Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Chancellorsville, Start to Finish, Part 4

This Chancellorsville wood is really beautiful. Though I can't say for sure, it looks like pine to me. Pine isn't usually a particularly attractive wood, but perhaps the age and certainly the stabilization have added to the luster and color.

After receiving their cyanoacrylate coats, the blanks are left to throroughly dry and "offgas" overnight. They are wet-sanded with a series of micro-mesh pads in the multi-thousand grit level to even out the coating and make it smooth.

After this, I inspect each one to ensure the CA coat looks good. I have to admit to having a difficult time with a couple of these. If you buff too far down, you expose the wood and have to re-apply the CA, wait overnight again, etc, which happened more than once with some of these. But in the end, patience persevered and they were ready for polish.

I use two coats of plastic polish, which is a friction polish that activates with heat generated by the friction of the blank turning on the lathe. Two coats of wax follow that and really bring out the shine.

The ends are cleaned up to remove any CA, polish or wax that may have spilled over the edge during the process. I lay out and inspect the setting parts and finally assemble the pen using a pen assembly tool.

And here they are, two of the five handcrafted Civil War bullet pens made from wood harvested at the spot Confederate General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was mortally wounded by friendly fire.

#CivilWar #StonewallJackson #History #FineWritingInstrument #Chancellorsville

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