Block Mold Resin Casting | Alumilite Clear Slow | Live Stream 7.28.2020

Last night, I decided to cast using a PTownSubbie block mold. I demonstrated how I do my flip cup resin pours and was able to get five pen blanks out of this resin pour. I used Alumilite clear slow resin, Divine Pigments to give the resin color, and a touch of Caster’s Choice Macro Pearl to make the blanks shine! It was a fun cast and I will definitely be doing more flip cup pours in the future as I personally like the appearance of those type of blanks. Let me know what colors you’d like to see in upcoming live streams.

Last Week’s Project: Last week, I did another casting. I used cutoffs from RJBWoodTurner’s chaos blanks. I bought a box of the cutoffs and decided to cast them into hybrid pen blanks. I showed off what I had left, which was two of the chaos hybrid blanks and an additional resin-only blank. The other three blanks sold and went to new homes. I have more chaos cutoffs, so I plan to cast more of those as well, coincidentally into my block mold. Going forward, I will use hot glue to keep the chaos cutoffs from floating. I addressed this issue in last night’s live stream, which you can watch at the end of this post.

Mail Call: Bob from RJBWoodTurner was kind enough to send an additional chaos blank since my wife liked the Tiny Giant I turned for my 1,000 subscriber giveaway. He took it upon himself, out of the goodness of his heart to send a chaos blank (and some UHMW) and told me to have my wife pick out a kit and turn a pen for her. Thanks Bob!

This Week: The process for casting Alumilite clear slow is to pour the A and B sides in a 1:1 ratio. I first started by using three cups (for three colors) and I poured 90 grams of the A side into each cup. Then, I added my colors to each cup (Divine Pigments Berry Red, Key Lime Green, and Sunny Yellow). I then stirred in the color. Once the color was stirred into the A side of the resin, I zeroed out my scale and added 90 grams of the B side (hardener), since Alumilite clear slow is a 1:1 ratio as mentioned above. Once I got the B side added to each of the three cups, I stirred them until they reached about 95 degrees Fahrenheit. (Just before I poured the resin into the cup to be flipped, I added Caster’s Choice Macro Pearl to make the blanks shimmer some. The amount of color added to the resin is completely up to the caster depending on the desired effect of the blank.) This is when good color separation happens, so once the resin got up to temperature, I poured the resin into my old sports drink cup. I put the HDPE block mold from PTownSubbie on top of the resin-filled cup and flipped it into the block mold. Then, I let the rest of the resin pour into the mold to reduce the amount of wasted Alumilite clear slow. When I finished pouring the resin into the mold, I put it in the pressure pot and let them sit under pressure. I forgot to pull the block out of the mold before I went to bed, so they sat under pressure all night. This doesn’t hurt the blanks as more time is good and the four hour time the blanks should be in the pressure pot is a minimum, not a maximum requirement for best results. The pressure pot allows the bubbles to get shrunk down to a size that the naked eye can’t see and makes for a blank that cures properly.

Here are a couple pictures of the block and what it look like cut up into pen blanks.

This is the result of the block that I cast on the Live stream from 7.28.2020.
Here is what the block looks like cut up into individual pen blanks.

Supporting The Channel: A huge shout out goes to my top tier patrons, Mark and Angi! If you are interested in becoming a patron at any level, you can simply click the link here: Become a Patron!

You can also support the Cross Cut Creations shop in other ways. Participating in live streams and commenting on videos are a great FREE way to support what I do. If a monthly subscription to Patreon isn’t for you, that’s not an issue. There is a donate button on the right hand side of this website if a one time donation is a better option. Another way to support what I do is to buy something from my online store, also found on this website. Finally, a last way to support what I do without spending anything extra is to use my Amazon affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link (found in the description of YouTube videos AND under the Tools I Use tab on this website), anything you purchase using that link will give me a small commission and add NOTHING to your total. All you pay for is the items you put in your cart and purchase. You don’t even have to buy the tool that you click on.

