Sweet Gum Balls Anyone?

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renowb

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May 27, 2009
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Here is a Phoenix pen made with a cast of sweet gum balls and a mixture of blue resin. I was surprised when I started turning it as it was almost, I say almost, as hard as truestone when I got into the core. But, it came out fairly well I think. Thanks for looking and any comments welcome.
 

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BigShed

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Feb 14, 2008
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Adelaide, SA, Australia.
I had a sweet gum (liquidambar) in my front garden of my previous house, and hated those spiky balls. Lost count of the number of times I almost broke my neck over them.

It is good to see you have made such imaginative use of those pesky balls.

Great job and great looking pen.:good:
 

renowb

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May 27, 2009
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Thanks for the comments. I actually don't have the tree in my yard. I actually "would not" have that tree in my yard. I went walking and on the sidewalk down the street was a bunch of these things, so I picked up a few. They hurt like H*&LL in that state.
 

grz5

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Jul 23, 2011
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Upland, CA
Any chance of you throwing up a tutorial on how you made the blanks? Would love to know so I can try to make my own.
 

renowb

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May 27, 2009
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Basically, real simple. I used a resin mold MC-4. Woodnwhimsies has them. This will hold 4 of the balls, tightly fitting. Some will stick out of the top, but I just kind of mashed them down. Then I mixed the resin and blue coloring, poured into the mold and let sit on my "running" drill press, since I don't have any chamber or vacuum, pressure chamber. With this, I get 2 blanks for a Phoenix or Sierras. After cured, I just cut it in 2 pieces, lengthwise. Drilled the hole and wallah! Turned that buggar down.
It took a lot of gap filling with CA and some of the turned blue material filled in nicely.
 

Justturnin

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Aug 19, 2011
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Houston, Tx
Freakin' AWESOME. I have collected a lot of those and have them in my shop drying. Once I get my pressure chamber set up they will be one of my first casts of this sourt.
 

renowb

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May 27, 2009
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Greg, come by any time. Bring some sweet gum balls!:):biggrin:

Nice job Bill.

You are going to have to let me come over so I can learn how to do that! I only have 2 zillion sweet gum balls in my yard.
 

Trillium

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Feb 1, 2011
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Location
Orange Beach, Alabama (US)
Dude, a seriously stunning use of those pesky seed pods that feel so rotten on bare feet! I need 42 of them for my block mold..I got seven already! Thanks for sharing such a cool idea!
 
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