Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Woodworking items now for sale!

Well, since I have been sidelined with my knee injury, I thought I would get into turning pens. I've had a lot of fun doing it so I've taken the next step and I have put some up for sale. I have opened a store front on Etsy.com. Right now I only have a few pens up there, but I'm going to be putting more up there so you can subscribe to my store as a feed. Later on, I am also going to build some small boxes and put them up there as well. Again, I'm just a hobbyist, but if you can make a little money here and there, why not. Etsy is nice because it is dedicated to handmade items and their costs are very reasonable. So, check out the store...feedback welcome!


Be safe!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

CA Finish for Pens - Part 2; An Observation

In one of my previous posts I commented on my success and failures of using a CA finish on some of my pens. I've been tinkering with it a bit more with some more success, but I've made a few observations about the success, or lack of success in some cases, I am having.

First, I've noticed that if you use more than, say, two coats of CA, the pen will have a plastic feel. This makes total sense because the CA is an acrylic of sorts so the more you add, the more "plastic" you get. The advantage to this is you get a rock hard finish that will last nearly forever.

Second, the wood makes a difference. I've tried using a few different types of woods; cherry, tiger maple, paduk and rosewood. For some reason, it seems to me that the harder woods such as cherry, paduk and rosewood seem to do better than a softer wood such as maple. I have had success with maple, but it just seems more finicky than the other woods.

Third, one thick coat goes a long way. How I have had good success is to use a good coat of BLO. I apply this by wet sanding with 1000 grit paper and wiping the access with a rag. Then, with the lathe off, I apply the CA to the pen while rotating the mandrel by hand and quickly rubbing back and forth. I go around, quickly, three or four times, then stop. Next, I let that sit for a while to harden and cure, then I come back and wet sand with BLO, but this time with 2000 grit paper. I then increase the speed and apply BLO to a rag and wipe the whole thing down and apply slight pressure to heat the BLO into the pen, if you will.

This method has given me the most success so far. The other thing I really like about it is you do get a good protective CA finish on the pen, but it does not feel like plastic and retains the warmth of the wood underneath. But, this is all one person's observations, I would love to hear your take and your method for finishing.

Be safe!

Monday, November 2, 2009

On the DL for a while

Well, a while back I had posted about blowing my knee out and tearing my ACL while playing basketball. I had ACL replacement surgery on Thursday, the 29th, so I am laid up for a while so no major woodworking for a while. Prior to the surgery and I had been on a pen making binge so once I am able to get up and about without much pain I will be back at that. I have a bar stool I can use while at the lathe and do some turning so that will help.

In the mean time, I have been working on my main website www.vanvleetwoodworking.com Right now, it is major lame and outdated! I am not happy with it at all so I am poking around the Internet and looking for some ideas on design and layout. I am using Microsoft Expression Studio to build it so I am learning that now as well. I hope to have something up soon, like this week. If others out there are using Expression, I would love some pointers and links to some resources out there to keep learning; I've found some good ones, but know people always have others they like.

Hope to be back up and woodworking soon! Be safe!