Thank you to all those who interacted during the live stream. I appreciate all of you and appreciate everyone who watches the replay as well. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll get back to you. If you want to check out the replay of the live stream, you can watch it below:

Chaos Casting! | Alumilite Clear Slow | Live Stream 7.21.2020

Last night, I cast some chaos cutoffs I purchased from RJBWoodTurner when he had his chaos blank sale. I had a lot of fun with this live stream as it was fun to cast the blanks and the audience interaction was good throughout the show. I have learned that good live streams are born from good audience interaction. I haven’t quite figured out how to consistently get good interaction, but I’m working on it. I have had good interaction during resin casting live streams and pen turning live streams, but I’ve also had relative silence and very little participation during some of those same types of live streams.

Last Week’s Project: Last week I turned my first Leveche fountain pen. This was a fun turn and while there were a lot of pieces to the kit, it wasn’t difficult to assemble since I organized the part and laid them out according to the diagram on the instructions. I had a small issue placing the clip, but with a punch, I was able to loosen the cap finial and set the clip into place. After that, the rest of the assembly went smoothly, even if it took me a minute to make sure I had everything it the correct place and orientation.

This Week: This week I went back to the resin casting bench to cast some chaos cutoffs. Bob from RJBWoodTurner makes amazing chaos blanks out of wood where he glues up various pen blanks, cuts them up, then glues them up again in a different orientation, and continues the process a few times. This creates the “chaos” effect. I purchased a blank from his last sale, but I also purchased a box of the cutoffs that weren’t big enough to be pen blanks. I took those cutoff pieces and cast them in Alumilite clear slow to make worthless wood blanks.

The process for casting Alumilite clear slow is to pour the A and B sides in a 1:1 ratio. I first started by using three cups (for three colors) and I poured 90 grams of the A side into each cup. Then, I added my colors to each cup (Caster’s Choice cobalt blue, lime green, and platinum silver). Once I added the colors, I explained that if more color is used, the blanks will be more solid. If less color is used, the more translucent the blanks will be. It all depends on what effect is trying to be achieved. I then stirred in the color. Once the color was stirred into the A side of the resin, I zeroed out my scale and added 90 grams of the B side (hardener), since Alumilite clear slow is a 1:1 ratio as mentioned above. Once I got the B side added to each of the three cups, I stirred them until they reached about 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This is when good color separation happens, so once the resin got up to temperature, I poured the resin into my HDPE block mold from PTownSubbie. When I finished pouring the resin into the molds, I put them in the pressure pot and let them sit under pressure for the next four hours. I poured more than one block would hold, so I poured the extra in other molds I had ready as overflow molds. The pressure pot allows the bubbles to get shrunk down to a size that the naked eye can’t see and makes for a blank that cures properly.

Here is the result is last night’s live stream. The first blank is alumilite clear slow only, and the rest are chaos cutoff blanks.

These blanks were cast during the live stream on 7.21.2020.

Supporting The Channel: A huge shout out goes to my top tier patrons, Mark and Angi! If you are interested in becoming a patron at any level, you can simply click the link here: Become a Patron!

You can also support the Cross Cut Creations shop in other ways. Participating in live streams and commenting on videos are a great FREE way to support what I do. If a monthly subscription to Patreon isn’t for you, that’s not an issue. There is a donate button on the right hand side of this website if a one time donation is a better option. Another way to support what I do is to buy something from my online store, also found on this website. Finally, a last way to support what I do without spending anything extra is to use my Amazon affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link (found in the description of YouTube videos AND under the Tools I Use tab on this website), anything you purchase using that link will give me a small commission and add NOTHING to your total. All you pay for is the items you put in your cart and purchase. You don’t even have to buy the tool that you click on.

Thank you to all those who interacted during the live stream. I appreciate all of you and appreciate everyone who watches the replay as well. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll get back to you. If you want to check out the replay of the live stream, you can watch it below:

Turning My First Leveche Fountain Pen | Live Stream 7.14.2020

Last night I turned my first leveche fountain pen. This was a fun turn and the pen looks great! This was a two piece fountain pen consisting of a body and cap.  The blank I used came from Bennie Ray and Julee Watkins that I won in an auction.

