Cigar with a 1 Piece Body Step by Step - so to speak

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad
See more from DrD

DrD

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
1,022
Location
Columbus, Mississippi
After one of my initial posts about turning a one-piece Cigar, someone asked about how to do it. Mal @magpens has give an excellent step by step using a smaller tube than what comes with the kit; his is a great idea, allowing lots of extra material on the tube, strengthening the overall integrity of the finished tube, and the completed pen. As I discussed with Mal, there are a lot of machining steps in getting to that smaller tune, and for those of us lacking the means to perform those steps, I chose to go with using the tubes that come with the kit. Both ways work, and both ways can result in really nice pens.

The only "machining" step in the way I use is the removal of the very large flange on what BHW calls the "Twist Holder." The unmodified component is shown in pic 1; it is the big shiny thing on the right-hand side of the completed lower tube. It serves as a demarcation between the upper and lower barrels in a standard Cigar pen.

Pic 2 shows the "Twist Holder" with the flange removed and the lower brass tube attached. The way I removed the flange is dictated by the equipment I have in my shop. The easiest way I could see to remove the flange was to attach the lower tube to the Twist Holder (by pushing the Twist Holder into the tube). Then taking this assembly to my wood lathe, and mounting it between centers. The lathe was dialed down to approx 350rpms, and I uses a medium metal file to "grind" down the flange, flush with the attached brass tube. Caution and Care must be exercised here. Care - DO NOT let the file touch the exposed threads on the Twist Holder. One way to prevent this is to attach the twist mechanism - the transmission or tranny - to the threaded portion of the Twist Holder, and putting this between the centers on your lathe, being careful to tighten the tailstock ONLY tight enough to keep the Tube - Twist Holder - Tranny spinning while taking a file to remove the flange. CAUTION - there will be tiny slivers of brass resulting from the file removing material - USE Safety Goggles, and don't get too close. Be careful when dressing the filed down assembly, brass splinters hurt - DAMHIK!

The product of your diligent filing is shown in pic 3. Pic 4 shows the completed "lower assembly" for your 1 piece Cigar pen.

The hardest task in this build is drilling the hole thru a long piece of acrylic, in this case, or whatever your choice of pen body happens to be. I chose Yellow acrylic with black swirls, BHW AA(28). Fortunately the piece I chose to use was "reasonably" rectilinear, measuring ~ 5/8" x 5/8" x 6". Having only a wood lathe available, I had to ensure the correct placement of the blank into my 4-jaw chuck. After much experimentation, I found the best - read happiest - results came NOT from tightening the jaws on the blank flats, but rather mounting the EDGES of the blank into the small recesses - groves - found on the inside ends of the jaws. I attached the original blank into the chuck. The 10mm drill bit was mounted in a Jacobs chuck with a MT2 taper - available from your local Harbor Freight. The drill bit was mounted, exposing a skosh more than 4 1/2" of the bit; this gave enough of the bit to ensure it would drill deeply enough for the needed blank. Drill SLOWLY; I drill acrylics at no more than 350 rpms, and back the bit out frequently to clean the bit and let the bit and blank cool. I have blown out more blanks drilling that I would like to remember, not to mentions the times I have had the bit seize due to MY impatience.

Following drilling I then cut to final length. Cutting to final length can be done any variety of ways, I use a bandsaw. That length is 4 1/2" + a smidgen for squaring off. SO, by drilling the un-cut blank, I reduced the risk of blowout as the bit exited the back side of the blank, and when I cut the drilled blank to 4 1/2". the hole is completely thru. Pic 5 shows the pen components in relationship to the drilled and cut blank (in this case African Blackwood).

The drilled blank is next turned to round by mounting between centers; this can be done with or without brass tubing. The reason for using brass tubes at this stage would be if the material being turned is soft, and turning between centers would "open" up the hole diameters at the point of contact with the dead and/or live center. If that is the case, brass minimizes the opening upset. Before the sanding steps, I square the body, with unglued tubes inserted.

Pic 6 shows the blank turned round and profiled. I use a Negative Rake Magic Skew with a round cutter to turn the blank round. Profiling is done with a combination of carbide cutters and sandpaper. With acrylics, sanding is done wet, from 220 grit thru MM12000. Finishing is done with Meguiar's 105 and 205, followed by a coat of Ren Wax. It's your preference as to sanding on or off the lathe, sanding with the lathe spinning or not, sanding the blank from end to end, etc. At this point the "cap" tube is glued into the cap end of the acrylic body.

Pic 7 shows the finished pen components.

The remaining 4 pics show various sides of the completed pen.

I hope you enjoy the pics. Comments are appreciated.

DrD
 

Attachments

  • 1.jpg
    1.jpg
    221 KB · Views: 99
  • 2.jpg
    2.jpg
    336.4 KB · Views: 96
  • 3.jpg
    3.jpg
    326.8 KB · Views: 88
  • 4.jpg
    4.jpg
    324.6 KB · Views: 81
  • 1_pc_AfricanBlackwood1.jpg
    1_pc_AfricanBlackwood1.jpg
    311.5 KB · Views: 72
  • 5.jpg
    5.jpg
    233.1 KB · Views: 83
  • 6.jpg
    6.jpg
    246.7 KB · Views: 75
  • Completed_pen1.jpg
    Completed_pen1.jpg
    233.1 KB · Views: 74
  • Completed_pen2.jpg
    Completed_pen2.jpg
    226.2 KB · Views: 74
  • Completed_pen3.jpg
    Completed_pen3.jpg
    211.5 KB · Views: 70
  • Completed_pen4.jpg
    Completed_pen4.jpg
    231.8 KB · Views: 93

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
13,648
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
@DrD

This is outstanding work, Don, and an outstanding description !!!

