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Thread: My First Pen . . . What did I learn today?

  1. #1
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    My First Pen . . . What did I learn today?

    This is. . . was . . . my first pen. It was an American Classic from Woodcraft. The wood is Bocote, sanded to 1800 grit, rubbed with Tung oil, finished with six coats of CA then triple buffed with the Beal Buffing System.



    If you look closely, you may see a few flaws. This is what I learned today.

    1. When spreading the glue into the blanks by twisting the tubes in and out using a tube insertion tool, don’t push the tube all the way in to where it stops flush with the end of the blank.

    2. Center the tube within the blank.

    3. Trim all the way to the tube with your pen mill. Double check that you followed #3 on both ends of each blank (see #6 below)

    4. When buffing, HOLD THE D--- THING TIGHT! When it flies across the room, it tends to get nicked up, however, some small nicks may be hidden under the clip. A reminder to wear your visor. I also wear a leather apron, that way The Bride doesn’t ask what the bruises on my chest are from.

    5. When buffing, don’t press too hard, let the wheel do the work. After buffing at 90ļ to the length of the pen, buff along the length of the pen to remove buffing rings.

    6. When assembling the pen and you realize that you didn’t trim down to the tube, it is now junk because you can’t trim it after you have turned and finished the pen.

    7. Learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them.

    If any of you have any further learning points for me, I’m certainly in the mood to be edumacated. Now I get to go buy a pen disassembly kit to try to salvage the parts.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails #1 Sep25'09 600X450.JPG  
    Last edited by Chuck Rodekohr; 09-25-2009 at 08:09 PM.

  2. #2
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    I certainly wish the photo were better. Can't tell much about your finish. But putting CA over oil seems like a formula for problems later.
    And, you said, "6. When assembling the pen and you realize that you didnít trim down to the tube, it is now junk because you canít trim it after you have turned and finished the pen."
    Wish I had known that. I've been doing a final trim on my pens after turning and before assembly since I started years ago.
    Doing this assures a near perfect flush fit at the ends.
    Again, wish the picture were better, but it looks like your blank is way-way longer than the tube, not just a hair. If you cut your blanks long and then glue in the tube, I find that cutting them back on the bandsaw works fine. If I don't want to risk cutting too short, I'll rough square on the disk sander until the brass shines on the ends.
    Keep it up and do post pics as you go.

    Other than the major disaster, what you have looks OK.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  3. #3
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    Flaws? Heck, it'll still write. It's a mere flesh wound. [Said in my Monty Python voice.]

    Sorry to see about the mishaps. On the bright side, you learned a whole lot of lessons for the cost of a pen kit and a bit of time. I think launching things from the buffer is a rite of passage most of us go through.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    I
    "6. When assembling the pen and you realize that you didnít trim down to the tube, it is now junk because you canít trim it after you have turned and finished the pen."
    Wish I had known that. I've been doing a final trim on my pens after turning and before assembly since I started years ago. .
    Maybe exerting 12,000 lbs per sq. in. was the problem. And yes, it was WAY too long.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    ...Can't tell much about your finish. But putting CA over oil seems like a formula for problems later...
    I would tend to agree with this, but then again, I see a lot of guys successfully using CA and BLO mixed together. I wonder if this is any different.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
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    I loosely followed William Youngís ďBLO and CA Pen FinishĒ YouTube movie (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orcgOf4siqc) except I used tongue oil since I didnít have any BLO. Iím going to run a string through this and hang it over my lathe as a reminder of what NOT to do.

  7. #7
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    Sorry to hear about your mishaps but the main thing is lessons were learned. I don't mind messing up with a piece if I learned from it.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thatís when you return from work one day
    and say, ďHi, Honey, Iím home Ė forever.Ē

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

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