My first pens

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Rachgard

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Jan 10, 2018
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142
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Texas
Hi there! I just got a lathe for christmas, so I’m very green as far as turning goes. These are my first pens I’ve made. They’re from a sampler kit from penn state. All the wood is cocobolo, except for the white pen that’s an oak branch from the front yard. I definitely think it wasn’t quite dry enough to use, as the knots in it have separated slightly since I turned it. It had been drying for some months, and I should have been more patient with it, but I was so excited!
Let me know what all you experienced guys think, and let me know what I could do to improve.
 

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robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
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Great body shapes...!

The finish needs improvement and the fit and finish looks pretty OK apart from the pen at the bottom of your hand, you may have used the wrong bushings for the band you endup using, the wood is under turned at the centre band joints but apart from that, for first pens you are doing extremely well, congrats.:biggrin:

Cheers
George
 

turncrazy43

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Apr 22, 2012
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Marietta, GA
Good First pens. You will get better with practice and with the tips you learn here. George has given you some good advice. Keep after it and welcome to the addition.

Turncrazy43
 

Rachgard

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Jan 10, 2018
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Location
Texas
Robutacion, I really think you hit the nail on the head on all the things I was thinking about these pens. I did a good polish to superfine (12000) and then did a beeswax coating, but I have no real idea on the longevity of that. Also, I think the preferred is a nice, shiny ca finish, but I really messed it up when I tried it and I ended up having to sand it all back down and start over. I’ll have to do more research on it. As far as the slim lines go, you’re exactly right, I didn’t have the bushing set. I got as close as I could, but it really did leave a drastic and unpleasant line. I was really disappointed with that after I put it together.

Thanks so much for your input, I totally agree with all your points!
 

turncrazy43

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Apr 22, 2012
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A CA finish is really tricky to master until you get the hang of it. Watch videos and practice till you find what works for you. There are many finishes to use on wood pens. CA works if you want a high shine finish. Check out DoctorsWoodshop.com and the Pens Plus finish. It will give a matte finish that lasts for me. Friction Polish finish is quick but it is not real long lasting. Keep trying different finishes until you find what works for you. Turncrazy43
 

JKicker

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Jul 12, 2012
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Hernando, Mississippi
A CA finish is really tricky to master until you get the hang of it. Watch videos and practice till you find what works for you. There are many finishes to use on wood pens. CA works if you want a high shine finish. Check out DoctorsWoodshop.com and the Pens Plus finish. It will give a matte finish that lasts for me. Friction Polish finish is quick but it is not real long lasting. Keep trying different finishes until you find what works for you. Turncrazy43
Good advice here but I would avoid CA on cocobolo until you've practiced it a bit. Cocobolo has been tricky at times for me, I'm guessing because of the oil in the wood.

I love the color of the oak pen!
 

magpens

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Feb 2, 2011
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Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Hi Rachel !! . Welcome to IAP !! . Lovely pens !!

Write a couple of sentences in the "Introductions" forum and you could win a prize as a newbie in the monthly (or quarterly) prize draw.
 
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OZturner

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Aug 5, 2013
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Sydney. NSW. Australia
You have acknowledged the main points that George covered, Rachel.
So we won't go over them again.
I like what you have done, yes there are some area's requiring attention, but there is also a lot of good points. You have chosen a difficult wood in Cocobolo, not only is it oily, but different pieces can vary considerably in their hardness, also it can be quite an irritant so please take care of your skin, eye's and lungs.
Regarding the drying of the Oak Branch, it will take about a year an inch to dry naturally, and then only with some end sealer to retard and control the moisture loss, so that it doesn't split or crack.
I look forward to you future posts,
Congratulations,
Brian.
 

leehljp

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Feb 6, 2005
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Tunica, MS,
Now that you have that under your belt, and before you progress much farther, get a set of good calipers (metal, digital) from Harbor Freight and measure your fittings and turn to that size. The bushings will wear down fast enough. For long time users, bushings are consumables as they do wear down from being touched by the chisel or sandpaper.

Great fitting comes from use of calipers. It only takes a few extra seconds but produces great fittings between the turned blank and center band or nib or clip end.
 
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