First Pen Barrels Turned from Aluminum Rod

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magpens

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This is something I have been meaning to do for some time.

I bought some 1/2" diameter aluminum rod from Home Depot and made a couple of pen barrels. . It was a whole lot easier than I expected it to be and I am quite happy with the results. . I think I'll give the Bolt Action to my next-door neighbor.

The Bolt Action (gun metal) on the right has perfectly straight sides.

The Button Click Sierra (Ti-Gld and Blk-Ti) on the left is bulged slightly.

I didn't use the brass tubes from the kits. . Drilled the aluminum with a size W bit for the Sierra and with a size S bit for the Bolt Action. . Fit was near
perfect; then glued the parts in with epoxy.

I used my metal lathe to turn the blanks but there is no reason to not use a wood lathe if you do it carefully and take small cuts. . Sanded to 2000 with the same paper I use for acrylic. . Polished with some white paste I had lying around.

 
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mark james

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Thanks for posting these Mal.

I am still fighting the urge for a small metal lathe, so seeing these and hearing encouragement to replicate with a lathe with wood turning tools is wonderful.

Awesome pens!
 

jttheclockman

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Those did come out well.

There is no problem turning on a wood lathe at all. Turn with wood tools too if you prefer but will need sharpening more. Nice to use carbide for at least the initial turning and then maybe switch to a skew. The one warning is the metal fillings and getting them in the controller or motor. They usually are not hot enough for use with a dust collector but I do not run it when turning metals of any kind.
 

magpens

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Yes, John ... one needs to be aware of the danger of igniting the wood dust with hot metal particles, especially from a grinder !

There is a funny story about the differences in education between countries. . I did my post-graduate work under a professor who went to school in UK. . One day he came to the lab where I was working and told how he had been painting a few rooms in his house and stuffed the paint-soiled rags in a metal can in his basement. . Of course, you will know what happened. . He had a fire. . He had never heard of spontaneous combustion in all his years of high-falutin' English education. . I remember learning about it in my first science course, about Grade 7, or maybe even before that.

I know that hot metal particles can get you into trouble in more than one way ... but thanks for the reminder !!!! :biggrin:

I don't think aluminum would be such a problem ... mostly it comes off the lathe as long "cool" spirals.

(Now I didn't mean to hijack my own thread !!! )
 
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magpens

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Those look nice Mal. What white paste did you have lying around?

Thanks, Chuck.

The paste is some I got with a starter package of Mokume metal pen blanks I bought from ExoticBlanks. . There were 5 different blanks plus the paste (two tiny tubs, actually, Part A and Part B) and a UV flashlight. EB still sells that starter kit.
 

Dalecamino

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Those look nice Mal. What white paste did you have lying around?

Thanks, Chuck.

The paste is some I got with a starter package of Mokume metal pen blanks I bought from ExoticBlanks. . There were 5 different blanks plus the paste (two tiny tubs, actually, Part A and Part B) and a UV flashlight. EB still sells that starter kit.
Thanks. I have some of that stuff. :)
 
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