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:

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:

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!

Turning My First Castings

I turned some of my first resin castings into pens that turned out when I didn’t think they were able to be turned.  The resin didn’t fill the tube in molds, so the tubes were exposed.  I did some research and found a shorter blank/body Wall Street II kit, so I took the blanks to the disc sander and sanded them down to the appropriate blank length.  I used the tube from the kit as a reference to get the cast blank the right size.

After getting the blanks to the correct size, I went ahead and mounted them to the mandrel on the lathe.  At this point I was able to turn both blanks.  I knew these blanks had some issues on the surface, so I frequently stopped to check my progress and make sure everything was still workable.

Turning Alumilite resin is a treat because I love how smoothly it comes off the blanks.  Additionally, I purchased an extra set of Wall Street II bushings, which allowed me to turn two blanks at once, so I was able to assemble two pens at the end instead of just one.

Once I turned the blanks down to the diameter if the bushings, I started to sand the blanks.  I dry sand with 220 grit, 400 grit, 1,000 grit, and 2,000 grit.  Normally after I dry sand I start wet sanding with Micro Mesh, but one of the blanks had a small void in it, so I filled the void with CA glue, and dry sanded that blank one more time to make sure the CA was flush with the blank.  It was after I dry sanded the blank with the void for the second time that i went ahead and wet sanded from 1,500 grit, up to 12,000 grit.  This gave the blanks a really nice shine.

I finished the banks after wet sanding with a coat of paste wax and HUT Ultra Gloss Polish.  I used two applications of polish and this really made the blanks look great!

Assembly of the pens went together just like any other Wall Street II kit.  I started by pressing the cap into the body of each pen.  When placing the cap, I made sure that the clip covered the defect on the blank that I mentioned earlier.  No one will see the defect, and it turned out to be a gorgeous pen.  I put the spring on the ink refill, put the refill into the nib of the pen, then threaded the transmission of each pen.  Once I threaded the transmission, I tested said transmission and had an awesome fit and action.  Finally. I pressed the body of each pen onto the nibs, and I had two completed Wall Street II grip pens!

This was an excellent way to use seemingly useless castings and turn them into something special.

Thanks for checking out and reading this article.  if you feel like my content is worthy, you can support me on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/crosscutcreations), or make a one time donation through PayPal.  If you have any questions, or comments, feel free to reach out to me!

-Robert

My First Resin Casting Experience

Yesterday I posted a video documenting my first resin casting experience.  This was a new skill I wanted to learn and I have a plethora of resources.  As I went through my first cast, I realized this is something I really enjoy.  For my first cast, I used Alumalite clear.  This resin is a two part resin – Part A (resin) and Part B (hardener).  The ratio is 1:1 (A:B).  This makes it easy to remember and it’s also nice that it’s easy to turn.

I started by laying out my cups and marked them A or B depending on which part I was pouring.  I did a three color pour, which included Phoenix Orange, Midnight Purple, and Teal at the suggestion of Greg Bonier.  (Thanks, Greg!)  I was prepared to pour resin into a four blank mold with each cavity being 7/8″x7/8″x5.25″ blanks.  I also got a tube-in mold for Sierra type pens.  When I finished pouring the resin for the four blank mold, I had enough resin to pour into the tube-in molds.  Because I wasn’t prepared to use the tube-in molds, the extra resin started to set up and the cast wasn’t really pretty.  This turned out okay though, because the “ugly” portion turned off nicely and left an awesome finished blank.

After pouring the resin into the molds, I put the molds in the pressure pot for two hours at 50 psi.  I took the blanks out after two hours and realized I forgot the mold release, but this wasn’t the end of the world as the blanks popped out of the molds relatively easily.  I did have some additional issues with the tube-in castings, but I will detail that at another time.

I plan on doing another casting video at some point where I’ll detail the process I use in a future video in more detail.  I absolutely love casting, and now I need more resin.  Tim to go sell a few pens to be able to afford more resin!

If you have any questions, comments, or anything else, feel free to contact me!

-Robert