|Project by Stonekettle||posted 06-25-2011 05:25 AM||1347 views||2 times favorited||6 comments|
As a carver and bowl turner, I never thought I’d enjoy turning pens.
Until I turned one.
For me pen turning is addictive, and a lot of fun. I like the technical precision of it. I still turn primarily large bowls and vases, but on those days when I don’t have time for a large project, I can still get some turning in by making pens. I’ve been known to get up at 5AM and get in a couple of pens before leaving for work, it’s a great way to start my day. Pen turning also lets me use those small pieces of exotic woods that might otherwise go to waste.
In the first picture, the pens are Euro Style twist pens, from right to left: Yellowheart and Corian, Cocobolo and Corian, Sunken Heart of Pine and Corian, Redheart and Corian, Morado (pau ferro) and a matrix made from Gorilla glue with redheart, walnut, and Morado chips.
The Sunken Heart of Pine was a real find. This piece come from a log that was salvaged from the bottom of Lake Superior. It’s amazing stuff.
I often use Corian (a resin-based synthetic counter top material) in my pens. It turns beautifully and wears very well. I get scraps of it for free from a local counter installation company, I give them a couple of pens to show off to customers and they give me more Corian scraps than I can carry.
The Gorillia glue matrix was inspired by Rance’s ring project: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/50020. I built a mold from hardboard around the morado end pieces, which had already been drilled out and had the brass tubes glued in place. Then I packed the gorilla glue and wood chip filler in around the brass tube. I closed the form with another piece of hardboard and clamped the whole thing together. The next day I cut the hardboard form off on the bandsaw and it was ready to turn. The gorilla glue matrix turns just like regular wood and polishes up great. Next time I’ll add copper and crushed turquoise instead of wood chips. Or gold and coffee grounds. Or silver and walnut shells. Or… well, you know, the possibilities here are endless. Thanks to Rance for giving me the idea.
All the pens are finished with several coats of BLO/CA, wet sanded with micromesh to 14,000grit, polished, and finished with Mylan’s friction wax.
-- Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station