Tardis Pen

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Marmotjr

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Joined
Jun 16, 2016
Messages
244
Location
Rome, Ohio
Hey guys! I'm back! Been away for a while, picking up the turning tools again soon. The girlfriend and I are huge Dr Who fans, but she's a few steps into the fanatical end of it. I found a site (mods snip that link if you think it's spammy) that supposedly has pen blanks made of wood from a rebuilt 1965 tardis. Ok, so the true authenticity of the blanks is not 100% in my mind, but I don't really care. One, because it's the thought that counts, and two, I already bought the blanks. Going to use a Steampunk pen kit from PSI.

I plan on casting the blank in resin to preserve as much as the blue paint face as possible, ie: The casting will allow me to offset the pen blank enough to have a thick layer of resin over it, and expose more of the pine (I assume it's pine, I don't want to mess with the plywood one unless this one goes belly up, although I may run that piece as test #2 for practice, but I'd rather not, I have other plans for it). Quick pic for explanation:

tardisblank.png


This is my first time casting epoxy for a pen blank, so all tips are appreciated. No, I'm not tied to epoxy either, it was affordable on amazon, but I'm willing to go alumalite or some such if it's a far superior option. As my first test, I cut down a chunk of paduak (yeah, very pine like, I know :D ) to match the blank size, and then glued some flattened crinkled aluminum foil to the blank to One, clearly mark the face I want to save and two, cause I picked up a crinkled foil blank at a meetup some years ago and thought the effect was amazing, wanted to try a hybrid blank on a random pen, probably a Sierra. It's currently curing.

I have already noted an excess of bubbles, but I'm not overly concerned about pitting on the surface, as I will be doing a finish coat of CA, and I can fill the gaps. I can't really tell if there's any bubbles on the surface, only the sides, but any bubbles that I can't reach with CA will be an issue. So I'm assuming the best route is acquiring a Pressure pot?

All other comments, ideas, and suggestions are welcome. Including ideas for what to do with the 2nd blank, my plans aren't set in stone yet.

Thanks!
 
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showcaser

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Joined
Apr 20, 2010
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203
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Virginia
Martin England is a top notch guy. He's the seller of those blanks. Don't understand why you would buy something you don't think is real and then question the integrity of the man who sold them to you.
 

Penultimate

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Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
993
Location
Bartlett, IL 60103
Good luck, I’m a Doctor Who fan as well. My avatar pic shows a sonic I made. I saw those blanks and thought that was cool. Your offset idea is clever. Sorry can’t give casting advice.
 

Curly

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Joined
Nov 20, 2010
Messages
4,479
Location
Saskatoon SK., Canada.
You might want to test a little piece of the Tardis paint with the epoxy before casting the entire blank. There is a possibility the resin and the paint may react, as in melt or lift.
 

Marmotjr

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2016
Messages
244
Location
Rome, Ohio
Martin England is a top notch guy. He's the seller of those blanks. Don't understand why you would buy something you don't think is real and then question the integrity of the man who sold them to you.
I don't mean to question it, I'm glad to hear they have a good reputation. The certificate that comes with it is a little vague in exactly where the piece was sourced from. As I said, I'm completely happy with it, and have no regrets buying the blank.

You might want to test a little piece of the Tardis paint with the epoxy before casting the entire blank. There is a possibility the resin and the paint may react, as in melt or lift.
Oh joy... now another concern. Thank you though, I can trim a bit of the plywood piece and run a test.
 

TDahl

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Messages
1,272
Location
Brentwood
I have done a few castings of different materials using both Alumilite and Polyester Resin (Castin Craft brand) and prefer the PR because it will polish up to a glass like finish. You don't need a pressure pot for PR. There has been some concern about PR being to brittle, but I have found if you only use 3 drops of the catalyst per ounce of resin will be enough. As far as bubbles are concerned, if you don't stir the resin/catalyst you should have no issues. I have also put the resin/catalyst mixture in a vacuum for a couple minutes to remove any air bubbles.

One thing I would strongly advise is making sure there is plenty of resin in your mold to cover the blank sufficiently during the curing process. I have found shrinkage (drop in the level of resin) during the curing exposing the top edge of the blank.
 

Stubach

Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
49
Location
Mid Michigan
Hey guys! I'm back! Been away for a while, picking up the turning tools again soon. The girlfriend and I are huge Dr Who fans, but she's a few steps into the fanatical end of it. I found a site (mods snip that link if you think it's spammy) that supposedly has pen blanks made of wood from a rebuilt 1965 tardis. Ok, so the true authenticity of the blanks is not 100% in my mind, but I don't really care. One, because it's the thought that counts, and two, I already bought the blanks. Going to use a Steampunk pen kit from PSI.

I plan on casting the blank in resin to preserve as much as the blue paint face as possible, ie: The casting will allow me to offset the pen blank enough to have a thick layer of resin over it, and expose more of the pine (I assume it's pine, I don't want to mess with the plywood one unless this one goes belly up, although I may run that piece as test #2 for practice, but I'd rather not, I have other plans for it). Quick pic for explanation:

View attachment 336999

This is my first time casting epoxy for a pen blank, so all tips are appreciated. No, I'm not tied to epoxy either, it was affordable on amazon, but I'm willing to go alumalite or some such if it's a far superior option. As my first test, I cut down a chunk of paduak (yeah, very pine like, I know :D ) to match the blank size, and then glued some flattened crinkled aluminum foil to the blank to One, clearly mark the face I want to save and two, cause I picked up a crinkled foil blank at a meetup some years ago and thought the effect was amazing, wanted to try a hybrid blank on a random pen, probably a Sierra. It's currently curing.

I have already noted an excess of bubbles, but I'm not overly concerned about pitting on the surface, as I will be doing a finish coat of CA, and I can fill the gaps. I can't really tell if there's any bubbles on the surface, only the sides, but any bubbles that I can't reach with CA will be an issue. So I'm assuming the best route is acquiring a Pressure pot?

All other comments, ideas, and suggestions are welcome. Including ideas for what to do with the 2nd blank, my plans aren't set in stone yet.

Thanks!
I love doing resin casting and love the idea you mention. I’m not a huge fan of Dr. Who but have watched a fair amount of the newer seasons so I definitely respect the concept.

When it comes to casting resin the poly resins will react to the slightest moisture in the wood and potentially create bubbles. When casting mix media I prefer either Liquid Diamonds epoxy resin or Alumilite Clear. Alumilite has a great YouTube video series that covers a lot of this including what resins to use for which application.

Liquid diamonds has an Amazon bundle that comes with dyes, blank mold and resin. It can be done without pressure pot but has a long cure time. Also, if you plan to blend colors of resin, wait till resin starts to setup before blending. My first attempt with Alumilite turned into a black mess cause of its long setup time.

YouTube is your friend on this. Zac Higgins also has some great videos on how to.
 

Jack07ddt

Member
Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
2
Location
Australia
Newbie here. For what it’s worth, I tried stabilising a piece and that was a dismal failure. It would appear Dr Who’s budget to build his Tardis was a bit on the cheap side. The idea of casting in resin was my next idea to se if that works but there really is no reason why it wouldn’t. I would recommend drilling a bit smaller hole than the tube so the resin gets right into it because it really is cheap ply. As I said. Newbie here and just finding my way with it all. The successes have been wonderful and the failures while few are certainly spectacular and educational 😊
 
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