Last Week’s Live Stream: Last week I cast some pen blanks and four ring blanks. All together, I ended up with three elm burl hybrid blanks, two resin only blanks, and four ring blanks, so all in all, it was a good casting session.

This Week: This week I turned my first leveche fountain pen. The kit is a Beaufort Ink kit that I purchased from Turner’s Warehouse. I had to make sure I oriented the bushings correctly, but that wasn’t too difficult because the body and cap have two different diameter tubes. If you turn a leveche, make sure the larger bushings are in the center and the smaller bushings go toward the outer ends of the pen.

Turning the blanks was fairly uneventful. The stabilized burl portion of the blank was a little difficult to turn, but that was because it was stabilized and a great blank. The alumilite portion of the blank turned just like a dream and it was a pleasure to turn the body and cap. I turned the blanks between centers. This means I turned one blank at a time. I turned the body and sanded to 400 grit, then did the same for the cap.  I used a combination of the TShadow NRS and one of my DIY carbide tipped tools to turn the blanks down to the bushings.

CA Finish & Finishing Process: I applied seven coats of Mercury Flex Thin CA, spraying activator between each coat. One tip I gave during the live stream was that to keep track of how many coats were applied, I apply the CA, then rip off the used section of shop cloth and set it next to me. If I lose track of how many coats I’ve applied, I can look down and count how many pieces of blue shop cloth I have and figure out how many more coats I need to apply.

After Applying the CA, I used Micro Mesh to wet sand the blanks, then applied the Novus polishing system to make the blanks look even better than they already did. The Micro Mesh does a great job of evening out the high spots in the CA finish, and Micro Mesh smooths out the blanks, but Novus 3, 2, and 1 really make the blank shine just a little bit more. Novus 3 is a heavy scratch remover. Novus 2 is a fine scratch remover. Novus 1 is the polish. I go through this regiment to make the blanks look really good.

Assembly: Since this was my first leveche, I printed out the parts diagram for the kit to help me organize my pen kit components. This really helped assembly go smoothly. When I went to press the finial into the cap, I couldn’t rotate the clip to where I wanted, so I used a punch to take out the finial and I repositioned the clip to where I wanted it. From there, The assembly took a little bit of time since it was my first leveche, but overall, it was a smooth assembly. I pressed one component of the kit in at a time and made sure that my presses were straight and I didn’t bend the pen, crack the finish, or ruin the work done during the turning on the live stream.

This leveche hybrid fountain pen was turned on a live stream from 7.14.2020.

Supporting The Channel: Huge shout out to my top tier patrons, Mark and Angi! If you are interested in becoming a patron at any level, you can simply click the link here:Become a Patron!

You can also support the Cross Cut Creations shop in other ways. Participating in live streams and commenting on videos are a great FREE way to support what I do. If a monthly subscription to Patreon isn’t for you, that’s not an issue. There is a donate button on the right hand side of this website if a one time donation is a better option. Another way to support what I do is to buy something from my online store, also found on this website. Finally, a last way to support what I do without spending anything extra is to use my Amazon affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link (found in the description of YouTube videos AND under the Tools I Use tab on this website), anything you purchase using that link will give me a small commission and add NOTHING to your total. All you pay for is the items you put in your cart and purchase. You don’t even have to buy the tool that you click on.

Thank you to all those who interacted during the live stream. I appreciate all of you and appreciate everyone who watches the replay as well. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll get back to you. If you want to check out the replay of the live stream, you can watch it below:

Casting With Alumilite Clear Slow | Live Stream 7.7.2020

Last night I cast a few blanks with Alumilite clear slow using Caster’s Choice Mica Powders. In total, I was able to cast three dye-stabilized elm burl blanks, four ring blanks, and a few other resin only blanks. It was a productive casting session and I am pretty excited about the results. If you see any blanks on my website, or social media platforms, feel free to reach out to claim the blanks.

