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Thread: What do I need?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Inside the Beltway
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    What do I need?

    OK, folks, I need to make a pen as a gift. It needs to be *presented* on Monday.

    Now, I've never made a pen, so I'm not set up for one. My lathe is a big old honking thing, best suited to large bowls. I have no idea what I need? I can make *one* trip to woodcraft. What should I buy?

    Oh, and the pen *has* to be very nice. It's for someone special, who's going away, so I don't want it to look like the first pen I ever made...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Wow Bill after having seen Mack Camerons setup and his acquired skill at making pens, I would say you put yourself under a whole lot of pressure and the people round the Thanksgiving table aint going to be too happy with you this weekend cause they aint gonna see you. by the looks of this task.

    I will be watching and following along on this one.
    cheers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Lantry View Post
    ... so I don't want it to look like the first pen I ever made...
    In that case you probably/better/should make 2 pens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    falcon heights, minnesota
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    you will need the mandrel for the size of pen (or go mandrelless), polishing stuff, a clamp of some sort to press it together, maybe some thin ca glue in case it's a tad loose, the right size drill bit for the blank, and about 10 of the pen kit of your choice (because if you don't hit it right in the first 7 tries, you can keep trying)...
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
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    17,477
    or i can send one of mine that has been test driven for quality control
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    falcon heights, minnesota
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    is that an admission of spinniness larry?
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Bradford, Vermont
    Posts
    425
    You'll need:

    * A GOOD-QUALITY drill bit the right size (probably 7mm) for the kits you chose.
    * A mandrel (unless you want to start by trying it between centers, which I wouldn't advise)
    * Something to trim the ends of the blanks / tubes (I use a reloading case trimmer)
    * CA glue to glue the tubes into the blanks
    * Your choice of pen kits
    * Bushings to fit the kits
    * Wood (your own stock or your purchase now)
    * Abrasives to sand the turned pen to the desired finish
    * Some contrivance to press the pen kit together (you CAN use the tailstock at first)
    * Your choice of finish (I like dipping lacquer, myself)
    -- Tim --

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Posts
    336
    Bill,

    Woodcraft will have everything you need.

    Select the pen kit that you like first. The instructions on how to turn and assemble the pen will come with the kit. They are also available online.

    The kit will specify the size drill bit...7mm, 8mm, 10mm or a letter size bit. It will also specify the type mandrel you need...an A or B mandrel. The correct bushings for the kit will also be noted. Tip: Keep the bushings in a labeled plastic bag so that when you turn other pen kits later, you will know to which kit and mfg the bushings go.

    For trimming the ends of the blank after gluing in the tubes, you can use either a barrel trimmer or a shop-built 90 degree jig with a sanding disc.

    Use thick CA glue or epoxy to glue the tubes into the drilled blanks. The CA lets you proceed after just a few minutes whereas you need to wait overnight on the epoxy.

    Turn the blanks down to slightly larger than the bushing diameter with a gouge or skew and bring them to final dimension with sandpaper. Sand to the finest grit you have available before finishing.

    I would not try a CA glue finish as it's a bit of a learning process to get it right. A poly or lacquer finish is probably your best bet for a nice, durable finish...personally, I'd use Deft gloss lacquer from a rattle can.

    Finally, along with whichever nice pen kit you choose, I'd also recommend you get a couple of inexpensive slimline kits to practice on before going to the higher priced one.

    Pen turning isn't at all difficult. Getting a good finish is probably the hardest thing of all.

    Good luck,
    Cody


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    With your time frame, I would buy one from a member to be sure to make your deadline. Then you can get all that pen making stuff (you do realize this is a sub-culture with all their own accessories and do-funnys right) and go at it with a safety net.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    new york city burbs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Lantry View Post
    OK, folks,I have no idea what I need?
    Bill

    First: you need alot of patience.
    Second: Youll need more patience than you thought
    third: No kids around when you throw something out of frustration(inlaws and first wives are ok to have around the shop at these times)
    Fourth:just a drop of skill, which I know you have, so just follow the first three I recommended, and Im sure youll knock it out of the park.
    I make pretty ugly slimlines, yet, I have friends and family fighting over them when I show them.

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