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I will be attempting turning pens with acrylic blanks for the first time. I understand sharp tools are necessary. Which work best for roughing and finishing? Any techniques different than turning wood blanks? How about finishing? Is micro mesh sufficient?

Thanks for the advice.

Mike
 

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So what exactly is the material? There are tons of things out there that folks call acrylic. Some such as Alumilite turn like butter, literally. Some like PR, can be a bit brittle and a little more difficult.

I appraoch all of them the same, some just with a little more care. A good sharp gouge will do most of the work. I make my final cut with a radiused edge square carbide. Do not use dull carbide on PR, it will chip. No finish is required unless your using some type of mutt blank. If its solid acrylic, just sand and polish. I typically sand to around 600 or so and then run through the grits wet polishing with MM. If you still needs a little extra shine, buff it with Hutts or another plastic polish. Be careful when polishing with the lower grits of MM. You can remove alot of material really fast with the softer materials.
 
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