17 Jan Rockler’s Silicone Casting Mold for Epoxy Pen Blanks
Rockler has come up with a clever way for pen turners to create epoxy blanks that have the tubes already inside, so there’s no gluing required. The tubes can be perfectly centered, and the flexible silicone mold (item #69213, $37.99) releases easily once cured. A turner can pour in resin mixed with colorants. The mold includes two cavities for pens plus eight stoppers that have cones on their ends that center the pen tubes inside the castings. This means there is no need to drill the pen blanks after curing. The stoppers can be adjusted to accept brass tubes up to 7” long and 0.175” to 0.5” in diameter.
For woodturners who want to create blanks without tubes, the flat sides of the stoppers can be used.
Once cured, the flexible silicone makes it easy to extract the 3/4” x 3/4” pen blanks. There are lines in the mold cavities that mark the optimal fill height of 3/4”, and there’s an inch scale on the top to provide a reference for the length. Ribs on the outside of the mold prevent any bending under the weight of the resin. The mold has a matte exterior for easy removal of excess resin, and a high-gloss interior that leaves a smooth finish. For even easier release, turners can use Stoner Mold Release (item 64406 on the Rockler website, sold separately).
The kit includes one silicone pen blank casting mold and eight stoppers. Other kits are available for handles, rings and knife scales.