391challenge pen #3: Heading towards the finish line

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by jeffthewoodwacker posted 05-24-2009 07:11 PM 1194 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: cut, drilled and tubes glued in! Part 3 of 391challenge pen series Part 4: It's Done!!! »

I got up bright and early today (okay I was up early but not so bright!) and decided to give the challenge391 cherry burl pen blank that Karson included in round 3 of the Pen Trade box. Got it all mounted up on the pen mandrall and now Karson will take a trip at 3000 rpm.

I anticipated that there would be some more voids in the burl as I turned it down to size and saved all the shavings to fill in any small voids, cracks or holes. Here the pen blank is turned part way down and there are a few places that will need some special attention. I will mix up some of the pen shavings with medium CA glue and work that slurry into any open areas.

I spray accelerator onto the pen blank, turn the lathe on and use 100 grit sandpaper to make sure all the voids get completely full.

I will now turn the blanks down to where they are just proud of the bushings. The top of the pen is the spalted willow from Steve glued to Karson’s cherry burl. I am going to make this into a modified slim line pen and the top will be longer than the normal slim line pen. This blank is ready to sand and finish. I will dry sand all the way to 1000 grit and then wet sand to 15000 grit. Finish will be three coats of thin CA glue, sanding in between coats with 0000 steel wool and then several coats of Mylands high speed friction polish. After the last coat of Mylands has dried I will crank the lathe up to 3000 rpm and buff the entire blank with a brown paper bag.

Have not sanded or put any finish on this yet – will get photos and continue after all the finish is completed. Apologize for the picture quality – not the camera but the user!

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

5 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5860 days

#1 posted 05-24-2009 07:17 PM

Neat. Great job Jeff

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View itsme_timd's profile


690 posts in 5291 days

#2 posted 05-24-2009 07:31 PM

Looks great, Jeff! I’m eager to see this one finished up.

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

View cabinetmaster's profile


10872 posts in 5018 days

#3 posted 05-24-2009 08:45 PM

Great pen Jeff. Looking good.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27248 posts in 5282 days

#4 posted 05-24-2009 10:07 PM

The pen turned out well, Jeff. The wood grain looks nice right now. I am going to be interested in seeing the finished pen.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4841 days

#5 posted 05-25-2009 12:32 AM

Nice. Thanks for all the details. I’m going to be making some bottle stoppers soon, and am quite an amateur, so I’m glad to hear what you’ll be using, and also following along with each step of your result.

Also, if I may share some camera tricks… It looks like your camera wants to focus on the background. It sees the woodchips, and their rich detail. Mine always does this as well. I’ve developed 3 ways to combat it. There might be a mode on your camera that shows a mountain or a flower. Switching it to flower can often make it want to focus on the foreground. If there’s a digital macro mode (my Canon Elph has one), it will focus in sharp detail on close objects.

If the camera is capable of focusing closer, but just won’t, you might be able to stick something of higher contrast in plane with the pen to block the rest of the shot for the moment. Sometimes I’ve placed a sheet of paper with a picture, or filled with text, to give the camera something to lock on to, pressed the button halfway so it holds those settings, then pulled the paper out and pressed it fully to take the shot, now in proper focus. In the field I’ve even just used my spread fingers below, or laying on the object, as the highlights and shadows are pretty detailed. Alternatively, I’ll use a finger or two right up by the lens to block it from seeing whatever it keeps wanting to focus on, let it focus on the foreground object, and then remove my fingers and take the shot all the way.

Finally, if it can’t focus closer, but can zoom, you can move back and zoom in. Not only does that give it enough space, but I think it also moves the focal range around the object, and/or enlarges it, so everything in the shot will be in focus. The closer and more ‘macro’ the shot, the less depth of field typically, so things like super closeups of ants might show their head in focus, but the feet aren’t. Hope that helps, I want to see your work in high clarity! :)

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics