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CE-1
15th Oct 2004, 11:08 AM
Hi there,

I would like to ask for some tips and tricks in regards to the pen turning...


thanks

PAH1
15th Oct 2004, 02:27 PM
There are others on this board with a great deal more experience with pen turning than me, but it is one of the most fun and addictive aspects of turning.

Pen kits are reasonably priced, you only need a 7mm drill and the mandrel to get started. The tubes are glued into the hole, I use araldite, others use CA (supe glue). Turn to how you think a pen should be and finish sanding as fine as you are able to go, I think 1200 minimum and then EEE to get a super clean finish. The top coat with shellawax.

Just about any timber can be used, however stay away from wide pore friable timbers. The greater the contrast in grain the better, although Purple heart is spectacular.

Use your imagination and have fun

CE-1
15th Oct 2004, 02:59 PM
Thanks PAH1,

I bought some pen kits and pre-drilled blanks yesterday (Carbatech) and I tried to turn some pens but I have a problem to fit the cap and the clip into the brass tube??? It looks like it's a little bit larger than a brass tube .... I tried to push it harder and I broke the blank???

The pen kit is: CAT. Pen-1 (Pack of 5) from Carbatech and instruction is: "...snap the clip into the groove of the cap, pushing the cap into one end of the remaining brass tube..."




Any idea...?


thanks

gatiep
15th Oct 2004, 03:04 PM
pen turning must be the easiest form of turning there is. Basically only a cylinder or sometimes a shaped cylinder. Finish is important. You need to sand to at least 600 grit. Various finishes like Shellawax, sometimes followed by EEE or the brown and white HUT wax finish looks good.

For heaps of info have a look at www.penturners.org (http://www.penturners.org) It's yankee site with lots of info on pens, some styles are not available here but the info is relevant.

:)

PAH1
15th Oct 2004, 03:07 PM
I bought some pen kits and pre-drilled blanks yesterday (Carbatech) and I tried to turn some pens but I have a problem to fit the cap and the clip into the brass tube??? It looks like it's a little bit larger than a brass tube .... I tried to push it harder and I broke the blank???

The pen kit is: CAT. Pen-1 (Pack of 5) from Carbatech and instruction is: "...snap the clip into the groove of the cap, pushing the cap into one end of the remaining brass tube..."


Did you trim the end of the wood flush with the tube? They sell a pen mill for that, pushing with the end not flush may do that. The other possibility is that when you pushed it in it was not straight. One final possibility is that when you glued the tube in some glue wound up on the inside of the tube, as most of the glues that are used are clear it can be a little bit hard to see, this would cause the tube to swell as the cap was put in and break the blank.

Anyway I hope that helps

Alastair
15th Oct 2004, 03:20 PM
What PAH sed.

Some critical areas to watch:

Clear drill flutes often. There is a tendency to bind and split blanks if drill chokes, and gets hot.

Clamp blanks vertically. It is easy to wander off when drilling. If the end of the blank where the drill will exit isn't clamped, it will also tend to split when the drill exits. Alternatively drill from both ends.

When gluing, (I use Araldite), ensure there is enough glue to fill around the tube, particularly if you have belled the end of the blank out when drilling.

Trim glued blanks ends square, and back to the brass. Use a disc sander, or there are proprietry pen mills available from turning suppliers.

Be careful while turning and sanding not to grind down the sleeves on the mandrel. Firstly, it does your tools no good. Secondly, the filings can end up combined with timber tannins causing black stains on your pens. Thirdly, the sleeves also serve as guages for the correct diameter to turn to, to match the pen kit hardware.

As the pen is very small diameter, turn with as high a lathe speed as you can, to improve the finish off the tool.

I tend to avoid the very glossy wax finishes, as they lose their gloss with handling, and can look tatty. I use just a sanding sealer, which I friction polish off while still wet. This gives a satin gloss finish, which als degrades, but the transition to "finger patina" is not nearly as obvious.

Hope this helps

Alastair

smidsy
15th Oct 2004, 08:53 PM
When I first turned pens I chose not to buy a pen mill - mainly because I'm part scottish and therefore suffer from short arm - long pocket syndrome.
But a pen mill is worth the $25, it makes getting the correct blank length so much easier.
The great thing about pens is that you can use timber that you would normally throw away, so get yourself some off cuts and just have fun - if you don't like it when you're done you just cut the timber off the brass and start again.

For finally assembly, I've found that the easiest way is to put one end on the mandrel and then use the winder on the tail stock to push the fittings in to the tube - use a piece of scrap wood to cushion the pen parts so you don't mark them.
Cheers
Paul

rsser
16th Oct 2004, 11:34 AM
You slop your glue onto the tube and into the ends of the hole in the blank. Before you do this push the tube into a bit of potato about 1/4" thick and break it away. This will give you a plug that stops the glue getting into the tube as you slide it into the blank and giving you grief when you need to push the fittings in.

I press the fittings in with a 4" engineers vice with a bit of alum flashing to protect the parts. It can easily go off line so a bit of care is needed.

Babytoolman
22nd Oct 2004, 08:37 AM
These are the first three pens i made last weekend. I used a mandrel and i am using the Pen-9 which is an 8mm centre. they came out well for a first timer i thought.
I made another one last night out of a malle burl cut off and it is great i will take a picture and post it.

It is good fun and using the Parker GEL inserts ($5.95 for a twin pack from your local supermarket) is fantastic. Got a pen i always wanted now.

Roger

Woodencrux
29th Oct 2004, 11:10 PM
I believe the tube diameter of the Carba-tec kits have changed (as have the prices - they are lower, yes prices came down) so beware if you get the bits from old mixed with the new.
I've only made a few pens and key rings. When using mallee burl, I found it easier to turn the parts a little larger than the finished size I wanted and reduce them to size by sanding. Sometimes small pieces of the burl pull out as you get close when trying to minimise sanding (especially at the ends).
Regards,
Alan

rsser
30th Oct 2004, 10:02 AM
For finally assembly, I've found that the easiest way is to put one end on the mandrel and then use the winder on the tail stock to push the fittings in to the tube - use a piece of scrap wood to cushion the pen parts so you don't mark them.
Cheers
Paul

Brilliant idea!