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Cigar Pen in Gold with Rosewood

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Blog entry by MarkWilk posted 10-15-2007 07:56 PM 1003 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been turning pens for a few weeks and given a few as gifts around the office. The overall favorite remains the Cigar Pen, a Penn State staple, but also available from Augum’s Pen Works and other vendors.This Cigar Pen in 24 carat gold on very well figured Redwood stock is destined for the desk of a colleague who really liked my first Cigar Pen in chrome. He’s a Gold guy, though, so I just turned this one for his holiday gift.

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Though it’s a favorite of Penn State Ind, I bought this kit from Wood Turningz, an online retailer who offers anything from the PSI catalog at a discount, as well as other manufacturers. These pen kits were of top quality. I’ve noticed that the quality of the bag hints at the overall quality of the kit. If I can’t open the little parts bags or they are so thin that it’s easier to rip them open, I tend not to like the overall quality of the kit’s fit or finish.

The Redwood stock started in a grab bag from my local Woodcraft, and I cut it by hand with my Japanese saw and a miter jig. The Redwood was nicely figured and turned easily. I’m still learning, so most of my work starts and ends with a 1/4″bowl gouge rather than a more exotic selection of chisels. I try to keep the tool sharp, though I am eating up the chisel faster than I would like. Practice should improve my technique.

The finish started as CA glue to basically fill some gaps in the grain and essentially seal the wood. I used steel wool to buff out the CA haze, then used PPP satin bar finish for two coats. I finished with three coats of PPP high gloss and pressed so hard for so long that the finish smoked on the rag. It’s very nicely glossed.

Assembly posed an interesting challenge, and I made a rookie mistake that I won’t soon forget. I inserted the tip to the lower blank using my pen press, but ended up slighly crushing a ring on the very end of the tip. It’s exactly where the tip stops on the pen press, and normal pressure slightly dented a ring into the gold tip. Not a very noticable problem, but not something I want to see again. From now on, I’m going to unscrew the end of the tip from the flange before I assemble the blank.

The kit fit perfectly and I really did a good job taking the wood down to every transition point evenly. My first pens lacked a perfect soft transition from metal kit to wooden shaft, but this one really worked well. I sanded out to 1200 grit and the finish added 6 layers, but I don’t notice any gaps in between parts. I hope my friend at work enjoys his new pen. I doubt I’ll be able to wait until the holidays to give the gift.

-- Mark, Florida, http://penturner.wordpress.com/



9 comments so far

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WayneC

12302 posts in 2852 days


#1 posted 10-15-2007 08:24 PM

Very nice Mark. Have you tried cigar pens made from Corian yet? One of my favorites.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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MarkWilk

229 posts in 2631 days


#2 posted 10-15-2007 08:30 PM

I spotted the Corian blanks online, but I’ve hesitated buying any, yet. What does the Corian do to tools? I’m still a novice at sharpening curved blades, so I’ve been eating up my bowl gouges and scrapers for my lathe. Corian and acrylic scare me a bit because I’ve heard so many stories about needing exceptionally sharp tools for those materials.

-- Mark, Florida, http://penturner.wordpress.com/

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2852 days


#3 posted 10-15-2007 08:41 PM

I’ve not had any trouble turning Corian. You will need to get a set of abrasive pads that go up to about 20,000 grit to polish them. I like to turn cigar pens using corian that looks like granite. Makes for a very substantial feeling and durable pen.

The 1/2 in blanks are hard to drill. They blow out a lot. The 3/4 blanks work great for cigar pens, but have few colors available.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Corian-3-4-Fat-Pen-Blanks-3-colors-L-K-See-Picture_W0QQitemZ170157477756QQihZ007QQcategoryZ71234QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View MarkWilk's profile

MarkWilk

229 posts in 2631 days


#4 posted 10-15-2007 09:11 PM

Thanks for the tip. I’m not one for the smaller pens, though I’ve enjoyed the few I’ve made. Everyone seems to enjoy the bigger Polaris, Classic, and Cigar pens as gifts. The comfort pens are making the rounds at my office, though. It may be time to start taking orders.

-- Mark, Florida, http://penturner.wordpress.com/

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2852 days


#5 posted 10-15-2007 09:26 PM

Your welcome. My current favorites are american rollerballs from Craft Supplies. You may want to get their catalog. Lots of good stuff in it.

I agree it sounds like time get out the order book.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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MarkWilk

229 posts in 2631 days


#6 posted 10-17-2007 12:09 AM

So, I took your advice about the Corian. I was looking for some new blanks and bought a selection of 48 new wood blanks. The reason that I selected this particular auction was the bonus pack, a set of three Corian blanks for turning. I’m going to give them a whirl and post the results here.

I just made gifts of the 4 cigar pens on my project page and got rave reviews from co-workers. I think I have a few favors to call, now.

-- Mark, Florida, http://penturner.wordpress.com/

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2852 days


#7 posted 10-17-2007 12:29 AM

Good luck Mark. What size are the corian blanks? The pens go over well. Check my projects section and you will see a few I made for retireing co-workers. Includes some Cigar pens I made from some cherry that I picked out of a firewood pile.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View tommot's profile

tommot

14 posts in 2114 days


#8 posted 03-26-2009 04:58 AM

thank for the input. the kits have a good feel to them and sell well .checked out your cigar pen nice!! !think i will try some stay in touch Tom

-- tom logan

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tommot

14 posts in 2114 days


#9 posted 03-26-2009 04:59 AM

thank for the input. the kits have a good feel to them and sell well .checked out your cigar pen nice!! !think i will try some stay in touch Tom

-- tom logan

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