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Old 07-12-2017, 08:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Fox Lake, Illinois
Posts: 24
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Default Not so much showing off a pen as a lesson learned

I was very inspired earlier this week when I posted a picture of my first attempt at a segmented blank pen - the feedback I received from all of you was very positive, and I was enthused and motivated!

Well, I think today I learned that there CAN be too much of a good thing.

I'll explain.

In my mind, I imagined this really cool PSI Olympian Elite 2 piece pen, with segmented blanks for the cap and main shaft made from Bubinga, Maple and walnut. So I jumped in, glued up the blanks, and I was really getting into it.

img_3253.jpg, img_3255.jpg, img_3259.jpg

I then went about cutting, drilling, and gluing tubes into the blanks, and tonight I made the first pen.... and I don't like it at all. There's too much going on.

img_3263.jpg, img_3265.jpg

So the lesson I learned is that a segmented blank like this would probably look ok on a single barrel pen, but not on a 2 piece.

I also learned a little about turning woods with different grain directions - the Bubinga (center section) was soft and turned very easily, but the Maple was end grain, which is much harder. The walnut is also end grain, but a bit softer than the maple. The result is uneven material removal as I passed the gouge along the length. I ended up sanding more at the end, to get everything to the final diameter. Also, as I sanded, the maple seemed to burn a bit, resulting in some dark discoloration. I think some of the walnut sanding dust may also have gotten into the maple's pores. Dunno.

Anyway, I have a pen that writes ok, but looks like I tried too hard to make a fancy pen... I don't think it's going out of the house, except maybe in my wife's purse, so she can cross stuff off of the grocery list at the store.

Thanks for reading. Any tips would be appreciated.

And by the way, I still had a blast making it! I learn a little (sometime a lot) more with each pen.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Tunica, MS,
Posts: 5,753
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I have run into that before also. There are some segment designs that when on both parts of a two piece pen, just distract from one another. Yours doesn't look bad at all!

On mine, the individual segmented sections I made looked great, but together it was the pits.
Hank Lee

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

Last edited by leehljp; 07-14-2017 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2017
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Hank, I think your tag line sums it up perfectly!

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Surprise, Arizona
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The pen looks good and the blanks are flawless but I agree, it's a little busy. I did the same thing when I started segmenting, only I made blanks very similar to yours for two pens and decided it was too much only after finishing both. At least you learned in half the time it took me!
Still good work and nothing to be ashamed of. I'm sure many will think it looks great just as it is.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback!

Sent from my iPhone using mobile app
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2017
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I hope my first segmented blanks turn out this well. Good concept and execution, even if it is a bit busy.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Coquitlam, BC, Canada
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It's totally a matter of opinion !! . I really like the result !!!

Kids rule the world !!! .... eventually if not already !

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Old 07-13-2017, 12:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
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I like the look of it! Don't be afraid to show it off.

"He (Jesus) must increase, I must decrease." John 3:30
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Southern Maryland
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I like your pen personally. Yes, it is a tad busy.
I remember something an old timer said to me a long time ago.
Something along the lines of "If you have to explain it, it's not art" or words to that effect. In other words, it is what it is.
You made it with your own two hands. It is a useful object.
It will serve the purpose intended.

Be grateful you are able to do that. Lots of people out there are not able to do so. I am grateful everyday for the gifts I have.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Truer words were never said.

Your secrets are safe with me.
There's a good chance I wasn't listening anyway.

My lathes:

Floor Lathe
Bench top lathe

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Old 07-13-2017, 06:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
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I don't think that is that bad at all, there are many types of "busy" pens and sometimes it works well if nothing else as a conversation piece.

In many people's opinion, less is more, this can be also true...!

"Don't give others what you don't like for yourself"


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