Delrin as a wood substitute

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Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  Bob Salter on Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:28 am

I have recently started using delrin for all prototyping work. Wood is becoming incresingly expensive and rejects were becoming horribly expensive. It is a joy to work with and I would have to say the tone is very pleasing. There are none of the wood problems, shrinkage splitting and I would recommend it to anyone who is learning as a great wood alternative. Ive just made a set of drones from SRS journals in C and am now considering making a chanter with it as well. Ill post some pics when they are finished.

Happy pipemaking
Bob
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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  texasbagpiper on Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:10 am

Bob Salter wrote:I have recently started using delrin for all prototyping work. Wood is becoming incresingly expensive and rejects were becoming horribly expensive. It is a joy to work with and I would have to say the tone is very pleasing. There are none of the wood problems, shrinkage splitting and I would recommend it to anyone who is learning as a great wood alternative. Ive just made a set of drones from SRS journals in C and am now considering making a chanter with it as well. Ill post some pics when they are finished.

Happy pipemaking
Bob

I like Delrin ok, but I've never had much luck getting a great scratch free smooth finish on it. Although I've never really messed with it that much. I made one set of smallpipes and one full set of Highland pipes about 10 years ago and haven't touched the stuff since.
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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  Art on Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:20 am

Where have you been buying your delrin? I've bought some on Amazon through Small Parts, but I wonder if there are less expensive sources?

Seth, have you tried a heat treatment to remove the scratches? (I actually prefer some texture to the chanter body.)
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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  texasbagpiper on Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:30 am

Art wrote:Where have you been buying your delrin? I've bought some on Amazon through Small Parts, but I wonder if there are less expensive sources?

Seth, have you tried a heat treatment to remove the scratches? (I actually prefer some texture to the chanter body.)

You know I haven't, I rarely used this stuff. When I started building Orthotic's and Prosthetic Legs last year I learned about using a torch to clean up any scratched, so I'll remember that next time I use plastics on the lathe.
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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  Art on Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:59 pm

Where do you all buy your Delrin?
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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  Bob Salter on Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:27 am

My favourite shop in all the world:- ebay Very Happy I realise its probably more expensive that way but my pockets aren't bottomless unfortunately and I can buy small amounts as I need them.

Bob
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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  Nicolas on Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:30 pm

I found that I can buy delrin in a shop at....5 minutes in car from my house ! Soooo I'm going to buy some and make some trys.

Bob, does it affect the sharpening of the tools in the same way hard wood does ?

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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  MichaelLoos on Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:32 am

It does blunt the tools considerably quicker than any wood does (at least, any wood I've worked with so far).
I don't know what the price for Delrin is in your countries - in Germany it is almost the same price as ebony. For prototyping I use mostly Hard maple which is widely available and a lot cheaper. The bore requires being oiled thoroughly, though.
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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  texasbagpiper on Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:26 pm

[quote="MichaelLoos"]I don't know what the price for Delrin is in your countries - in Germany it is almost the same price as ebony. quote] Yep, it is expensive here too.
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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  Nicolas on Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:20 pm

I'll call them next monday for the prices !

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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  tompipes on Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:50 pm

I've been using black ABS plastic for whistle making and some uilleann pipes prototype work. I find it easy to work with, you can get a nice finish on it with sanding up to 800 or 1000 grit sandpaper and a few minutes with a buffing wheel.

And, the best part is that its a good bit cheaper than delrin.

Tommy

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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  Art on Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:11 pm

Interesting idea, Tom. Where do you buy it?
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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  tompipes on Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:07 pm

I last bought it from onlinemetals.com early this year but I had a look at their site and didn't see it for sale.
You'll get it at plasticdistribution.net and I just had a look and the prices of Delrin and ABS on their site and they're neck and neck. Roughly $10 per foot, 1 inch diameter

I find with both these plastics you have to do the step drilling fairly slow. With ABS, when it starts getting hot to to get hot to touch the swarf can start to melt and stick to the inside bore and send your drill bits off center. Then the final reaming should be done veeeery slow. No more than 100rpm.

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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  Art on Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:30 pm

Thanks, Tom! Besides the heating during drilling, can you think of any reasons that ABS should not be used for instruments (beyond the prototypes)?
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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  tompipes on Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:36 pm

I can't think of any reason at all,
The heat isn't a big problem at all really, it just means you have to drill it at no more than 300 - 350 rpm. I wouldn't step drill wood any faster anyway.

I've been using it for Low Whistle mouthpieces for 5+ years now and I find it great.

I've seen flutes made from it in the past but i forget the maker offhand.

Maybe I'll try a chanter from it some day. I'm sure it'd be fine...

Tommy


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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  Art on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:12 am

That's very helpful, thanks!
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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  texasbagpiper on Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:46 pm

And one of the best reasons is... It doesn't crack, chip, warp, check, and doesn't have to be seasoned. You can store it in the water tank of your toilet and it will still play the same. You can bury it in your back yard and it will still play after you dig it up and wash the dirt off. You can also... You get the picture. Seth
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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  Art on Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:57 pm

Exactly. I'm sure many of us have learned the easy way that you shouldn't put a wooden chanter in the dishwasher to clean it!
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Re: Delrin as a wood substitute

Post  tompipes on Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:24 pm

I forgot to mention another reason I like ABS over Delrin is that its easy to glue.

Most glues just peel right off Delrin but even cheap Gorilla glue with make a solid with ABS.

And you can unblock the loo with an ABS chanter!

Tommy

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