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Using Delrin?


I’m getting such an education from this great forum. Thank you all.

How is Delrin (sp?) used? I’m still a beginner, and someone gave me
a chunk of this plastic stuff and said “oh, you’ll have fun with
this, it cuts like butter.” From references in course descriptions
I’m under the impression that this is typically cut not to make
jewelry out of it but for making molds for a press somehow, yes? How
shall I best play with this?

Bethany Ericson

 How is Delrin (sp?) used? I'm still a beginner, and someone gave
me a chunk of this plastic stuff and said "oh, you'll have fun with
this, it cuts like butter." From references in course descriptions
I'm under the impression that this is typically cut not to make
jewelry out of it but for making molds for a press somehow, yes?
How shall I best play with this? 

Bethany, the simple answer is “however you like”.

It’s just a versatile material. It gets used as an easy to work and
machine plastic, one which is quite tough as well. That makes it
well suited to various uses as tools, dies, and the like. But this
does not detract from the fact that it can also be the perfect
solution as a material for certain uses in jewelry. Anywhere you
might wish to use a plastic in the color you’ve got for delrin, it
can be used just fine. Makes interesting jewelry that will hold up
quite well in many cases. As with any material, it has it’s
limitations. It does not bend like metal, nor is it all that easy to
glue, for example. But no material does it all. Add it to your
"palette" of possible materials to use in your creations, or to use
as a tool to create your jewelry with.


Hi Bethany;

I don’t know about the “cuts like butter” bit. If I remember, the
stuff is pretty stubborn, akin to nylon. I’ve used mallets made of
delrin and it’s pretty good for that. It makes good knife handles
too. On page 154 of Oppi Untracht’s book, Metal Techniques for
Craftsmen is an example of the use of dacron, which I think might be
a similar plastic. There it was used by heating it, taking care not
to get it so hot that it burned, then pressing it into a cavity in
the top of a ring and filing it level. Next, pieces of metal were
heated and sunk into the dacron, then everything filed level and
polished. It’s not a precious material, it’s pretty easy to get, so
why not just experiment with it and find out how it handles, see
what you can come up with. No such thing as failure when you don’t
know what you’re going to do.

David L. Huffman

To my knowledge delrin is used for many things including impact
hammer heads that don’t mar, a surface you can shape and then chase.
It is even used for the tiny wheel bearings in hotwheels and other
machines that are meant to be immersed in water. I have used delrin
to make an exercise device that I used when my shoulder was rebuilt!
I also have delrin pads that I use to manipulate metal when marring
is a concern.


Hi Bethany

I’ve machined Delrin on a metal lathe to use for stoppers for a
woman’s dresser set of sterling perfume bottles and a cream jar. The
Delrin created a tight seal for the bottles. I’ve also carved it and
used it as part of a silver brooch. It carves very nicely with
simple woodcarving tools and can be shaped with files and emery
papers (filing is a bit messy) but does take some effort. It machines
beautifully. My favorite finish for it was to emery it to 600 while
it was still on the lathe and then to cut it off and pumice it. For
the brooch I took the carving to a high polish. It was a long time
ago. I don’t remember doing anything special so I must have polished
it with White Diamond and then perhaps rouge but the Delrin I
polished was black so I’m not sure how those compounds would work on
white Delrin. I think White diamond on a new clean buff would work.

Linda Moughemer

Delrin is an acetal and a kin to nylon… Dacron is a polyester
another beast.They are both a form of hydrocarbon but so is butter
which is much less easy to confuse with the others.

Delrin is a very tough easily machinable polymer… see for a
little use



I am a student at Arizona State University, and I have been getting
the Orchid digest for some time, but this is my first post. Our
late :frowning: Metals instructor David Pimentel used Delrin to make
raising stakes and tools. He used raising hammers and stakes made
from Delrin to raise beautiful copper bowls and vessels, and taught
at ASU for many years until recently passing away from cancer, and we
all miss him dearly :frowning: We still have some of his Delrin stakes and
hammers and we will continue to use them to raise in his memory.

See you all in Tucson!!!

Sean Terry
S.AZ Jewelry Designs
Arizona State University
Metals Department

When I was a union cameraman, and before that worked at Panavision,
the motion picture camera house, we had a couple camera gears made of
delron … It’s pretty strong stuff, lighter than aluminum and easy
to machine.

Jennifer Benusis

As David Huffman noted, Delrin is great for making hammer heads
that won’t mar the metal. For this reason, Delrin is often employed
for making your own hammers and stakes for anticlastic raising. See,
for example, the wonderful book, Metals Technic (Brynmorgen Press),
in the chapter by Michael Good on this subject.

