Hiding Glue When Using Transparent Blanks

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brains

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I've been making pens for quite some time but have mostly worked with wood as it is simply my material of preference. I do however from time to time make some acrylic pens and usually have fairly good luck in turning out a good looking pen.

Recently I had a friend request I make her several pens for gifts. As one of the local school colors is a bright blue, her choice of material was a solid colored bright blue acrylic.

After much searching (solid colored blanks are not as common as one might think) I did find a company that could supply me with a bright blue acrylic rod. The material was advertised as opaque so I thought I'd give it a try.

Having worked with semi-transparent materials in the past I was concerned that even though the rod was advertised as opaque, once it was turned to Sierra size, the brass would tend to show through. So, I obtained a paint nearly the same color as the blank, primed and painted the brass to a near match and glued them up.

To my disappointment, when I turned the first blank, although the brass was not visible, there were minor variations in color throughout the barrel. The blanks were glued up using CA and apparently what I am seeing is the CA layer.

I am now considering using an epoxy and adding a bit of paint to that also to try and alleviate the issue.

I'd certainly appreciate any tips regarding similar experiences and how they were handled.

Bob
 
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bitshird

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Bob, I use Epoxy for my Acrylic blanks, the easiest and best (for me) is to tint my epoxy, it's easy to do . use the dye/colorant for Polyester Casting resin, I by mine from U.S. Composites, basic colors are about 3.00 a small jar, If I were doing a bunch of pens the same color, I would use 1 hour epoxy, reason being more time to work, less waste.
Michaels and Hobby Lobby both carry the same thing and it will be near the casting resin, cheaper in the long run, you don't pay shipping. It takes very little to get good color in the epoxy, I just use a 1/4 mixing stick and a drop or two dripping into enough epoxy , I don't remember what the cost is, about the same but a smaller container, I coat the insides of the blank, and swirl some on the tube and twist it around several times when slipping it into the blank. I do this on Churchill's and El Grandes and they get THIN, If you're only doing one or 2 pens use 5 minute epoxy, nice thing about the stuff from Michales or the other it comes in a small bottle that drips it out, easier to work with for some.
 
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Manny

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Paint the inside of the blank and use epoxy. I have seen CA eat the paint off tubes. If you just paint the tubes you can still get glue bubbles that are visible through the blanks.

Use testers enamal and use a light coat. Don't want to build up the layer too high and find that the tube won't fit. DAMHIKT

I stand my tubes on end so the excess flows out rathen than builds up somewhere in the blanks

Also make sure the paint dries sufficiently before you glue up. Even when the glue dries the tube will have a higher probability of slipping if the paint was not dry.

I have experimented with using slightly larger drill bits but that is another whole different set of issues especially with acrylics.

GL
Manny
 

BigguyZ

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Also, it's worth noting that painting the inside of the blanks can create some really cool effects in those blanks that are transparent or semi-transparent... Do some experimenting and see what you like.
 

workinforwood

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Caught me a bit off guard..when I saw transparent, I was thinking clear acrylic. I am working on a different project and was going to use some clear acrylic for some of the parts, but they would be glued to wood and I was concerned that even though the glue can be clear, I still might see it so I bailed on the idea. For semi-transparent pen blanks glued to tubes..I just do like everyone says..paint tubes, dyed epoxy.
 

leehljp

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Bob,

One problem that I ran into with epoxy (and I still use epoxy) is the timing after painting the inside of the tube or the tube itself. The paints that I have used here are both spray acrylic water based and oil based. These dry within 10 minutes or so in the summer but if I use epoxy within an hour, the epoxy will dissolve the paint and there will be streaks. If I paint the inside and wait 3 to 5 hours before epoxying the tube in, I am OK. In winter, I wait overnight after spraying and before epoxying the tube in. In winter time I also set the painted blanks in a box about 2 ft from a small electric heater that it turned on low.
 

GouletPens

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yeah...what everyone else says. Paint the inside of the drilled blank. I use Testor's enamel model paints....like for model cars or airplanes. You can paint the tube, paint the blank, and tint epoxy with it. All three will make darn certain you won't see the tube, though I find painting the inside of the blank alone works well enough.
 

bruce119

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I just want to throw this out there. I think this thread was talking about the inside of tubes. But the time will come when you want to glue to pieces together, segment, and hiding the glue line is difficult. Instead of hiding it exaggerate it. Such as using a bold line of black epoxy. Then it becomes part of the design. Something to think about when the time comes.

.
 

toddlajoie

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As for the paint scratching, I've never had that happen, Generally there is enough slop in the drilled hole for at least 2 coats of paint (I use the Testor's model paint from the hobby shop, the little tiny $1.50 ones, applied with a q-tip). Sometimes if I do a second coat, it may be a bit of a tight fit for the tube, but I've never SEEN a scratch through the blank... If you're worried about it, wrap some sandpaper around a dowel and enlarge the hole a LITTLE bit to take down some of the high spots in the hole and give you some more room for the paint...

I would only use black on dark blanks you want to keep that way. There are a few posts around that show where people used translucent white blanks and painted the hole with colored paint, and it completely changed the look of the blank. Black will do the same to a lighter color...
 

bruce119

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If the inside of the blank is painted, I've heard that the tube will scratch the paint when it is inserted into the blank. Is this true?

Yes that is certainly true....


The thing to do is think ahead,
Drill your hole a little loose,
Put epoxy on your tube so it lubricates the hole as it is inserted


Another tip...I use clay or play dough,
Roll it out like a pie crust, Push your tube into it,
That plugs the end and keeps glue from getting
in the tube wile you are pushing it into the hole


have fun
 
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