I hate turning this stuff

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qquake

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I hate hate HATE turning polyester resin, inlace acrylester, etc. blanks. But every once in a while, I feel the overwhelming urge to punish myself. And I'll admit, this is better than smacking myself in the face with a saucepan. But only just. I tried several different gouges, and three different carbide cutters, including a negative rake. I ended up getting the best results with the flat R2. I've tried the negative rake cutter several times, and it just doesn't blow my skirt up. I don't see what all the hoopla is about.

With the R2 cutter, I've got it mostly smooth. But there's a big chip out that I may have to fill with CA or epoxy. I hope it's worth it.
 

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qquake

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I wasn't sure how it would look after I polished it, but as it turns out (no pun intended!) the chip disappeared. I was hoping it would, but didn't know for sure. I did the final shaping with 150 grit dry, so it wouldn't chip again. Yes, I was scared! Then hit it with 220-320-400 wet; all six grades of Tri-M-Ite; and finally used Meguiar's 105 and 205. It polished up nicely, but I'm not sure I'm fond of the colors.
 

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Mortalis

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Turning the acrylic type blanks requires a super sharp tool. You will, after some time, find that the right turning speed and just the right tool pressure along with just the right tool advance speed the material will stream off in a very continuous, albeit, thin thread. The other thing to keep in mind is that these materials will dull a tool super fast. Where I can go through a wood blank without resharpening at all, I find that I resharpen at least two or three times when turning the same size acrylic blank.
The first set of pictures are the result of vibration from using a mandrel and dull tool. I always turn between centers when turning acrylic blanks. I just find I get the best results.
Looks like you covered well. Very nice looking finish on the blank.
 

MPVic

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I wasn't sure how it would look after I polished it, but as it turns out (no pun intended!) the chip disappeared. I was hoping it would, but didn't know for sure. I did the final shaping with 150 grit dry, so it wouldn't chip again. Yes, I was scared! Then hit it with 220-320-400 wet; all six grades of Tri-M-Ite; and finally used Meguiar's 105 and 205. It polished up nicely, but I'm not sure I'm fond of the colors.
Jim:
Thank you for all the process photos you shared - the detail is great & gives me 'hope' that I might be able to try this acrylic. Very nice work.
 

TonyL

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Jim, I bet you will grow to love it once you get the hang of it: very light cut and very sharp tool, sharpened several times per barrel - works for me. I can use carbide to turn these, but it was acrylester and Rhino that turned me onto HSS. I use a roughing gouge and a skew. Each get sharpened 4 times per barrel - especially as I near my final cuts.

Looks like you made a real nice recovery! You will do this!

I should add that if I don't buttress the back end with something, I don't drill all the way through. It is not uncommon for me to leave an 1/8 inch undrilled.
 

qquake

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Thank you for the compliments. I post a lot of photos, because I take a lot of photos. Pictures are my journal, i photograph everything. And if just one of my photos helps just one person, them it's all worth it. I know I've been helped countless times by photos on this forum.

As for turning brittle acrylic, I recommend you do try it. There are some really pretty and unique brittle blanks, and I love the sense of accomplishment I get when I successfully turn one. Like the money and 100 dollar blanks.
 

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TonyL

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IMO, you are trying to remove way too much material too fast (pock marks) - which you can do as long as there is enough material left for you to recover.
It appears that you are also using a scraping cut which is fine as long as you can recover, BUT you will "asking" your sandpaper and polishes to remove tool marks. Which is fine for SP, but tool marks present a challenge even for the most aggressive polishes. All my opinion, base on my experience - that is all that I have to go by. :)
 

jttheclockman

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I know I sound like a broken record here but a well sharpened skew is what the doctor ordered for most materials. If that does not blow the skirt up try using the carbide cutters as a skew insead of a scraper and you will be surprised how easy they will cut. I do not use negative rake carbide so have no feel for them. But learning the feed control of your tool will help and at what angle. There is always a sweet spot and finding it is the key. But starting with sharp tools is the key.
 

More4dan

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When turning inlace acrylester on my metal lathe with a very stable cutter and consistent angle, I can still get chip outs when I feed the tool by the hand wheel. They go away when I use the power feed. Jtthclockman is onto something about the feedrate. The speed and consistency that you pull your tool along the rest is really important, even if everything else perfect.

Danny


Sent from my iPad using Penturners.org mobile app
 

howsitwork

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I use HSS tooling and hone it first !

If you start to get chip out - turn the speed DOWN a bit and or slow your feed rate ( speed along the blank) , with a decent roughing gouge. The weight of the gouge deadens the vibration as you cut through the chipped areas and cures it. For finishing using your skew, freshly honed in scraping mode can remove any very fine lines you need to before sanding through the grits.

I second what has been said about blowout when drilling the stuff. I sometimes drill almost through then cut the i drilled end off with a fine tool saw to leave a clean hole.
 

eharri446

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When I first started to turn Inlace Acrylester, a worker at my local Rockler store told me to use a finger gouge and a round carbide cutter. It made a world of difference in my turning. I have quite a few pen blanks as well as 2 x 2 x 6 inch blanks for making bottle stoppers. Just have to get up the energy to get out in the garage and start turning. I have drilled and glued blanks for some 60 pen kits and need to get them trimmed down to the end of the tubes and then get them all turned.
 
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