Mistral BP - white with mica

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PatrickR

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I have made some very flashy pens recently and this one is an attempt at a similar approach with a toned down, classier look.
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sorcerertd

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Nice! I see you replaced both the band and finial. What did you use to spin the pen base in the video? I've tried something similar by hand and apparently am not very consistent, making my video appear choppy.
 

PatrickR

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Nice! I see you replaced both the band and finial. What did you use to spin the pen base in the video? I've tried something similar by hand and apparently am not very consistent, making my video appear choppy.
Thanks! The finial I drilled a recess and put mica in also. I made a turntable from a cheap motor from Amazon. I use the same motors to make rotisseries to turn tubes while applying mica or doing dip finishes.
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Bats

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Beautiful! How did you cut those flutes for the mica? A dividing head +dremel arrangement of some sort?
 

PatrickR

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Beautiful! How did you cut those flutes for the mica? A dividing head +dremel arrangement of some sort?
Exactly. I cut the grooves into the blank before drilling, apply the mica to the tube and then cast the whole assembly in clear.
 

Bats

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One more reason to get a rotary axis on my CNC, I guess... probably easier than rigging up an indexing plate and live tooling holder for the South Bend or the wood lathe and not too much more expensive than a standalone dividing head. Although I suppose setting something up on the poor little neglected Taig might also be an option.
 

PatrickR

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One more reason to get a rotary axis on my CNC, I guess... probably easier than rigging up an indexing plate and live tooling holder for the South Bend or the wood lathe and not too much more expensive than a standalone dividing head. Although I suppose setting something up on the poor little neglected Taig might also be an option.
It sounds like you have the equipment covered. A couple additions/changes and you could do all kinds of things.
this is my set up.
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Adding the motor made the process way faster.
 

Bats

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It sounds like you have the equipment covered. A couple additions/changes and you could do all kinds of things.
Almost but not quite - on several different systems. :rolleyes:

this is my set up.
Nice setup. I've always heard good things about Proxxon machines, but I'm poor and they never seem to show up cheap on the used market around here. The indexing wheel is sort of what I was thinking about for the Taig (I've never figured out a great way of mounting one on the big lathe that doesn't involve wholesale destruction of the castings).

The toolpost grinder dremel holder might be a little trickier. It looks like a tap to match the 1/2"-18tpi collar threads on my dremel handpiece run almost $40, but I suppose there's always the option of doing something hacky like strapping it on with hose clamps. As long as I can restrain myself from trying to cut anything hard with it.

Adding the motor made the process way faster.
That's a motor driving the leadscrew? Definitely looks handy. My Taig only has a rack & pinion setup, but the prior owner had sorta-kinda CNC'd it, so if I can live with a little backlash I've got the equivalent of power feed on both axes when I hook up a laptop/tablet (I don't have one dedicated to the purpose yet). I'd just be afraid I'd overrun the ends where it looks like you've got nice even closed-end fluting (although the machine pics look like you just cut all the way through?).

What's that gadget on the nose of the tailstock in that last photo, though? It looks a little like a compound slide flipped sideways. Some sort of boring bar holder? A single-axis milling table?
 

PatrickR

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@Bats -
no, nothing Proxxon is inexpensive.
look at Alisam Engineering for a Dremel holder and indexing wheels of all types. I got a universal one and turned a shaft from Lignum Vitae that I drive into the pass through. I hold the pin arm with screws onto rivnuts in the table. Quick and easy to set up.
I started with a Dremel but it was not up to the task. Too much runout.
I got a motor from Amazon and set it up to run the lead screw back and forth, just flip the switch and it goes the other way. I have made these that are closed and open on both ends. (In the pic I was making a trim ring blank) I use a stop block made of wood with magnets. Put it where the cut will terminate and drill in the depth needed. Remove the block and cut the recesses, that way you don't have to be precise with the start and stop point.
the gadget is a taper cutting adapter. (a live center on a slide). The Proxxon is not adjustable on the tail stock. It has a few drawbacks but is workable. Some day i may make one that attaches to the lathe and pulls the cutter as it moves.
 

