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:

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 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 Pen Blanks Tutorial

First off, sorry this article is so late.  I got caught up in work related duties and didn’t have any time to write the article.

I start by using Alumilite, which is a 1:1.  I used 50g of each color, so when you pour 50g of A, you need to pour 50g of B.  This allows the reaction in the resin to properly set up.  I used twp colors: vibrant pink and silver.

I start by pouring 50g of the “A” side twice (one for each color).  Then, I introduce my Caster’s Choice mica powders and stir until the powder is stirred in and there appears to be no more visible powder.  I stir in both colors separately, then move on.  There is no correct amount of powder that you need to use.  If you like a more translucent appearance, put less powder in the resin.  If you want a more solid appearance, put more mica powder in the resin.

Once I stir in both mica powders, I introduce the “B” side of Alumilite resin and since I poured 50g of A, I poured 50g of B.  As soon as the “B” side is poured into the “A” side, the reaction starts.  Depending on the temperature of your shop, the resin will take longer or shorter to set up.

As I introduce the “B” side into the “A” side, I start to stir the resin.  You can under-stir, but you can’t over-stir, so consistently stirring is important.  I stir until the resin gets up to 90 degrees.  This is the temperature where you get good color separation.  If you pour before the 95 degree mark, you could get runny colors and your mixture won’t look as good as they could have.

After both colors got to 95 degrees, I poured the Alumilite into the molds and let the resin set up in the mold for 2 hours.  When I took the pen blanks out of the pressure pot, I removed the blanks from the molds and cleaned them up on the band saw.

I can’t wait to turn these and see what they look like on a pen kit!

If you have any questions, or comments, don’t hesitate to comment on the youtube video (in the “YouTube Videos” tab on this website), email me, or contact me any way you know how.

Thanks for checking out the article and video.  We’ll take to you later!

-Robert

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