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I thought turning an acrylic pen blank was supposed to be easier than it turned out. It seemed to come off in chunks and when I finally got it working pretty good and was almost finished then it blew apart. I have turned burls with 10x less problems and they were not stabilized.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

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I too have only tuned acrylics that have blown up. I know your tools have to be super sharp. I know you have to take lighter cuts. I also can't stand the smell of the acrylics so I've decided to stick with wood only and let others play with plastics...I am a WOODworker afterall :blink:
 

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I too have only tuned acrylics that have blown up. I know your tools have to be super sharp. I know you have to take lighter cuts. I also can't stand the smell of the acrylics so I've decided to stick with wood only and let others play with plastics...I am a WOODworker afterall :blink:
There was one in particular that my son wants andanotherthat my daughter wants so I'm stuck with doing them.:laughing:
 

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I had more problems drilling acrylic blanks, never turning. Most times only use my ¾” roughing gouge then start wet sanding and polishing with micromesh. Even with sharp gouge get circles on some acrylic blanks so just break out the skew. Just like wood not all acrylics the same.

Good luck with them.
 

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Are you talking about stabalized wood or acrylics. Some stabalized wood was not ment for turning. I had that problem years ago when I made some stabalized pens and the guy that stabalized the wood said I had gotten his stabalized wood for knife handles. I guess he has two different process for his wood. As far as acrylic turning take it slow, have a very sharp tool, sand the normal way, and after 600 grit use the acrylic polish. I do not like to turn acrylic because of the static charge and the mess it leaves on the lathe. I also like to remove the edges on the band saw to make the turning eperience better. If you are chipping try different center locations, tool rest heights, carbide vs HSS tools. I use HSS tools for best results. My last acrylic turnings were for bottle stoppers.

PVC is just about as bad with the long strings of shavings.
 

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It seemed to come off in chunks and when I finally got it working pretty good and was almost finished then it blew apart.
(1) what pen kit was it? (tube diameter & wall thickness might play a role)
(2) what glue did you use to set the tube in the drilled blank?
(3) what speed did you run the lathe at (a) while roughing and (b) once it was round?
(4) did you sharpen your gouge and skew before starting?
(5) did you ride the bevel or attack the piece straight on?

I've made one slimline and one Mesa pen with acrylic blanks, so I'm far from an expert, but I didn't have a problem with either. I ran the lathe at its slowest setting throughout, having read that heat is the worst enemy of plastics.

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are you talking about stabalized wood or acrylics. Some stabalized wood was not ment for turning. I had that problem years ago when I made some stabalized pens and the guy that stabalized the wood said I had gotten his stabalized wood for knife handles. I guess he has two different process for his wood. As far as acrylic turning take it slow, have a very sharp tool, sand the normal way, and after 600 grit use the acrylic polish. I do not like to turn acrylic because of the static charge and the mess it leaves on the lathe. I also like to remove the edges on the band saw to make the turning eperience better. If you are chipping try different center locations, tool rest heights, carbide vs HSS tools. I use HSS tools for best results. My last acrylic turnings were for bottle stoppers.

PVC is just about as bad with the long strings of shavings.
Bob Im talking about Inlace Acrylester Blanks from Woodturnigz not stabalized blanks.

(1) what pen kit was it? (tube diameter & wall thickness might play a role)
(2) what glue did you use to set the tube in the drilled blank?
(3) what speed did you run the lathe at (a) while roughing and (b) once it was round?
(4) did you sharpen your gouge and skew before starting?
(5) did you ride the bevel or attack the piece straight on?

I've made one slimline and one Mesa pen with acrylic blanks, so I'm far from an expert, but I didn't have a problem with either. I ran the lathe at its slowest setting throughout, having read that heat is the worst enemy of plastics.

HTH
It was a Slimline and Ca was used to glue the tube in.

It was on slow speed but not the slowest almost the slowest for roughing. I used a newly shapened gouge after learning that my carbide scraper didn't work.

I returned to the carbide scraper for the last little bit to finish.

I rode the bevel with the gouge and i was taking it slow with both, although in the beginning it did take big chunks and made it harder to turn.

I'm going to try another one and I will use the slower speed. I will also cut the corners off. I will pay special attention to not create heat and see if it helps. I'm guessing I did something wrong but it could have been just a bad piece to i guess.
 

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I've made one slimline and one Mesa pen with acrylic blanks, so I'm far from an expert, but I didn't have a problem with either. I ran the lathe at its slowest setting throughout, having read that heat is the worst enemy of plastics.

HTH
Try turning at a higher speed & you will get better results. I have a Jet 1220 & turn at the second from highest speed (2630rpm) I turn all my blanks at this speed & use a slower speed for sanding. Light cuts with inlace. Also & prefer to use 5min apoxy over CA for gluing tubes in. Haven't had a blowout since.
 

