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As The Lathe Turns #23: People Spoke, So I Listened

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Blog entry by William posted 03-24-2013 01:35 AM 1269 reads 0 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 22: Learning To Adapt Part 23 of As The Lathe Turns series Part 24: A Tale Of Two Bowls »

For several days now, I have been wanting to glue up some more bowl blanks. It has been cool though. When I say cool, keep in mind I live in Mississippi. It has ranged from the forties at night up to around the mid sixties during the day. I know that during the day it is warm enough to glue, but the temperatures fall below what the glue bottle instructions recommend before it is set. I’ve had a past safety issue with trying to glue material in low temperatures before. So, I won’t do it now unless I have a fire going in the wood heater. The problem with recent weather her though is it’s cool, but not cool enough that I could stay in the shop comfortable with a fire going.


Well today it rose quickly into the seventies. So I took the opportunity to get a couple of bowl blanks glued up.

Then it was back to some pens. I wanted to do some more experimenting with what I started yesterday, with the grain running across the pen instead of the length of it. I had a few ideas. However, there was another thing that had been on my mind. Here on Lumberjock, from family, and the few friends who have seen my pens, a great majority of them tell me the same thing, they like the ones without the center band best. So I decided to prepare five blanks. I had five different idea to try.

The first pen of today, I have nothing to show you. I completely messed it up and didn’t even think to take photos to show you. First, I forgot to scuff up the tube before inserting it. Now, with the bandless pens, one of the blank halves has about a quarter inch space between the end of the wood and where the tube starts. With the tube not scuffed up, the tube slipped while I was trying to press the cap and clip in. So I pushed the tube out, scuffed it, and reglued it. All was good, until I cracked the wood trying to repress it. Then I was trying to disassemble it to try and reuse everything, when the cap went flying into a large pile of shavings from the lathe. As anyone who has ever done this knows, it was then lost forever. By the time it was all over, I’d lost a cap, bend a tube, and destroyed the wood. It was time for a coffee break already.
Ok, coffee makes everything better. It was time for another go.

I liked the marble look of the birdseye maple on the last pen I done yesterday so much that I wanted to make another one. It was without the center ring. Remember, all of them are today.


I showed two sides of this pen. Now let me try my best to explain my thinking behind it.
My wife loves aromatic cedar. I like it, but mainly because of the dramatic contrast between the heart wood and sapwood. So I wanted to figure out a way to put both on a pen, but without just simply having one on one end, and the other on the other.
So, I took a piece of cedar that had heartwood with a strip of sapwood running up one side of it. Using my table saw, I cut it across to there I’d get an angle of both kinds of wood in the same one inch square strip. Next, I cut a piece long enough for both pen blanks out of the middle of this strip. Then I flipped them around, marked that orientation, and made the pen. It was somewhere along this area that I lost myself and had no idea how it was going to look. I did know that there was only one way to find out. I like it.

For my next pen, I wanted to use that last small piece of blood wood I had. Since this was the last pen I’d be able to make with what I had though, and the other one had a center ring, I wanted this one to be without a center ring. The problem is, it wasn’t quite long enough. I was about three eighths of an inch too short. So, thinking of something that Doe had mentioned on yesterday’s blog, I decided to use super glue and glue a thin piece of birdseye maple to one of the blanks so it would be in the middle of the cut line on the back end of the pen. I let that dry for a bit while I talked with a friend that had stopped by. Then he wanted to watch me turn it.

That brings me to the last pen for today, and the pen that I will remember for the rest of my life. Read on and you’ll understand why.

My friend wanted a pen, but he couldn’t find one that was exactly what he wanted. He wound up showing me the features of several different pens that he did like. So, I made a deal with him. I asked if he would buy a pen from me if I was able to turn a pen, based on the features he said he wanted, that he was happy with. So he showed me he liked the bump down near the nib, a straight shaft after that, with no center ring and the burned in grip lines. Also, his favorite wood of them all was the birdseye maple with the grain running sideways instead of lengthwise.
So I turned this pen. He took a piece of paper and wrote a few things on it to “test drive” the pen, and said he absolutely loved it. That’s right folks. Have you figured out why I’ll always remember it?

It is the first pen I’ve ever sold!

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/



27 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

13583 posts in 1334 days


#1 posted 03-24-2013 02:02 AM

FAN-FREAKIN_TASTIC!!!
Congratulations!

Not only is it your first sold pen…
It is your first custom pen…
Along with being your first commissioned pen!!!
You ain’t NO pen virgin anymore!!!

