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Whimsical Pens

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Project by TheDane posted 12-14-2012 10:47 PM 1350 views 3 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I took a spindle turning class this fall … one of the projects the instructor assigned us was ‘Whimsical Pens’.

The instructor, Ron Odegaard, had an article describing his pens in the Fall 2007 edition of Woodturning Design.

The stripe through them is ordinary veneer (not the paperback kind), and the ink tube is from inexpensive Bic ballpoint pens.

Since it is almost impossible to drill straight through the center of the blank (the drill bit wanders), he teaches construction and use of a simple laser jig (powered by a cat toy) to locate the center of the hole drilled for the ink tube.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"





13 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7693 posts in 2690 days


#1 posted 12-14-2012 11:01 PM

Cute pens… Crazy man crazy… looks like they would be easy to write with…

Your class is paying off big time!

Thank you…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View deparrott's profile

deparrott

81 posts in 744 days


#2 posted 12-14-2012 11:30 PM

Gerry, I have struggled with drilling these types of pens. Would you be willing to elaborate or maybe point to a website where we could learn more about this laser process? I’m intrigued.

-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodTurningCity

View OnlyJustME's profile

OnlyJustME

1562 posts in 1014 days


#3 posted 12-15-2012 01:10 AM

Nice designs and good job on the captured ring. I too would like to know more on the construction/drilling process. A pack of bics is a lot cheaper then the pen kits available.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

13887 posts in 976 days


#4 posted 12-15-2012 03:15 AM

These are really cool.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View redryder's profile

redryder

2147 posts in 1739 days


#5 posted 12-15-2012 07:23 AM

These look like they would feel as good as they look….........................

-- mike...............

View WoodenFrog's profile

WoodenFrog

2737 posts in 1551 days


#6 posted 12-15-2012 03:11 PM

Neat!! real nice!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio..... http://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodenfrogWoodenProd

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3134 posts in 2234 days


#7 posted 12-16-2012 08:35 PM

What size hole was drilled? I would like to try this if you don’t mind.

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View TheDane's profile (online now)

TheDane

3749 posts in 2300 days


#8 posted 12-16-2012 10:04 PM

Drilling—You need two drill bits … a no. 23 bit (3 1/4” long), and a no. 24 (8” long). A no 23 bit measures 0.154, a no 24 measures 0.152

Locate the approximate center of your billet, and with the no. 23 bit, drill a hole about 2” deep. I use my pen blank drilling jig …
Click for details
... on the drill press.

Clamp the billet to a vertical post (or overhead beam) with the hole you just drilled pointing down to help with chip ejection. With the no. 24 bit in a hand-held drill, drill a hole about 6” deep.

Centering Jig—All you need is two blocks of wood (2”x2”x2” will do), a piece of 1×2 about 24” long, a piece of welding rod about 8” long, and a laser cat toy … you can buy them at Walgreens, Petco, etc. for under $5. Make sure you remove the flux from the welding rod.

Measure the diameter of the laser toy (mine was 1/2”), and drill a hole trough one of the wooden blocks, and insert the laser. You may need to enlarge the hole a bit to get a snug fit.

Glue the block you just drilled to one end of the 1×2 with the laser pointing to the opposite end. Clamp the other block to the other end, and use the laser to locate a spot on the block. Drill a hole and epoxy the welding rod into place. The laser should hit the end of the welding rod.

Clamp the jig to a vertical support, drop the billet onto the welding rod, and turn on the laser. The laser should hit the un-drilled end of the billet in line with the end of the bit. Mark that spot, and use it to put the piece between centers.

Billet Size—I have found that 7” is about right … just make sure you know where the end of the drill bit is. Nothing will ruin you day like turning a beautiful pen then blowing through the hole you drilled for the bit when you are parting off the end.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3134 posts in 2234 days


#9 posted 12-16-2012 10:26 PM

Thanks Gerry

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View brunob's profile

brunob

2275 posts in 2807 days


#10 posted 12-16-2012 10:53 PM

My method: After you drill the 6” hole, take the blank out of the vise – STILL ON THE DRILL. Hold the drill on the bench and spinn it. touch a pencil to thhe blank at the end opposite the drill. The resulting circle defines your center. Simple and effective.

-- Bruce from Central New York...now, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View deparrott's profile

deparrott

81 posts in 744 days


#11 posted 12-17-2012 08:04 PM

Thanks Jerry for the tips, really appreciate it. I’m definitely going to give it a try.

-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodTurningCity

View deparrott's profile

deparrott

81 posts in 744 days


#12 posted 12-29-2012 01:02 AM

This is a question directed to those that have made the stick pens with the Bic. What has been your experience concerning the vent hole that is in the side of the plastic Bic pen? Is that something that needs to be replicated into our wood versions? Just curious…

-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodTurningCity

View TheDane's profile (online now)

TheDane

3749 posts in 2300 days


#13 posted 12-29-2012 05:59 AM

I don’t bother with it … a guy I know who has been turning these for 20+ years says it is a waste of time.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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