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:

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:

Shop Update 1.25.18 Follow-Up

In my shop update for January 25, 2018, I discussed a number of topics.  You can click on the “YouTube Videos” tab on this website and watch the video, or see the video on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF_f9_K4TFo.

I talked about:

  • Current Projects
  • Bottle Stoppers
  • Essential Oils Displays
  • Website Launch
  • Patreon
  • Tool Unboxing
  • Shout-Out (Ken Moon – Moonpie Creations)

I have been working on projects for craft shows!  I’ve been turning pens, seam rippers, and other items in hopes that the new year will be prosperous.

Recently, I contacted Ruth Niles and ordered a starter kit for bottle stoppers.  I have heard that Niles bottle stoppers are top quality and second to none.  While I haven’t turned a bottle stopper yet, upon receiving the starter pack, the bottle stoppers seem like they are very high quality and I can’t wait to turn a bottle stopper or two… or ten.

Recently, I was contacted about making an essential oils display that would hold nine bottles.  I used my (new since Christmas) PiranhaXL CNC machine to help me with this.  I had a rough design that was laid out in Vetric Desktop and Mark Lindsay was kind enough to hop on a Google hangout and help me with the finer details to make the design just right.  Thanks, Mark!  Now I have this display that can hold bottles up to the 15mL size available in three different shades (dark stain, light stain, or natural wood).

Also in my shop update, I talked about the launch of this website, and since you’re hear, you know about my website too!  Welcome!  I’m excited to see what kind of growth I can make in 2018 and I believe a website is a great way to promote yourself.  Being persistent and promoting your brand and company is just part of becoming successful when it comes to small business.

Patreon:  I realize that as I write this post near the end of January 2018, my YouTube channel is just shy of 300 subscribers and with YouTube’s new monetization standards, I don’t have the 1,000 subscribers or the 4,000 hours of required view time.  I also realize that even if I could monetize at this point, I would be doubling the change in my desk at work, which amounts to about 31 cents.  I’m not here to talk about the new monetization standards and about how I think they are fair or unfair, so I digress.  What I want to talk about is if launching a Patreon page is worth it or not.  I’ve had opinions from individuals on both sides of the fence.  Some say no, some say yes, but don’t expect it to take off right away (which I understand going into this).  Here is my dilemma:  Assuming I set up a Patreon account, what should my levels or tiers be?  Should they be $1, $5, $10+… more or less?  The even bigger question I have is this:  What should the rewards be?  Stickers, T-Shirts, monthly hangouts?  What tiers and incentives have you used and what has worked for you?  I’m curious to hear your responses and I would love to have a conversation about Patreon.

This week I unboxed two tools.  One tool really helps me organize my pen making supplies and one tool allows me more freedom.  I “unboxed” a small parts organizer where I put my pen making bushings and small cutoffs from other blanks.  This allows me to see what I have and organize the disaster that is my lathe station a little better.  The second tool I unboxed was a Ryobi cordless jig saw.  I purchased this tool so when I have larger sheet goods (plywood) to break down or cut profiles out, I can do this without having to be tethered to a cord or worry about actually cutting the cord (literally!) if I go to make a curved cut and the cord were to get in the way.  I can’t wait to put this tool to use!

Shout-Out:  This shop update shout-out goes to Ken Moon over at Moonpie Creations.  He is currently on the back half of a 30 for 30 where he is putting out 30 videos in 30 days.  These videos are short and to the point.  He has made a number of shop projects to help organize his shop as well as put out some pretty awesome quick tip videos to help take our skills to the next level.  He is doing a great job over on his channel, so you should go check out his channel, 30 for 30, and other videos!

Thank you for reading this Shop Update follow up article.  If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions please don’t hesitate to send me a message!

-Robert