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Pens, pens, Pens

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Project by Joel Shappell posted 08-15-2014 04:28 PM 820 views 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Been making Pens, pencils for the past two years. Finally figured out how to apply a CA glue finish. Took me 50-60 pens to figure it out. Materials used, all types of wood, plastics/acrylics, stone, sunflower seeds, Clay. They make great Christmas/Birthday gifts.





13 comments so far

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

598 posts in 921 days


#1 posted 08-15-2014 04:44 PM

A lot of nice pens.

-- My englisch is bad but how is your dutch?

View SteveW's profile

SteveW

367 posts in 1611 days


#2 posted 08-15-2014 10:35 PM

People still use Pens? just kidding, those are really nice looking pens and pencils.
Great work,

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! SteveW

View endgrainy's profile

endgrainy

146 posts in 640 days


#3 posted 08-16-2014 12:09 AM

Nice work! Care to elaborate on your CA finish technique? I’m thinking about getting a lathe and want to make some pens. The finishing is the most intimidating part.

Also, what pen hardware kits do you use?

View CFrye's profile (online now)

CFrye

3868 posts in 592 days


#4 posted 08-16-2014 09:05 AM

Beautiful assortment of styles and materials, Joel. Could you elaborate on the sunflower seeds? Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View Joel Shappell's profile

Joel Shappell

58 posts in 830 days


#5 posted 08-16-2014 03:51 PM

CFrye, the sunflower blank is not shown, but essentially it is made of crushed Sunflower seeds. There are multiple places to purchase. See link below. I’d also recommend lots of ca glue to coat the outside to keep it from falling apart on the lathe. I would cut some, apply CA glue to fill voids, etc… The ‘thin’ type of CA is best for me as it fills the cracks you can see and those you can’t. It’s also called “Dakota Burl” by many vendors.

http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p/7/5049/Pen-Makers-Choice-Dakota-Burl-Pen-Blank

Endgrainy, It took me a long time to figure out how to apply CA glue correctly. In my research I found that there are multiple ways to do it and get a great finish. What works for me is the following:
Apply with a folded paper towel. Generic towels work best. I experimented with multiple types. You don’t want to use a papertowel with any fragrances, aloe, or colored designs and a flat texture if possible. As a test, take the papertowel and apply a few drops of CA glue on it. If it smokes a lot, then it’s the wrong type to use, there is something in that papertowel that is causing the glue to react. Even with the best type of papertowel you will get a little smoking, but not very much. So experiment.

I also experimented with multiple kinds of CA glue. I use ‘thin’ variety as the first coat as it seeps into the wood better. Followed by every layer after that with a ‘medium’ variety. I do not use any ‘accelerators’ as they sometimes turn the glue white or cloudy. You want to keep it clear. I allow 5-15 minutes between CA coats to allow it to air dry. Yes, it takes more time, but I find it’s worth it. You will also want to experiment with multiple varieties of CA glue. Some work better then others.

Applying the glue is the trickiest. I put a few drops on the end of a folded papertowel and from the underside start on one side, go across and then back to the starting point. That’s it. I use firm pressure and do my best to coat the entire blank in that one go. If I miss a spot, I do not go back immediately and try to cover as the glue might catch on the papertowel. I also do not sand between coats when applying unless it gets really bumpy or turns white/cloudy. You are trying to build up layers of CA. I usually apply the CA for 15-20 coats.

When it comes to sanding it smooth, I use the little micro mesh sanders with a bit of water. I apply the micro mesh from the underside of the blank and create a slurry that keeps the micro mesh from getting hot and aids the sanding. Micromesh can be purchased in a lot of places. I start with the course grain and work my way through to the finest. Sometimes more then once if it’s not glass smooth.

http://www.firemountaingems.com/itemdetails/H203395TL?engine=google&campaign=Shopping&adgroup=Tool+%3E+Sanding+Pads&keyword=micro-mesh+sanding+pads%2C+2x2-inch+square%2C+1500-12000+grit.+sold+per+pkg+of+9.&gclid=CMujvcGRmMACFQGRaQodInIAJw

After sanding I have a buffing wheel that I use to with buffing compound followed by another cloth wheel that polishes with a hard wax.

During the sanding phases I will inspect the blanks many times using my fluorescent lights to detect any scratches that I need to get out either with the micro mesh or the buffing compound. You want to see your fluorescent lights reflection without any lines or other scratches.

Lastly, there are more ways to correctly apply CA glue then there are ways to skin a cat. The following link is the premiere source on advice. There are also many youtube videos on how it’s done. You’ll notice that in general, I’ve described the process, but everyone seems to do it slightly differently.

http://www.penturners.org/

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

2250 posts in 1314 days


#6 posted 08-16-2014 04:10 PM

Joel

Candy said it best. Great job. I also love to turn pens and teach other Vets how to also.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View CFrye's profile (online now)

CFrye

3868 posts in 592 days


#7 posted 08-16-2014 08:13 PM

Thanks for the info, Joel. What is the material for the pen in the first image bottom row, third from the left? Can you add a picture of the sunflower pen?

-- God bless, Candy

View endgrainy's profile

endgrainy

146 posts in 640 days


#8 posted 08-16-2014 09:59 PM

Thanks again for your PM and post Joel. I’m excited to try the CA finish.

View Joel Shappell's profile

Joel Shappell

58 posts in 830 days


#9 posted 08-17-2014 03:39 AM

CFrye, the blank that you asked about is Tru-Stone. It’s my understanding that somehow they crush rock or something equally hard and re-combine it to make these blanks. The blanks are very very hard, but I was able to turn them with a carbide insert.

http://www.exoticblanks.com/Tru-Stone-Pen-Blanks/

View Joel Shappell's profile

Joel Shappell

58 posts in 830 days


#10 posted 08-17-2014 03:41 AM

Here is a link on how Tru-stone is made.

http://www.randbcrafts.com/tru_stone.html

View CFrye's profile (online now)

CFrye

3868 posts in 592 days


#11 posted 08-17-2014 06:41 PM

Oh my! Don’t let my son see a material called “Dino Bone”! hahaha Thanks for the link and info, Joel.

-- God bless, Candy

View playingwithmywood's profile

playingwithmywood

30 posts in 349 days


#12 posted 08-19-2014 05:56 AM

ok so will you give away the brand of CA you have found to work best… I have currently and only used StickFast and wondered if I should try something else… I was going to get Hot Stuff brand next time when I ran out of my current supply

View Joel Shappell's profile

Joel Shappell

58 posts in 830 days


#13 posted 08-19-2014 01:41 PM

I use “Great Planes” CA glue found in most hobby shops that sell RC model airplanes. Always have good luck with this one. I’ve also been told by others that “EZ BOND” CA glue is a good one. I use the thin for the first coat, followed by medium.

As I stated earlier there are a lot of variables. I think humidity, the type of towel you use and your technique would change things up slightly. Also whether you use ‘accelerator” would have an impact.

There are many ways to apply CA to a pen or anything else and you just have to experiment to see what works for you.

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