Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Epoxy resin, CNC machine and woodturning experiments

3D carver links:

Tools and materials I propose:

In this video I used my x-carve 3d carver and epoxy resin, to create blanks for woodturning. I made a pen, a cap and a bowl! I hope these projects will inspire you to experiment and create interesting and creative projects!

The wood I used for these projects, was basswood. I used my jointer to flatten one side. Then I used the thickness planer to flatten the other parallel to the first. I jointed one edge on the jointer and then used the table saw to make the other one parallel. At this point my piece was square. 

I created my vector designs and then imported them into Easel. The online software my CNC machine uses. My designs were 3.5mm ribbons. So I used a 3mm straight bit to carve everything.

After the 3D carving was over, I mixed some clear resin and coated the inside of my carvings. This procedure should prevent the colored resin from penetrating deep into the wood fibers. I let the resin cure for a day.

I then mixed more resin and added a drop of blue dye. I degassed the resin in the vacuum chamber and casted it into the mold. I then degassed it again. A piece of tape in the perimeter of the mold prevents the resin from overflowing and ruining the chamber.

I let the resin cure for a week. Meantime I repeated the process to make pen blanks and cap blanks.

I begun turning the bowl blank first. I secured it between centers on the lathe and created a mortise underneath to secured it on my chuck’s jaws. Bowl turning is pretty satisfying and you can easily get carried away. And that’s what I did. As a result I went too deep with the bowl gouge and had to remake the blank from the beginning!

Anyway, I proceeded on pen turning. I prepared my blanks for turning. I drilled a hole and glued the metal tubes in place. Then I used the trimming bit to trim the wood flush with the tubes. Then I secured the blanks on my pen mandrel and used a roughing gouge to turn them. I sanded them and polished them with abrasive paste. The pens turned out nice, although next time I would use more dye so the resin won’t be transparent. 

Next I made a cap for an IKEA night light. First I mounted the blank on my machinist’s chuck. Then I used the bowl gouge to hollow it out. I also used the parting tool and my recess tool to create a mortise for my chuck. I then reversed the blank and turned it with the bowl gouge. Again sanding and polishing! It turned out nicely!

Finally the bowl blank was ready. This time I kept things simple. I just mounted it on the lathe with a face plate. I did most of the turning with a bowl gouge. Occasionally I used a spindle gouge and a round scraper. This bowl was more like an abstract form based on a bowl shape. Despite the fact that I had added that first coat of clear resin, the colored resin still managed to penetrate deeply into the wood. As a result I had some resign showing off in some spots. Some might find this visual effect kind of interesting. 

Anyway, I really enjoyed this project and learned a ton of stuff making it. I hope you’ll find it inspiring! At this point I want to thank Inventables for sponsoring this experimental project.

See you soon with a new project video!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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