It seems that every time we go into the Rockler store, Sam is drawn to the acrylic pen blanks. So every now and then, I let him get one, along with a pen kit to go with it. I had never turned acrylic, but the pens made with them look absolutely beautiful. Well, this went on for over a year before I finally worked up the courage to try turning one.
Actually, it was Sam who tried it first. He wanted to make a Pen for Marisa for Christmas, so this seemed like the perfect time to try.
This stuff is a lot harder to turn than wood. It took a rather long time to turn. If you got too aggressive, it would chip, so it was slow going with a light touch.
This stuff also stinks when you turn it. So we wore our respirators.
You get nice long shavings from it, not a lot of dust, which is nice.
We got an acrylic sanding kit, with 6 grits of padded micro-mesh. We wet-sanded it all the way down to 12000 grit, and then used some plastic polish. The pen turned out very nicely. It is incredibly shiny, I don’t think these pictures do it justice.
I also ordered some seam ripper kits from Penn State. I wanted to make one for Marisa, and decided to use an acrylic blank called Molten Metal. This stuff would chip out in an instant if you got too aggressive, so again it was slow going. This one didn’t stink as badly as the blue one.
It polished up very nicely.
We’ll definitely be turning more acrylic.