In search of honest feedback!

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Jmaxcy

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Joined
Mar 28, 2021
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46
Location
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Hi all

I'm relatively new to turning, have done about 20 or so pens thus far. Given the overall wealth of knowledge on this site I see every day on various threads, I wanted to see if I could solicit some honest feedback on some of my finished products. Thanks in advance for any feedback you can provide!

ps - please ignore the photo quality, I'm in the middle of fashioning a pen display out of a piece of ambrosia maple I had from a home improvement project. I actually don't mind the set up in the last picture but think I can still do better at displaying.
 

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KenB259

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Dec 24, 2017
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Michigan
Looks to me like you finishing with a wax or friction polish. If that's the case, they look fine. Speaking for myself, though I think it's common, the reason I don't use that type of finish is because they wont last very long. I have found most, not all, but most people prefer shiny.
 

Jmaxcy

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Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
46
Location
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Looks to me like you finishing with a wax or friction polish. If that's the case, they look fine. Speaking for myself, though I think it's common, the reason I don't use that type of finish is because they wont last very long. I have found most, not all, but most people prefer shiny.
Thanks Ken

yes I'm using pens plus for my finish. I'll typically do a coat or two of CA in between grits to fill any voids.

Ive read many many threads on here about CA v Pens plus and other wax or friction finishes debate and it seems that the consensus is that CA is certainly the most durable. However I read a couple threads where people tend to think pens plus does last the longest out of the wax/friction finishes.

the reason I started using pens plus was That I kept getting CA finishes wrong, and when I would get it somewhat right i just didn't like the look of it as it seemed unnatural to some extent. And also, albeit not a great reason, pens plus is very easy to apply and achieve a satisfactory result in a short period of time.

maybe I'll try a CA finish again now that I have more pens under my belt. While I certainly didn't love the look, and personally would prefer the more satin finish and real feel of a wax/friction finish, if I intend on selling these somewhere down the road I realize I need to put my preferences aside!

thanks so much for the feedback I really appreciate it.
 

KenB259

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Dec 24, 2017
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Michigan
Thanks Ken

yes I'm using pens plus for my finish. I'll typically do a coat or two of CA in between grits to fill any voids.

Ive read many many threads on here about CA v Pens plus and other wax or friction finishes debate and it seems that the consensus is that CA is certainly the most durable. However I read a couple threads where people tend to think pens plus does last the longest out of the wax/friction finishes.

the reason I started using pens plus was That I kept getting CA finishes wrong, and when I would get it somewhat right i just didn't like the look of it as it seemed unnatural to some extent. And also, albeit not a great reason, pens plus is very easy to apply and achieve a satisfactory result in a short period of time.

maybe I'll try a CA finish again now that I have more pens under my belt. While I certainly didn't love the look, and personally would prefer the more satin finish and real feel of a wax/friction finish, if I intend on selling these somewhere down the road I realize I need to put my preferences aside!

thanks so much for the feedback I really appreciate it.
Yes, finishing is one aspect that draws a lot of opinions. No wrong or right and if you don't like a CA finish then you shouldn't use it. Now personally I like the look of a CA finish. LOL I'm in the shiny camp.
 

LK&T

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Dec 1, 2020
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139
Location
Sedro Woolley, WA
Without holding them, I'd say they look really nice. A couple of the barrels may be a tad oversized where they meet the nibs, but hard to tell in the pics. Over is better than under as far as feel is concerned, and how much time you wanna spend getting it perfect is up to you. I like the wood choices too. I agree that your friction finish looks well done and it sure shows the wood well. And it's true that a wax finish won't be as durable as CA, or other hard drying finishes. Folks that actually use the pens a lot will wear off the wax in short order. If you decide that you want a more durable finish and don't like the glass smooth and shiny look, you can do that too. Hard drying finishes don't have to be "finished" to a glassy shine. I do a lot of custom knife handles and, unlike pens, I don't like the way a glassy finish looks on knife handles. I still use CA on the handles for durability and waterproofness, but I use 0000 steel wool for the final "sanding" and get the look I want, which looks a lot more like a friction finish. You could do the same with pens.
 

