Turning Clear Acrylic Blanks

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

DK61

Member
Joined
May 8, 2013
Messages
15
Location
Virginia Beach, VA
Looking for tips on turning clear acrylic blanks. Had a blank made with a football team logo on the tube and wondered if anyone had any advice in turning and finishing a clear plastic blank? turn like any other pen? finishing tips? Thanks.
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

magpens

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
9,857
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
I am going to subscribe to this thread cuz I'd like to view the replies and learn. . I have done plenty of blanks that are clear with pre-cast painted & decorated tubes. . Those you treat the same as any other acrylic blank.

Good luck with your project and I hope you will show us photos when done.
 
Last edited:

DK61

Member
Joined
May 8, 2013
Messages
15
Location
Virginia Beach, VA
Thanks Mal.
I purchased a Dallas Cowboy blank to make into a pen for a friend. There are folks out in the pen turning world that cast blanks and can almost put anything you'd like in the blank. the blank is made for a specific pen. they usually take the tube for that pen, apply the logo, then cast it in clear or what ever color acrylic one likes. That is how I understand it anyway. I hope the pen comes out nicely also.
 

magpens

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
9,857
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
OK, so the brass tube is already cast in ? . Presumably the tube was painted before logo was applied

In that case you just turn it as normally, polish carefully to remove all scratches & done !
I have done heaps like this with beautiful results.

Turn as carefully as you can to minimize surface scratches. . Sand as necessary ... I would use all grits 320 to 2000, or you could substitute MicroMesh, once you get above about 800 grit, and use all MM "grits" up to the finest you have.

For polishing, I use four polishes in succession. . Start with a coarse liquid automotive scratch remover (Meguiar's brand is what I use). . Then I use the Novus 3 followed by Novus 2 (polishes available from ExoticBlanks.com and other pen supply vendors). . Finally, I use another Meguiar's product, Plasti-X, to do the final polishing. . That's just my routine, and others might have equivalent processes. . I do all this by hand because I don't have buffing wheels.
 
Last edited:

gtriever

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
1,112
Location
Paducah, Kentucky
Turn it as you would any other acrylic blank. I try to start sanding at 600 or 800 ('cause I can't use a skew worth a hoot), take it through 12000 Micro Mesh, hand sanding along the length as necessary, and cleaning it with compressed air between grits. I then polish it on the lathe with Meguiar's Mirror Glaze 2.0 Swirl Remover, remove it from the lathe and wipe the ends down on the polishing pad, and clean the tubes with a tube brush before assembly.
 

acmaclaren

Active Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2012
Messages
189
Location
Seattle WA
I make my own blanks. I turn my clear acrylic blanks the same as the full colored ones. I use the mesh sanding pack (180-600). Then I use the micro-mesh pads (1,500-12,000). I wipe the dust off after each grip with a dry paper towel. Then I use my sanding sealer mixture. Then I use carnauba car wax as the final finish. I hope this helps.
 

jttheclockman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
12,187
Location
NJ, USA.
Do the same as any other acrylic pen. May see the scratch pattern more being it is clear but polish out just like any other pen.:smile::smile:
 

JohnU

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Messages
3,881
Location
Ottawa, Illinois
I turn mostly clear cast blanks ... feathers, snakes, labels. I don’t do anything any different than with wood or colored blanks. Turn, sand, 0000 steelwool, micro mesh and polish. Just don’t skip any grits or you may leave scratches from sanding. Sometimes I find it easier to apply a GluBoost finish to my clear blanks, especially alumilite, to give it a glass like finish.
 

Sylvanite

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2006
Messages
2,932
Location
Hillsborough, North Carolina, USA.
Be aware that not all plastics are "acrylic". In fact, all the people I know of that clear-cast labels or other imbedded objects for pen blanks use polymers other than acrylic. There are subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) differences in the ways that polyester, urethane, and epoxy turn, sand, and polish that distinguish them from acrylic. For best results, you'll need to know which resin was used (and potentially how it was mixed) and adapt your technique accordingly.

I realize that may sound cryptic and unhelpful, but the answer is not as simple as "turn it like any other <sic> acrylic".

Regards,
Eric
 

Edward Cypher

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
1,892
Location
Denver, Colorado
gluBoost????

I turn mostly clear cast blanks ... feathers, snakes, labels. I don’t do anything any different than with wood or colored blanks. Turn, sand, 0000 steelwool, micro mesh and polish. Just don’t skip any grits or you may leave scratches from sanding. Sometimes I find it easier to apply a GluBoost finish to my clear blanks, especially alumilite, to give it a glass like finish.

John what is a GluBoost??? Is this just a coat of CA over the blank??
 

jttheclockman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
12,187
Location
NJ, USA.
I turn mostly clear cast blanks ... feathers, snakes, labels. I don’t do anything any different than with wood or colored blanks. Turn, sand, 0000 steelwool, micro mesh and polish. Just don’t skip any grits or you may leave scratches from sanding. Sometimes I find it easier to apply a GluBoost finish to my clear blanks, especially alumilite, to give it a glass like finish.

John what is a GluBoost??? Is this just a coat of CA over the blank??
https://gluboost.com/products/
 
Top