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Ron in Drums PA 08-28-2005 11:17 AM

Laminated Pen Blanks
Making laminated pens similar to the ones we see here on IAP is very simple. For those who don’t know how it’s done here is a quick method to help get you started.

Pen blanks
White Glue
Wax paper

Scroll Saw
2-3 Clamps

Staring off:
On a sheet of paper draw a rectangle the size and shape of your pen blank. Tracing the blank makes this easy. Now draw a pleasing curve inside the box. It’s best not to make to tight of a curve until you are familiar with this process. A simple S curve is a good starter. With a pair if scissors cut along the curved line. This will be your template.

Transfer the image using your template onto the pen blank with a pencil.

Scroll saw:
Not surprisingly working with curves is easier than using straight lines. No matter how you cut the blank, you will always get a matching pair. Besides, it’s simpler to cut a curvy line than a perfectly straight line on a scroll saw. The best blade to use will be the one that gives you the smoothest finished surface.

Cut a few strips of veneer a little longer then the size of your pen blanks. Be creative here, mix and match contrasting woods for a pleasing effect.

Cauls are just wood blanks that are used to help evenly apply pressure during a clamp up. If your pen blank is 3/4" x 3/4" x 5", make your cauls at least 3/4" x 2" (wider the better) x 6". The narrower your cauls are the more clamps you will need to use.

Dry run:
Gather your clamps, pen blanks, veneer, cauls and wax paper. Sandwich your materials in this order:

Wax paper (used to prevent the caul from becoming part of your pen blank)
One half of your pen blank
Second half of your pen blank
Wax paper

A quick note here, some veneers will crack if the curve is too tight. Soaking the veneer in water before glue up will help in most cases.

Glue up:
I like using white glue (elmers) because it stays open longer than yellow glue. Next, apply glue to all mating surfaces. If you miss any surface, you may have a void in your blank. Once all surfaces have glue, arrange the blanks and veneer in the predetermined order and clamp. You need to work quickly because you want to finish clamping before the glue starts to set.

When clamping you don’t need herculean pressure, just even pressure. Too much pressure is as bad, if not worse than to little pressure, you don’t want to squeeze all the glue out. Also, too much glue can be as bad as to little glue. With practice you will learn to use the right amount of glue and clamp pressure.

Let sit over night to dry.

The next day unclamp your blank and clean up any glue than has squeezed out. Rotate the blank so the edge of the blank that does not show the laminations is facing up. Now start all over again marking your blank with your template and so on until you have completed all the steps a second time.

There you go, hope this helps you get started! Enjoy!

ctEaglesc 08-28-2005 07:04 PM

I'd love to see a finished pen.

woodscavenger 08-28-2005 07:36 PM

Fine! Make me go buy veneer! Thanks.[V]

alamocdc 08-28-2005 09:59 PM

Shane, you can cut your own. [:D] Since you only need small pieces, you can use your TS or BS to cut the "veneers". Of course, it you use a BS, you'll also need a drum (thickness) sander. [xx(]

ctEaglesc 09-01-2005 05:23 AM

The blank should be finished long before now, how's the pen coming?

Ron in Drums PA 09-01-2005 08:26 AM

Actually I'm writting an article on how to make a pen like your ARBEZ this time along with photos.

Would you care to supply some input?

ctEaglesc 09-01-2005 08:55 AM

Should be a winner based on previous work.Anything original in the works or do you just copy?
Edit in.
I got the concept from a <b>picture</b> RPM posted and stated so in one of my posts,
I don't know if he was the first to do this but in my album there is a picture of the first pen I made using this method acknowledging RPM with thanks.
The original concept had much larger inlays.

timdaleiden 09-01-2005 09:05 AM


Originally posted by cteaglesc
<br />Should be a winner based on previous work.Anything original in the works or do you just copy?
[V]Will it never end?[V]

Dario 09-01-2005 09:12 AM


Originally posted by timdaleiden
[V]Will it never end?[V]
At this rate, I am afraid it won't. [V]

Old Griz 09-01-2005 09:50 AM


Originally posted by Dario
<br />

Originally posted by timdaleiden
[V]Will it never end?[V]
At this rate, I am afraid it won't. [V]
At the risk of being accused of supporting Eagle and agreeing with him [:p][;)]
I have to say that if he does not want to share his system for making laminations that is his business.... He has developed a system for producing finely laminated pen blanks that I doubt I could do..
Personally I will share whatever meager knowledge I have of pen turning with anyone dumb enough to listen to me... but that is just the way I do things...
Eagle has made a lot of us think "outside the box" and that is a good thing... we all need to do that or we become stagnent... there are a lot of other turners here that have done the same... not all have shared how they do things.. or maybe at best they gave us "hints" that made us think about how we might go about doing something..
I am working on something that is a combination of a bunch of "hints and ideas" that I gleaned from others here on the site.. will it work, I sure hope so... will it be perfect, I also hope so but doubt it.. the first iteration of a concept rarely is.

Eagle and I have had our problems... that is a well known fact.. but I know I respect his talents and his ability to produce new and exciting pieces. Am I ticked off that he won't tell me how to do it.. NO.. I like to think that I am smart enough to figure it out given the time and proper tools. I also would like to think that if I did figure it out and posted an Eagle Clone Pen, he would tell me what I did right and/or wrong... and I could also accept that.

Nuff Said.. I am now getting off the soap box.

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