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Dunkin Junk! – Casting Plastic Toy Soldiers

– Posted in: Videos

A new episode of Dunkin’ Junk is here!! This time, I decided to try casting little green army men. Check out the video to see how it turned out. This was going to be my entry into the 2016 Pen Challenge, being put on by James Green. I decided to use another blank design for the challenge though (had to go with a Sagebrush Infused blank instead), but since I chose another type of blank I decided to do a Dunkin’ Junk episode with this one.

I ordered the toy soldiers from Amazon, and I also found them at my local drug store as well. I went with a red, white & blue patriotic color scheme for the blank. I used a combination of Alumilite Dyes and PearlEx powders for the colors, and I chose to use Alumilite Clear to try and give the blank some depth.

Turning Tools

For traditional gouges and skews, I’ve found that Thompson Lathe Tools perform excellent and I like their interchangeable steels/handles work great. The steel is made from CPM10V  (A-11) powdered steel and the edges get sharper and hold an edge longer than the other HSS tools I’ve used in the past.

Finishing/Sanding

I use Abranet sandpaper for almost all the sanding tasks in my shop at this point. It lasts longer and doesn’t clog up as much as traditional paper backed sandpaper since it is a mesh. For finish sanding/polishing, I use a combination of MicroMesh abrasive pads plus Novus plastic polish. I also found that you need to put a top coat finish on top of the blank.

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  • Dave Roush February 8, 2016, 12:12 PM

    You know my other address, I took a break at work and watched your toy soldier experiment. A better attempt would be silhouettes, maybe a white tube with the figures partially bent (like a 3-d image sort of) then surrounded by clear alumillite. The silhouettes could be red, blue & white on say a tan or sand colored tube. Just a thought. Remember these soldiers are IN A COMBAT ZONE. Which means to me that if they are going to use this pen, it has to be fairly subdued – not flashy or to shiny like brass or gold, you would not want them to be a target carrying something flashy as a gift. I’d planned sending some gun metal or Satan 7mm twist pens made from Walnut or Wenga or Ebony, or Black Palm if I ever get my 7mm barrel trimming problems fixed.

    • Zac Higgins February 8, 2016, 3:10 PM

      I like the idea for the silhouettes for the castings. Might be a little finicky getting it just right, but it might just work.

      Maybe I’m missing something, but I doubt they are carrying these pens into battle! I think we can make them any way we want, but I’ll double check with James on that.

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