My back finally let me get down and turn a few pens. It's a corker when one's body refuses to co-operate and you have to take painkillers to try and move. My philosophy is never to mix painkillers and power tools. This has allowed me to still have all my fingers operational.
From left to right, no. 1 is a curly maple Sierra for "Pens for Peacekeepers", no. 2 is a curly maple Mesa that for now is a keeper for me, no. 3 is a Mesa stabilized burl for "Pens for Peacekeepers", no. 4 is a curly maple Sierra which too is a keeper for now, no. 5 is a cocobolo Sierra as a retirement present for the Wife's Doctor and no. 6 is a yellow ribbon Sierra Elegant Beauty as a thank you for serving for my Cousin's son who just returned home from Afghanistan. His younger brother also returned home from Afghanistan 3 weeks early and the entire family is happy to have both of them home without any physical injuries. The mental part we will have to wait and see. The older one was an Engineer with the tank division at Khandahar air base while his brother was a medic at a forward operating base out of Khandahar. I will probably be turning another yellow ribbon for the younger fellow for his service. They have a choice of what woods they prefer to have.
The pens are all finished by sanding to 400, then sanding sealer, then at least 8 coats of BLO/CA, wet sanded to 12,000, polished with a Hut polish and then a final waxing with Turtle was ICE. The cocobolo was a problem as some of the BLO/CA didn't want to adhere to the wood. I wiped the wood down with acetone and may not have give the acetone enought time to evaporate before starting the CA finish. A resanding, rewiping, waiting a little longer and then proceeding the the BLO/CA finish worked great. Live and learn. All the pens were turned using only a round and square carbide cutters and sanding equipment. Carbide inserts work great when used as a cutter instead of only being used as a scraper.