Last Week’s Live Stream: Last week I refinished two pens. One pen was a mini bolt action pen and the other pen was a Zen rollerball. These pens were refinished and look like a million bucks now that they have a proper CA finish on them. I’m proud of how they turned out and am very pleased with the result.

New Tool: I was able to acquire the Ryobi AC 4 volt quick turn screwdriver. This will make screwdriver applications just a bit faster. I can’t wait to put this tool to use. An amazon affiliate link is on this website under the “Tools I Use” tab.

This Week: This week I cast three dye-stabilized elm burl pen blanks and the extra resin went toward other pen blanks and ring blanks. To prep the burls, I put a dab of hot glue on the bottom of each burl piece so they wouldn’t float in the mold. The three colors I used were from Caster’s Choice and they were gold, lime green, and white pearl.

I mixed 90 grams of A and 90 grams of B into each of the three colors. Once the resin got up to about 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit, I poured the three colors into an old sports drink container to give the colors a chance to mix and form a fun pattern. When I got all of the colors poured into one cup, I then poured the resin from the single cup into each of the molds I had ready to go. Because I used Alumilite clear slow, I left the blanks in the pressure pot for four hours so they could properly cure.

These pen and ring blanks were cast during a live stream on 7.7.2020. Caster’s Choice colors were used and the hybrids are made from dye-stabilized elm burl.

Supporting the Channel: Huge shout out to my top tier patrons, Mark and Angi! If you are interested in becoming a patron at any level, you can simply click the link here: Become a Patron!

You can also support the Cross Cut Creations shop in other ways. Participating in live streams and commenting on videos are a great FREE way to support what I do. If a monthly subscription to Patreon isn’t for you, that’s not an issue. There is a donate button on the right hand side of this website if a one time donation is a better option. Another way to support what I do is to buy something from my online store, also found on this website. Finally, a last way to support what I do without spending anything extra is to use my Amazon affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link (found in the description of YouTube videos AND under the Tools I Use tab on this website), anything you purchase using that link will give me a small commission and add NOTHING to your total. All you pay for is the items you put in your cart and purchase. You don’t even have to buy the tool that you click on.

Thank you to all those who interacted during the live stream. I appreciate all of you and appreciate everyone who watches the replay as well. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll get back to you. If you want to check out the replay of the live stream, you can watch it below:

Refinishing Pens | CA Finish | Live Stream 6.30.2020

During last night’s live stream, I showed off last week’s project, which was a tiny giant that was dressed in a DiamondCast blank. After that, I did an unboxing/mail call that included items from TShadow & Co. Some of the items came in handy right away as  I used the smock and disassembly vice jaws on the live stream. Other items will come in handy later, like the magnifying glasses, braid, CA non-stick bushings, and Zona Paper.

Patreon: Thank you to my top tier patrons, Mark & Angi! If you’re interested in becoming a patron at any level, check out the link here: Become a Patron!

Supporting Cross Cut Creations:

If you’re interested in supporting the Cross Cut Creations shop, there are a number of different ways to do that. Here are a few:

  1. Watch (and participate in) Youtube live streams and videos on my channel (to help with watch time). This is a completely FREE way to show support for the channel.
  2. Patreon is a way to support me monthly. There are four different tiers and support at any level is appreciated. Use the link above to check out patreon.
  3. My online store has hand crafted items as well as logo apparel. Buying something from the online store is a great way to show support.
  4. Amazon affiliate links are another awesome option for showing support. When using an affiliate link, as soon as one of the links is clicked (on my YouTube videos (in the description) or on my website under the “Tools I Use” tab), anything bought using that link will give me a small percentage back no matter what is bought. If a link for a tool is clicked, but that tool isn’t purchased, that’s okay. If shopping is done, no matter what the item(s), as long as the link is used, I get credit. The great thing about this option is that it costs NOTHING EXTRA! There is no additional fee for using affiliate links.
  5. The donate button on the right hand side of my home page allows for a one time donation if a monthly patreon pledge isn’t of any interest. This is also a great option in lieu of a super chat on YouTube live streams. I can’t do super chats on live streams since I don’t have monetization enabled (because I don’t have the required watch time yet).

