First (almost) complete kitless FP

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FGarbrecht

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Aug 22, 2019
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I say 'almost complete' because photography is excellent at exposing flaws that I didn't see before. The section needs a bit more polishing, and alumilite seems to be a powerful dust magnet. Also, the barrel threads looked pretty good by eye but the photo shows that they need to be cleaned up and polished. I have not put ink in it yet either so I'm not sure it will actually write :rolleyes:

Specs
Blanks cast from alumilite and turned mostly using the metal lathe. Bock #5 triple (nib, feed and housing), I made the section to fit. Final shaping and polishing on the wood lathe using home-made pin chucks. Tips and tricks freely used from the tutorial section here and the invaluable advice of many generous members who have answered my questions.
IMG_0319.jpegIMG_0323.jpeg
 
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darrin1200

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Mar 17, 2010
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Nice job Frederick.
I still struggle with nicely polished threads. I polish the tenon, before cutting the threads, then I flood with mineral oil, while I am using the die to cut the threads. It really helps.

Another trick I have been trying, with limited success, is to lap the threads with a polishing compound. Put a little compound on the threads, and twist the cap on and off for a while. It takes quite a bit of water and patience to clean the compound out of the threads, but it does seem to help a little.
 

FGarbrecht

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Very nice work!

How do you clean up and polish your threads? Do you use a liquid polisher like novus, or is there another way?
I'd be interested in hearing from the masters on this as well. I put some Novus 2 on the threads and turned the barrel and cap threads together about a million times, then used a toothbrush to sweep away the gook. Probably need to do this again to get my threads looking better, but if anyone has better suggestions would love to hear them.

I'd also be interested in how people clean up the inside of their bored holes / internal threads. The inside of the cap and barrel on this pen look fairly ragged. Maybe a test tube brush with some Novus?
 

FGarbrecht

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I just opened this photo in Adobe Lightroom and also saw some swirly tool marks on the barrel. Back to the shop!
 

Pierre---

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Congrats Fred, you learn quickly!
I polish my threads with some compound on a slow Dremel brush.
I would not trust a pin chuck for thin walls, I prefer an ER collet, or a threaded bar for finishing, but I would be interested in hearing what others do...
 

FGarbrecht

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Aug 22, 2019
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Congrats Fred, you learn quickly!
I polish my threads with some compound on a slow Dremel brush.
I would not trust a pin chuck for thin walls, I prefer an ER collet, or a threaded bar for finishing, but I would be interested in hearing what others do...
Thanks Pierre
I think the pin chuck works because I am turning relatively thick walled material at this point, I haven't tried to do a pen yet with very thin, graceful lines :oops: . I made some jam chucks with delrin also; they work OK but there is a bit too much wobble. I made some threaded delrin rods too which work really well for shaping the section. They may work for the cap and barrel too now that I'm doing the initial turning the metal lathe with a collet chuck, thus producing a very uniform straight sided material; when I've started the turning by hand on the wood lathe there always seems to be a little too much wobble to finish turn them on a threaded rod. I love my ER collet chuck but I like to be able to work on the whole piece at once when I am finishing, so I'll probably stick with the pin chucks. The collet chuck is fantastic for initial shaping, drilling and tapping (as you know).

P.S. I think my next workshop project is going to be a threading jig, I really want to try turning a wood fountain pen.
 

Ironwood

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May 31, 2010
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Mackay. Australia
It gets a bit lost on that dark background, but from what I can see, you have done well for your first one.

With my threads, I do as someone already mentioned, sand and polish the tenon before starting the thread cutting. Plenty of lube, and I go very steady when cutting the thread. I turn the die maybe about an 8th of a turn, then reverse the die the same amount, then cut another 8th of a turn, keep doing that until the full thread is cut. Then I clean the threads with a toothbrush and some water with dishwashing liquid added. I buff my threads on the buffing wheel carefully. Then use the toothbrush again to get any buffing compound out of the threads. I think with every pen, my threads get a little better. I am up to about kitless pen #7 now.
 

darrin1200

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Mar 17, 2010
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These are what I use in my er32. For holding and shaping, after the internal work is done.

The chuck end is 14mm, then the rest is turned for the style of pen I’m making.
These front three are for my pocket pen.
L-R barrel, section, cap.

I am starting to amass a collection of them.
 

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FGarbrecht

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Aug 22, 2019
Messages
258
Location
NY
These are what I use in my er32. For holding and shaping, after the internal work is done.

The chuck end is 14mm, then the rest is turned for the style of pen I’m making.
These front three are for my pocket pen.
L-R barrel, section, cap.

I am starting to amass a collection of them.
Time to start, looks like a very good way to hold the work!
 

Ironwood

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May 31, 2010
Messages
849
Location
Mackay. Australia
These are what I use in my er32. For holding and shaping, after the internal work is done.

The chuck end is 14mm, then the rest is turned for the style of pen I’m making.
These front three are for my pocket pen.
L-R barrel, section, cap.

I am starting to amass a collection of them.
They look good, did you use aluminium to make them ?
I make similar style mandrels out of offcuts of resin blanks.
 

darrin1200

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Mar 17, 2010
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Lyn, Ontario, Canada
They look good, did you use aluminium to make them ?
I make similar style mandrels out of offcuts of resin blanks.

I started out making them in acrylic, using spare pen blanks. With the acrylic I could do them on my wood lathe with little difficulty.
Once I got the metal lathe, I started doing them in aluminum rod. I turn all the bases to a standard 14mm, with as tight a tolerance as I an in my collet chuck.
 
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