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Frequently Asked Questions

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Table of Contents
  1. Can I really work these metal blanks with standard wood tools?
  2. What is M3?
  3. What is "Mokume Gane"?
  4. Is the "M3 Mokume Gane" real traditional Japanese "Mokume Gane"?
  5. How do I achieve a high polish or shine on M3?
  6. Will M3 take a patina?
  7. Is M3 guaranteed against defects in the blank?
  8. What happens if I break an M3 blank while I am working on it?
  9. How long until my order ships?
  10. Do I need to wear a dust mask while working with M3?
  11. What if I need a different shape or size than what is available on the web site?
  12. What if I have an idea for a new blank design, metal blend, alloy or inlay?
  13. Are the patterns all the same ?
  14. Will M3 metals react to skin much like copper resulting in leaving your skin green?

Please eMail or Call for Technical Assistance



Can I really work these metal blanks with standard wood tools?
Yes, but don't just take our word for it. Read this independent and unbiased review written by pen turner who is a member of the IAP pen turners forum with over 5,000 members. The members of this forum were interested in our products when we first released them and some of them were skeptics. George volunteered to try our products and post his review along with production photos for all to read. (Click Here to Read the Review)

Penn State Industries, one of our retail channel partners produced this video on making a pen using an M3 metal pen blank and thier platinum and gold plated pen parts. (Click Here to Watch the Video)

We have found that using "Carbide Tipped" chisels greatly reduces the number of times that you will have to hone your standard wood turning chisels.
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What is M3?

M3 (short for "Macro Molecular Metal") is a new composite material which is made with up to 95% of real metal that has been atomized down to the molecular level and combined with special chemical binders. M3 is an exciting new space age material that is just now being recognized for its remarkable beauty, strength and futuristic properties. Millions of dollars have been spent perfecting this material for other industries, pen blanks are just a bonus. The skin of the Space Shuttle, the Stealth Bomber and the International Space Station all contain examples of this remarkable new material. It is electronically depleted so that it will not conduct electricity or cause electrolysis allowing for new metal alloys that are just not possible in nature.

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What is "Mokume Gane"?

Mokume-Gane (pronounced Moe-koo-may Gah-nay and translates to “wood grain metal”) is the ancient Japanese metal working technique where layers of contrasting color metals such as copper, brass, nickel silver, gold, and silver are fusion welded with very high heat and pressure into one solid block of metal.
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Is the M3 Mokume Gane real traditional Japanese Mokume Gane?

No, this is not traditional Mokume-Gane. This is "M3 Mokume-Gane", which is a new composite material made out of contrasting M3 metals which share the visual characteristics, the wood grain of Mokume-Gane for a fraction of the price. In this case we have used the finest copper and the brightest aluminum and stainless steel to create our version of this ancient art and created real metal composite pen blanks that turn with traditional wood turning tools.

The same holds true for "Damascus Steel" or any other named metal or alloy combination. They are all M3 metals that are combined in order to achieve the visual characteristics of other, and in many cases more valuable metals.

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How do I achieve a high polish or shine on M3?

You should polish this material as “Metal” rather than resin or acrylic. While it is manufactured with chemical binders up to 95% of the material is real metal so it will respond best to metal finishes.

You should polish this material as "Metal" rather than resin or acrylic. While it is manufactured with chemical binders 95% of the material is real metal so it will respond best to metal finishes. We use a string wheel (7" x 2") at 1725 rpm (or polish on the lathe) with a Premium Metal Polish (PMP) to achieve the highest gem quality finish.


Many craftspeople achieve beautiful results with nothing more than micro mesh sanding down to 12,000 grit.

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Will M3 take a patina?

This material will patina with standard metal patina chemicals that are available from Triple S Chemical Supply, Jax Chemical or any other chemical patina supplier.

 

The metals used in producing this product maintain a very high level of purity and will patina naturally over time and with use. Most artisans feel that this allows the finished product to take on part of the persona of the person using it, but if you want it to always look the same as when first produced please use a clear coat or polish.

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Is M3 guaranteed against defects in the blank?

Yes.

Our Guarantee: All M3 Mokume and Damascus patterns are random, created by hand and by the reaction of the elements to each other. While we have some control over the overall patterns (i.e.: wood grain or burl) the end result is like a snowflake or fingerprint; no two are alike. It is the random nature of the patterns that make our M3 Mokume Gane and Damascus so desirable.

If your finished work is not presentable due to an unsightly pattern or any defect in the blank then we will replace the M3 blank for FREE.
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What happens if I break an M3 blank while I am working on it?

Oops Insurance (50% deductible): Mistakes happen and when they happen with an expensive material it hurts. We want you to try this material. So if you break one of your first M3 products, drill through, cut it wrong or destroy it in any manner while working with it we will replace it for 50% of the current catalog price plus shipping. Simply send us the pieces with a brief explanation of what happened.

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How long until my order ships?

Please keep in mind that these are not stock items nor are they mass produced in China. A large part of the manufacturing process is labor intensive and must be performed by some highly trained and skilled craftspeople, here in the USA. While we do inventory some of the more popular items most orders are made to order, which is why we ask for 5 days from order to ship date.

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Do I need to wear a dust mask while working with M3?

Yes. While the material itself is perfectly safe you can release high concentrations of metal dust when you turn, cut or sand it. MUST USE NIOSH 42 CFR 84 APPROVED DUST MASK WHEN CUTTING AND SANDING THIS MATERIAL. WEAR SAFTEY GOOGLES WHEN WORKING THIS MATERIAL WITH ANY POWER TOOL

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What if I need a different shape or size than what is available on the web site?

If you don't see the shape or size that you need then please send an email to info@MetalPenBlanks.com or call (888) 478-6745. We are always happy to make custom shapes and sizes at no additional charge to you. Once we understand your needs and potential volume we will give you a no obligation quote for the new size or shape. As a matter of fact, most of the shapes and sizes that are available on our web site are the result of customer requests.

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What if I have an idea for a new blank design, metal blend, alloy or inlay?

We have a complete R&D department ready to work with you FREE of charge. Simply send an email to info@MetalPenBlanks.com or call (888) 478-6745. Once we understand your needs and if we agree that it is possible to produce, our R&D team will attempt to make it. They will send you photos of the results and collaborate with you throughout the process. If we are successful then we will give you a no obligation quote for the new blank. While we will consider giving you an exclusive period based on your purchase volume, we retain the ownership rights of any and all blanks that we produce and reserve the right to market them to other customers. As a matter of fact, our Mokume Gane series and Black Gold is the result of a customer suggestion.

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Are the patterns all the same ?

NO. All patterns are random and each will be different just like a finger print. We do have some control over the flow of the metals and can effect the overall pattern. The available pattern groups are: Wood Grain (Mokume Gane), Linear which is used as the stock pattern for Black Gold and Swirl which is the stock pattern for Cobaltium.

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Will M3 metals react to skin much like copper resulting in leaving your skin green?

The real answer is we don’t think so. We have been manufacturing M3 jewelry billets for over 5 years and no one has ever mentioned it happening. Even our M3 Galactic Copper and Red Copper, metals that you would think might cause a reaction due to the purity of the copper, have not caused a reported reaction to date. It may be a result of the new molecular structure which also doesn’t allow the metals to conduct electricity. That being said, everyone’s body chemistry is different and considering that M3 is a new-age designer material, it is too soon to say that it will never react with anyone’s skin.


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