Acrylic Wizard

Wanted to see how well acrylic blanks can be machined by the Beall Pen Wizard.

Biggest frustration is you can’t just jump into a project. You have to go through all the steps to turn a pen beforehand. Not a problem (unless you are impatient to try an idea out!)

This was very much a test- I wasn’t so worried about the end result, so long as there was a reasonable degree of confidence that it could be achieved.

The blank is probably too (colour) detailed to also be machined, so I’ll look at plainer acrylics for when I plan to use the Wizard to finish the pen off.

In this case, I used a side-mill bit, and ran a spiral flat on 4 sides of the pen. Then did 4 additional lighter passes in between each of the other 4.

Remounted the resulting pen on the lathe (not turning), and tried the Dremel buffing wheel. Point to note- the heat generated exceeds the melting point of the acrylic!

Then tried the traditional acrylic sanding pads, which worked better, although rounding over and softening the result.

So another successful experiment, with more lessons learned. For one, don’t load up the cutter on the workpiece if the gearbox is in reverse- you are likely to undo the spindle!

Again, experienced a bit of flex and play in the jig, but a decent result (for a beginner!) was still achieved.

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