|Project by wecoyote||posted 12-07-2009 07:07 AM||5100 views||0 times favorited||13 comments|
Here is my latest trial… Our 11 year old decided he wanted to give his teacher a double ended “teachers pen” for Christmas. He thought it would be cool to use the coffee bean blank for the middle part since his teacher is a coffee drinker.
Well, I found out that I do not like coffee bean blanks. As you shape the blank, the beans have a tendancy to come apart. This is actually my second attempt. The first was coated with CA to preserve the beans. CA cased two problems. Frist, it did not allow the smell of coffee to come out. Second, when removing from the mandrel, the bond between the bushing and the bean was stronger than between the bean and the rest of the pen. The end completely fell apart as I took it off the mandrel.
The second attempt was finished as smooth as possible with a skew and then sanding pads. I went as fine as I had and removed any scraches. Then, to preserve the coffee smell, I just melted candle wax and let that soak into the beans. Then, with friction and a cotton towel on a spinning lathe, I melted the wax into the voids and finished the blank.
In the first picture, the beans look like they have turned a bit white, however that is just the reflection of the flash. As you can see in the second picture, the beans kept their dark brown color and with the wax, polished up pretty good.
Oh, and the ends are made with Walnut (for the black ink end) and Rosewood (for the red ink end).
-- B. Corliss