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Old 11-08-2017, 07:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Purple Pinecone

Today I turned a cast purple pine cone, for a Majestic Jr kit.

Let me start by saying there was nothing [i]wrong[i]with the blank. I thought it would make a beautiful pen, It just wasn't for me. Once I got it turned, and sanded, I realized it had tons of little holes. Not from tool chatter, but from the pine cone itself. Try as I might, I couldn't get the perfectly smooth, high gloss finish I was after, even after 3 coats of thick CA glue, and 6 coats of thin. Tomorrow I will take it apart, and try running the skew over it, to see if I remove all the other CA glue, if it will smooth out. If not, I will cut it off the blank, and start over with something else.

I enclosed a picture, but my photography isn't the best.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Your photography looks good, I really like the back drop. Problem I have had with pinecone pens in the past is the finish does not stay smooth after a long time. Unless I cut it down more and go thicker on the finish.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Looks as though it may be worth it. Very nice blank!

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Old 11-08-2017, 08:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blade.white View Post
Your photography looks good, I really like the back drop. Problem I have had with pinecone pens in the past is the finish does not stay smooth after a long time. Unless I cut it down more and go thicker on the finish.
Two old pieces of cedar decking, but it works. I am going to re turn it tomorrow. Will use the skew, and cut all the CA glue off. Hopefully what remains will have filed in all the little holes.

Yes, It is a VERY pretty blank. I think it is more operator error then anything else. It will be a learning experience either way, and those are priceless.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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...And I think you might be too hard on yourself. Trim it again, fill and finish the pen. God made every pinecone different. Manmade finish after the fact is secondary to a truly beautiful pen from natural (and uncontrollable) material. Finish it and then make another. Beautiful blank. Congratulations.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Cool looking blank, I love the look of pinecone pens, but never done one myself. You should be able to get a smooth/high gloss finish after turning off some of the CA. You might have some bubbles or defects under the surface that are visible, but should be smooth on the surface. I like to hit the blank with 400 grit sandpaper, if there are any glossy spots then I keep sanding until the whole blank is a consistent matte look. I’ve also found that wet sanding gets a slurry going and you can remove CA pretty fast with 400 grit. Good luck, I hope you can get it looking how you want!
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Old 11-09-2017, 02:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Definitely fixable. I do pine cones often and encounter this often. I don’t think it’s user error at all. I stabilize the pine cones first but even that doesn’t solve the issues completely. On my knife blanks I make I fill with clear epoxy and sand flat but the pens don’t show until turned as you’ve seen. My fix at least is to fill with medium CA and pole the holes with a toothpick with the CA in the hole. This will help push air out. Then some careful sanding so you don’t take your blank down to far, especially since yours is to a finished state. I just use medium and let it dry completely before sanding. You can do it!! That’s a beautiful blank.
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Old 11-09-2017, 02:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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According to your post, you are defeating yourself by using thick CA first, then thin CA.
You should use thin CA first, so it soaks in, then use medium at most.
I don't think I ever heard of anyone using thick CA for a finish.
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Old 11-09-2017, 09:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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It ended up chipping at the end of the tube when I want to sand it. If I were to do it again, I would leave it proud on the edges, fill the holes with epoxy, and the after the epoxy cured, skew it down to the correct size for a CA finish. As for now, I will use a different blank for this pen. Was a learning experience.
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Old 11-10-2017, 01:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Mark, if you don't have anymore blanks like that, check out my store and pick one out and I'll ship it to you for free. Maybe try another pine cone one so you get a win out of this? My store is in my signature.
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