good news! I have found a couple blanks but being able to get them in the full range will be great and I’ll buy them.
 

Darios

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I started there but those in particular I want to use on some gunmetal or stainless steel kits to see how they come out.
 

Todd in PA

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Exotic hardwoods (unless stabilized) can crack and or shrink in as little a 5 years. Acrylics and plastics can degrade in 5 to 25 years.

Reading the link that John T posted, brings up an interesting concept of the life span of the items we make.

I like the idea of making an item that doesn’t degrade over time and therefore may need to try some of this material out when it becomes available.

It also makes me want to turn less wood which isn’t stabilized.
 

rixstix

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M3 question:

100% of the M3 I've turned carries the dark metal into the lighter color making the finished pen muddy. That's before using the special M3 part A & B polishes. It gets worse after polishing.

I dug out 1 of 3 blanks today & results are the same. The black just muddies the peach and I'm not to the sanding stage.

Are there known solutions to the issue from those who have turned M3 before?

BTW: M3 blank weighs 98 gm. Acrylic blank weighs 55 gm. 3/4 × 3/4 ×5
 

jrista

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This is great news! I have a couple of M3 blanks, actually, I think a couple each in a few different styles. They are amazing. Really happy to see you guys are preserving some of these wonderful things! Thank you so much!
 
Joined
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Messages
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M3 question:

100% of the M3 I've turned carries the dark metal into the lighter color making the finished pen muddy. That's before using the special M3 part A & B polishes. It gets worse after polishing.

I dug out 1 of 3 blanks today & results are the same. The black just muddies the peach and I'm not to the sanding stage.

Are there known solutions to the issue from those who have turned M3 before?

BTW: M3 blank weighs 98 gm. Acrylic blank weighs 55 gm. 3/4 × 3/4 ×5
I'm assuming these are ones using black? I think I may have one last black/gold example from a decade ago here... Knowing what I know about it now I can't see how it could really blend with it... but I could see how it's possible to end up with a coating of the darker material if perhaps it got hot in the finishing process. As to his polish, I am probably not going to mess with repackaging polish but we'll likely test some existing stuff we use and make some recommendations. Are you wet sanding or dry sanding? I'd DEFINITELY wet sand...
 
Joined
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Messages
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Reading the link that John T posted, brings up an interesting concept of the life span of the items we make.

I like the idea of making an item that doesn’t degrade over time and therefore may need to try some of this material out when it becomes available.

It also makes me want to turn less wood which isn’t stabilized.
I'm not sure how far we'll take that particular marketing aspect... In truth, wood will outlast the owner of a pen by a good margin, especially well finished and kept in a safe place. Finishes may crack, etc but they can be refinished. The way these are made being primarily metal... they will likely hold up better than say a straight resin blank without the yellowing, etc... so that certainly is an aspect. I guess I'm just wary on "overselling" a bit without exact data to back it up. :)
 

rixstix

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I'm assuming these are ones using black? I think I may have one last black/gold example from a decade ago here... Knowing what I know about it now I can't see how it could really blend with it... but I could see how it's possible to end up with a coating of the darker material if perhaps it got hot in the finishing process. As to his polish, I am probably not going to mess with repackaging polish but we'll likely test some existing stuff we use and make some recommendations. Are you wet sanding or dry sanding? I'd DEFINITELY wet sand...
Yep. Black & anything. Definitely flooded wetsanding. Sorta like mixing a white wood with darker wood. The polish feels like a thicked Novus 3 & 2. I just wanted to use recommended finishing products to eliminate variables. I cant see how it blends, but definitely darkens. I'm assuming it is aluminum of sorts based upon how black my hands are & similar blackness when workining with aluminum wire.

Threading has been a bugger. Pretty crumbly material. Not to many ribbons.

BUT I LIKE IT. The clicker is almost finished. Can't wait to see the new batch.
 
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We've had a chance to try 2 different resin components... The less expensive one turned fine, polished great, but this morning I dropped it from chest height and it snapped. The more expensive one (of course) turned almost like Alumilite with big long ribbons and the drill swarf was similar as well. It polished just as nicely as the other stuff and we ended up throwing it up in the air 15 feet in the shop repeatedly without a single break. (We do have PVC tiles, not concrete) Looks like we'll have to use the more expensive resin to get the properties we're after: Strength, heat resistance and threadability.

Looks like we WILL be carrying the M3 polish. It's not a plastic polish, it's designed for metal and it does an AMAZING job with just 2 grits. I was honestly surprised since this was the first time I used it and the results were so good that it's a no-brainer to carry it.

We'll be doing some more test batches this weekend to ensure we can get the proper wood grained pattern on square blanks. I've pretty much proven we can get tight separated patterns in the rods.

On pricing... still nothing firm yet. I hate that we have to use the more expensive resin (It's similar in price to Alumilite but almost twice the cost of the less expensive one we tested) but I'm not willing to give up quality and if we can improve on the weaknesses of the original M3, we're going to do it. One thing that WILL change is that we'll be pricing based on the blank. In the past there was a single price regardless of what metals were in the blank. We'll be pricing them based on what it takes to make them. Aluminum based blanks like Cobaltium (the most popular) will be less money than blanks that use more expensive metals, etc.
 
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