Friday, September 26, 2008

Working with Corian

Today I received some blanks from another penturner. They were Corian and Formica.

I decided to spin up one just to see what it was like to work.

It cut reasonably well on the table saw, so I squared up one end and cut blanks for a common 7mm slim pen kit. Drilling was about like a typical acrylic blank. Noisy and needs small bites to keep the blank and/or the bit from overheating.

I glued the bare brass blanks in with 5 minute epoxy and let them set for an hour or so.

Turning made a bigger mess than the acrylic blanks usually do. It looks like it snowed on my lathe! I did take very fine cuts initially until I got the hang of the material. I'm glad I did! At one point the gouge slipped and nicked the blank I wasn't working on. The momentary contact at around 1500 rpm took a series of gouges out of the blank. Luckily they were in the waste portion of the blank, so I didn't have to repair it or do a redesign to cover it up.

I sanded starting at 400 grit through 2000 grit using automotive wet and dry sandpaper with KleenStrip's KS Pro Paint Thinner as lubricant. I like that stuff because it's odorless and doesn't attack your skin like regular mineral spirits can. I just wear a face shield to keep it out of my eyes and mouth.

After sanding I polished the barrels with Meguiar's Plast-X plastic polish.

As you can see, the end result looks terrific! I have many other colors that came in that package, so I'm going to have a little bit of fun!

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