Casein?

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EricRN

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May 16, 2019
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48
Curious to hear folks’ tips. I just got some of this too. Haven’t worked with it before and heard it can be finicky.
 

Fred Bruche

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Feb 11, 2018
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Location
Philadelphia 19146
Any tips on working with vintage casein?
In my experience some rods are more brittle than others. It seems the more vintage-looking rods are more brittle, but the (original) quality might also have some role. Sharp tools (fresh carbide tools is what I mostly use) and speed around 2500-3000rpm for turning, sharp bits and slow speed for drilling. In short nothing truly unusual for a plastic :)
 

Carl Pepka

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Aug 31, 2018
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Kenosha Wi USA
In my experience some rods are more brittle than others. It seems the more vintage-looking rods are more brittle, but the (original) quality might also have some role. Sharp tools (fresh carbide tools is what I mostly use) and speed around 2500-3000rpm for turning, sharp bits and slow speed for drilling. In short nothing truly unusual for a plastic :)
Thanks, Fred. Kind of what I was thinking.
 

jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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12,641
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NJ, USA.
I am currently working with the imitation and it handles like any other acrylic. Nothing special and it looks equivalent to the real deal.
 

bmachin

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Jul 28, 2013
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Location
Owensboro, KY
Steve4948 did a series of videos on making a kitless pen from casein a number of years ago. Ended up blowing up the cap as I recall. The stuff that he had was really brittle.

Here's the link to the video:


Bill
 
Last edited:

wizard

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Aug 27, 2009
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3,527
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Houston, Texas
Carl.
These are some tips that I learned....not always the easiest way. Know that you are dealing with a compressed form of the primary protein from milk. Not very strong. At all times keep the material cool. I used a spray bottle of cool water with each step. Do not drill or turn at high speed. Use sharp tools, preferably carbide. I drilled on lathe using round rod of vintage casein set in a collet chuck with a drill chuck and sharp drill bit in tail stock. Slow speed. Went maybe 1/3 inch at a time... stopping enough to pull the drill bit back and spray water in the drilled hole and on the drill tip. If it heats up during drilling, turning sanding it will leave a brown area.... and it will look and smell like burnt milk...literally. Used spray bottle cool water ter I used Abranet mesh for sanding at slow speed dipping it into cool water frequently getting into finer grits and then with Micromesh pads dipped into cool water. I made 2 custom pens with it and used the same techniques while using taps, drills and threading. . and cool water. Most important word of advice... be patient...take your time. Have fun :) Doc.

Here...
 

Carl Fisher

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Jun 7, 2011
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Palm Harbor, FL
True Casein will expand and split when exposed to prolonged liqued so don't use it without lining the inside if you're doing custom pens that could potentially be eye dropper filled. If you're doing kit style pens, you should be good.

Drill slow and keep the heat down.

The artificial stuff works just like most plastics and no special consideration really needed.
 

Carl Pepka

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Joined
Aug 31, 2018
Messages
70
Location
Kenosha Wi USA
Carl.
These are some tips that I learned....not always the easiest way. Know that you are dealing with a compressed form of the primary protein from milk. Not very strong. At all times keep the material cool. I used a spray bottle of cool water with each step. Do not drill or turn at high speed. Use sharp tools, preferably carbide. I drilled on lathe using round rod of vintage casein set in a collet chuck with a drill chuck and sharp drill bit in tail stock. Slow speed. Went maybe 1/3 inch at a time... stopping enough to pull the drill bit back and spray water in the drilled hole and on the drill tip. If it heats up during drilling, turning sanding it will leave a brown area.... and it will look and smell like burnt milk...literally. Used spray bottle cool water ter I used Abranet mesh for sanding at slow speed dipping it into cool water frequently getting into finer grits and then with Micromesh pads dipped into cool water. I made 2 custom pens with it and used the same techniques while using taps, drills and threading. . and cool water. Most important word of advice... be patient...take your time. Have fun :) Doc.

Here...

Thanks, Doc, good info.
 

Carl Pepka

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Joined
Aug 31, 2018
Messages
70
Location
Kenosha Wi USA
True Casein will expand and split when exposed to prolonged liqued so don't use it without lining the inside if you're doing custom pens that could potentially be eye dropper filled. If you're doing kit style pens, you should be good.

Drill slow and keep the heat down.

The artificial stuff works just like most plastics and no special consideration really needed.

Thanks, Carl. I have worked the imitation and love it. Mainly trying to real thing as a personal challenge.
 

Carl Pepka

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2018
Messages
70
Location
Kenosha Wi USA
In my experience some rods are more brittle than others. It seems the more vintage-looking rods are more brittle, but the (original) quality might also have some role. Sharp tools (fresh carbide tools is what I mostly use) and speed around 2500-3000rpm for turning, sharp bits and slow speed for drilling. In short nothing truly unusual for a plastic :)

Thanks, Fred. It is vintage I'll be working with..
 
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