|Project by scottb||posted 04-07-2007 06:00 AM||3500 views||2 times favorited||38 comments|
I just knew I’d like turning pens, so I got myself a starter kit last summer. I glued up the tubes in the blanks and paired up the blanks as best I could for matching grain… a fool’s errand with the random set they provided. Looks and works a bit like mahogany, I’m not positive but it could be rosewood. At least that’s what the sample kits are now (from Penn State).
Life somehow got in the way and I never got around to making those pens, despite buying a book, all the tools I’d need and so on. I even picked up a large box of blanks for cheap – so long ago now I don’t know the species! At one point I’d picked out several projects I could make for just about everyone for christmas, in the end I only made the one screwdriver.
The moment passed and I all but forgot about them.
The freak weather this week gave me an unexpected morning off from work. I had power, but the jobsite didn’t, so I headed downstairs to work on my next box in the series, and with the lid and base glued and clamped (and no phonecall saying the power was back up), I looked around for another quick project.
Suddenly I remembered the pens, and thought I’d take a stab at them. At the very least make one, see how that goes, and when I have more time I can really get into it.
I had a little trouble getting the blanks secure on the mandrel I had, not enough bushings, so I mounted three blanks instead of two and started turning. In no time at all I was done. Turned, sanded, oiled and assembled.
Well, that was easy…. Lets try another!
Had a few assembly problems. Jammed in the turning mechanism too far so it won’t fully retract. (I took this one into work, if anyone tries to steal it, they’ll discover it won’t close!)
Lesson learned onto number three…. and four!
Oh, I know, lets skip the band in the middle so I can make a bigger one!
These are all the basic 7mm slimline kit. I’m already anxous to try making some beefier pens. These are all a little hard for me to write with. Too small and too short.
I was pleased with how well the woods went together after finishing. Sanded to 500 spinning, then hand sanded again with the grain. Then I applied a little boiled linseed oil as they spun.
For my first batch I’m really happy with how they came out. I’m already looking for the next ones to buy! This is an addictive little hobby here. Nice quick projects. Instant gratification!
If it wasn’t so late I’d be making more instead of blogging about them!
Anyone else out there who’s done some pen turning, Karson, Darryl… what are your favorite sources for supplies, and more importantly, what finishes do you find hold up the best?