Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pen Making, Start to Finish, Part 4


The fun part.

At this point we get to put the blank on the lathe and actually do some turning.

The first few gouges are used to "rough" the blank into a general semblance of its shape. In this case, we're just making a normal pen with no frills, so we just turn it down a little at a time to a cylinder tube just a little thicker than the bushings.

Unfortunately, after the fun part comes the tedious part: sanding. Other pen turners say I overdo it on the sanding. I use 100, 150, 220, 320, 400, 600, 1000, 4000, 8000 and 10000 grit papers successively on each and every pen. Each step takes time and care, followed by turning off the lathe to sand with the grain to remove any marks.

Overkill? Maybe. But I'm pleased with my results. If this gets me the best looking work, I'll stick with it.

Finally, the blank is turned and sanded down flush with the bushings and has a decent smooth surface. I'll clean it once with denatured alcohol, then give this wood a thin coat of 100% pure tung oil, massaged in both around and then with the grain.

Now these pieces will sit again overnight to allow the oil to completely set.

I forgot to post this image of applying the CA ...

I do nine layers of thin and medium CA. Each layer dries in a few minutes and then the next is put on.

Now it will sit again overnight to let the CA set and "off gas."

Here's a link to Part 5.