Pen #43

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Project by Mark Wilson posted 10-20-2019 03:59 PM 321 views 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I began with Leopardwood as the the basis, and added a little of this, and a little of that, for a total of forty-five pieces. Then, after more than four hours of cutting and gluing, I drilled out the hole for the tube. It was when I went to glue the tube in that I discovered that, somehow, my lathe’s centers were out of alignment. This means that the end of the blank that was receiving the drill was a lot bigger than the end in the chuck. I had a conical hole with a huge gap around the tube. I, therefore, had to fill the gap. So I used five-minute epoxy for the gluing instead of the usual medium CA. I wasn’t entirely certain it was gonna hold up. It did, and here’s the pen that came of it. (I corrected the misalignment before I turned the pen. The wackiness was extremely apparent once I had the mandrel in the chuck – the live center in the tailstock simply would not mate with the end of the mandrel.)

I took a couple of photos of the blank before I started turning it, just in case it decided to explode. Which it didn’t. So calm down.

My intent was to make two pens concurrently, so I made two blanks. The second blank, thus far without the addition of a little of this and a little of that, can be viewed being used as a prop in the last two gallery photos.

Thank you. And, I apologize.

-- Mark

13 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

23522 posts in 3641 days

#1 posted 10-20-2019 04:02 PM

Nice pen, Mark. I like you experimentation in designs!!

Cheers, Jim

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

View lew's profile


12880 posts in 4291 days

#2 posted 10-20-2019 04:21 PM

That is gorgeous, Mark!

Sometimes the weirdest glue-ups create the most interesting designs.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View ZAGREB's profile


1270 posts in 2185 days

#3 posted 10-20-2019 04:48 PM

better and better,mate
looks like shuttle at first look

-- bambi

View leafherder's profile


1861 posts in 2487 days

#4 posted 10-20-2019 06:09 PM

You make pens the way I cook – start with the basics, add a little of this and a little of that, slip in a couple of shortcuts to avoid disaster and voila: a masterpiece emerges. (I know – I’m bragging about being a good cook. Take the hint and stop apologizing for producing amazing pens – and if anyone asks how you did it just say it’s a secret recipe.)

Beautiful pen – obviously you are in an Art Deco Phase – very appealing, keep up the good work.

-- Leafherder

View pottz's profile


6639 posts in 1520 days

#5 posted 10-20-2019 09:20 PM

wow buddy that pens is just incredible,i wouldn’t have the patience to do a glue up like that.your pen making just keeps getting better and better.

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

View awsum55's profile


683 posts in 1044 days

#6 posted 10-20-2019 11:13 PM

Your first pen was less than a year ago and your skills and design have really developed. The last several have been remarkable to say the least. Congrats on your DT3

-- John D, OP, KS

View Boxguy's profile


2859 posts in 2803 days

#7 posted 10-21-2019 04:31 AM

Mark, I like your creativity as your pens evolve into ever more intricate designs. Nice job.

-- Big Al in IN

View Andybb's profile


2149 posts in 1139 days

#8 posted 10-21-2019 05:23 AM

Excellent job! And excellent job on developing your non-explosive technique. As a pen turner my eyes always look at details. I would make sure that the area I circled crossed as an X or was cut off at the apex so it looks balanced.

Nice job on the sandwiched laminate.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View BobWemm's profile


2712 posts in 2461 days

#9 posted 10-21-2019 06:23 AM

Looking good buddy, you really have a handle on this now.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2657 posts in 1598 days

#10 posted 10-21-2019 08:04 AM

Andy: I was looking for some eccentricity in this one. Also, you’ll notice, in the second shot you circled, that the “scallop” (that’s what they’re called), the triangle at the right edge of your circle, viewable in the gallery photos as a curve that has all but disappeared. If the cuts at the ends of the blank were made to meet in the middle, all of the scallops would’ve been thus, due to the length, or lack thereof, of the blank. In this pen, I also crossed the cuts at the end, at first, accidentally. It turned out to be a happy accident that created an oval in the design. (The Voice In My Head keeps bugging me about repeating that design, trying to put something inside the oval. Not ready, yet.) You’ll also notice, in the same pen, the very small scallops at the top of the pen. That’s what you’re left with, when making a 60 degree cut that meets in the middle. Now, back to the present example: The cuts that cross each other are 60 degree cuts that couldn’t have met in the middle without going the entire length of the blank, completely obliterating the smaller scallops, which were made first. I’ve got that second blank, on my workbench, mocking me. I may, or may not, get to that one within the next week or so.

Thank you for the analysis. But, “balanced” is not what I generally look for. Uniqueness is the name of the game, for me. There’s only so much one can do to make such a small thing not look like every other one. I’m not yet ready to get into cast resin blanks with watch parts, stamps, and other inclusions and whatnot, in them. Heck. I’m still trying to get good at finishing the doggone things, without getting bored with it all.

Thanks to all of you, for your kind comments.

Larry: Patience, my arse. You take a jigger of anger, a cup of frustration, and about a gallon of depression. You mix it all together, til it rises to a scalding temperature, and, you go at it not caring what happens, all the while ignoring the pain in the back. A note about gluing all these pieces together: Don’t use gloves. It’s a vexation that, when gluing these pieces together – solid wood and veneer – that so-called “instant glue” doesn’t want to stick the pieces together. However, it wants to stick the nitrile gloves to the pieces of wood and veneer, tearing the fingertips off, which, then, has to be removed, as well as sticking the whole shebang to the work surface I’m using for a platform and a fence. And, yes, the surface is covered with wax paper, to which everything sticks quite nicely, thank you very much. I picked up my can of “Super Slick Slick Stuff,” thinking, maybe that’ll do it. I put it down, realizing that I don’t want that Stuff in the wood, itself.

-- Mark

View Andybb's profile


2149 posts in 1139 days

#11 posted 10-22-2019 12:09 AM

Andy: I was looking for some eccentricity in this one. Also, you ll notice, in the second shot you circled, that the “scallop” (that s what they re called), the triangle at the right edge of your circle, viewable in the gallery photos as a curve that has all but disappeared.
- Mark Wilson

Don’t get me wrong. i was just mentioning what caught my eye. When I post stuff I always wish people would look with a more critical eye instead of just saying how nice it looks. You know your pen looks awesome. Keep up the good work. Just getting the segmented blank to not explode is a feat in itself. The scallops are especially difficult.

You should post this over on IAP if you haven’t already.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View NormG's profile


6493 posts in 3539 days

#12 posted 10-22-2019 04:07 AM

That was a lot of work and it turned out very nicely

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Grumpy's profile


25772 posts in 4386 days

#13 posted 10-24-2019 03:44 AM

Mark, thats a very impressive job.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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