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Birding Psychosis
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Has anyone tried making something like these with colored pencils? I bumped into a turner making some on YouTube and found these photos online. I think they'd make an excellent gift for an artist. They look fun. I read somewhere not to sand them since the colors would all blend together. I guess they're held together with CA glue.

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I can't imagine why you wouldn't be able so sand one of those, were you to make one. Sure, the dust would be multicolored, but once you vacuum the dust off I wouldn't imagine it would stain the vessel. I'd also wager that epoxy was used to glue up the blank. That much CA glue would be prohibitively expensive, and rather brittle
 

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I haven't tried colored pencils but did try regular graphite pencils. What a nightmare. Could not sand them at all. The carry over from the graphite was rediculous. I intend to try colored pencils one of these days. Apparently it's easier.
 

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The binder in many brands of colored pencils is some sort of wax. Any friction and they melt and streak.
With the sudden surge of interest and popularity of "adult coloring books," Have you had a look at the prices of
sets of colored pencils? Everything up to $200.00 and more.
 

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I can't imagine why you wouldn't be able so sand one of those, were you to make one. Sure, the dust would be multicolored, but once you vacuum the dust off I wouldn't imagine it would stain the vessel. I'd also wager that epoxy was used to glue up the blank. That much CA glue would be prohibitively expensive, and rather brittle
I buy CA by the pint and it doesn't cost much more than the 3 oz bottles at Woodcraft or Rockler's Hardware. However, CA is too brittle and would be a poor choice for that reason. I first saw this several years ago and I believe that the binder is either Inlace resin or slow-set epoxy. You most definitely can't sand the colored pencils without creating a big mess that leaves color embedded in the end grain of the wood. This means that you must be able to have the skill to get a perfect surface using only turning tools -- and the tool must be very very very sharp ... not just grinder sharp ... it needs to be honed to a razor sharp edge. For a finish, I would favor super thin CA to seal the surface. After that you could apply spray lacquer or continue the finish using the super thin CA. From here on, you're finishing the finish by leveling and polishing with Micromesh up to 12,000 grit and then Novus 2 final polish. The finishing part is the most work, but it is what makes or breaks the final product.
 

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Spinner of Wood
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Do you guys think this was poured in a vacuum chamber to prevent bubbles?
I'm thinking layer by layer would give pretty good results. Pour some epoxy in, then push some pencils into in, epoxy, more pencils. Not waiting for anything to dry, of course. Maybe?
 

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The pencils float so you have to rig up a way to hold the down if you pour all the epoxy at once. I didn't try a vacuum. I poured the epoxy and then started stacking the pencils into a cardboard pipe. It was difficult and messy because I was trying not to create bubbles and the pencils were trying to float. finally got weight on them and more epoxy.
The second batch I did flat in a pan to create a sort of side grain bowl. That was easier but still had to deal with them floating.
I think the best option might be casting resin. It will blend together if you do the second and third pour the right amount of time after the first on. So you could do layers at a time.
I cut as clean as possible but ended up shear scraping. To get a proper finish I had to apply lots of finish and then hope I didn't sand through. Probably a better technique might be an epoxy finish but that would require rigging up a slow speed rotating device to get it even.
Too much work for something I would never get an serious money for. I did it just so I could have a really good end grain and side grain piece to demonstrate how to make cuts with the grain of the wood.
 

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I did a little homework on the turnings and the way they are making the blanks to turn is with the thick CA glue where they are sticking the pencils together one at a time. This would make the shape easier and eliminate the risk of bubbles in it.
 

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Here is a video showing how colored pencils are made:

Dye the Inlace or epoxy black. Inlace doesn't have a problem with bubbles. If you use epoxy, use the very slow set type that takes at least an hour to set up and thin it down so that it is much less viscous. Use just a tiny amount of resin to hold the bottom end of the pencils together and in place and let it harden before filling the remainder of the form.
 

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saculnhoj said:
The pencils float so you have to rig up a way to hold the down if you pour all the epoxy at once. I didn't try a vacuum. I poured the epoxy and then started stacking the pencils into a cardboard pipe. It was difficult and messy because I was trying not to create bubbles and the pencils were trying to float. finally got weight on them and more epoxy. The second batch I did flat in a pan to create a sort of side grain bowl. That was easier but still had to deal with them floating. I think the best option might be casting resin. It will blend together if you do the second and third pour the right amount of time after the first on. So you could do layers at a time. I cut as clean as possible but ended up shear scraping. To get a proper finish I had to apply lots of finish and then hope I didn't sand through. Probably a better technique might be an epoxy finish but that would require rigging up a slow speed rotating device to get it even. Too much work for something I would never get an serious money for. I did it just so I could have a really good end grain and side grain piece to demonstrate how to make cuts with the grain of the wood.
How slow would you need to turn for an epoxy finish?
 

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.... I think the best option might be casting resin.....
A casting resin such as Inlace is far superior to epoxy for this type of use and costs much less than the same quantity of epoxy. Inlace doesn't yellow as it ages and it doesn't have the bubble problem that epoxy does. There are numerous compatible dyes for Inlace. Finding compatible soluble dyes for epoxy that don't weaken it takes some experimenting with various products.
 

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Birding Psychosis
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I gave it a shot and made this candle holder and an art supply goblet. I'm sort of perturbed and elated about it all. Perturbed that I spent a lot of time trying to make super clean cuts with a carbide wood turning tool and using super glue as a finish for the goblet (getting some all over my hands) since I read posts about sanding not being a good idea with the pencils. Then I was elated that I tried sanding the candle holder one.. 180, 220, no color streaks at all! Then I put a dewaxed shellac on it, no problems and the shellac even made the pencil colors gleam in the light! I wish I would've sanded the goblet and all instead of messing around with glue and trying to take oh-so careful cuts. Oh well, maybe it depends on the brand/type of colored pencils you use. I got packs of them at the Dollar Tree. They're 9/32" in diameter and round. I got to use my Oneway Drill Wizard and lathe indexing to make the holes to glue them in. Only had one pop out of the candle holder and that's why I figued "what the hell, I'll try sanding and finishing it."
 

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Very nice. It looks like the secret is to use the cheapest low quality pencils for the highest quality results. I give up with CA. No matter how careful I am I get it all over myself. So I might as well start off by squirting a bunch of it in my palms and rub it all over my hands and then wipe my hands on my pants.
 

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Bill Boehme said:
Very nice. It looks like the secret is to use the cheapest low quality pencils for the highest quality results. I give up with CA. No matter how careful I am I get it all over myself. So I might as well start off by squirting a bunch of it in my palms and rub it all over my hands and then wipe my hands on my pants.
I hate that stuff. It is never instant unless it is on your hands.
 
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