Make your own Stone Blank Recipe?

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

civilwartalk

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
62
Location
WV, USA
So, if you have some stones or bricks you want to pulverize and turn into pen blanks, is there a process for that? In my searching I saw a "TruStone Recipe" but was really just a special marbled resin mix. Nothing about "Making TruStone Style Blanks" in the resources....

My first thought was to just mix stone/brick dust to resin, but I'm pretty sure once the mix can rest, the dust will sink, or maybe float if a bubble of air attaches to a clump of dust. I'm thinking that I can't just do this the easy way, or everyone would already be doing it....

I can imagine that if you make resin and let it start to setup and get warm/hot and a little "thicker" that you could add some media like brick dust to it, and it might not settle to the bottom of the blank. That might work, but I imagine it would introduce lots of bubbles too. Maybe a pressure pot could squeeze the bubbles out, maybe not, I'm not sure....

Does anyone currently do custom stone filled blanks like this?

Why? Well, I have some bricks that I'd like to use in a pen blank. Historic bricks. I can and will use them in an inlay, but I was thinking, if I was going to make like 10 or 20 pens, it might be easier to make blanks, cut them up, and add the inlays as a segment.....

I dunno, maybe I'm asking for too much :)
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

Joebobber

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
352
Location
Erie, North Dakota
I would think something soft like gypsum is the rock mix. Im sure you could mix powder dye with it too. Or like that Dunhams rock hard putty that's basically gypsum.

But with bricks, I guess you should get plenty of dust from 1 to try adding a little to the resin at a time?
 

MRDucks2

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
2,417
Location
Washington, IN
The stone dust content seems pretty high for stone based blanks. I would think the key would be finding the saturation point of stone to the type of resin you using. Likely getting it thoroughly mixed and the dust coated in order to get it to stick is key.

While I have seen them cracked and broken, I haven’t seen any rounded corners or other surface or edge that you may see from a cast blank. Makes me wonder if it all does since and there is a sacrificial layer.

pressure casting may be key. There are some materials that get made under physical pressure ie. MDF vs just atmospheric pressure.

One other thing to consider would be particle consistency. Obviously the stone blanks use a very consistent very fine particle to give a solid look. Little chunks mixed in results in a whole different outcome.
 

civilwartalk

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
62
Location
WV, USA
The harder I attempt to come up with a method that this will work with, the more problems I see with it.

I think I'm going to attempt something more like this:

If I get a set of these blades:

Maybe I can cut the brick into nice size segments, maybe even cut the corners off. The hard part would be drilling a hole in the brick without breaking things... Not sure I can count on cutting them on the lathe. Probably easier and safer to sand them down to the appropriate size...

With patience, and some ingenuity, maybe even a jig, I might be able to pull this off....

I will need to go get a brick to practice with.... before I break a bunch of historic bricks....
 

Joebobber

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
352
Location
Erie, North Dakota
I happen to have a few soapstone blocks cut into pen blanks if you need some. They are all greyish though... i have a 20lb chunk from India that is blue and green with some red, but I haven't cut into it yet. Soapstone is a great way to go. Or even better Pipestone. I forget the actual name of it, but it sure looks brick like! I have a little left if you wanted a picture of it.
 

civilwartalk

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
62
Location
WV, USA
I happen to have a few soapstone blocks cut into pen blanks if you need some. They are all greyish though... i have a 20lb chunk from India that is blue and green with some red, but I haven't cut into it yet. Soapstone is a great way to go. Or even better Pipestone. I forget the actual name of it, but it sure looks brick like! I have a little left if you wanted a picture of it.
That's actually not a bad idea, I'm willing to attempt anything to practice first before I make a complete fool of myself. At least if I know someone was successful before me, than I can follow that example, and see what I can learn....

We will have to chat privately and discuss, I'm interested!
 
Top Bottom