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Bob Im talking about Inlace Acrylester Blanks from Woodturnigz not stabalized blanks.



It was a Slimline and Ca was used to glue the tube in.

It was on slow speed but not the slowest almost the slowest for roughing. I used a newly shapened gouge after learning that my carbide scraper didn't work.

I returned to the carbide scraper for the last little bit to finish.

I rode the bevel with the gouge and i was taking it slow with both, although in the beginning it did take big chunks and made it harder to turn.

I'm going to try another one and I will use the slower speed. I will also cut the corners off. I will pay special attention to not create heat and see if it helps. I'm guessing I did something wrong but it could have been just a bad piece to i guess.
Hi Richard,
Increase you speed with light cuts & you will see a difference. Try using 5 min apoxy instead of CA to glue your tubes in. I turn at second highest speed for my Jet 1220 (2630rpm) & I sand at 1240rpm.
 

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I thought turning an acrylic pen blank was supposed to be easier than it turned out. It seemed to come off in chunks and when I finally got it working pretty good and was almost finished then it blew apart. I have turned burls with 10x less problems and they were not stabilized.

Any help would be appreciated.

Here is good info by your supplier View attachment Working_with_Inlace_Acrylester.pdf
 

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Hi Richard,
Increase you speed with light cuts & you will see a difference. Try using 5 min apoxy instead of CA to glue your tubes in. I turn at second highest speed for my Jet 1220 (2630rpm) & I sand at 1240rpm.

Thanks for the help I will try that.
 

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I have found that Acrylics are a little more challenging but I've never lost one yet. Yes, you do need sharp tools. I use a 3/8 RS spindle gouge for the whole process. When you get colse to the diameter you want you want to take angle hair type cuts (Very light).After that you want to (Wet) sand it from 180-600 grit. If your still not sure watch some You-tube videos on turning acrylics and it will make it go much better. Like I say, I've not lost one yet. Don't give up because Acrylics have some nice designs,shapes in there. Take your time. When drilling acrylics you need to also take your time. Drill 1/8-1/4 at a time and always back out the bit each time for about 2-3 seconds.This will remove the drilled plastic and give the plastic a second or two to cool off. Do not try to drill alot at one time. Acrylic will build up heat fast and it will blow up.
Donny
 

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Since Iv'e gotten a little better with sharp tools I finish up with a 1/2" oval skew. For sanding acrylics I start wet sanding at 600 grit then Micro Mesh to 12000 grit. Once I start on the Micro Mesh the sanding goes very quick. Not having to use the lower grits has saved me from buying those as often. I just have to resupply the 600 roll. Micro Mesh will last a long time if used for wet sanding. Inlace is a little more brittle than some of the other acrylics & sharp tools & a lighter touch are needed to keep from pitting. You can repair any deep pitting by filling with CA glue. When finished I use the Barry Gross buffing setup for a quick buff.
 

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I have been turning acrylic blacks with much luck the past 5 months and doing well, the key is to not use a gouge IMO, I've has awesome luck with a round scraper, and once I've roughed in one black I let it cool off and go to the other and go back and forth as to let them rest and cool off, sometimes I just stop for a bit after roughing both.
 

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I tend to drill out the blanks on the lathe with a jacobs chuck, and once drilling a plastic blank the drill bit grabbed in the plastic and just wouldn't let go no matter what, nothing was working to free the bit though I got it to budge a bit. I even tried putting it in the freezer hoping that the bit would shrink away from the plastic. Still couldn't get it out. I ended up deliberately shattering the plastic with vice grips and then chipping the rest away with a chisel. Good thing I had ordered an extra blank and those blanks just cost a couple of bucks. Wear safety glasses if you ever need to break plastic - that thing really exploded all over the shop into pretty sharp pieces.
 

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I just use a drill press and no issues ever, also on acrylic when drilling u want to go in an 1/8 inch in and pull out and go in another 1/8 or even a quarter, but never go straight threw it will create heat pockets and explode
 

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Try Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is a lot stronger than acrylic, 25 times stronger in fact. I recently bought some remnant pieces from a place online High-Tech Plastics
Found a small piece, for a good price and it machine fine.
 

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Polycarbonate is a lot stronger than acrylic, 25 times stronger in fact. I recently bought some remnant pieces from a place online High-Tech Plastics
Found a small piece, for a good price and it machine fine.
Evidently you have no experience with this subject. You only post on threads about plastics. In some cases you might be right but in this case the acrylics are special colors and such for pen blanks, I don't believe you web link carries pen blanks.

Your post are very close to spam. However I will admit that at least 1 of 3 post was actually helpful.
 
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