need help with pen finishing

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Forum topic by bulzeye posted 04-24-2012 10:09 AM 1753 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bulzeye's profile


18 posts in 2326 days

04-24-2012 10:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing turning

I have been making pens for about 3 months now and I am having two issues I need help with. 1) I’ve been noticing that when one of my blanks explodes off of the barrell while turning it that the glue isn’t spread very well down near the middle of the blank. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to get the glue down in there a little better? 2) When I am finishing with ca glue my bushings always seem to be glued to my finished piece. when I seperate them it tends to seperate the glue from the wood and creates an unacceptable finish.

anybody with any help on these I would really appriciate it!! Thanks

4 replies so far

View BrianGT's profile


38 posts in 2198 days

#1 posted 04-24-2012 01:38 PM

When I glue the tube into my blanks, I use a two part epoxy. I apply it to the tube and then when I insert the tube into the blank I twist the tube and move it in and out to help spread it into the center.
As for the CA finish, If you are using regular CA glue try using meduim thick. It has a little thicker consistancy and wont soak into the small crack between the bushing and the blank. The last thing you should do before you remove it from the mandrel is lightly scrape the crack with a skew while the lathe is running to remove as much glue as possible. Carefull not to scrape the bushings.
I used to use Ca glue for my pens and then I tried “Shellawax EEE Ultra shine” and finish with “Shellawax friction polish”. This stuff is great. Gives a hi gloss finish and is super easy to use. I will warn you; it is a bit expensive but you only need a very small amount and it is worth it in my opinion.
This is some thing that I do but you will need to do what is best for you.
Hope this helps. And as Cap’n Eddie says “Keep makin shavins”

-- "Fear of failure limits our creativity" so to create something truly awesome you first have to be prepared to flop

View dpoisson's profile


190 posts in 2883 days

#2 posted 04-24-2012 02:05 PM

Go check Russ’ something-field (sorry, I can’t recall his name, he’s apparently a god from what I hear) on youtube and go look at his CA glue finish videos (a series of 5). In one of them , he gives a little trick (which I can’t recall) on how to deal with bushing being glued up.


View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3554 days

#3 posted 04-24-2012 05:53 PM

Try rubbing the metal tube well with sandpaper to roughen it before gluing.It put stop, to these problems I had try it it works like magic. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View moke's profile


1154 posts in 2745 days

#4 posted 04-24-2012 08:37 PM

As BrianGT mentioned use two part epoxy….it is much easier to use. Mix up a batch and the tubes slip in like they have been lubricated. Let it dry a couple hours for 15 minute epoxy and an hour or so for 5 minute epoxy.

As for your CA finish…this is an art. It takes some practice to really get it right. It is not hard just requires a little practice trying different things that will work for you. Everyone seems to have a different process figure out what you like and be consistant. As for the bushings you can wax them then cut away the excess with an exacto, or I use delrin bushings from Penturners Products…ca will not stick to them. I use them exclusively, but just for the finishing. Use you regular bushings to turn.

Russ Fairchild is the guru mentioned above.

Also you might visit the International Penturners Assoc. website…it is much like this, only no politics!!!
There are some amazing pens and techniques shown there.

-- Mike

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