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Thread: Sunday April 15th's Batch of pens!!

  1. #1
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    Sunday April 15th's Batch of pens!!

    Well, on Sunday, I got most of the day to work in the Dungeon, and I was getting close to finishing the lightweight case, but I was also bored with working on it. After the success of the Shrinewood pens, and the ease of use of the DIY Pen Press, I decided to make a few pens.

    I spent part of the morning building a Pen Drilling vice, it worked great, and really increased my productivity!

    Here is the results...............

    Attachment 7409

    From the top;
    1) Ash, from Steve Ash
    2) Osage Orange from..... heck I forget. Might have been Bernie...?
    3) Bubinga From Barry Stratton (SMC guy)
    4) Tigerwood from Barry Stratton (SMC guy)
    5) Birdseye Maple from Steve Ash
    6) Honey Maple fro Steve Ash

    I really like how these pens turned out, the only thing slowing me down is my finishing, but while it might take a bit longer, it makes VERY durable pens.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    Well done on all. And the finishes are great. Usually a beginner pen turner doesn't get that kind of finish right off. Mind telling us your technique?
    "Folks is funny critters."

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

  3. #3
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    I'll take #3 and #5....

    Seriously, lovely colour and grain on that Bubinga pen. I wonder how it ages.

    Next up is a display case to go on the counter of the L-shop, and some good prices...

    (Met Jim Shaver the other week, and he told us some stories about some of his pen sales, and you can get some seriously jaw-dropping prices for good pens!)

  4. #4
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    Thanks Frank and Art.

    On the prices, yeah, I hear you, when I told the priest and his wife at the Shinto shrine what the pens could cost if they wanted some, I said 5000 yen each ($42 USD) the did not even blink an eye.....

    Anyway, my technique for finishing is to make as smooth a final cut as possible, with a sharp skew, the lathe running at max speed, 3500 RPM. I find that this leaves a finish on the wood that is shinny and needs little work.

    Start sanding at #320, lathe at about 250 rpm, heat is the enemy

    I lightly sand with the lathe running for just a few seconds, then turn off the lathe and sand with the grain, left to right, on the length of the blank.

    I then flood the blank with Cellulose Sanding Sealer, I make sure the blank gets really soaked, this usually will POP the grain and add great depth to the wood. The Cellulose sanding sealer dries fast. I turn the lathe on again, and I rub the blank with a clean piece of white cloth, avoid COLORED cloth at all costs!! I then lightly sand again with #320, lathe on and off, then blow off the sanding dust, the reapply the Cellulose sanding sealer, let dry and sand at #400, I find that this part makes or breaks the finish, if you do not spend enough time getting the scratches out of the wood by sanding lengthwise, you are sunk, DAMHIKT!!

    **Important note, until I get a nice base of CA glued up, while I'm sanding wood, I use the brown garnet paper.

    I then turn the lathe back on, at about 250 RPM, I have the fast drying thin CA glue, I hold the glue in my right hand and I put one of the small ziplock bags that the pen parts come in on my left index finger, I old the edge of the bag with my left thumb, so it stays on my finger.

    I drop one drop or two of CA glue on the slowly rotating blank, with the left ziplock enclosed finger, I rub it under the blank, fairly quickly from left to right to spread a thin, smooth coat of CA glue, I then take my finger off the blank, before the glue starts to get tacky. I then let it cook off like that. I have a bright spot light in my desk lamp over the lathe that I will lower near the blank if it is cold in the Dungeon.

    Usually in a couple of minutes, the CA will cook off, and the surface is ready for sanding.

    I usually sand one more time with the #400, then the #600 wet and dry, blow it off with the compressor, and then apply the next coat of CA glue.

    I find in the first application of the CA glue, on the pen blank, with just the sanding sealer on it will take more CA glue to get full coverage, but after the first coat, the second and third coat only need a small drop of CA glue. If you put on too much, you just get a thick mess, avoid this.

    After I have three coats of CA glue nice and smooth on the pen, I then go to #800, #1000, #1200, #1500 and then the synthetic steel wool stuff.

    All at 250 RPM, and all with the lathe stopped between grits, sanding lengthwise, and blowing off the excess dust created by sanding. You have to use clean, unclogged paper all the time. I take a sheet of sandpaper and slice it in half lengthwise, then in to strips about 1 1/4" wide, I find I waste a lot less paper this way. I write the grit number on the back of each piece, or I can end up using the wrong piece and set myself back a bit.

    I clip the 14 or so pieces of sand paper I get from each sheet cut up, in a steel clip, for papers (but not a paper clip).

    Finally, I take the lathe back up to about 1500 rpm, and use the turners wax on it, rub on a good coat, then with the lathe still running, I have a 3" wide buffing wheel mounted on a mandrel in a hand drill, I use this for the final buffing.

    The last thing that I do before I take the blanks off the lathe, is to clean up the tenon on the short, top blank, where the middle ring goes, as often the CA glue will make this tenon rounded, not a nice crisp 90.

    Well you asked, maybe too much information, but that is how I do it, and so far, my pens are looking OK, and the finish has yet to fail on one done this way.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    Your finishing technique is similar to what a lot of penturners use. I vary from that by taking the bare wood down all the way through the Micro Mesh grits to MM 12000 then start with finish. Depending on wood, I may, or may not, use a sealer. I sometimes use CA and will start using more soon. On advice from others, I'm switching to thick for easier application. Most of my pens have been several applications of spray Deft glossy laquer. I let dry for hours between coats and resand with the final two grits of MM. Final polish is with Trade Secret Wax auto polish. Almost pure caranuba wax at nearly $50.00 for an eight ounce can.
    Last edited by Frank Fusco; 04-16-2007 at 03:34 PM. Reason: typo
    "Folks is funny critters."

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

  6. #6
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    My two cents here..........

    I do not see the point in going past #320 on most bare woods, some of the really hard wood, sure, but most are not that hard.

    The CA works really well, and you can build up a fairly thick coats in minutes.

    I just banged out another three pens starting from square blanks with the tubes glued in and the ends milled to finished pens ready to sell in about 70 minutes, not bad for a newbie, I hope

    I figure they should get about $40 a piece, on average, so $120 for just over an hours work, yeah, I'll take that.

    Your mileage may vary

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    My two cents here..........

    I do not see the point in going past #320 on most bare woods, some of the really hard wood, sure, but most are not that hard.

    The CA works really well, and you can build up a fairly thick coats in minutes.

    I just banged out another three pens starting from square blanks with the tubes glued in and the ends milled to finished pens ready to sell in about 70 minutes, not bad for a newbie, I hope

    I figure they should get about $40 a piece, on average, so $120 for just over an hours work, yeah, I'll take that.

    Your mileage may vary

    Cheers!

    I'm not that fast.
    My Europeans sell for $35 to $45. My most popular is made with either Dogwood or Bethlehem Olive Wood and with a Christian cross clip. The cross costs me extra but I don't add to the price. And, I just recently went to Titanium or Rhodium platings only. Those kits cost quite a bit more than the 24K but I didn't raise prices.
    "Folks is funny critters."

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

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