DavidD

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Oct 4, 2017
Messages
266
Location
Boulder, Colorado
They look great! CA vs. polish is only a matter of preference, and it looks like you've finished them expertly. Thanks for posting!
 

GuyOwen

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Mar 25, 2021
Messages
39
Location
Minneapolis Minnesota
the finish on your pens look good experiment with you finishes, the tolerances are mostly close looks like one is dead on and other then you are under with such a small window for perfection it takes some skill. keep with pen turning and try new designs even if it doesnt turn out well
 

mnerland

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Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
73
Location
Bowling Green, KY
I think they look great! The darker pen however, seems to have almost a concave shape on the upper barrel. Kind of different for a cigar, unless of course that is what you were going for. The pens plus finish looks good as well and is a personal preference.
 

PatrickR

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Joined
Apr 8, 2017
Messages
647
Location
Rural America
They look pretty good. Some size issues here and there. Your hands will tell you where there is room for improvement. one advantage to a CA finish is being able to increase the size of an undersized barrel.
Also there appears to be open grain in some areas. Personally I don’t care for that no matter what finish is used.
if I don’t want a gloss finish i will fill and level with CA, sand to 400 and then use Yorkshire grit to finish.
Keep it up!
 

Jmaxcy

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
46
Location
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Without holding them, I'd say they look really nice. A couple of the barrels may be a tad oversized where they meet the nibs, but hard to tell in the pics. Over is better than under as far as feel is concerned, and how much time you wanna spend getting it perfect is up to you. I like the wood choices too. I agree that your friction finish looks well done and it sure shows the wood well. And it's true that a wax finish won't be as durable as CA, or other hard drying finishes. Folks that actually use the pens a lot will wear off the wax in short order. If you decide that you want a more durable finish and don't like the glass smooth and shiny look, you can do that too. Hard drying finishes don't have to be "finished" to a glassy shine. I do a lot of custom knife handles and, unlike pens, I don't like the way a glassy finish looks on knife handles. I still use CA on the handles for durability and waterproofness, but I use 0000 steel wool for the final "sanding" and get the look I want, which looks a lot more like a friction finish. You could do the same with pens.
Thanks for the input! That's an interesting approach on the CA I might have to try out. Much appreciated!
 

Jmaxcy

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
46
Location
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
the finish on your pens look good experiment with you finishes, the tolerances are mostly close looks like one is dead on and other then you are under with such a small window for perfection it takes some skill. keep with pen turning and try new designs even if it doesnt turn out well
Thanks! Out of curiosity, which one do you think is dead on?
 

Jmaxcy

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
46
Location
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
I think they look great! The darker pen however, seems to have almost a concave shape on the upper barrel. Kind of different for a cigar, unless of course that is what you were going for. The pens plus finish looks good as well and is a personal preference.
It was by intention but regretted it after the fact. Was trying something new. Lesson learned I suppose
 

Jmaxcy

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
46
Location
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
They look pretty good. Some size issues here and there. Your hands will tell you where there is room for improvement. one advantage to a CA finish is being able to increase the size of an undersized barrel.
Also there appears to be open grain in some areas. Personally I don’t care for that no matter what finish is used.
if I don’t want a gloss finish i will fill and level with CA, sand to 400 and then use Yorkshire grit to finish.
Keep it up!
Thank you for your feedback.
I noticed the open grains too when taking these pictures, and have since started using coats of CA in between grits to try to fill the pores before applying the final finishes to try to fix that issue.
 

KenB259

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Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
1,528
Location
Michigan
It was by intention but regretted it after the fact. Was trying something new. Lesson learned I suppose
Nothing wrong with that, experimentation is what drives this hobby, especially the segmenting side of it.
 
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