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My world of turning #3: More pens and education

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Blog entry by JJones98042 posted 08-11-2012 04:06 PM 906 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: First pens! Part 3 of My world of turning series Part 4: More than just pens... »

I completed another 4 pens earlier this week (I’m on vacation this week).

Lessons learned:
  • Always sand your edges: I now give the edges of my turned segments a little touch-up with 600+ grit sandpaper (wet) after they come off of the mandrel to soften them before assembly. Having a sharp edge where the turned portion transitions to the kit piece doesn’t feel nice at all.
  • Working late to “finish 1 more” isn’t a good idea: Knowing that its late means that I’m more inclined to rush, take shortcuts, call something “close enough”, or just miss details. The result isn’t the best quality.
  • Tried the Sorby Spindlemaster: I had been working almost exclusively with the spindle gouge and waiting until I was comfortable enough to try the skew chisel again. Quite a few people seemed to like the spindlemaster so I thought I’d give it a try. WOW! After using it on just a couple of pens I can say that I really like that tool! It doesn’t have any “bad habits”. The finish that can be achieved is amazing (sanding optional). The level of precision and control is very reassuring as well. I’m actually able to feel the transition between the blank and the bushing as well as having enough control to ride on the bushing or choosing to shave off CA built up on the bushing (with or without taking the paint under the CA). Its not inexpensive, but its my new favorite tool.
  • First try turning acrylic: I tried one of the funline acrylic blanks. The initial roughing wasn’t fun (need very slow, small cuts), but once the blank was trued it really turned like butter. Since there isn’t any alternating grain as it turns, the feel is very smooth during the cut. Its easy to cut small consistent ribbons but the ribbons tend to wrap around the blanks/mandrel and need to be cleaned off periodically. The smell wasn’t pleasant, but the outcome was fantastic nice with just some basic sanding and plastic polish (no other finish applied). I’m looking forward to doing more with the acrylic blanks including doing my own castings!

I’m feeling pretty comfortable with the basics of pen making now and getting ready to try some embellishments and castings. I’m also thinking about trying some other simple turned projects (small dish, tops, etc) and taking a first swing at some small turned boxes. Really loving the turning!

-- "Keep thy airspeed up, lest the earth come from below and smite thee." - William Kershner



4 comments so far

View clieb91's profile

clieb91

3276 posts in 2592 days


#1 posted 08-12-2012 02:06 AM

J sounds like you are certainly hooked. Thanks for the review of the Spindlemaster, may have to check that out.
I hear you on the acrylics smell, my dw turned 6 acrylic pens as Christmas gifts this past year and since I am in a basement it took me well over a week to get the smell out. I like their look but I am not planning to do anymore soon, though thinking about it I still have a few blanks left.
Look forward to seeing the next step projects.

CtL

-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- PortablePastimes.com (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View clieb91's profile

clieb91

3276 posts in 2592 days


#2 posted 08-18-2012 03:13 AM

J, just curious as to how you go about breaking the edge of the pen when you take it off the mandrel. do you just spin it quickly in sandpaper or are you going against grain? Wondering as I like the idea.

CtL

-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- PortablePastimes.com (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View JJones98042's profile

JJones98042

225 posts in 910 days


#3 posted 08-18-2012 12:57 PM

I have been taking a piece of wet 600 on a flat surface. After removing the pen segment from the mandrel, I hold it at a 45 degree angle and drag it across the sandpaper by hand while I twist the piece. You only need a few passes until you can run your finger over the ends of your piece and not have it feel a sharp edge. The chamfer is fine enough that you can’t see the lost polish.

-- "Keep thy airspeed up, lest the earth come from below and smite thee." - William Kershner

View clieb91's profile

clieb91

3276 posts in 2592 days


#4 posted 08-19-2012 01:19 AM

Thanks for the info. Have to give it a try.

CtL

-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- PortablePastimes.com (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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