More Atlas Pens

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Project by Jaybird719 posted 01-02-2011 11:41 PM 1711 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I turned a few more Atlas pens to give away to family as Christmas gifts.
I wanted to give my family some handmade gifts to return the favor for the generosity they have shown to my son on his first Christmas.
The pen in the center is Koa wood, while the remaining four are figured walnut.
The unfinished blanks were sanded through 600 grit, several coats of CA finish applied and cured, then wet sanded from 600 to 12,000 and finished with plastic polish.
The CA and Plastic Polish are sold as a kit through Penn State Industries.
I love the way this finish looks when it works, but I had some issues with the Walnut blanks. For some reason I was getting blotchy spots on them. It was frustrating to have to sand off the finish and start over, but I finally got a satisfactory finish on four of the walnut blanks (I turned seven total walnut blanks – I will probably sand the others off later this month when things settle back down). I still don’t know what caused the blotchiness. I cleaned the finished turning with denatured alcohol after sanding and wore gloves while applying the finish. Even the guys at PSI weren’t sure what may have caused it.

The Koa pen was a gift for my wife, while the walnut pens were made to give to my three brothers. The walnut was from a tree that had fallen on my uncle’s property 30 years ago this past November. My father and uncle salvaged the tree and had it cut at a sawmill near where I grew up. I got most of the wood that was left after my father passed away. I found a nice figured piece while milling up the wood to use for another project. It was just too nice to pass up – and the figure wouldn’t have been visible in the project that I had intended to use that particular piece – so I made several pen blanks from the small figured piece.

My wife liked the Koa pen quite a bit and will be taking it to work when she returns tomorrow from her holiday vacation. The walnut pens seemed to go over well with my brothers since they were handmade and since wood came from the tree our father wrestled with so many year ago.

Thanks for looking!

-- -Jay Hartman - Morrisville, PA

4 comments so far

View MarkWilk's profile


229 posts in 4386 days

#1 posted 01-03-2011 12:25 AM

I love the Atlas/Patriot pen kits. They feel great in the hand, adapt to a number of blanks, and look great. Yours are beautiful. I’m sure that they made terrific gifts. Great pens.

-- Mark, Florida,

View sedcokid's profile


2735 posts in 4108 days

#2 posted 01-03-2011 12:26 AM

What beautiful pens and a Great story! Gifts like these always mean so much more then those you could purchase especially when your brothers all know about this tree!

Thanks So Much For Sharing!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View rickf16's profile


392 posts in 4091 days

#3 posted 01-03-2011 12:27 AM

Nice pens! I have a Koa blank myself that I need to turn. The CA finish looks good. I too use CA on my wood pens and also on tru-stone. Will be out in the shop in a few minutes to start a new pen. I haven’t had an issue with blotchiness. I use two coats of thin CA to seal the wood, sand w/400. Then about 10 to 12 coats of medium CA. I use a paper towel to apply it with. I sand w/600 and clean with denatured alcohol between each coat. Let it cure then sand starting at 1000 thru 12000 wet. I make sure to break the bushing loose every now and then.

-- Rick

View Jaybird719's profile


141 posts in 3402 days

#4 posted 01-04-2011 05:32 AM

thanks guys…
Mark – I’m totally with you on the atlas/patriot. Of the medium-priced pen kits I have seen, I still like them the best.
Rick – thanks for your input. I will have to give your method a shot.

-- -Jay Hartman - Morrisville, PA

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