First attempt at a pen (and glue up, and inlay, and CA)

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faas

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As the title implies, I thought I'd go all out with my first pen. Lot of firsts with mixed results. The glue up was a success (Mesquite burl with Texas Ebony)and I give the solder inlay an A-. The pen turned out nice but for some reason when I trimmed the ends they didn't square up correctly, which is very aggravating to me! I squared with a trimmer from WoodCraft but sanded the extra CA off the end after finishing. Maybe I sanded too much and got into the wood. I didn't think so but it's possible. The CA finish made me want to pull my hair out!! I didn't have any plastic polish or a buffing system so I just made do.

Critiques are welcome and appreciated! (sorry for the cell phone picture)

 
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JimB

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Nice job and that is a lot of 'firsts'! Did you use the correct size shaft on your trimmer for the tube in that kit? If not that can cause the ends not to be square. Also, the trimmers will not get the ends as square as some other methods.
 

faas

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Nice job and that is a lot of 'firsts'! Did you use the correct size shaft on your trimmer for the tube in that kit? If not that can cause the ends not to be square. Also, the trimmers will not get the ends as square as some other methods.
I think it was the correct size. I'll double check, but I'm pretty certain when I bought the slimline kit, I double checked the reamer on the trimmer.
 

faas

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Very nice result, for all those firsts !! Isn't solder too soft for use as a pen segment ? .... or am I misunderstanding ?
It very well may be. I tried researching solder inlays for pens, but must not have been searching with the correct terms because I didn't turn up much. I know people are using it for duck calls which is where I got the idea. It may not be ideal, but for learning, it was soft enough to to try easily. I'm open for suggestions to other ways to accomplish this. Adds a nice touch i think.
 

JimB

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Nice job and that is a lot of 'firsts'! Did you use the correct size shaft on your trimmer for the tube in that kit? If not that can cause the ends not to be square. Also, the trimmers will not get the ends as square as some other methods.
I think it was the correct size. I'll double check, but I'm pretty certain when I bought the slimline kit, I double checked the reamer on the trimmer.
I wasn't 100% sure if that was a slimline. If it is and it's a 7mm tube then you probably have the right reamer as that is (I believe) the smallest that comes with them.

Perhaps you were being too aggressive with it and it took at small chunks of material. I imagine it is sharp if it is new but you can also sharpen the cutter. I believe there is an article in the library if you don't know how to sharpen it.
 

magpens

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Very nice result, for all those firsts !! Isn't solder too soft for use as a pen segment ? .... or am I misunderstanding ?
It very well may be. I tried researching solder inlays for pens, but must not have been searching with the correct terms because I didn't turn up much. I know people are using it for duck calls which is where I got the idea. It may not be ideal, but for learning, it was soft enough to to try easily. I'm open for suggestions to other ways to accomplish this. Adds a nice touch i think.
Many people use aluminum. I haven't heard of using solder before .... looks like it was in the form of a bar or a stick.
 

faas

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I wasn't 100% sure if that was a slimline. If it is and it's a 7mm tube then you probably have the right reamer as that is (I believe) the smallest that comes with them.

Perhaps you were being too aggressive with it and it took at small chunks of material. I imagine it is sharp if it is new but you can also sharpen the cutter. I believe there is an article in the library if you don't know how to sharpen it.
I didn't think about that. A little bit of tear out on the end could have caused it. The trimmer is sharp, but I probably wasn't as easy with it as I should have been.

Many people use aluminum. I haven't heard of using solder before .... looks like it was in the form of a bar or a stick.
It was regular rolled solder. The abridged version is to make a groove just narrower than the solder with a parting tool, glue it in and solder the ends together making a seamless piece, then turn down carefully to the diameter of the pen.
 

magpens

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faas said:
magpens said:
Many people use aluminum. I haven't heard of using solder before .... looks like it was in the form of a bar or a stick.
It was regular rolled solder. The abridged version is to make a groove just narrower than the solder with a parting tool, glue it in and solder the ends together making a seamless piece, then turn down carefully to the diameter of the pen.

Solder the ends together? .... without burning the wood of the pen ?
 

Tom T

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Great job for the first. Think about using a disc sander to square or even the lathe. I no longer use the trimmer. I got to much tare out and ripple. Using a small delta disk sander works great. If not happy with that touch it up with sand paper in the head stick and a punch in the tail stock to slide the tube up to the sand paper.
Great first pen. Keep turning.
 

faas

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Solder the ends together? .... without burning the wood of the pen ?
You got it. Not with a flame though. I use one of these with a very fine point. Just get it hot enough to melt the two ends and fill the seam.

I'm not sure of the rules here about posting links to other forums, but if you're interested I can point you in the direction of the post I learned from. Just shoot me a PM.
 

79spitfire

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It's an interesting idea. As long as you use Silver Bearing (for drinking water) solder it should be fine. The only downside I can see is it will tarnish, and need to be polished.
 

Charlie_W

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It's an interesting idea. As long as you use Silver Bearing (for drinking water) solder it should be fine. The only downside I can see is it will tarnish, and need to be polished.
The pen ( including the solder) has a CA finish so the solder should not tarnish and if the CA is thick enough will help overcome the lighter density. Sort of like using CA over softwood. It will add a hard shell finish. Still, a drop on the floor can still cause damage.
 
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