Refinishing Two Pens:

I started by using a set of punches and the pen disassembly jaws from TShadow & Co. to take apart the pens. Once I had the blanks by themselves, I was ready to put them on the lathe and get to work.

Sometimes a CA finish cracks or spiderwebs over time and the pen needs to be sanded down and refinished, so I did that with two pens, a zen and a mini bolt action. I refinished the pens on a mandrel, so I was able to refinish two pens at the same time, which was efficient.

The first thing I did was take some 120 grit sandpaper and sanded down the blanks to take off the existing, cracked finish. Once I was down to the raw resin and wood, I dry sanded with Abranet from 120 grit up to 400 grit. Since these pen blanks were hybrids, I wiped some denatured alcohol on the blanks to clean the dust off in preparation of putting on a CA finish. To put a CA finish on pens, I use Mercury Flex Thin CA glue. I apply seven coats and I spray activator between each coat. Once the final coat of CA was applied, I used Micro Mesh (1,500 grit – 12,000 grit) to wet sand the high spots in the CA finish. After Micro Mesh, I used Novus 3, 2, and 1 to polish the blanks. Finally, once the Novus was applied to the blanks, I took the pens over to the assembly table for final assembly and they were ready to go again.

Pressing the mini bolt action pen was pretty straight forward. I did loosen the set screw in the cap so I could adjust the bolt and reposition the clip, but then pressing the cap and nib into the blank went smoothly. After assembling the mini bolt action, I assembled the zen. The zen was super easy to assemble as all that’s required is to press the cap into the one end and a threaded grommet into the other end. I put the ink in the pen, threaded the nib onto the pen, and our assembly of our fixed pens was complete! Seeing the difference between the old, cracked finish, and the refinished pens was amazing! Here’s how the pens look after being rejuvenated with a new CA finish:

These pens were refinished on the live stream from 6.30.2020 and given new life.

If you’d like to watch a replay of the live stream, you can catch it here:

 

Turning a Tiny Giant | Live Stream 6.23.2020

On the live stream, I turned a DiamondCast pen blank. It was one of the blanks from a cutoff box that I purchased from the Mid-Ohio Pen Turner’s Gathering back in September 2019.

Recap of last week: Last week I turned a cigar pencil and dressed it in a Buckeye Nation blank from Divine Island Design. This pencil was a fun turn once I got the bushings oriented correctly. I mentioned that I didn’t like turning cigar-style pens/pencils. This was because it takes me a little bit to make sure I have the bushings oriented correctly, but that is a small issue in the grand scheme of things. Other than that, I love how large the pen/pencil is and the style looks great, too.

This Week: DiamondCast is available at Tim McKenzie’s website, https://www.mckenziepenworks.com. They are also available at Turner’s Warehouse, Classic Nib, a couple other retailer’s over seas, and possibly a couple others I’m unaware of at this point.

TBC Bushings: Turning between centers is how I turned the blank in the live stream. I started by explaining that I was nervous about changing over to TBC bushings because of the cost, but one way to get into TBC bushings is to buy the adapters for mandrel bushings and those will turn mandrel bushings into TBC bushings. My recommendation would be to slowly change over to TBC by buying one or two sets of bushings at a time and switch over gradually. The adapters will go a long way, but start by purchasing the TBC bushings of the pen you turn most, and continue to build your TBC bushing collection one set at a time as funds allow. While bushings don’t cost a lot, they do add up over 15-20+ sets of bushings.

I turned this DiamondCast pen blank between centers at approximately 3,500 RPMs with the TShadow NRS. This tool is becoming one of my favorite tools to turn with in the shop. The turning was pretty uneventful as there were no major catches that impacted the overall appearance of the blank. I did get a small, minor catch at one point, but I was well above the bushings and the catch was able to be turned and sanded away without issue.