Bats

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look at Alisam Engineering for a Dremel holder and indexing wheels of all types. I got a universal one and turned a shaft from Lignum Vitae that I drive into the pass through. I hold the pin arm with screws onto rivnuts in the table. Quick and easy to set up.
Not sure how I missed that in my search - all I'd found before was a pointer to a defunct company that made dremel holders a decade ago and a few howtos of various practicality. Unfortunately it looks like their smallest indexing wheels need a 6" swing and the Taig is only a 4.5"machine, but I did find some Taig-specific wheels at Carter Tools. So this whole thing might just be a "throw some money at it" sort of problem, and not a whole lot of work at all. Maybe not a whole lot of money, either.

Of course, then I'd have to get the hang of casting, which I've had very mixed luck with - about one in three attempts at using Alumilite Clear ended up with a foggy or white surface layer. Although for blanks I guess that would just be machined away anyhow.

I started with a Dremel but it was not up to the task. Too much runout.
Now that's a problem I hadn't even considered. I've got a cheap knockoff WEN that I use with a (real capital-letter Dremel™) flex shaft, but they've both seen a lot of use, and the bearings probably aren't what they were (which probably wasn't wonderful to begin with). I suppose I could always build a mount for one of the Harbor Freight trim routers I have lying around from my first CNC contraption (although that would almost certainly involve hose clamps), but I know those were terrible for runout. Although I suppose the sort of runout that would cause CNC headaches for me is of a different order than the sort that would cause problems carving 1/8" flutes.

I got a motor from Amazon and set it up to run the lead screw back and forth, just flip the switch and it goes the other way.
Clever. I would've probably tried doing something with a stepper, which would then require a control board, which would then require a PC to control it, which would then make me feel really, really stupid for not picking up a motor and a couple lightswitches from Amazon.

the gadget is a taper cutting adapter. (a live center on a slide). The Proxxon is not adjustable on the tail stock. It has a few drawbacks but is workable.
That's actually rather brilliant. The South Bend and Taig both have offsettable tailstocks, but it's such a chore to re-center everything afterwards that it keeps me from ever using it. Having a drop-in offsettable live center would make things so much easier.

Some day i may make one that attaches to the lathe and pulls the cutter as it moves.
That sounds more like the sort I've usually seen. Unfortunately they tend to run $3-600 for the South Bend, and I've never felt ambitious enough to try making my own (especially since a lot of the methods I've seen involve custom iron castings). The Taig might be a little more practical, but I have yet to use it enough to justify elaborate projects. I suppose if it becomes my go-to indexing machine, though, that may have to change.
 

PatrickR

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I hated the tail stock adjustment on my seig style lathe. It’s one thing that lead to the Proxxon.
sounds like you have a plan.
This definitely can be done without casting. It would just take longer. Fill each flute and let it cure before proceeding. My choice would be a thin slow epoxy.
 

Bats

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I hated the tail stock adjustment on my seig style lathe. It’s one thing that lead to the Proxxon.
The Taig's just slides on dovetails and then gets locked down with a setscrew, so it's not great for fine adjustment. The South Bend has a setscrew that pushes in from each side, which is a lot better, but still involves a lot of trial & error, two-collar tests, etc to get it precisely dialed in again afterwards. I'm definitely putting one of those tailstock adapters on my wish list.

sounds like you have a plan.
I have a loose collection of vaguely related ideas. Calling it a "plan" might be a little generous... but I've got something.

This definitely can be done without casting. It would just take longer. Fill each flute and let it cure before proceeding. My choice would be a thin slow epoxy.
Nah. I really need to get the hang of casting anyhow. I've got a way-too-damn-big 10gal pressure pot blocking the back door that sorely needs to justify its existence (and more than a few stubbed toes) somehow.
 
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