As The Lathe Turns #25: Woke Up With An Idea

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by William posted 03-26-2013 01:15 AM 1651 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 24: A Tale Of Two Bowls Part 25 of As The Lathe Turns series Part 26: Failure Is Not An Option »

Do any of you wake up with an idea? Almost like it came to you in a dream? I can’t say it did, because I can never actually remember my dreams, but I woke up this morning with an idea that was driving me absolutely nuts. I couldn’t wait to try it out.
Now, I’m not saying that this idea is completely original. I often have brilliant ideas sometimes that I realize much later that I had seen somewhere and must have just tucked it away somewhere deep in my subconscious. As I like to say, there’s nothing new under the table saw.

The idea has to do with angles. These are the blanks for the first two test subjects. I many variations of this idea on my mind though by simply changing the angle and configuration of which those angled pieces are arranged to glue up.
Before I could start that though, and while I was waiting for the glue to set on these, and the tubes after I glued them in, I had to complete a blank I had glued tubes into yesterday evening.

Some of you may be wondering why I am back to using center rings. I am having alignment issues with some of the pens that I have traced back to alignment issues with my lathe. I have got to figure out a good way to get that issue resolved. I thought I had it solved, but it is back. If I cannot get it permenantly resolved, I am going to have to order a #2 morse taper mandrel so I can use on my larger lathe, which is much more predictably accurate. I am happy doing this for now though. If nothing else it is allowing me to practice and cultivate ideas like I’ve done today.

Then is was on to the test subjects of today.

This is the top glue up in the photo of the blanks.

And this is the bottom.

Both of these are pecan and walnut. I liked them and am ready to move on with some other versions of this idea.

I had a notion to make some out of cedar and box elder. So I glued them up and went to the house for a while. I went back later to drill the holes and glue the tubes in. When I removed the clamps though, the cedar glueups almost fell apart. I think it has something to do with the oils in cedar and my attempt of using super glue with it. I may try this again at a later date with cedar, but for now, I think I’ll stick with less oily woods.


15 comments so far

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2712 days

#1 posted 03-26-2013 01:23 AM

Sorry yer havin alignment problems but I’ll bet you figure it out! What size stock is needed for a pen blank?

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

View boxcarmarty's profile


16298 posts in 2381 days

#2 posted 03-26-2013 01:24 AM

Love the two tone…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2825 days

#3 posted 03-26-2013 01:30 AM

ahh yes,,,. git er done

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2864 days

#4 posted 03-26-2013 01:36 AM

Andy, for a two piece slim line pen, a blank needs to be just a hair over two inches long, times two, one piece for each peace of the pen. Size depends on the size of the pen and how accurate you drill the hole. The smallest I’ve used so far was a half inch square.
The cocobolo blanks that come precut are 5/8” square.

Marty, I thought they look nice. I have an idea to evenually work up to about five for six different shades on one pen.

Roger, thank you.


View JL7's profile


8667 posts in 2987 days

#5 posted 03-26-2013 02:12 AM

Very cool again William… waking up at 2 is not all bad….you remembered the dream…...

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3039 days

#6 posted 03-26-2013 02:40 AM

Very nice!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3325 days

#7 posted 03-26-2013 02:51 AM

way to rock and roll today william, i like these a lot.ive had a few problems with oily woods myseld…..use some alcohol and all should be good to go…been a long day, im headed to bed…grizz

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

View DIYaholic's profile


19623 posts in 2696 days

#8 posted 03-26-2013 03:02 AM

Two Ton William, err that was supposed to be “TONE”!!!

I like the two tone! Still prefer skinny pens, but that’s just me.

Do they make a larger diameter ring??? If so, I would like the thicker ones better.

Keep dreaming, experimentimg, turning & succeeding!!!

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

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2861 days

#9 posted 03-26-2013 03:27 AM

William I want you to know my wife was looking at your work on facebook and have very nice things to say. You are doing really nice work. keep it up.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3356 days

#10 posted 03-26-2013 09:37 AM

As you say William, your idea might have already been done before, but you came up with it independently, and that is always a good feeling. The results are wonderful and I can’t remember seeing these configurations on turned pens before. Fun to watch to create and develop the pen turnings.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2635 days

#11 posted 03-26-2013 10:54 AM

William you got that old laith putting out some beautiful pens

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2864 days

#12 posted 03-26-2013 12:04 PM

Thank you all.

Jeff, I wake up at odd hours often. You know about my back issues. Well sometimes lying in bed, either on my back, or on my side throwing my back out of allignment, is almost as bad as standing on my feet. So I have to break up the sleep cycle from day to night.
What my wife hates is when I sit straight up in bed at two in the morning that wears on my mind so much that I have to get to the shop immediately.

Grizz. I am going to have to give that a try. My wife loves cedar on anything she can get made out of it, and it is an oily wood. It may not always feel oily, but that is what gives it it’s aroma, is the oils in it.

Randy, I like a smooth flow down the length of the pen too. They do make pens that are a tad larger than these slimlines that allow for a ring to be used and still flow, by using a larger center ring. I hope to try those one day too. For now though, I’m still learning technique and ideas. So I’m sticking with cheap pen kits.
These slim line kits, bought as a bundle package, cost less than two bucks a kit. You can get kits that cover just about any style your mind can imagine. Some of them also cost a helluva lot more than two dollars.

Dave, I’m glad she likes them. I will have to make and bring one next time I come your way. I’m going to make here a nice one, and you one from a store bought infill and a trig from the yard.

Stefang, I agree. Even when I realize my ideas are from something I’ve seen before, it still take come creativity to develop them in one’s own mind. That makes it fun at the moment you’re doing it. I have a few other ideas too. I want to play around with this one for a bit though.

Eddie, it is working great. My pen mandrel simply stays put on the Ridgid lathe now. I haven’t even taken it off lately. If I need to turn something besides a pen I use the other lathe.


View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2878 days

#13 posted 03-27-2013 01:33 AM

William it looks really good, I’ve not seen it done before.
Dedicated lathes are the solution, I’ve 5 all ready for action.
Well I have to clear of the tops to use them’

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2864 days

#14 posted 03-27-2013 01:56 AM

I agree about the dedicated lathe.
I I had the money I would have several more lathes built for several different purposes.
I do hope to one day gather everything I need to build my own dedicated bowl lathe.


View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2861 days

#15 posted 03-27-2013 10:29 PM

Now William there is no need. Sell them thangs and get you some tool money.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics