My first HempWood Pen

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KMCloonan

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Sort of like turning OSB. I was not sure if I needed to stabilize it, since it is already pressed together with a binder, but I threw it into some blue-dyed Cactus juice for a couple hours under vacuum. Turned out interesting enough. Not sure if I will make more though...

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jrista

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Very nice! I'm seeing a lot of these hempwood pens lately... It is one of the few types of blanks I don't have in my inventory, and I think I'll have to add some soon here. How well does it turn? Is the finish on this due to stabilization resin, or did you add another finish?
 

Painfullyslow

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Congrats on a very nice looking pen! I agree, that finish looks great!

Very nice! I'm seeing a lot of these hempwood pens lately... It is one of the few types of blanks I don't have in my inventory, and I think I'll have to add some soon here. How well does it turn? Is the finish on this due to stabilization resin, or did you add another finish?
I recently turned an unstabilized hempwood pen and it was very touchy to turn. It reminded me of black palm where it kind of wants to come apart if you give it any reason to do so. Sharp tools and very light cuts were what got it done for me, and once I got somewhat close to the bushings I used sandpaper to get it the rest of the way.
 

qquake

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I haven't had good luck turning either unstabilized or stabilized hempwood. I refuse to turn it anymore. I use a carbide chisel with a shearing cut.
 

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KMCloonan

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What is the amazing finish on it? The pen looks great and the finish just looks so deep!
Thanks! The finish is just CA. I use a thin coat to seal the surface, then medium CA to fill in the voids, then a couple more coats of thin to polish. The HempWood had more voids/gaps than regular wood. I use micromesh with water.
 

KMCloonan

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Very nice! I'm seeing a lot of these hempwood pens lately... It is one of the few types of blanks I don't have in my inventory, and I think I'll have to add some soon here. How well does it turn? Is the finish on this due to stabilization resin, or did you add another finish?
Thanks. I had heard how finnicky HempWood was to turn, so I went very slowly. I ran the lathe at 3500rpm and took very shallow cuts with my carbide tool. I ended up with a pile of powder instead of sawdust or chips. I stopped several times to rotate the cutter to a fresh edge. It took me about a half hour to turn, There was one point early on that a big chunk blew out, but I had enough meat left on the blank, so I kept turning and it ended up ok,
 

jrista

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Thanks. I had heard how finnicky HempWood was to turn, so I went very slowly. I ran the lathe at 3500rpm and took very shallow cuts with my carbide tool. I ended up with a pile of powder instead of sawdust or chips. I stopped several times to rotate the cutter to a fresh edge. It took me about a half hour to turn, There was one point early on that a big chunk blew out, but I had enough meat left on the blank, so I kept turning and it ended up ok,
Sounds a lot like trustone and its variants. Those also "powderize"...you can get these little flakes, but if you touch them then instantly crumble into powder.

I wonder if a sheer cutting approach would work better. I haven't turned much in the last two months (swapping out lathes, which required me to wire in 240V power, which...took a while.) The last time I turned trustone, I used a sheer cutting approach, and it seemed to go much, much better. I use a square carbide tool, at a fairly high sheer angle, and its "softer" than even a negative rake carbide cutter. Seems to be far less risky to the blank than any other tool...
 

Painfullyslow

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I haven't had good luck turning either unstabilized or stabilized hempwood. I refuse to turn it anymore. I use a carbide chisel with a shearing cut.

About the only thing that I can offer is that when I cut the unstabilized blank, I went with about a 45 degree sheer on my square carbide tool...maybe even more than 45 now that I think about it. It was a slow, painstaking process and like @KMCloonan I also had a chunk or two fly out but they were relatively small and I was able to recover.

All in all, I think that I will stabilize any future hempwood that I turn, and I expect that there will be a bit as I like the look of the wood.
 

qquake

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About the only thing that I can offer is that when I cut the unstabilized blank, I went with about a 45 degree sheer on my square carbide tool...maybe even more than 45 now that I think about it. It was a slow, painstaking process and like @KMCloonan I also had a chunk or two fly out but they were relatively small and I was able to recover.

All in all, I think that I will stabilize any future hempwood that I turn, and I expect that there will be a bit as I like the look of the wood.
I like the look too. But at least one supplier offers stabilized hempwood. The green blank in my photos was supposed to be stabilized, but it blew out too. I hold my chisel at about 30 degrees, which has worked for me on everything else, even inlace acrylester.
 

Kcimdrib

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Seems like Pen turning extreme don't think my patience would stretch that far. But when it works it looks great. So well done.
 
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