I haven't posted in a while...but that's mostly because I've been ridiculously busy trying to get my 'secret project' completed and delivered. I'm getting closer by the day...have about 7 gallons of lacquer sprayed so far...but not done yet.
A little less than a week ago, I got the finalized orders from two clients for the pens that prompted the purchase of Denise's lathe. So, with LOADS of help from Denise, we got into "production mode" and banged out 'a couple of pens':
That's 'most of them...and not a very good picture. I'll post a few close-ups of some of my favorites later in this thread.
All this was going on while I was working on spraying and sanding my 'project' during the week. Then when the weekend hit, and I had Denise's help fulltime, I went into pen turning mode 100% of the time. A few 16-18 hour days in the shop, and we were done!
Here's the setup I came up with to let us get through that many pens in as little time as possible, while maintaining what little sanity we have left:
That's Denise sitting at a folding table that served as our assembly/prep/tool table. She'd donned her oh-so-attractive safety glasses, as she sands some tubes in preparation for gluing into drilled blanks.
Behind her is 'her' lathe that's now mounted on a quick-n-dirty, but oh-so-stable stand I threw together. To her left is the Tormek on it's reclaimed stand.
Behind that is the old trusty ShopSmith with my home-made Beall-like buffing system:
....three Harbor Freight buffing wheels on a piece of 3/8" all-thread, a few nuts and washers, and presto. A Beall-like system for under $10. Well, under $10 if you forget the $2,000 I spent years ago on the ShopSmith!
And here's a few shots of the 'assembly line' we worked from:
Attachment 15377.....Attachment 15379......Attachment 15380......Attachment 15381
Denise selected blanks and kits, based on the client lists. I'd cut the blanks to the lengths she marked on the rough stock. She'd then drill them using the appropriate sized bit (six different kits, several used two different bits each!). She'd then glue in the tubes and assemble the kits with the blanks. Working with two mandrels, I'd setup a pen to turn, then turn and sand it, rub on finish, then change mandrels and get started on another pen. When I had the next pen turned, sanded and finished, I'd remount the first pen and apply the next coat of finish. I'd then put the second pen back on the lathe to work on its finish. Once the first pen's finish was dry, I'd take it to the ShopSmith to buff it out and wax it...putting the finished pen back in the ziploc bag with Denise's notes in it. With a pen done, I had freed up a mandrel and started all over on another pen....etc., etc..
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I also turned a few bottle stoppers with Arizona Silouhette's Stabilized blanks:
...and tried my hand at the Poly-resin stoppers:
I don't like that stuff AT ALL! Not only is it a pain to turn, it makes a MESS:
Ok, I'm off to make another post with some better shots of some of the nicer pens...
Back in a bit...
- Marty (I've had my fill of pen turning) -