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Old 11-20-2017, 01:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default New For 2018 - Segmented Blanks

NEW FOR 2018 !
I have constructed some new wood segmented blanks with material cut to 1/8 " thickness . The 4 blanks on the left in the picture are all made with 1/8 " thickness pieces , while the 360 herringbone pattern blank on the right is made with 3/16 " thickness pieces. Obviously it takes more pieces of wood for the same length blank, but it seems to me that the finished product looks a little nicer. I am asking for opinions from the pen makers . All comments/ideas/suggestions are welcome. I plan on making more blanks for 2018 with 1/8 " and 3/16 " thickness pieces.
Thanks for looking.

Joe

My segmented blanks can be viewed and purchased from www.exoticblanks.com
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Old 11-20-2017, 07:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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If you like pens "a little nicer", only use the 1/8" segments. That is élégance.
In the third blank, the black veneer is really nice, like a shadow, it gives illusion of depth. But the red does not speaks to me.
Bravo for the work and such a nice result.
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Last edited by Pierre---; 11-20-2017 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Hi Joe:

I love the 1/8" segments. The middle blank (Indian Blanket...) is awesome.

Yup, I understand the effort for the thinner sections, but FWIW, I do like the thinner segments. But a devil to get in line for the blank from top to bottom.

Well done, those are some mighty nice blanks!

Be well, Mark
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Old 11-20-2017, 09:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I do like the 1/8" segments (3 on the left), but not necessarily moreso than your previous designs with bigger segments. . I like both and I think each has its beauty.

Now, since you have asked for opinions, I have something else to raise: .......

..... I have bought a few of your blanks like the above. I will voice my opinion and see if others resonate or not with my view. . First let me say, that when I bought them, they came direct from you and they were ... well ... affordable, then.

But as regards the overall design ... I found out pretty quickly that most of your blank designs don't lend themselves naturally to go with very many pen kits, and that has been a deterrent for me. . Specifically, in designs like you show above, the end caps just don't fit in for some choice of pen kit.

For example, if I wanted to make Sierra Click pens, I could not get two pens out of one of the above blanks. . So I would make one pen out of the middle section and the rest would be difficult to use. . I hate to waste any part.

Also, if you want to make a Jr. Anything, then you have to include a portion of the end cap into both parts of the pen kit and that doesn't always look good due to the center band. . Or you could use two of your blanks and make both halves of Jr. Anything look almost identical ... but needless to say, using two of your blanks to make one pen is very expensive.

Lately, I have been making single barrel cigar pens, and I like to use a fully patterned length of 4.37" (of course, I could include a portion of each end cap symmetrically to get that, but I don't much like the result ... the shortened end caps seem to artistically clash geometrically with the hardware ends of the kit ... nib and finial).

Some of your designs are "half" patterned and "half" plain and I can use those fine because they usually have very short end caps and I can get the 4.37" I need.

Would it be possible for you to make some of your designs without any end caps at all ? . That would be better for me, because I could get one single barrel cigar, or I could get 2 Sierra Clicks (I don't like Sierra Twists). . I think that you might use end caps to kind of "hide" what is going on inside ... you know the internal structure which is sometimes not symmetrical and I don't understand why that is either ... I think it would be really easy to make the internals symmetric. In fact, making the internals symmetric around the axial hexagonal center "rod" would be better because the patterned part would then suit just about every pen kit without risking the "show through" of internals when you turn the blank down to the diameter to suit the kit ... I hope you get my meaning.

I realize that I am taking a risk of offending you, Joe, by making the above comments in a public forum. . That is furthest from my intentions. . I want to say that I have the utmost admiration for your pen blank artistry and I want everyone to know that.

But perhaps by making these comments in public there may be something constructive (to you, Joe) that will come out of it, and perhaps also, some enlightenment for me.

The essence of my suggestion is that you leave off the end caps, and offer fully patterned blanks as well as half-and-half blanks (patterned/plain).

Thanks, Joe.
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Last edited by magpens; 11-21-2017 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 11-21-2017, 08:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for all your comments / help.
I have not made very many pens in the last few years, so I don't really know the wood size requirements for the many different pen kits on the market. It looks like two pieces of wood ( total of 4 inches in length ) would handle construction of the Cigar pens. Right or wrong ?
There is nothing internal with the wood blanks that need to be covered up with end caps. I just put them on there to sort of finish the product. Yes Mal, the caps could be left off , and make the pattern the full length and also make half and half ( top part pattern and bottom part figured wood ) blanks . You think the 4.37 inches is the length that would work for most pen kits ? I might just put 1/8 " caps on the blanks..........so the usable length would be 4 3/4 " .......total length of 5 " . I really don't see any problem making these changes for 2018 . Anyone have any comments about the use of corian pieces ?
At one time I considered the idea of only making custom ordered segmented blanks .......wood, corian and both materials . Then no guessing on what might sell . Don't know what Ed and Dawn would think about this idea......probably more work for them !! They are so nice to work with and I really enjoy our business relationship.

This is a woodworking FUN hobby for me and I use the funds for buying more wood and tools , and also helping a college student get an education in the field of Aerospace Technology . He and a few of his classmates had a guided tour by Space X of their projects at Kennedy Space Center. All were very motivated by the experience.

Take care and Happy Thanksgiving to all your families.

Joe
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Joe,

I realize that the end caps are used to "finish off" the blank. Certainly they give your blanks a lovely appearance. . I did not mean "cover up" in any negative way.

Not all of your blanks are built in the same way.

