Cleaning CA Glue off your bushings

I don’t know why this was so hard to get information on when I first started, but it was! So writing a short post dedicated to the topic. Whether you use non-stick bushings or not, you will end up with CA glue all over your bushings — the main point of the non-stick bushings itContinue reading “Cleaning CA Glue off your bushings”

CA Glue: BSI Odorless vs Mercury Flex

Previously my recommendation was BSI odorless, because it was working sufficiently well for me, and I appreciated the “odorless” aspect, even though the same personal protective equipment is still recommended, because it reduced the chance of problems. Recently however I got a chance to try Mercury flex, and I am now a committed Mercury fan.Continue reading “CA Glue: BSI Odorless vs Mercury Flex”

Troubleshooting Pen Making: CA Glue

Making a pen is a more technical process than much of what we do with polymer clay, so there are a lot of places where things can go wrong, particularly when you combine different materials and equipment. This article is much more complete thanks to the second half of this article on Toni Street’s websiteContinue reading “Troubleshooting Pen Making: CA Glue”

Translating Pen Turning Terms into Polymer Clay

Much of the information online about pen turning is confusing because it’s difficult to sort out what actually applies to making polymer clay pens and what doesn’t. Do I need a lathe? No. I have posts here about how to use a drill to finish pens, and you can even just sand them by handContinue reading “Translating Pen Turning Terms into Polymer Clay”

Quality of life equipment upgrades for pen making

Got the basics purchased but interested in some ways to make penmaking easier by spending a bit of money? Here are some of my favorite tools. I do not get any commission from any links on my site, not even from Amazon. I am just sharing things I’ve found effective and helpful. Kits and TubesContinue reading “Quality of life equipment upgrades for pen making”

Minimum Equipment to Make a Pen

Unlike woodworkers, we’re unlikely to have any of the basics necessary to make a pen other than the clay, so here’s several levels of “what’s the minimum list of stuff I need to make a pen?” lists for buying the pen hardware, assembling the pen, making the barrel, baking the barrel, and finishing the barrels.Continue reading “Minimum Equipment to Make a Pen”

Finishing a Polymer Clay Pen with CA Glue

There are many techniques for applying CA glue and I’ve tried most of them. I will show you how to do the one I’ve found to be most consistently effective. If you haven’t already read my article on the prep work for applying CA glue to polymer clay pens, start there. The rest of thisContinue reading “Finishing a Polymer Clay Pen with CA Glue”

Prep work for applying CA glue to polymer clay pens

Getting the right hardware You need to apply CA with a lathe or other spin-creating tool (see my articles on cordless and lock-on drills for lathe alternatives). And since your barrels will be spinning, you will need a threaded rod and nuts to keep them held firmly and moving around with the drill. If youContinue reading “Prep work for applying CA glue to polymer clay pens”

CA Glue Safety: Natural Materials

One little-discussed risk around CA glue is the fact that it will cause an exothermic reaction (heat/fire) when it comes into contact with natural materials like cotton, leather, wool, etc. — which includes things like your jeans, T-shirt, paper towels, etc. The reaction can be fast, and depending on the amount, you could burn yourselfContinue reading “CA Glue Safety: Natural Materials”

CA Glue Safety: Protecting Surfaces

The strength of CA glue is that it will bond to anything — which is also its challenge. But there is a short list of things it doesn’t stick to — and most of them aren’t easy to find for surface protection. In general, particularly when you are using an activator, CA will be happyContinue reading “CA Glue Safety: Protecting Surfaces”