A real boon to anyone wanting to get into the making of single-barrel Cigar pens !!

Thank you very much for this !!! :D :D :D
 
Last edited:

mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
10,318
Location
Medina, Ohio
The efforts both you and Mal have done for this modification is excellent. I hope to get back to my shop this winter and this is at the top of my list. Well done gents!
 

Wayne

IAP Library Manager
Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2006
Messages
524
Location
East Troy, Wisconsin, USA.
After one of my initial posts about turning a one-piece Cigar, someone asked about how to do it. Mal @magpens has give an excellent step by step using a smaller tube than what comes with the kit; his is a great idea, allowing lots of extra material on the tube, strengthening the overall integrity of the finished tube, and the completed pen. As I discussed with Mal, there are a lot of machining steps in getting to that smaller tune, and for those of us lacking the means to perform those steps, I chose to go with using the tubes that come with the kit. Both ways work, and both ways can result in really nice pens.

The only "machining" step in the way I use is the removal of the very large flange on what BHW calls the "Twist Holder." The unmodified component is shown in pic 1; it is the big shiny thing on the right-hand side of the completed lower tube. It serves as a demarcation between the upper and lower barrels in a standard Cigar pen.

Pic 2 shows the "Twist Holder" with the flange removed and the lower brass tube attached. The way I removed the flange is dictated by the equipment I have in my shop. The easiest way I could see to remove the flange was to attach the lower tube to the Twist Holder (by pushing the Twist Holder into the tube). Then taking this assembly to my wood lathe, and mounting it between centers. The lathe was dialed down to approx 350rpms, and I uses a medium metal file to "grind" down the flange, flush with the attached brass tube. Caution and Care must be exercised here. Care - DO NOT let the file touch the exposed threads on the Twist Holder. One way to prevent this is to attach the twist mechanism - the transmission or tranny - to the threaded portion of the Twist Holder, and putting this between the centers on your lathe, being careful to tighten the tailstock ONLY tight enough to keep the Tube - Twist Holder - Tranny spinning while taking a file to remove the flange. CAUTION - there will be tiny slivers of brass resulting from the file removing material - USE Safety Goggles, and don't get too close. Be careful when dressing the filed down assembly, brass splinters hurt - DAMHIK!

The product of your diligent filing is shown in pic 3. Pic 4 shows the completed "lower assembly" for your 1 piece Cigar pen.

The hardest task in this build is drilling the hole thru a long piece of acrylic, in this case, or whatever your choice of pen body happens to be. I chose Yellow acrylic with black swirls, BHW AA(28). Fortunately the piece I chose to use was "reasonably" rectilinear, measuring ~ 5/8" x 5/8" x 6". Having only a wood lathe available, I had to ensure the correct placement of the blank into my 4-jaw chuck. After much experimentation, I found the best - read happiest - results came NOT from tightening the jaws on the blank flats, but rather mounting the EDGES of the blank into the small recesses - groves - found on the inside ends of the jaws. I attached the original blank into the chuck. The 10mm drill bit was mounted in a Jacobs chuck with a MT2 taper - available from your local Harbor Freight. The drill bit was mounted, exposing a skosh more than 4 1/2" of the bit; this gave enough of the bit to ensure it would drill deeply enough for the needed blank. Drill SLOWLY; I drill acrylics at no more than 350 rpms, and back the bit out frequently to clean the bit and let the bit and blank cool. I have blown out more blanks drilling that I would like to remember, not to mentions the times I have had the bit seize due to MY impatience.

Following drilling I then cut to final length. Cutting to final length can be done any variety of ways, I use a bandsaw. That length is 4 1/2" + a smidgen for squaring off. SO, by drilling the un-cut blank, I reduced the risk of blowout as the bit exited the back side of the blank, and when I cut the drilled blank to 4 1/2". the hole is completely thru. Pic 5 shows the pen components in relationship to the drilled and cut blank (in this case African Blackwood).

The drilled blank is next turned to round by mounting between centers; this can be done with or without brass tubing. The reason for using brass tubes at this stage would be if the material being turned is soft, and turning between centers would "open" up the hole diameters at the point of contact with the dead and/or live center. If that is the case, brass minimizes the opening upset. Before the sanding steps, I square the body, with unglued tubes inserted.

Pic 6 shows the blank turned round and profiled. I use a Negative Rake Magic Skew with a round cutter to turn the blank round. Profiling is done with a combination of carbide cutters and sandpaper. With acrylics, sanding is done wet, from 220 grit thru MM12000. Finishing is done with Meguiar's 105 and 205, followed by a coat of Ren Wax. It's your preference as to sanding on or off the lathe, sanding with the lathe spinning or not, sanding the blank from end to end, etc. At this point the "cap" tube is glued into the cap end of the acrylic body.

Pic 7 shows the finished pen components.

The remaining 4 pics show various sides of the completed pen.

I hope you enjoy the pics. Comments are appreciated.

DrD

DrD,

This does belong in our library. There Is more than one way to skin a cat!
 
Top Bottom