I have been complimented on my “never say die” attitude in the past by fellow Lumberjocks. That perserverence helped me get to where I wanted to be today, but it made me want to share with my friends about my Uncle J.C.
My Uncle J.C. was one of the men who helped raise me. He was a twenty three year military veteran. In my eyes, he was what a real man was. He was a hard nosed, gun toting, take no crap off noone kind of guy, who also taught me how to sew, cook, iron clothes, do housework, and to always have a kind heart. He taught me to live off the land, hunt, fish, garden, field dress any animal, and what berries and roots to eat if you had no animal to eat. Then he turned right around and taught me to love, laugh, and to care for your fellow man. Anytime I think of giving up on anything though, even though he passed on years ago, I can still hear him in my ear, ”can’t never could boy. Failure is not an option. Now try again. If you still don’t get it, keep trying until you do”.
Anyway, story time is over. I just felt a need for some reason to share that.
If you seen the angular approach of yesterday, I think it looked nice. As a matter of fact, after seeing the results, I have a hard time looking at a single wood pen the same now. How can I when I know that adding other colors can make such a dramatic difference. I’m sure that I’ll do plain pens too, but for now, I want to play with these ideas some more. It may take a while, but I have to see where it leads me.
From the start today, I had an idea of what I wanted. I could see it in my head. I have no idea what the design is called though. I have seen the design on pens before, but just didn’t know exactly how to accomplish it. I am sure a little internet research would probably have netted me several step by step articles on how to get there, but where is the fun in that?
First thing I had to do was to turn the blank I had prepared yesterday evening before leaving the shop. I felt it wasn’t on the path to what I was after, but I felt it was still too nice a design to scrap at this point. This one is walnut with box elder.
This one is box elder with sapelle. It is nothing like what I am trying to do. It did look good to me though. So I felt it was a keeper.
Then it was on to moving more towards what I am trying to do. I had several failed glueups in a row. I figured out that gluing these thin strips in line was causing issues. It was just too hard to keep everything lines with you get more than one or two strips. I thought this one out and realized that, since it was to be turned down in size, that I didn’t need to cut my angles all the way through the wood. Cutting a certain depth into my blanks, and then turning down, gives me something to keep the complete blank in line, and turns out the same on the lathe. This also made me realize that this idea opens up a whole new world of possibilites that may keep my mind going for months.
Next problem I had was glue. I had been using super glue. Again, this was fine with one or two strips. Past that though and things start to get messy. Everything wants to slide around and I’d accidentally touch recently glued surfaces. This stuff take a bit to set up on wood, but does so instantly on fingers.
I tried several glues on test pieces and settle on some new type of Gorilla Glue that I’d bought a while back. It is the type that expands. This fills in any gaps I may get, and it shows up almost instantly so I can be more careful to not get it on my fingers.
So away I went with my idea. I was feeling real confident and decided I’d use all these fresh ideas on a piece of that beautiful cocobolo I recently got.
Oops. Another mistake. This one had nothing to do with the problems I’d been having with everyhting else. It had everything to do with I just messed up. I took too big a bite while cutting down close to the tube and broke the blank.
No, this is not exactly what I was going for either. This was just a different idea I had while waiting for glue on a more complex clamped blank to dry.
This one is also box edler with sapelle.
Box elder and sapelle again. There is a name for this design, but I don’t know what it is. This is what I had been trying to do all day. I know some of you may think that is funny, because it is a rather simple design. Without instruction though, it is hard sometimes for me to vision exactly what a design on a squared blank will look like once turned. So, trying to accomplish a certain look by guessing how to get that from a squared blank, is a head scratcher sometimes. Through trial and error though, I think you could possibly get any design you could possibly imagine.
It’s all fun and games until you run out of pen kits. That reminds me. I need to sell some more of these pens so I can order more pen kits. I’m starting to run low.