LumberJocks

Turning slippery slope #9: Working on pens

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 02-25-2009 06:26 AM 1189 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Mechanical question about the lathe Part 9 of Turning slippery slope series Part 10: CA glue finish - what a deal! »

I’ve mastered the simple straight line pens. Now I’m working on the European style pen. Must say I’m disappointed in my attempts. Part of my issue is I’m quiet sure I need to get better lighting and probably stronger glasses. Seems I have some trouble seeing the details. Of course, I can feel the tubes with my fingers – and I’ve come close – but when I take the pens off the lathe I end up with some divit or high spot. Lots of practice ahead of me. But I am enjoying the process. I did manage to get two that were perfectly smooth and felt like glass. They just did not match the hardware as well as they should have.

I’m going to knock out some key chains for the church services auction this year. Still plan on doing a cutting board as well.

Signed up for a bowl turning class in April. I’m excited about that.

As for the issue I had with my tail stock not seating down tight. The suggestion to check sides and contact with the stock was right on. There was a couple of small burrs on the side that I filed down. Seems to work well now. Thanks for all the help.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine



7 comments so far

View scopemonkey's profile

scopemonkey

187 posts in 3629 days


#1 posted 02-25-2009 08:53 AM

Pen turning is addicting and a lot of fun. I’m no pro, but I have learned a few things from the school of trial and error. Practice using a skew chisel for your final cuts for smooth results and less sanding. I also have gotten away from using the bushings as a guide to final size. While they are supposed to match the pen’s hardware, I find it more accurate to use calipers. I use my digital caliper to measure the pen parts (nib, center rings, etc) and then turn to a reasonably close measurement and then sand to the final size. I usually get within a couple of thousandths and a nice transition from wood to pen part. What finish are you using? I have to say, now that I have gone to a CA glue finish for my pens, I rarely use friction polish any more.

-- GSY from N. Idaho

View Sawdust2's profile

Sawdust2

1467 posts in 3553 days


#2 posted 02-25-2009 02:27 PM

CA and BLO make a GREAT finish.

I also like the finish from Craft Supplies.

Lee

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3338 posts in 3361 days


#3 posted 02-25-2009 03:47 PM

Thanks guys.

I’ve never heard of CA glue finish or CA and BLO as a finish. I’m assuming you mix the two. But how much, etc.? Sounds interesting.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 3501 days


#4 posted 02-25-2009 04:07 PM

Also, with the bushing thing…often sanding and use of your gouges/skew will make the bushing smaller. You can reek havoc on the bushing with just one or two pens.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View scopemonkey's profile

scopemonkey

187 posts in 3629 days


#5 posted 02-25-2009 05:03 PM

Check this video out on CA/BLO finish. Practice on some scrap. I usually apply a coat of BLO, then use medium viscosity CA in multiple coats, sanding out any ripples in between coats. I then use micro mesh to 12000 and finish off with a coat of Renaissance wax and a buffing wheel. Google “CA glue finish” or go here for more info.

-- GSY from N. Idaho

View scopemonkey's profile

scopemonkey

187 posts in 3629 days


#6 posted 02-25-2009 10:20 PM

Oops…I meant to reference this video but the other one is interesting on the use of CA glue as well.

-- GSY from N. Idaho

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3338 posts in 3361 days


#7 posted 02-26-2009 05:25 AM

Thanks guys. I’ll check out those sites.

Tom – is there a way to keep from killing the bushings – or is it just practice, practice, practice?

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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