Directions can be important

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Project by Tooch posted 12-11-2018 03:24 PM 845 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So to further my experimentation with Pen turning, I took a stab at using a different kit. Apparently, reading the directions can be pretty important.

My first Turning was on a bloodwood blank, and I just went gung-ho on it. I failed to realize that this kit requires you to make a small tenon on the upper piece to fit into the middle ring. The result can be seen in picture 2, with an uneven transition between lower and upper.

My second attempt at the Summit Kit was much better, but when finishing I think I may have applied too much CA glue, and it left lots of little spiral ribs. I went to work sanding it down and re-applying a 2nd coat, then repeated the process for a 3rd coat. I did a last scuffing with 600 grit wet sand paper, but then when I went to polish it I noticed that there was a lot of sanding marks that got filled in with white polish. It was hard to get a good picture of them, but it is much more noticeable in real light.

I’m still new to turning and very new to using CA glue as a finish (See forum topic here ), so I supposed this will just be something I have to screw up a dozen more times before I can start to see any progress.

Thanks for looking, and thanks to everyone who gave me ideas, advice, and shared their knowledge and experience.

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

13 comments so far

View hoss12992's profile


4161 posts in 2457 days

#1 posted 12-11-2018 03:39 PM

Those look good buddy. They make bushings for each pen kit, and that generally will keep you from tapering the ends of each section, down too much. Another trick I’ve learned is when sanding, I turn the lathe up on high, and I start with 120 grit and finish with 220 grit and always keep the sand paper moving rather quickly, that way you don’t get the sanding lines. The pens look good. Great job buddy

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View pottz's profile


7094 posts in 1549 days

#2 posted 12-11-2018 03:47 PM

yeah the middle ring tenon does take some patience,my first was too loose so i tried to fix with more epoxy and well, made a might want to check out micro mess,i started using it on acrylic pens but it works great on the ca finishes too.hey after 300-400 pens you’ll be a master buddy-lol!

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View Andre's profile


2895 posts in 2371 days

#3 posted 12-11-2018 04:42 PM

Pens can be addictive! think I’m getting better and moving on to some new stuff?
I really dislike sandpaper so the hard wax finish appeals to me, it was the method
the instructor used at the Lee Valley seminar.
The pens with the tennon is called European style at L.V. where I have been
getting all my kits so far
I have only bought 2 blanks so far, Olivewood because couldn’t bring myself
to cut up the One board I have been saving for a box, that stuff is pricey!
Couple of Slimline I did yesterday with Hard Wax finish made from some Mahogany scraps.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View pottz's profile


7094 posts in 1549 days

#4 posted 12-11-2018 04:50 PM

i hear ya andre,but what was worse for me was buying the blanks.i was trolling ebay every day looking for that special wood at a killer deal,and pretty soon had enough blanks to last years!.ive tapered off and havnt done any pens this year so their a pen makers annonymous-LOL!

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View Ivan's profile


15293 posts in 3432 days

#5 posted 12-11-2018 04:52 PM

So beautiful pens….real profesional work!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23609 posts in 3670 days

#6 posted 12-11-2018 07:32 PM

Nice work, Mike. You and Mark Wilson are getting me real interested in making pens, too.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View robscastle's profile


6565 posts in 2769 days

#7 posted 12-11-2018 08:08 PM

LittleBlackDuck AKA (LBD) now thats a bit of an odd name … you would think it would be Parker or Papermate, but anyway I think he is the current expert on pens in this part of the hemsiphere, (chime in if you believe otherwise) , as its always good to know whos who in the hen house, or is that maybe Duck house? if you contact him you may find some excellent advice, directions and possibly even materials supporting your activities.

How is the house reno going it seems to have stalled post wise.

-- Regards Rob

View robscastle's profile


6565 posts in 2769 days

#8 posted 12-11-2018 08:14 PM


-- Regards Rob

View Boxguy's profile


2859 posts in 2832 days

#9 posted 12-11-2018 09:39 PM

Mike, most good things in life require making mistakes to get there. You are getting there with pens.

-- Big Al in IN

View robscastle's profile


6565 posts in 2769 days

#10 posted 12-12-2018 12:22 AM

Ah Big Al …!! I have been wondering about you and what you have been up to, I had not heard or seen anything from you of late .

-- Regards Rob

View doubleDD's profile


8812 posts in 2608 days

#11 posted 12-12-2018 01:13 AM

All men read directions. (yea right) Showing that you still saved the day is good craftsmanship. Nicely done.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View bushmaster's profile


3735 posts in 2847 days

#12 posted 12-12-2018 04:22 AM

very nice, pens must require precision work, they both look first class to me.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9374 posts in 2893 days

#13 posted 12-12-2018 02:27 PM

FWIW, The Penn State version of this Penn does not require cutting the tennon. I just bought a couple of them, but have yet to turn them (burned out making holiday gift pens :^p ).

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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