Judy Bjorkman

Hi everyone. I have just caught up with the messages in my Ganoksin
folder - 1012- and I thought I would join in with the Delrin thread.
I remembered when I started out on this jewellery journey, I read
Oppi Untracht from cover to cover (I was hungry for
and in there, on page 465 onward, is a demonstration of the use of
Delrin in the making of a brooch. “Jewellery concepts and technology”

Makes great reading.
Ruth in the U K.

This Delrin stuff sounds very attractive - I machine a lot of my
cast pieces, so the machinability interests me very much. However,
a lot of filing is involved in those same pieces. Someone
mentioned that filing was possible, but messy - was that messy as in
"makes a lot of shavings" or messy as in “gets all ‘chewy’ and
leaves a nasty surface”?

Does anyone know of a good source for small quantities of the stuff?
I know Woodcraft sells “grab bags” of high-molecular-weight plastic,
but I’d like a better idea of exactly what material I was working
with, for sake of repeatability.

Thanks so much for all your help,
Jessee Smith

Does anyone know of a good source for small quantities of the

Check out this site. Lots of intesting materials that are available
in small quantities. Delrin being one of those materials.

Ashley Webb

Hi Jessee

I was the one who mentioned it was messy and it’s both a lot of
shavings and chewy. But, I just took out a piece (It’s at least 23
years old.) and tried to file it to be sure and it’s not quite as bad
as I remembered. The edges get chewier than the flat places. I
couldn’t find my large rods but the small rod I found had yellowed a
bit but was creamy white under the slight surface film (probably

I got my end cuts at a plastic supplier that dealt mostly in plexi.
It might have been Cadillac Plastics. The white was in rod form, the
black was in a small block. I found several suppliers on the web so
you might be able to find one that would sell you a small quantity. I
just checked the Small Parts site
( and they list both black and
natural(white)sheet and rod.

Linda M

I’d search the Thomas Register for
delrin and try to find a local supplier. Though Small Parts Inc does
have a wonderful selection of hard to find engineering parts and R&D
stuff , their prices are a bit high… If the thomas register fails
you , try your local yellow pages for “plastics” or “engineering

Depending on what you plan on using the delrin for their may be an
easier/cheaper solution using another type of plastic such as nylon,
nylatron, UHMW Polyethylene or such…

Jon P

    Does anyone know of a good source for small quantities of the

If you’re in the U.S., see if there’s a Cadillac Plastics near you. I
was able to buy some useful “scraps” at a great price.

Checking the Yellow Pages under plastics might yield other options.

All the best,
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)


Does anyone know of a good source for small quantities of the

Look in your yellow pages for Sign Companies. The folks who maker
signs that have a plastic face with lights behind them. They may be
indoor or outdoor signs. Many times they have a wide assortment of
plastics available at good prices.


Delrin and UHMW may be purchased on eBay. Keep an eye open for cut
off pieces that have the dimensions close to what you need.

David Luck
627 Center Street
Iowa City, IA 52245

Here are two suppliers of Delrin - if you google simply Delrin
sheet, rod, tubes you get a whole list of suppliers. Lots of
on Delrin out there on google or froogle.



I buy Delran in rods and sheet form from a company in Gardena Ca.

Plastic Depot
758W. 190 the St.
Fax 310-320-5336
Gardena , Ca.90248

The owner is Robert WE. Newburgh They have a Complete Plastic Supply
Store I have bought Sheet lexan a do Rod Delran of various dam and
lengths. It is not a cheap product , But he has premium material.

Hope this will help you.
Billy S. Bates

FYI I thought everyone might be interested in this.


  Delrin (typically Delrin 150, or Delrin 100 Series) is a brand
  name for Dupont's acetal resins. Delrin is an engineered
  plastic that is made from the polymerization of formaldehyde.
  It provides the advantages of plastic along with properties
  that are similar to metal. It is available in black, white,
  and natural (tan). It is used for small parts such as pump
  components, valve components, gears, bushings, rollers, and
  electrical insulators. 

  The crystalline structure and chemical composition of Delrin
  provide the following characteristics: 

  * Good dimensional stability and resistance to creep. 
  * Good chemical resistance. 
  * Good electrical insulating properties. 
  * High tensile strength, stiffness, impact resistance, and
  fatigue endurance. 
  * Good end-use temperature range. 
  * Low friction coefficient 

Property limits include:

  * Moisture absorption. 
  * Limitations in repeated uses in steam or hot water. 
  * Limitations in exposure to strong acids and bases. 

  The most common processing technique used for Delrin is
  injection molding. This method is used mainly in the
  automotive, consumer goods, and appliance industries. Stock
  shapes such as bars, rounds, tubes, and plate are typically
  extruded. Mechanical properties include: 

  * 10,000 psi Tensile Strength. 
  * 18,000 psi Compressive Strength (at Yield). 
  * 450,000 psi Tensile Modulus 
  * R120 Rockwell Hardness. 
  * 0.20 Sliding Coefficient of Friction (at 40 psi, 50 fpm) 
  * 0.5% Deformation at 120 deg F, 2000 psi Load, for 24 Hours. 
  * 5.8 x 10 in/hr-deg F Thermal Expansion. 
  * 200 deg F Long Term Maximum Service Temperature. 
  * 300 deg F Short Term Maximum Service Temperature. 
  * 347 deg F Melting Point. 
  * 1.42 Grams/CC Specific Gravity. 
  * 0.90% Water Absorption (in 24 Hours, Fully Immersed) 
  * 0.25% Water Absorption (in 24 Hours, at 50% Relative

  Delrin is machined using similar techniques for brass. Sharp
  twist drills with a 118 degree point angle, and 10 to 15
  degree lip clearance angle will provide a good finish with a
  slightly undersized hole. Reaming will improve the hole
  finish, but will also produce a slightly undersized hole.
  Delrin can be tapped, provided the thread size is large
  enough. Strong fine threads can be formed by heating a mating
  screw to 330 deg F, and screwing it into the proper sized

  Delrin can be turned using any standard metal-working lathe.
  Tools should be sharp and ground as for soft brass (a back
  rake to allow for free removal of material and a large
  clearance to eliminate drag). Milling requires sharp tools and
  proceeds as for brass. Filing is performed using deep,
  single-cut, coarse, curved teeth (commonly known as a Vixen
  file) as is used on aluminum and other soft materials. Delrin
  can be wet sanded on belt or disc equipment. After sanding,
  the surface can be brought to a high polish using standard
  buffing equipment. 

  Small parts such as washers, grommets, and non-precision gears
  (1/16 inch thick and less) can be produced by punching or
  stamping. Conventional dies are used in either hand or power
  operated presses. Cracking can be minimized by preheating the
  material or soaking it in water until approximately 2%
  moisture has been absorbed (typically 3 to 5 days of soaking). 

  Delrin can be glued with limited success. The bond will
  typically be weaker than the base material. In selecting a
  Delrin adhesive, consider both the end-use environment and the
  stresses that the adhesive must endure. Adhesive joints
  encounter 5 types of stress (compressive, tensile, sheer, peel
  and cleavage). In general, all adhesives have poor resistance
  to peel and cleavage, so joints should be designed to avoid
  these stresses. Also, avoid the use of butt joints. 

  Because of the "greasy" nature of Delrin, the surface
  treatment is typically the most important consideration for a
  glued joint. Common surface treatments include roughening
  and/or applying a primer (a solvent, or an acid). The primer
  etches the material surface giving the glue something to hold
  on to. Typical strength values for a bonded joint are 7000 psi
  with etching/primer, and 500 psi without etching/primer.
  Applicable adhesives are: 

  * Cyanoacrylate & Primer - 770, from Loctite (800-562-8483) 
  * Cyanoacrylate - Permabond 268, from Permabond (800-653-6523) 
  * Epoxy - Lord C3135 A&B, from Lord Corp (814-868-3611) 
  * Epoxy - FE7004 A&B, from H.B.Fuller (800-328-9673) 
  * Epoxy - Fiber Resin C14, from Fiber Resin Corp
  * Epoxy - EA934NA & EA9394, from Dexter Corp (510-458-8000) 
  * Rubber - EC1711, from 3M (800-364-3577) 

  Pricing for Delrin stock shapes is somewhat expensive. As of
  March 2000 typical pricing is as follows: 

  * 1/4" Round Rod - $0.54/ft 
  * 1/2" Round Rod - $1.50/ft 
  * 1" Round Rod - $5.34/ft 
  * 3" Round Rod - $58/ft 
  * 1/4" Thick Sheet - $25/ft 
  * 1/2" Thick Sheet - $57/ft 
  * 1" Thick Sheet - $106/ft 
  * 3" Thick Sheet - $375/ft