BTW: I love the Bloodwood/Maple pen!!!
I really gotta get my lathe set up.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View gfadvm's profile (online now)

gfadvm

10903 posts in 1349 days


#2 posted 03-24-2013 02:04 AM

I loved all your latest creations. And selling is a good thing (I wouldn’t know from personal experience-LOL). My favorite of today is the bloodwood with the maple ring.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2587 posts in 1677 days


#3 posted 03-24-2013 02:17 AM

Lovely, lovely, lovely!! You are doing great and I’m glad I was able to help in some small way, it makes me feel good that you are doing so well!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View William's profile

William

9047 posts in 1501 days


#4 posted 03-24-2013 02:30 AM

I thought the blood wood with the maple ring would be enjoyed. In my personal opinion that is the nicest one yet. If I ever get the chance, I hope to get my hands on some more blood wood. That was just a tiny piece that was given to me, but it was the first I’d ever seen. That makes me think though of all the many, many woods I would like to try.

Randy, thanks.
And yes, you do need to get your lathe set up.
That sounds like a job for tonight. I’m fixing to go to bed. I’ll check in the morning and see if you got it done.

Andy, thank you.
And don’t feel bad. I usually wind up giving a lot, donating to a lot of good cuases, and giving work in trade, but that fifteen dollar pen is the first thing I have actually been given money for in a long, long time.

Bearpie, and I thank you for the help you’ve given me. So many people have helped me, but you have been one of the major players. I can’t thank some people on this site enough for all the help I’ve recieved.
I have thought a few time of leaving Lumberjocks. Each time I consider it though, something happens to make me remember that some of the best people in the world are here and always willing to help when a person needs it.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

13583 posts in 1334 days


#5 posted 03-24-2013 02:37 AM

Unfortunately, it will be a while before my lathe is set up. There are two rooms, in the basement, that need to be emptied, painted, have shelving/storage units built & organized before the lathe can be set up.
Yeah, it’ll be a while….

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 805 days


#6 posted 03-24-2013 02:50 AM

Woot! Congrats!

View William's profile

William

9047 posts in 1501 days


#7 posted 03-24-2013 02:59 AM

Thanks Rich.

Randy, why don’t you set it up in the living room?
It’s worth it.
If I wasn’t married, I would.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

13583 posts in 1334 days


#8 posted 03-24-2013 03:04 AM

My housemate would kill me if I set it up in the living room. He’s already upset that I’m taking all the space in MY shop!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View Mickey Antley's profile

Mickey Antley

3 posts in 944 days


#9 posted 03-24-2013 03:12 AM

Hello William, what kind of glue do you use….mick antley

-- Mickey Antley in Louisiana

View William's profile

William

9047 posts in 1501 days


#10 posted 03-24-2013 03:26 AM

If you’re talking about the pens, I use super glue to glue the tubes in the blanks.
If you’re talking about the bowl blank glueups, I use Titebond II.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View gfadvm's profile (online now)

gfadvm

10903 posts in 1349 days


#11 posted 03-24-2013 03:52 AM

William- Is Paduk pretty similar to bloodwood?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Mickey Antley's profile

Mickey Antley

3 posts in 944 days


#12 posted 03-24-2013 04:02 AM

Thanks ….. Been using Elmer’s , but I need a good glue to make a butcher block…...bought Tilebond II & III….Thanks Mick

-- Mickey Antley in Louisiana

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7019 posts in 1962 days


#13 posted 03-24-2013 04:15 AM

wow your really getting after it, i read your other blog and then got busy and forgot to post my comments…dang..so your getting it now..its 11:08 and its raining to beat the band, thunder storms…im sure you got some, well maybe….these pens are fantastic William, if i was going to turn , i would love to start out with pens, but, my back wont allow it…all i can say is your doing really great William, i love your strong will to learn, im in the middle of a big project, so im as busy as my body will allow, i got a good work day in today while you were turning i was burning,,,lol, ill watch to see what is next, send me your address would you i want to get a package pf pen planks to you…if you want them…yea i know you want them…your like a hound dog in the midst of a coon hunt…..lol…...grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Tugboater78's profile

Tugboater78

1035 posts in 850 days


#14 posted 03-24-2013 05:32 AM

Seeing stuff like this makes me wanna go dig the lathe out of my grandfathers garage.., its mine to grab but i have nowhere to store it atm…maybe one day

-- Justin - the tugboat woodworker - " nothing changed me like the first shnick from a well sharpened, decent hand plane"

View stefang's profile

stefang

13059 posts in 1993 days


#15 posted 03-24-2013 10:00 AM

Congratulations on your first sale William! Not a small thing. The beginning of ‘William’s Custom Pens’ business. It will be exciting to see how this develops.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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