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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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I ordered some kits from Wood-n-Whimsies (www.woodnwhimsies.com). Good price, may not be the best plating but I wanted something inexpensive to experiment / practice with.

Got some gold and copper finished "slimlines" and "comfort" pens. Decided to try a comfort pen made from Carribean Rosewood. And picked the copper kit to dress it. Kept the profile pretty basic since on this one since it is my first "comfort" style kit. I think I like the copper finish, might like it better if it was matte instead of shiny but still, looks nice.

Finish is 6 coats of BLO/CA followed by a quick burnish in shavings and finally wax. Shined up quite well I think. And so far my CA torture test experiment (carry around a spare walnut tube finished with CA in my pocket with a bunch of change) has shown the BLO/CA + wax to be quite tough.

I just put the pen on the flatbed scanner for this image since my cheapy little digital camera can't focus close. Did an OK job except for the end of the nib.

Just noticed I need to twist the upper barel just a smidge to line up the grain. Pretty wild swirls in this rosewood. Not sure what causes the color but it is wicked hard stuff, I suspect it the tree is pulling minerals from the surrounding soil.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 09:47 PM
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Rob that is a great looking pen. That is some pretty wood. Well done. I just finished some pens today. I used Enduro sanding sealer and then Enduro poly from Bear Tooth Woods. I did one in CA. I will post tomorrow.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 10:17 PM
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A very nice looking pen Rob but PLEASE take some shots whilst you're making the next one because that's how we all improve, by incorporating techniques used by other members, or possibly pointing out alternative methods.

Harry



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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrysin View Post
A very nice looking pen Rob but PLEASE take some shots whilst you're making the next one because that's how we all improve, by incorporating techniques used by other members, or possibly pointing out alternative methods.
Nothing worth taking a shot off (and kinda hard to drag my flat bed scanner out to the lathe ) really. As far as technique goes, the only "complicated" part it the finishing. The second most complicated part is remembering to stop and mic' the wood next to the busings and compare it to the actual pen hardware. I've already discovered there are some pretty loose tolerances in these parts! I did a quickie test on some extra wood and tubes and decided that I need to turn/sand the blanks just about 0.003 to 0.005 under the size of the hardware because the finish will make up the difference.

But I'll do you one better than just some pictures. How about moving pictures?
Here are two links to William O. Young's (no relation) BLO/CA method.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orcgOf4siqc for his video
and
http://www.penturners.org/forum/showthread.php?t=43539 for some discussion of said video.

I'm pretty much doing it the same as his with three exceptions. I believe he says sand to 400 in his video. I went to 600, just because I could. Second, I'm not using a brand name "blue" paper towel. Just the store generic. However I did look closely at my towel and picked the "back" side as it looks to be less fuzzy. Probably makes not difference but at least I'm being consistant. And third, it is quite likely I'm using a different brand of medium CA and BLO.

If I was really going to be hardcore about it, I'd stop after about 6 coats and re-measure the blank but it looks like 6-8 coats is 0.005".

And by the way Harry, I remember you showed using some Brasso on acrylic blanks. I've got on my testing list to try a little Brasso on some CA finished wood. They are encases in a form of acrylic now after all. I'll probably try it first on the blank I've been torture testing by bouncing it around with my pocket change. It has some light scratching from the coins.

Last edited by rwyoung; 03-19-2009 at 11:25 PM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2009, 03:21 AM
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You see Rob, there are several differences between our two methods, whilst a dial vernier is never out of my hand when using my metal lathe, I never use anything like that when making pens and I have found that so long as the finished product LOOKS good, it is going to look good to the recipients. As for finishing, on wood I only use one coat of Shellawax followed by one coat of Ultrashine. A few days ago I got feedback from an accountant that I gave a pen to several months ago (onto second re-fill) and she told me that it's used all day and feels great to use and looks like when I gave it to her.
It was from seeing other members methods plus some experimenting that I ended up with my present methods, so you see, it is important for members to post photo shoots, it's so true that a picture is worth a thousand words.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2009, 03:27 AM
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Great looking pen Rob, I think some of you guys are trying entice me toward the lathe, I wish!

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2009, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrysin View Post
You see Rob, there are several differences between our two methods, whilst a dial vernier is never out of my hand when using my metal lathe, I never use anything like that when making pens and I have found that so long as the finished product LOOKS good, it is going to look good to the recipients. As for finishing, on wood I only use one coat of Shellawax followed by one coat of Ultrashine. A few days ago I got feedback from an accountant that I gave a pen to several months ago (onto second re-fill) and she told me that it's used all day and feels great to use and looks like when I gave it to her.
It was from seeing other members methods plus some experimenting that I ended up with my present methods, so you see, it is important for members to post photo shoots, it's so true that a picture is worth a thousand words.
I'm too cheap to buy myself a good digital camera. The one I have is about $25 or $30 and was just to document a few items for insurance and a larger project I'm working on for my sister and new nephew. I'd rather spend the money on good wood for a project.

So far I've only done two finishing methods. One was using the Mylands sealer and friction polish at the pen-turning class I took one evening. But I wanted to spend a little bit less on getting started so I took a chance on the BLO/CA method. I already had everything for BLO/CA except I've purchased a second, larger bottle of CA for $7. For the same cheapskate reason I'm only turning pens from wood I already have, not going to buy any blanks, at least for the short term.

Like I said, I'm torture testing a blank by carrying it around with pocket change. And I have one pen that I'm using as a daily writter. But I know that my skin is pretty dry and the oil isn't particuarly acidic. Other people are going to be murder on the finish. And I'd expect the plating to give out on the less expensive types before the finish fails.

As to using the micrometer, yeah I know it's wood and wood moves but unless a person has quite a lot of nerve damage in their hands, they should be able to feel a 0.01" ridge and quite possibly a 0.005" ridge. If I get the diameter of the wood and the hardware to within 0.005" that means the ridge can be 0.0025" on average and should be below the threshold of sensitivity.

Or I may just punt the whole thing and trust the bushings but from the small sample set I've checked, that may not be the best idea. Also read that some of the more hardcore pen makers are using Delrin to make their own bushings.

What did you think of the YouTube presentation on the CA finish? Over on the right side should be Russ Fairfield's presentation too. Pretty similar but some differences. So far, the WOY method has worked fine for me but I've got a statistically insignifican sample set.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2009, 10:36 AM
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Rob, when using your scanner for an image place a colored back ground behind the object. This will help sharpen the image and prevent cropping of images at shiney edges.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2009, 11:40 AM
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Rob,
The YouTube video is no longer available for some reason. Please don't take this as a slam, but I think you are being a bit too anal about measuring into the thousands on your pens. After all we are talking about wood here and as the temp/humidity changes the wood expands/contracts and probably even more so with a pen/pencil being held in a hot, damp, greasy hand. But, then, that's just my humble opinion.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2009, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Rob, when using your scanner for an image place a colored back ground behind the object. This will help sharpen the image and prevent cropping of images at shiney edges.
I don't understand your use of the term "cropping" in this instance.

The nib is out of focus because it is more than 1/8" away from the glass. Out of focus is out of focus no mater what background color is present. It is the physics of the lens design.

The lenticular lens used in inexpensive flat bed scanners isn't known for its depth of field or distortion free characteristics...

Because the light shines along the lens axis (OK, not really a straight axis like a conventional camera but the equivalent again due to the way a lenticular lens works) it will always have a lot of specular glare from shiney objects. This is partly why dust and fingerprints show up so well when scanning glossy photographs. The show up because the scatter the reflection. Also why you sometimes get lower contrast from glossy photographs when scanned.
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