My latest segmented pen

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jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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Now there was a bit of a challenge with the different materials. Looks good thanks for showing. Have to add that to the segmented page no comments just pens.
 

Notscottish

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Jan 4, 2015
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Great looking pen! That aluminum looks pretty thick.. What thickness is it? Any trouble turning it?
I never measured it, but it looks to be just over an eighth of an inch thick. Had to turn it very slowly in order to keep the aluminum from heating up and falling apart.
 
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Ric

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Feb 10, 2014
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Chilliwack British Columbia CANADA
That is an exceptional piece of work Peter. The inlays look very tight, I'm interesting in your methods in especially the use of the aluminium. I have been experimenting with getting my woods perfectly flat with the use of a sanding plate, but is there something special about using the aluminium in this instance that you would be willing to share with us? I have shied away from combining different materials, other than similar forms of plastic & hardwood's when doing segmenting, that is until I have become more proficient in the process, so any little titbit of info you are willing to divulge about the different materials you are using would be of great benefit to myself & many others I'm sure.
If this is a "Ancient Chinese Secret," that you are guarding then I will understand your reluctance to share, regardless please accept my compliment on the fine job you did on that pen.
Sincerely: Ric.
"IF LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS...MAKE MOJITO'S"
 

jttheclockman

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Ric

Just jumping into this conversation but I too would like to say there is no secret to using metals of all kinds. Aluminum happens to be used a lot because it is easy to work with and easily found for reasonable prices. People use flashing and in this case thicker material. It turns easily with wood tools. It will dull tools faster as expected.. To glue either use med CA or epoxy of choice. To sand and polish do as if it were acrylic. To turn I like to use a carbide tool to get me close to finish and then finish with a skew.

Home Depot and Lowes are good sources for aluminum. Makes for a nice accent material. The sky is the limit when it comes to different designs. Good luck and have fun.
 

Notscottish

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Jan 4, 2015
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That is an exceptional piece of work Peter. The inlays look very tight, I'm interesting in your methods in especially the use of the aluminium. I have been experimenting with getting my woods perfectly flat with the use of a sanding plate, but is there something special about using the aluminium in this instance that you would be willing to share with us? I have shied away from combining different materials, other than similar forms of plastic & hardwood's when doing segmenting, that is until I have become more proficient in the process, so any little titbit of info you are willing to divulge about the different materials you are using would be of great benefit to myself & many others I'm sure.
If this is a "Ancient Chinese Secret," that you are guarding then I will understand your reluctance to share, regardless please accept my compliment on the fine job you did on that pen.
Sincerely: Ric.
"IF LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS...MAKE MOJITO'S"
Here is what I learned in my several attempts in working aluminum and wood.

If working with right angle stock of aluminum, make sure the 90 degree angle is true.

Cut your wood stock on the tablesaw only after measuring that the blade angle and what you hold the wood with is truly 90 degrees.

Assemble the wood into the aluminum channel before cutting it to length, I work with about a 10-12 inch length.

I use a thick CA to glue each of the pieces of wood into the channel in order and clamp along the entire length. In the future I might switch to a slow drying epoxy to get a longer working time, as long as the epoxy is clear.

Once the glue is cured, I cut the lengths that I need on a tablesaw with a carbide blade.

I use a 90 degree piece of wood with sandpaper on it to true up the inside angle before glueing each of the assembled pieces together.

I trim the assembled blank to size making sure the v in the channel is centered.

Before I drill the blank, I glue on 1/8th inch boards on all four sides to keep the entire blank from falling apart. I also drill very slowly to allow the aluminum to remain cool.

When turning the blank, I take it very slowly and allow time for the aluminum to cool between passes. If the aluminum heats up and separates, I re-glue and clamp.

Every so often when turning I apply thin CA to help stabilize the blank. I also sharpen my skew pretty often to because it dulls quickly with metal.

The final passes are with my sharpest skew and are done very slowly because I do not want to do a lot of sanding, sanding aluminum stains the wood black.

If I do need to do some sanding, I use sander sealer between grits to keep the pores of the wood from gathering the black aluminum dust.

If I get down to the finished size without the blank exploding, I finish with several coats of CA and sand and polish as I would any pen.

See, it is easy.
 
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jttheclockman

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That about sums it up to properly attempt this. Good job. It did come out very well. What many people do not get to see is the sides which in themselves makes for a cool look. Maybe you can post a photo to show what the sides look like. Sometimes it is amazing the transformation a blank takes on when being turned from a square block to a round tube. Another one of those designs that has so much potential for future ideas. Thanks for showing.
 

RLR350

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Jan 4, 2015
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Looks great. I've done a few variations of that and the most difficult part is not turning the aluminum, but keeping the black from discoloring the light wood. I think your way of using a sharp tool for the final parts and limit sanding is best. I gave up and started using all acrylic with the aluminum angle to avoid the hassle.

Another way of holding the blank together during the initial turning is wrap it in cheese cloth and coat it with CA.
 

Notscottish

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Jan 4, 2015
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Looks great. I've done a few variations of that and the most difficult part is not turning the aluminum, but keeping the black from discoloring the light wood. I think your way of using a sharp tool for the final parts and limit sanding is best. I gave up and started using all acrylic with the aluminum angle to avoid the hassle.

Another way of holding the blank together during the initial turning is wrap it in cheese cloth and coat it with CA.
I have never used cheese cloth, but have wrapped several segmented pens tightly in dental floss and CA before drilling in order to keep them together.
 

wiset1

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These are double tough to do, so congrats on keeping it together. I made one for Mr. Brooks about 4 years ago, but I don't think he ever turned it. Your pen looks amazing! Thank you for sharing.

 

Notscottish

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Please post a picture after you turn that blank, I would like to see it finished.

These are double tough to do, so congrats on keeping it together. I made one for Mr. Brooks about 4 years ago, but I don't think he ever turned it. Your pen looks amazing! Thank you for sharing.

 

butchf18a

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Dec 3, 2010
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woodland, wa
Well done. I don't, as a rule, comment on individual pens but this one is nicely executed, clean lines and material contrasts.
 

thomgarner

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Jun 13, 2019
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Boerne, TX
Peter: I have to say the BAR has been raised .... Beautiful work! The turning, the fit and finish was amazing as was the blank itself. One heck of a job 👍
 

Wayne

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Dec 14, 2006
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This is not my best photography, but it is one of my best segmented pens yet. It is maple, purpleheart and aluminum. I will try to get some better pictures later.
Interested in creating a tutorial for our library. I've seen posts on similar pens, but it would be great to have one.
 

Notscottish

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Jan 4, 2015
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Wow, had not been on here for a while, looks like I got a few more looks at this one. Since Summers are for riding motorcycles and winters are for woodturning, I have recently made it back into the shop. I have a bunch of orders to fill, but after that, I think I will make a tutorial on this one.
 
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