Material used to cast steampunk blanks

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mmayo

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What material is used to cast the steampunk blanks I buy? It is not listed. All of them turn like butter and are crystal clear. I’ve bought them from five different vendors.
 
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Jim1027

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I too would like some info on this. I bought a pack of watch parts that came from China and they were all so brittle, bending them was impossible.
 

mmayo

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I have not purchased the watch parts, but the steampunk are far easier than alumilte. Easy to trim and easy to turn.
 

magpens

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@mmayo

Mark, where do you buy your steampunk blanks and what do they consist of ? . What is cast into them ?

Are you primarily asking about the type of resin that is used to do the casting ? . Are they cast with the tube in ?
 

mmayo

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I have purchased them from Exotic Blanks, Turners’s warehouse, and perhaps a couple of other places. All were precast steampunk blanks that needed substantial trimming and the usual sanding flush before turning.

I do not cast yet, but this clear material would be on my list if I jump in.

Thanks in advance for the assistance

https://www.turnerswarehouse.com/products/steampunk-pen-kit-blanks-industrial-steampunk-by-turners-warehouse?_pos=1&_sid=feb37b0ff&_ss=r



https://www.exoticblanks.com/mik-s-armor-plates-steampunk-pen-blanks-steampunk-pen-kit-6102-6104.html



 
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magpens

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Thanks for replying, Mark.

I have also bought and used those "same" so-called steampunk blanks. . I don't know for sure, but I think they are made with a polyester resin, often just called PR for short. . I could be wrong on that, but that is what I think ... ready to be corrected if necessary.

I actually disagree with you saying they are easier to trim and turn compared to Alumilite. . And I say that because I have had PR blanks chip.

I have never had Alumilite chip. . But having said that, I have to say that I do all my turning on a metal-working lathe at a speed of 400-1200 rpm.
That could make a difference. . Also, the name Alumilite is a company name and can refer to a variety of casting materials. . I think that a lot of us may use that name to refer to one specific product made by that company which has been popularized by certain pen-blank-making "maestros".

A common polyester resin is Silmar 41, as you may already know, and I believe that is the casting material that I have turned most.

Here is a comparison of Silmar 41 polyester resin with Alumilite (which, by the way, is a brand name and does not refer to the material composition)


If you do a google search for Silmar 41 you will find a lot of information and comparisons with other casting materials.

Here is one link to the Alumilite website:

 
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mmayo

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Thanks to all. Polyresin is easy to turn for me and shines perfectly in seconds on the buffing wheels.

For now the thought of a pressure pot and the expensive learning curve may lead me to continue buying from folks farther around the learning curve. I have many irons in the Woodworking fire now
 
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