Monday, October 26, 2009

CA Pen Finish - mixed results

So I've been in a pen turning mode for a while; I'm having some fun with it, creating different designs on some slim line pens. I've been using a few different finishing techniques as well. One is Shellac/Wax called Shellawax Cream. It is super easy to use, just put some on a paper towel and apply while the lathe is spinning. It creates a nice finish, not super glossy and has a good feel. Next I tried a friction polish, which is a lacquer based finish, in a semi-gloss. This is really easy to use as well; just apply to a paper towel and apply to the piece as it's spinning. I like this finish as well, but I think I would like something with a bit more shine so I might try the high-gloss. Lastly, it brings me to the CA finish. I've tried this a couple different way. First, I tried it by simply applying it to the piece and wiping it on quickly, letting it set, apply another coat, etc up to 3-5 coats. Then I let it dry for a while and then wet sand it up to 2000 grit. This actually came out really nice, but was a bit fussy at first. Next, I read about using BLO with CA so I tried that. That is really easy to do, but I don't seem get the nice high-gloss finish that I do with just the CA build up. I'm applying BLO to the paper towel, and then CA over that. For some reason, it doesn't seem to build up as well. I would love some feedback on how others use the CA process; I've watched a couple videos online about it, and read through some articles, but I'm just not "getting it" so far, but I'm going to keep trying.

The pen below was finished with the BLO and CA combination the I outlined above, it is made from Tiger Maple. It came out well, but I would like a bit more gloss finish on it. I'm thinking I should have put a couple more coats on and then wet sand it. I will try that next.
From Pen Making

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pen Making - First attempts

In my other post I mentioned that I had bought the Penn State Industry pen making starter kit (found here) I've been having some fun with the kit; I never knew pen making was so easy. You can whip these suckers out in 15-20 minutes depending on what design you use. Well, I finally got around to taking some pictures of some that I've made.

From Pen Making

These are in chronological order from left to right. They are all made from Rosewood except the one on the right, that Padauk. The middle two were made for a friend of mine and it is a pen and pencil set.

So now I'm in the process of making some more from other woods such as cherry, mahogany and tiger maple. I've also ordered different kits from some other sources, specifically I ordered some roller ball kits from here. I'm looking to try different kits from different sources, but I've only found a few so if anyone has some recommendations, I'm all ears. Thanks for looking!
Be safe!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Out of commission for a while...

Well, with the changing of Summer into Fall, and the end of boating season, I usually resume my woodworking projects. I was getting geared up to FINALLY build some cabinets/storage under my workbench. I have the idea in my head and was thinking I would start on it this weekend. Well, I'm going to have to put that on the back burner for a few weeks at least; I was playing some basketball on Tuesday night and blew out my knee. The initial diagnosis is a torn acl and cartilage; MRI will tell the full extent of the damage, but it is looking like acl replacement surgery in the next couple of weeks. I'm a pretty active, and independent, person so being laid up in a full leg brace and crutches is killing me!

On another woodworking note, I was able to do some "new to me" woodworking recently; pen turning. This is one of the coolest things ever...I love it! I got a flier in the mail from Penn State Industries about their starter kit and figured "why not give it a try". So I ordered this kit:
It arrived a few days later and is chock full of great stuff. I have only turned two pens, but I think they came out great. I will try and get some pictures up in the next couple of days. My wife took one of the, which is actually my favorite one, so when she gets back I'm going to snap a couple pictures and get them up. I will probably write a bit of a review about the kit as well so stay tuned for that.

So, even with the busted up knee, I'm hoping that I can still turn some pens and pencils, maybe get started on some Christmas presents this way. Happy woodworking and STAY SAFE!!