Some of them have a central hexagonal rod of wood, and then the pieces forming the external pattern are also originally hexagonal and of the same "diameter" as the central rod so that things all fit together, and then you turn the assembly round. And you have to take care to have the turning axis coincide with the symmetry axis of the central hex rod. I realize this takes considerable care on your part, Joe. If those two axes do not coincide then you could end up with the central rod being not properly centered in the final result and then the user might run the risk of turning right through the pattern and into the central rod, which you do not want to happen.

One disadvantage of the end caps ... for you ... is that, by gluing them on before you do your pre-sale turning, you might get your turning axis misaligned with the central rod axis. . The result could then be problematic for the buyer/user of your blank. . I hope you get what I mean.

I would recommend that you do your turning before the end caps are glued on .... in order to ensure proper alignment of axes for turning.

Or you could omit end caps altogether.

As for length of your blanks ....

I was not recommending 4.37" as your standard product offering.

I think 5" or 5 1/8" (the usual for most blank suppliers) would be most appropriate because pen makers could then either use the whole blank (as I do for single barrel cigars) or they could cut in half and use for two pens like Sierras. . Some waste would occur in both cases and that is unavoidable.

Some pen kits require blanks about 3" long, or a little longer, and those would not match well with a 5 1/8" blank from you ... too much waste .... but .... you cannot cater to every need unless you offer a variety of lengths, or unless the buyer/user is prepared for more waste than he really wants.

I cannot cover all bases or the needs of all users. . But I would recommend leaving off the end caps, or applying a "veneer" cap just for cosmetic reasons after you have done your pre-sale turning.

I hope these comments help in some way, Joe. . I truly love the look of your blanks and would like to be able to buy more of them.

As for Corian, which you specifically asked for comments about ....

I think that your blanks that use some Corian are especially unique and very attractive. . I would encourage you to think of more ways to use Corian in as many ways as you can. . Many of your blanks that use Corian have a basic squarish architecture and maybe you can think of ways to do six and eight-sided designs .... ultimately turned round by you.

I should really post pics of some pens I have made from your blanks, Joe. . But, sorry, I don't like taking pictures and I have sold many of those pens. . People really like their appearance, but not many can afford the higher cost.

I hope my comments can be useful to you. . And I hope that my critique is not taken as criticism. I love the appearance of your blanks and I fully appreciate the time it takes to do segmenting work like you do. . I know it is not easy to come up with designs that are both unusually beautiful and at the same time practical to make.
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Last edited by magpens; 11-21-2017 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Hi Mal. I don't have any blanks that require a central hexagonal rod of wood. The outside wood pattern pretty much extends all the way through the blank , like the 360 degree Herringbone and Celtic Knot. Some will have different patterns from different sides as the blank is rotated. One exception might be the Reversed Spiral Pattern , which is made with sliced 1/8 " wafers of wood. Some of the wood pieces are smaller than others and don't extend all the way through the blank , so as you would turn the blank smaller in diameter some colored woods might just be lost .......still the pattern looks good ( in my opinion ) . No trouble in maintaining the center of the segmented blanks after end caps. As you probably know, Celtic Knot blank construction requires first a square blank , then maintaining the center axis after cutting the 4 rings. I just finished making an 8 ring knot , starting with an octagon cut blank. Worked out pretty good, but not perfect ! Any time you want to try to construct one of my blanks , just let me know , and I will walk you through the process via PM . Have you tried to make a 360 degree Herringbone blank ? Not all that difficult ( don't use the tutorial ) , just requires practice. Mark James visited with me last year for one day , and we had a great time in my shop ........we all learned something . Thanks again for your comments . Hope some of the other pen makers will pitch in and chit chat !!!!
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Joe, is this not one of yours ? . I was very sure I bought it from you.

The pen kit is an Emperor RB ... upper barrel on right, lower barrel on left - both turned to size but unfinished and only partially shown.

Disc in middle shows a cross-sectional slice of the blank as received but before drilling and before any turning.

I think it can be seen what I mean about there being a minimum diameter to which the blank can be turned without encroaching on the hexagonal center rod. . That minimum diameter is larger than it needs to be, due to the central rod axis being misaligned relative to the overall blank axis. . This is no problem for the large diameter format of the Emperor, but would certainly be a problem for a Slimline (minimum diam of 0.334") or a Comfort pen kit, and maybe even for a Sierra (especially at the ends of the Sierra tube where the turned blank diameter comes down to 0.472" to meet the pen kit nib section and the top finial section).

The scale would be better understood if I had included a caliper measuring the diameter of the disc which is 0.872" compared to the turned diameter of 0.600" for the lower barrel (left) and the turned diameter of 0.665" for the upper barrel (right).

The hexagonal center of the disc has a dimension of 0.480" (point to point) so, indeed, this blank would not suit a Sierra pen kit (even without considering the axis misalignment, or, said another way, the off-centeredness of the hexagon in the "middle" of the slice shown).

These numerical facts should be known by the potential user of the blank so that an appropriate pen kit can be selected to go with it.
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Last edited by magpens; 11-21-2017 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Yes, I do remember making a few of those hex blanks a few years back, but my accuracy was terrible .........didn't like the result ......too difficult maybe to cut all those small hexagon shaped pieces of small wood, and then glue them together. You will not see them again from me !! I have tried a number of different designs and some are good and some are not so good. KEEP IT SIMPLE I enjoy the challenge to create something different in woodworking, probably from my aerospace engineering experience working on the Space Program, from Project Gemini, Apollo , to Space Shuttle.Thanks for the comments .
Take care.
Joe

Last edited by wood128; 11-21-2017 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 11-23-2017, 04:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I have posted 3 photos of a pen that I made from one of Joe's blanks ... a blank which I think is one of Joe's nicest.

The link to my thread in "Show Off Your Pens" is as follows :

One of Joe Schneider's Nicest Blanks (wood128)
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