Ever wanted to just try to make something weird? I feel that way all the time. I want to make something that someone will look at and wonder not only how it was made but why it was made. There are loads of chairs, pens, bowls and finding something new to try is not always that easy. Well with Halloween coming up I was thinking what could I come up with to try something different. I came up with Ramen noodles! Yes the cheap somewhat tasty snack that fuels our colleges around the nation.
I debated with myself about if I wanted to break the noodles into larger more symmetrical chunks or to simply crush them. The worry was that if I crushed them to small it would no longer look like ramen noodles. I wanted it to be distinguishable when you look at the pen as to what it is.
I did not want the noodles to look like it was just white dots or powder. I wound up crushing them but only lightly. That way the epoxy would have more surface area for the colors to show through. I then used the scilicon mold to cast the blanks. If you have not used one of these molds I highly suggest them. Sometimes making a custom mold is needed or fun but being able to just make quick blanks that are repeatable in size are the best way to go.
I mixed up enough Total Boat Epoxy to be able to divide it into multiple containers. I have found that this is the best way to mix up epoxy if you are doing multiple color pours at one time. It allows you to fully mix the epoxy and not have any issues with the consistency of the mix before adding the pigments in.
This being a video that is close to Halloween I though some Halloween colors would be appropriate for this pen. I went with an orange, silver and black. One thing I had to guess at was the ratio of the colors. I honestly wanted a bit more orange than the other colors just because if it being such a bright color. It would stand out more.
I also made multiple blanks at the same time because why not? I will do more with them later to see how they come out.
For this particular blank it was crucial that they are cured under pressure to remove air pockets. The twisting and tangling noodles leave a lot of space for air bubbles to get trapped within the blank and this makes for way more work later on during the finishing process. One question I am asked a lot is. How much pressure do you use? I try to use around 55 Psi for small castings like this. This is a safe range for my pressure pot and also a good pressure to compress pretty much all of the air out of the blanks.
The rest of the pen making process from here is pretty straight forward. For this project I dont want to go into the specifics on how to make a pen but if you would like to learn how try this article. HERE!
I have found a few tips and tricks though that make the process a bit less daunting. For one If I am making a pen with darker colors I like to use Starbond Adhesives Colored Ca . This is not in any way necessary as clear would work just fine but depending on the colors of the blank the colored can can help mask the barrel of the pen tube if the pigments are semi translucent.
I also tried out the rockler.com carbide pen turning tools for this pen. I have to say they work great. I was interested in seeing how hard the tools would be to handle with them being much shorter that standard turning tools but they worked out amazing.
After It was all said and done like always the vertex pen kit came together great to make for a working, great looking pen. The parts pressed right into place with little resistance and the pen looks great with the combination of the epoxy colors and the gunmetal parts.
I think the pen looks really cool. Who else can say they made a pen out or ramen noodles? I love making weird and quirky things like this. They do not always have to be a massive project and take weeks just needs to be something you are proud of when they are done.
I hope you enjoyed the build and make sure you sign up for the newsletter as well as subscribe on Youtube. For more photos and videos follow me on Instagram @jpaynewoodworking. Thanks again and I will see you on the next one.