After turning, I sanded down to the bushings, then ran through my dry sanding regiment (120 grit through 400 grit) (approximately 500 RPMs). From there, I wet sanded with Micro Mesh (1,500 grit-12,000 grit) (approximately 1,400 RPMs) and finished up the blank with the Novus polishing system. Novus 3 is a heavy scratch remover. Novus 2 is a fine scratch remover, and Novus 1 is a polish.

Assembling the tiny giant was super simple. All that is required for assembly is two presses. The closed end gets pressed into the blank, then the nib/section gets pressed into the other end. Once those two pieces get pressed into the blank, the nib/section gets unscrewed so the ink refill can get put into place and the pen is done as soon as the nib/section gets screwed back onto the pen.

Here is a picture of the finished Tiny Giant:

This tiny giant is dressed in a DiamondCast blank I got in a cutoff box from the Mid-Ohio Pen Turner’s Gathering.

During this week’s live stream, I got a lot of good interaction with those that tuned in. For that, I wanted to say thank you. It’s a lot of fun to do a live stream when interaction happens naturally and the conversation takes place on a two-way street and isn’t so one-sided.

Patreon: A huge shot out goes to my top tier patrons, Mark and Angi! Thank you for your support. If you’d like to become a patron (at any level), you can check it out here:Become a Patron!

Another way to support the channel and Cross Cut Creations shop is to use the Amazon affiliate links on my website or in the description of YouTube videos (costs nothing extra). You can also buy merchandise or if you don’t want to make a monthly donation via Patreon, you can donate one time using the Donate button located on the right handed side of home page on this website. I appreciate your support and even the viewership on the live streams and interaction is amazing and appreciated. There is absolutely no pressure to donate, but any support is appreciated, even if that comes in the form of commenting on a video.

Here is the video of the live stream I did last night:

Turning A Cigar Pencil | Live Stream 6.16.2020

On last night’s live stream, I started with some show and tell as well as announcements. Last night’s project was certainly a fun one and assembling a cigar-style pencil for the first time was an experience. I’ll definitely be doing more of them in the future.

Support: Patreon is one way to support the Cross Cut Creations shop. Your support allows the live streams and projects to continue. I want to give a huge shout out to my top tier Patrons, Mark & Angi! If you’re interested in becoming a patron, you can click the link here: Become a Patron! Another way to support the shop is to buy logo merchandise or hand-crafted items off my website. If you would like to make a one time donation, the donate button on the home page is a great way to do that. Finally, I have amazon affiliate links. This is the best way to support the shop without spending anything extra! Anything you purchase using my links to get to Amazon will kick back a small percentage to help support what I do.

Show & Tell: Last week I cast sweet gum pod handle/call blanks! These blanks were done in blue and pink. I also cast a couple pink pen blanks to reveal that my wife and I are having a GIRL! We are due in October and super excited! Finally, I turned a Tiny Giant from one of RJBWoodTurner’s chaos blanks. This pen will be a video and part of my 1,000 subscriber giveaway!

Turning: I turned a cigar style pencil from a Divine Island Design Buckeye Nation pen blank. If you would like to purchase a Buckeye Nation blank, you can do that using this URL: https://divineislanddesign.com/collections/divine-blanks/products/buckeye-nation-7-8-x-7-8-x-5. When turning the blank, because it’s a cigar pencil, I take extra time to make sure the bushings are oriented correctly. The four bushings all have slightly different diameters, so it’s crucial that they get put in the right place when turning, or the pen/pencil won’t press together correctly.

When I started turning the blanks, I turned one at a time since I was turning between centers (TBC). Turning between centers means that I turned one blank at a time. I started with the cap portion of the blank and turned and polished the cap (top portion) from start to finish. I turned this pen at about 3,600 RPMs and used the TShadow NRS to turn the blanks. If you would like to purchase the NRS, you can use the URL here: https://tshadow.com/turning-tools/99-80-nrs-negative-rake-scraper.html#/30-package-deluxe_package_short_handle.

