Scrap Wood Epoxy Resin Custom Pen
I had a bunch of scrap wood left over that I refused to throw away.
And I recently picked up some epoxy resin to experiment with.
So I decided to combine the two together and turn a completely custom and awesome looking pen.
This is a great way to discard of some of you extra wood scraps and be able to keep them at the same time.
It's a win-win situation.
If you would like to watch a video version of this project, here is a link:
Step 1: Preparing the Wood
So I grabbed a hammer and started to break up many of the scrap wood pieces into even smaller pieces.
This was a little challenging so I moved over to the bench vice to hold them easier.
The randomness of each break and splitting of the wood made this setup a little unpredictable as to the final outcome, but also made it a little exciting.
I then gave the wood a good mixing.
Now to hold the wood and epoxy while it cured, I used a piece of corrugated plastic that I cut into a rectangular shape and taped together at the ends.
I then added some hot glue in each of the corners to help prevent leakage.
And while I was adding the wood to the holder, it appeared to be full, but all of the small air gaps between each piece of wood would allow for the epoxy to flow in.
Step 2: Adding the Epoxy Resin
For this project I used a 2-part epoxy that I mixed together in a small plastic cup.
If you ever mix a 2-part epoxy resin, make sure the ratio is correct or the product may not fully cure, leaving you in a gooey situation.
I then stirred in a metallic blue pigment which was a good contrast to all of the wood colors.
And after a good mixing I slowly poured the epoxy over all the wood making sure to get down in each of the small cracks between the pieces.
I found that the slower I poured the resin, the better it seeped into all of the gaps.
I then tapped the container on the table with hopes to get out some of the air bubbles.
And then I used a heat gun on a low setting for the same reason.
And in both cases a few small bubbles did emerge.
Step 3: Curing the Epoxy Resin
At this point the epoxy needed to be pressurized to help reduce any additional air bubbles or gaps that did not come out during the previous attempts.
And for this setup I used a pressurized paint tank that I converted over to a pressure pot.
I then hook up my air hose and pumped the tank up to almost 40 psi.
And then I had to wait for a few hours to allow to resin to dry under pressure.
(Please use an approved pressure vessel for this procedure or injury could result.)
And after that time, I removed the container from the pot and noticed that the side walls had bulged just slightly which was most likely caused from the heat of the resin.
So I took the setup over to the bench to remove the tape and cut away the glue.
I then used a chisel to pry apart the plastic.
At this point I was able to see some of the randomness of the creation, but the best was still hidden.
Step 4: Preparing the Epoxy for Turning
I next took the Epoxy over to the bandsaw and cut it in half.
So I held each half in my homemade clapping jig and carefully drilled out the center hole.
This is a slow process because I had to repeatedly clear out the drill bit to prevent cracking or overheating.
At this point I had to glue a brass barrel to the inside of each piece, which I did using some CA glue (super glue).
Make sure to wear gloves during this process or you can easily glue your fingers together.
After giving the glue a few minutes to cure, I sanded each side of the epoxy blocks down to be flush with the metal insert.
The ends have to be perpendicular to the inserts or the final pieces will not look straight.
It is also good idea to sand lightly during this process to prevent removing to much of the inserts.
Step 5: Turing the Epoxy and Polishing
I then mounted up the blocks on my mini lathe and began the turning process.
This can me a slow messy process, so I took my time making sure not to damage the pieces.
I also wore a respirator to prevent breathing in any of the airborne resin particles.
After carving the blanks with the tools, I gave each of then a good sanding up to 400 grit sand paper.
This gave them a smoother finish, but not shiny.
So I then added a couple layers of CA glue to the outsides of each and allowed them to cure.
And then I used some micro-mesh sanding pads stepping up to 12000 grit.
And the results were very shiny and reflective.
Step 6: Assembly
I then grabbed the rest of the pen parts and used a basic wood clamp to carefully squeeze all of the pieces into place.
I had to be very careful when assembling because if an insert is pushed in too far, the project could be ruined.
Now here are a few close ups of the pen.
I hope you get a chance to make a scrap wood epoxy resin pen too.