In this episode, I tried casting some stabilized wasp nest in Alumilite “Clear Slow Set” resin to make some pen blanks with. Overall, I’d say the experiment was a success! The wasp nest had a bunch of “cells” in it like tubes, but they didn’t go all the way through. This did cause some issues with air pockets which would have to be filled, but I had no problems turning it at al.
In the interest of time, I cut out the video footage of the comparison blanks I cast and turned using cardboard honeycomb shipping material. The photo on the left shows the finished product of the cardboard honeycomb blanks. Overall, I have to say that I like the cardboard honeycomb a lot better than wasp nest. The casting process is a bit easier due to the fact that the holes go all the way thorough. That allows you to pour a color swirl patter in the mold first, then push the honeycomb down into it. No air bubbles get trapped, the patterns can be reproduced fairly easily, and there is no need to stabilize it. Wasp nest does have a cool and unique factor to it though.
For the pen, I used a Virage gold plating ballpoint kit. They are available at Turner’s Warehouse. I really like these Virage kits. They use the same tubes as Sierra’s, and I prefer the look of the parts over the ubiquitous Sierra style kit.
For a list of casting and turning items used in this video, check out my “Tools I Use” page that has links to all the major equipment and supplies I use.