I turned the cap down to the bushings, then sanded the blank with Abranet from 120-400 grit. After sanding, I used Micro Mesh to wet sand the blanks (1,500-12,000 grit). Then I applied Novus 3, 2, and 1 to the blank. This is a scratch remover and polishing system that makes the blanks really shine! Once that process was complete, I moved to turning the body and it was rinse and repeat. The body got the same procedures done to it as the cap. Once both blanks were turned and polished, I was able to move to assembly.

Assembly: The assembly of this pencil was slightly different than it’s pen counterpart. The overall assembly went well once I realized my small mistake. Being organized and laying out the parts to this pencil was critical to a correct assembly. I started the assembly by pressing in the top piece and clip. From there, I pressed in the center band into the lower portion of the cap. Then, I moved to the body of the pen. When I assembled the body, I learned that the nib of the pencil doesn’t actually get pressed into the end of the pen. I pressed the grommet into the middle portion of the body and the pencil mechanism threaded onto the nib, which keeps the pencil together. This is different from the cigar pen in the sense that the nib of the pen gets pressed into the blank and the pencil is held together by the threaded lead housing as mentioned previously.

Here’s a picture of the completed pencil:

Buckeye Nation Cigar Pencil (Blank from Divine Island Design)

If you have any questions or comments about the live stream, or anything I did during the live stream, feel free to send me an email or message on the various social media platforms and I’ll be glad to get back to you. Thank you for checking out this blog post and the live stream. If you want to watch the replay, you can check it out here:

Casting With Alumilite Clear Slow | Live Stream 6.9.2020

On last night’s live stream, I decided to cast some Alumilite clear slow. Going into the live stream, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to cast, so with the help of the audience, I decided to cast some sweet gum pod call/handle blanks. Five* different colors and were used for this cast.

Show and tell: I showed off last week’s casting results. Four bottle stopper blanks with walnut shells and three Alumilite clear slow pen blanks for a total of seven blanks were cast. Additionally, I bought a chaos blank and a box of chaos cutoffs from Bob over at RJBWoodTurner. The chaos blank that I bought will become a pen that will be a giveaway for reaching 1,000 subscribers on YouTube! That video will be out as soon as I can make the pen and edit the video. If you want a chance to win the pen, you must be a subscriber, so if you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel, be sure to do that. Here’s a link to do that: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC54fkSR_LBTnG69wcy8G3Gg

Breaking News: The colors used in this live stream were based on baby colors because my wife and I are expecting our first child in October! We are super thrilled and couldn’t be happier. SPOILER ALERT: We can’t wait to meet our DAUGHTER!

I used five colors, but mixed two of them to create a “custom color”, so it ended up being four colors. The four colors were mixes of blues and pinks. I poured 90 grams of A and 90 grams of B since Alumilite clear slow is mixed in a 1:1 ratio. There was a few other partial blanks, but here is a picture of the result of last night’s cast:

These sweet gum pod blanks were cast on a live stream on YouTube. They measure 1.5″ square and 6″ long.

Patreon Support: Thank you to my patrons, Mark & Angi! I really appreciate the support! If you would like to support what I do on YouTube, here is a link to Patreon, but as always, no pressure: Become a Patron!

If Patreon isn’t the way you’d like to show support, there are other ways to do that. First, if you’d like to make a one time donation, there is a link on the right hand column to donate. The next option, in my store on my website, making a purchase of any kind (logo gear or handmade products/projects) are a good way to support what I do, but an even better way to support what I do without spending anything extra, is to use the Amazon affiliate links I have. I get a small percentage of whatever you buy using those links, even if you don’t buy the linked tool/product. You can find the affiliate links in two places. Either use the Amazon links under the “Tools I Use” section on my website, or use the links in the description of my YouTube videos. Finally, an awesome FREE option to support me is to subscribe to my YouTube channel and participate in the chat during the live streams I do.

