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Blue Diva Pen

I thought the combination of a blue blank with blue crystals would really look nice.  The pen kit is PKCHPEN4       Diva Charm Blue Sapphire Crystals Pen Kit in Gold TN and Rhodium and the blue plastic blank is WXACL08X       Acrylester Dyna Blue 3/4 in. x 3/4 in. x 5 in. Pen Blank .

I sawed off a piece of the blank for the pen and x-marked the ends to drill them. I took and awl and struck it with a small ball peen hammer to make a start-drill mark. Surprisingly, the blank shattered!  I had never had this happen before.

Because 1 pen takes less than 1/2  the blank length, I sawed the remaining blank to the correct length.  I did not strike it with an awl and drilled it ok.  I glued it up.

I started turning on the lathe, and just about the point where the corners were removed, the end of the blank exploded!!

Here is a photo of the blown up blank from the awl and the lathe piece...........




Either this batch of blanks is bad material, or this is very tough material to use on pens.  I contacted Penn Industries...........

 Subject: blue blanks - is this batch too brittle

Message:
Acrylester Dyna Blue 3/4 in. x 3/4 in. x 5 in. Pen Blank  Item #: WXACL08X

I have turned about 6 different plastic blanks, but this was my first blue one.  I usually make a mark in the end before I drill it by striking an awl with a small hammer to put a start-drill mark. On this blank, the piece shattered!!

I sawed the other end of the blank to use it, and did not strike it with an awl. I drilled it ok.......but when I just had the corners turned off, the blank blew up in the lathe.

Is this a bad batch of blue blanks that are too brittle??   or is the nature of the beast and these blue blanks are very difficult to turn into pens?

The reply I got back from Penn Industries was................

 

It isn't the color. It's the material. It is Polyester, and polyester blanks are more brittle. You need sharp tools and a gentle touch with them.

Tony
Pen Technician
Ext. 43

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 So apparently, this polyester material is extremely brittle by nature, and therefore very difficult to turn on the lathe!!

I went ahead and put the blown up blank back on the lathe, to turn it down a little more so I could see what it looked liked after sanding.  The other end blew up on the lathe. Using this material from Penn Industries as a pen blank is a real problem.  I will switch to a blue acrylic that I know from past experience will turn fine on the lathe.

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Update on July 30, 2014

I ordered some blue regular acrylic blanks..........WXLB1634       Lava Bright Classic Dark and Light Blue 3/4 in. x 3/4 in. x 5 in. Pen Blank       at  $3.45 each to try on this blue diva pen.

Here are the blue chips on the lathe..........

This regular acrylic turned fine. Here is the finished blue diva pen:

 

 

 

I like this blue color, and the pen turned out very nice!

 

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