Introduction: Pencil Pot Made From Pencils (of Course)

About: I am a Marine Engineer in the RNZN (45 years done in various navies) and am looking forward to retirement!!! so I can do more messing about with tools

This was purely an experimental thing to make as I had just got hold of some epoxy resin and wanter to make something, I also was suffering from a bad head cold and needed something to do not in the garden

Step 1: Materials

Pencils - lots of them, dollar shop $2 for 24

2 pack epoxy resin (I got 3 lires of this (plus scales) for $82)

Couple of ply circles for base mount and top (to press down)

Moulds, I used a liquorice allsorts tub for the outside and one from the rehydration drink we have at work (like Gatorade) for inside

Pot to mix resin and stirrer

Step 2: Preparation

I put a circle of plywood at the bottom of the outer tub and then neatly "stuffed" as many pencils as I could between the 2 Plastic containersand made sure they were nice and even

Step 3: The Resin

I carefully weighed out and mixed the resin as per the instructions (2 parts resin to 1 part hardener), you carry on mixing until all the "swirls" disappear and it looks like water

Apparantly the resin does not stick to polythene -- we shall see!

The resin should set in about 5 hours

Step 4: Pouring

I carefully poured the resin into the pencil void, at this point I realised that the inner pot was floating so had to quickly find someting to weigh it down, fortunately a pot of pasta sauce was the perfect size to go in the inner pot, I should have left the green lid off though!

I then put on the top ply circle and weighted it all down while it cured

Step 5: Releasing the Mould

You know what I said about the resin not sticking -- yeah right!!

I cut off the outer shell then had to butcher the green lid as it was stuck shut, then through brute force and ignorance goyt the inner pot (and my pasta sauce) out

Step 6: The Base

I cut lots of little bits of pencil and fitted them in the bottom (on top of the ply base) and poured some more resin to cover them

Step 7: Mounting in the Lathe

I centred the whole thing on the lathe faceplate and put it in my cheapo lathe

Step 8: Turning

Using normal wood turning tools I shaped both inside and outside (the shed looks like Spiderman has had a party in there with all his spidermates!!)

It was then sanded using 60, 80, 120, 200, 240, 320m and 400 grit sandpaper

Step 9: Parting Off

As I didn't have a large enough parting off tool I used a large hacksaw blade to part it off (It's from a mechanical hacksaw if you were wondering)

Step 10: Finishing Touches

I sanded the bottom flat with increasingly finer sandpaper

Step 11: Varnishing

A couple of coats of Marine Varnish and chucked the rest of the pencils in it

A few of the leads crumbled when turning but overall I am fairly happy with it

All in all used about 150 pencits (5 packs)

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