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FORUMS General Gear Talk DIY & Customizing 
Thread started 10 Oct 2018 (Wednesday) 21:10
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Acrylic ice cubes

 
ra40
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Oct 10, 2018 21:10 |  #1

The ones at the craft stores looked so-so and the nice ones are $$. I'm the thrifty type though fortunately have tools accessible when needed to have a go at projects like this. Went to a local plastics supply hoping to find remnant cuts of appropriate sized acrylic but nada. Only had full lengths of the 1.5" square bar and at $180 was a bit much for my experimenting. The 1" square was $51 but I wanted something larger than the common 1" sizes. There was a cut of 1.5" rod so I thought this was decent enough to practice on. The sales guy gave a nice price because it was an odd size so I was pleased.

Used the backsaw to cut the first few and for a wimp, this was more arm exercise than I'm capable. Next was the saber saw that managed with a soapy water as a cutting lubricant. Still slow and I wasn't able to hold it accurately to get a good uniform sized cut. Put them on the chop-miter saw with the 40 tooth blade...that worked so long as I pecked at the cut and not in one motion. The kerf is about 3/16" which is wasteful, I didn't ask if he had a finer blade but I didn't want to ruin anything.

After the cutting put the rounds to a variable speed belt grinder using a silica carbide 80G belt and ground them wet to eliminate dust and heat issues. Used the disc sander but didn't like the results as much. Up to a 500G then onto the low speed buffer using a stitched wheel with white compound and a light touch. Pleased so far, will have to go back and do a few more with some technique refinements that came to mind.

After doing these few I can understand why the nice ones are $$.


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monty28428
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Oct 10, 2018 21:17 |  #2

Nice end result.




  
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Oct 11, 2018 08:31 |  #3

Perhaps you have a "budding" sideline. See https://jonathangayman​.com …phy-tips-invest-in-cubes/ (external link) where the photographer dropped $40 on each cube.




  
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ra40
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Post edited 2 months ago by ra40 with reason 'additional comment'. (2 edits in all)
     
Oct 11, 2018 14:23 |  #4

One of our friends is a manger-owner of a local coffee shop. We stopped by and I was commenting to him on the clarity of the ice cubes in their drinks. He showed us the reverse osmosis water system supplying the ice maker and machines of the shop. He was all into the total dissolved solids and the analysis of the water that comes out of the system. Was beyond me though informative of making a quality product. I looked into some of these systems up and they cost $3K+ let alone what a commercial unit may cost.

This is a casual shot of the first two in whiskey. It's pretty fun to make these by grinding in the various curves to see how they refract light. I need to acquire a simple hi-ball glass, this one creates to much visual distraction if I want to show the drink and "ice cubes". :)

John from PA wrote in post #18726778 (external link)
Perhaps you have a "budding" sideline. See https://jonathangayman​.com …phy-tips-invest-in-cubes/ (external link) where the photographer dropped $40 on each cube.

Thanks. I saw Tengroves site, I'd like to see one in person. The local photo rental used to have ice cubes for rental. They were not returned so they ceased renting and wont replace them. That's when I mentioned I was going to make some. He seemed skeptical I could do it. ;)


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Diemonkey
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Oct 12, 2018 12:54 as a reply to  @ ra40's post |  #5

Gonna have to make some of these now... Thankds for sharing your process! ߑ




  
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ra40
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Oct 12, 2018 13:15 |  #6

Watched a variety of You Tube videos melting in silicone trays, etc. Post your ice cubes when you get them done.:-)




  
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ra40
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Oct 15, 2018 16:41 |  #7

Made up a few more and the test shot.


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-Duck-
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Oct 15, 2018 17:56 |  #8

I've yet to try making my own ice so I give you credit for taking this project on.

Back in the day I was a production artist at a sign shop. We used sheet acrylic and lexan for box signs and channel letters. The fabricators used to take a propane torch and pass the flame quickly over the cut edges to 'polish' them and get rid of the saw marks. I used the same process to clean up some cheapo acrylic cast cubes to remove the mold seam lines. When I say a quick pass I mean quick otherwise you risk bubbling and scorching the surface. You'd be surprised how well this works. Take a scrap piece and give it a test. It won't completely eliminate polishing time but it will save you some time and effort.

Just my two bits.


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ra40
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Oct 15, 2018 22:40 |  #9

Thanks Duck! :) There is a bit of rod left to play with so possibly next week I'll implement the flame polishing techniques.

Last night I'd talked with a buddy that worked for a company that builds displays. He relayed some tips on working the acrylics too. Had good time making these.




  
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King ­ Kenny
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Oct 16, 2018 06:32 |  #10

Cool!


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NDAPhoto
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Oct 16, 2018 11:03 |  #11

Nice work. The more rounded they are the longer they appear to be standing or poured. Also makes an impression of whether a cocktail was purchased in a bar or made at home. Depending on the beverage, having different degrees of square to round on hand would be ideal. Flame polishing is a good idea and I’ll try that with some cheap ones I have. They were fine for soft drinks but not for cocktails.

Next, can we discuss whether to ever shoot single malt on the rocks?




  
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drmaxx
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Oct 16, 2018 11:58 |  #12

NDAPhoto wrote in post #18730124 (external link)
Next, can we discuss whether to ever shoot single malt on the rocks?

Wrong - just simply wrong. Just the picture of it makes me cringe. :twisted:
Cool ice cubes though.


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ra40
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Oct 16, 2018 13:58 |  #13

Mostly to see how they look in a glass. Agreed about varying levels of being rounded. I had one come off the chop saw that partially welded due to the heat, it flew out and onto the floor shattering one corner. I liked that look because it appears to have been ice picked from a block. Trying to work making more like that one. Well, without the risk of becoming a dangerous flying projectile. ;)

SMS at or slightly below room temp of 73-76F. Has to be pretty nasty paint brush cleaner levels to think of dropping ice into them. There is a 1L bottle of that level stuff used for shots. Sitting under the lights fills the room with a nice aroma. I begin to think "can't be that bad..." yup, it is. ;) A buddy that owned a liquor store for about 30 years passed along some of the non-sellers that sat on shelves since opening. Been using those as props for pours. There have been some really nasty ones encountered.

These were interesting waters:


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ra40
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Oct 30, 2018 14:21 |  #14

Ground some from 1" rod and those were a PITA because I struggle to be able to hold them. They look decent but not quite the size for the glasses being used. Ordered a 1.25" rod and that will be here Friday. Will work on those over the weekend.

The 1" size:


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Oct 30, 2018 18:40 |  #15

ra40 wrote in post #18740179 (external link)
Ground some from 1" rod ...

I assume a 1" rod yields a cube about .75" due to all the grinding?

Out of curiosity, how long does it take to make one cube?

Thanks


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Acrylic ice cubes
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