If you want to check out the replay of the live stream, you  can check it out here:

Thank you for checking out this post and taking the time to read this. It means the world to me that you chose to spend some of your time reading my recap of last night’s live stream. I really do appreciate the support you give me at any level. If all I ever saw was some community engagement, that’s what makes me happy. Until next week, I’ll see you on the next live stream.

Casting Hybrid Bottle Stopper Blanks With Alumilite Clear Slow | Live Stream 6.2.2020

On last night’s YouTube live stream, I cast some hybrid bottle stopper blanks and a few resin-only pen banks. I used three of Braxton Frankenbery’s Divine Pigments from Divine Island Design. The three colors I used were Key Lime, Sangria Purple, and Abyss Blue. I sprayed the silicone mold with Stoner mold release before casting. This allows the blanks to be released from the mold easier.

The hybrid material I used was walnut shells. This was the first time I used walnut shells as a casting material. This was a fun experiment and I really enjoyed using the shells. I know I’m not the first person to cast walnut shells, but this was a fun first for me. These were also the first hybrid bottle stoppers that I cast. I’ve cast resin-only bottle stopper blanks and hybrid pen blanks, but this was the first time I cast hybrid bottle stopper blanks.

In total, I ended up with four bottle stopper blanks and three pen blanks. Alumilite clear slow is a 1:1 ratio, which means however much of A is poured, I need to pour the same amount of B. I poured 90 grams of the A side of Alumilite clear slow, and 90 grams of B.  that means A+B= 180 grams. I used three colors, so 180×3=540 total grams of Alumilite clear slow was poured. I know my bottle stopper mold takes 60 grams per stopper blank if there’s no hybrid material. That means 60 grams x 4 stopper blanks = 240 grams. I way over estimated because I wanted to get a few more blanks out of this cast. The walnut shells take up some of the space, so 240 grams is an over estimate for this application. I poured 540 grams, so I was able to get way more than just the four bottle stopper blanks (four stopper blanks and three pen blanks). Over estimating also can be a more efficient use of the pressure pot if enough resin is poured. In this case, it was, because not only did I get four bottle stopper blanks, but I also got three additional pen blanks.

Thank you to my patrons, Mark and Angi! These two amazing people are my top tier patrons. I really appreciate the support. Absolutely no pressure, but if you would like to support what I do at any level, you can check out my Patreon here: Become a Patron!

Here is a picture of the results of last night’s cast. I got three pen blanks and four bottle stoppers in total.

If you want to check out the live stream in it’s entirety, you can watch here:

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment on the live stream video, send me an email, or send a DM on Instagram. Those are the easiest ways to get a conversation  started.

Casting Alumilite Clear Slow Pen Blanks | Live Stream 5.26.2020 Recap

On last night’s live stream, I cast Alumilite clear slow resin with Caster’s Choice Mica Powders (Blood Red, Lime Green, & Cobalt Blue). I was able to produce 2 ring blank blocks, 2 regular pen blanks, and 4 bespoke blanks. This resin pour was a lot of fun and I’d like to share the results here:

When pouring resin and doing a color cast, I like to add my color after I pour the A side of the resin. After the resin (A & B mixed) gets up to temperature, that’s when I like to pour into the mold from PTownSubbie. With Alumilite clear slow, for good color separation, I like to pour my resin between 95-100 degrees. Additionally, I like a solid color pen blank (not translucent), so the way I check for that is by using the popsicle stick. If I can see the grain of the popsicle stick, I get a translucent look. If the color completely covers the grain, I know my blank will be have more of a solid color.

I still have to cut up and trim the ring blanks and regular pen blanks, but I’m pretty happy with the outcome. If there’s any interest in these, or any of my blanks, feel free to contact me and let me know what you’d like.

Here’s the live stream video here if you’re interested:

Finally, I forgot to mention that I got my VERY FIRST patron! I want to give a special shout out to Mark for being my very first patron. If you’re interested in becoming a patron at any level, here’s the link, but no pressure.

Become a Patron!

Thanks for checking out my live stream. Feel free to email me with any question, comments, or suggestions!