Fordite - New Material (for me)

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Jim Smith

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Jul 27, 2008
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Conyers, Georgia
My recent back surgery has kept me out of the shop, but I finally got a chance to turn a couple of pens today to finish up a post-Christmas order. This is a pen I made from a material called Fordite. This material is actually dried paint from the auto factories where they paint an automobile, cure the paint with heat, then roll in another car that may be painted in a different color. Back in the 1970s, workers at the Ford plant in Detroit decided to "harvest" some of this material to see if they could make anything out of it. Once it got out, some "gemologist" examined it and gave it the official name of Fordite. This particular piece was actually from the Chevy Stingray plant in Bowling Green KY. I got it from a guy over on a pen making page on FB. It makes very pretty pens, with a cool background story, but it can be a pain to work with. For one thing, it never gets too big (usually 5/8" thick with some very hard to find pieces being 3/4" thick). I also has a tendency to want to delaminate between layers of paint if you're not careful, and finally, since it is paint, I always wear a good respirator when working with it. To avoid the delamination, I simply sand down the corners, then use Abranet 240 to sand it to size. I alway wet sand it to avoid the dust from this material. Once it's the correct size, it like any acrylic and finishes up very nicely. Sorry for the poor quality photo, but I thought I'd share it here in case anyone has not seen this material before.
 

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Jim Smith

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Conyers, Georgia
Thanks. It's nothing fancy for the turning part, but the Fordite makes avery pretty pen with an interesting history of the material. If anyone is interested in getting some Fordite, you can go to Facebook and look up a guy named Jason Geer. Great guy to deal with and he also has some AMAZING burls as well.

Jim Smith
 

jxdubbs

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Sep 28, 2017
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156
Location
Derry NH USA
I've just recently have found this....and I'm in love with the stuff.
I've also found these materials as well
surfite. (surf stone)
and there's also Bowlerite (bowling ball skin. I've never used them though. I'm wondering what else could be put there like this.
I do love FORDITE though. I hope it will stay around for a long time.
If anyone sells or trades fordite please let me know.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

Jim Smith

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Location
Conyers, Georgia
jxdubbs,

If you have a FaceBook account, do a search on the name Jason Geer. He is on the penbuilding page as well. Jason has access to the real Fordite and is a great guy yo do business with. Tell him that Jim Smith sent you as he's expecting some contacts from this site.

Best of luck.

Jim Smith
 

Curly

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Nov 20, 2010
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Saskatoon SK., Canada.
Jim if Jason wants buyers from here wouldn't it be to his advantage to join IAP, show some of his pens and put some adds in the marketplace for his Fordite?

Drive some members in this direction rather than sending them elsewhere.:wink:
 

Jim Smith

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Jul 27, 2008
Messages
1,860
Location
Conyers, Georgia
Curly, I mentioned IAP to him, and when he didn't inquire more ,I didn't push the issue. That said, I am in communication with him now and will extend a "formal" invitation.

Jim Smith
 
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