I wanted to do something different. Something that would look cool and be fun to make. Something I have not done before. So with that in mind i wanted to also make a quick project that could be some what inspired by Halloween. I decided to make a pen out of ramen noodles yes you read that correctly ramen noodles the kind you eat. It not a crazy complicated process but was pretty fun to make. So lets get at it.
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Step 1: Crush Your Noodles
I started with a pack of ramen noodles. No it does not matter what flavor as the flavor packet would not be used. So no need to worry about that. I crushed the noodles up but not to small or they would not look as much as noodles. So this process was pretty straight forward as i just broke the noodles up into smaller pieces that would fit properly into the mold.
Step 2: Fill the Mold With Noodles.
The good thing about crushing up the noodles is that you are able to make them fit even better into the mold. Make sure to fill them up to the top even pack the noodles into place if possible to make sure they do not all float to the top when filled with epoxy.
Step 3: Mix the Epoxy
I use Total Boat Epoxy I have used it for a long time now and love the product. I mixed up around 10 ounces of epoxy and then divided the epoxy into separate containers to add in the color pigments. This ensures that the epoxy is completely mixed before dividing it into separate quantities. It also allows for the use of separate pigments so that multiple colors can be used.
Step 4: Pour the Epoxy
While like most pours this is a straight forward process. With that in mind you do need to pour the epoxy slowly as there are a lot of small voids inside the noodles and this increases the likelihood that air pockets can be captured inside of the noodles. So pour the epoxy slow and give time for the epoxy to rise from the bottom pushing air our of the voids in the mold.
Step 5: Apply Pressure
For this blank letting the epoxy cure inside of a pressure chamber is essential. With all of the possible voids that can cause air pockets applying at least 45-50 psi of air pressure will remove the small air pockets from the blanks. Allow for the epoxy to completely cure inside of the pressure vessel. If you remove the mold while the epoxy is still soft it will allow the air pockets to expand and the bubbles will return. After the epoxy is cured slowly release the air pressure and then you can remove the mold.
Step 6: Remove the Blank From the Mold and Cut to Lenght
Once the mold is out of the pressure vessel you can then remove the blank from the mold and then trim the blank to length. This should be slightly longer than the barrel of the pen kit you are using for the pen.
Step 7: Install the Pen Barrel and Trim Flush
With the blank cut to length you will then need to drill the blank as absolutely close to center as you can to be able to install the pen barrel. The size of the hole will be determined by the pen hardware you are using for this vertex kit it uses a 3/8 of an inch hole. After the hole is drilled apply a bit of adhesive I use Starbond Adhesives Black CA. Rotate the blank while inserting the barrel this will help to insure a strong bond between the ca and the blank. Once the adhesive is cured you will need to trim the end of the blank flush with the barrel. Using a barrel flattening bit.
Step 8: Turn the Blank to Shape
Install the blank onto the mandrel and start turning the blank to the desires shape and size you would like it to be. There is really no right or wrong shape and if you are using the correct bushings for pen hardware this will give you the desired size to align flush with the hardware of your pen kit. I decided i wanted the blank to be the main focal point for this pen. So I went with a smooth design that was slightly larger in the center than the ends. Also making light cuts will help ensure that you will get an even better finish and make for easier sanding.
Step 9: Sand, Finish, Sand
Once your blank is to shape sand the blank to around 320 to 400 grit and apply the finish. I am using Starbond Adhesives Ca Thin for the finish. I applied 10 coats letting the ca dry between each coat. Then sanded the finish smooth starting with 600 grit and working my way to 12000 grit paper. The polished the top coat to a high shine.
Step 10: Assemble the Pen
Each pen kit is different so I wont go through the exact procedure as it might be a different sequence depending on the style pen you are making. Using a pen press you will be press the individual parts of the pen into there respective ends of the pen barrel. Then installing the cartridge and testing the pen to ensure it functions properly.
Step 11: Enjoy
This is a super easy project and on the novice side of turning projects. I just wanted to try something different and see how it would come out. I like how it looks. What about you? I think this is a prefect project for Halloween. Let me know what you think.
If you want to check out the full video and project article check it out here: https://jpaynewoodworking.com/making-a-pen-using-r...
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Thank you for reading and I will see you on the next one.