Reply by Andybb

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Posted on Segmented pen blanks exploding frequently

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2089 posts in 1108 days

#1 posted 08-22-2019 10:25 PM

This comes from many many many (20?) attempts at techniques that failed miserably after hours of building segmented blanks only to have them explode like a Hiroshima bomb.

1. Only use titebond if the segments are wood, otherwise use 2 part epoxy or thick CA. If you are letting them dry overnight you might as well use the 30 min kind vs the 5 min kind.

2. If you must use CA glue on the tube use copious amounts of thick, not medium. You will notice that even though you thought you used plenty of glue when the blanks explode off of the tube there is very little glue on there. CA glue has very poor shear strength so it separates from the blank.
Otherwise use Gorilla Glue or epoxy. If using Gorilla Glue wet the inside of the blank with a Q-tip as water activates it and it expands into the all of the little crevices.

3. Make sure to use compressed air (or your mouth) to blow all of the dust out of the tube.

I put plumbers putty in one end of the blank and coat the tube, stick and turn in one end then put more on the tube and stick and turn into the other end.

4. I haven’t used a barrel trimmer in years. Way too easy to tear a blank apart after spending hours building the segments. I use a disc sander.
It hasn’t ever failed me.

5. I only use the round and square radius carbide tools on segmented pens but some people love their standard HSS tools.

Then I switch to a VERY sharp Benjamins Best skew that I got from Ed at Exotic blanks. It gives me a 400 grit type finish. Then I use a flat strip if wood with some 400 grit stuck to it and run it back and forth or the blank for the final finish. When you get down to the end it’s just too easy to get a catch so sometimes I’ll even skip the skew and just use the sand paper.

The only sharpening tool I use is a cheap credit card sized hone on the skew and the carbide inserts. Just take the inserts off once in a while and with a circular motion rub them on the hone with a little oil (although I just use a little spit) for a few seconds. I have a low speed grinder that I have only used once or twice until I discovered carbide.

Keep everything sharp.

If you haven’t already join IAP for all things pen related. It’s like this site but for pens.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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