Pen Turning is Like a Box of Chocolates

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DrD

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I started off with a non-descript blank taken from a box of of figured maple. If there was ever a plain vanilla pen blank, this was it. Anxious to try some of the help I received yesterday and this morning I launched into turning another pen.

This pen never left the lathe; following developing the profile with carbide tools, the lathe speed was reduced to about 700rpm - as low as I can go without changing belt pully configuration. Sanding was done dry, with a light touch: 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500. Next was a DNA wash, followed by several coats of a proprietary stain. In between costs of stain, was w DNA wipe down. After the stain dried, 2 coats Myland's Cellulose Sanding Sealer with buffing in between using Mirlon Tan/Gold - all on the lathe. The finish was 2 coats PensPlus followed by 2 coats Ren Wax. Between coats pen was lightly buffed with Mirlon Tan. The various pics just show the pen from different perspectives.

Thanks for looking! Comments are encouraged.
 

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henry1164

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Sounds like a sows ear to a silk purse kind of thing. You have the magic to make plain wood come alive. Great pick on the kit finish. Beautiful and thanks for sharing.
 
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mark james

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Beautiful pen Don. đź‘Ź đź‘Ź And I agree with your comments 100%.

I will also praise the profile you turned for the pen. Some have been uncomplimentary of this profile, but for many - especially those of us that are ... (older), this is a great shape - easily held. Well done!

(Random thought... are we - those 60+ the last to use pen/pencils frequently??? Most is now recorded/stored on a "tablet", IPad, phone notes, etc)

And, I agree that a stain for a very nice, but plain blank (maple, ash, oak, sycamore, elm, etc) will result in a superb turning. Sadly, very few follow this finishing technique.

Thanks for sharing, and very nice.
 

1080Wayne

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I hope you had tongue in cheek a bit when you said it looked like plain vanilla . That depth of curl should have been readily apparent on the rough blank . The stain highlights the curl nicely . Does the chatoyancy of the curl still show ?
 

DrD

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I hope you had tongue in cheek a bit when you said it looked like plain vanilla . That depth of curl should have been readily apparent on the rough blank . The stain highlights the curl nicely . Does the chatoyancy of the curl still show ?
2nd question first: yes.

For the 1st part: to my eyes this blank was blah. It wasn’t until I got it all sanded that it became obvious this was a nice piece of timber. I can usually spot nice figure in blanks, but then again l’m going on 76, and my aviator eyes have gone to bifocals so I may miss some things now and again.

Thanks for the comments.

Don
 

DrD

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I will also praise the profile you turned for the pen. Some have been uncomplimentary of this profile, but for many - especially those of us that are ... (older), this is a great shape - easily held. Well done!

(Random thought... are we - those 60+ the last to use pen/pencils frequently??? Most is now recorded/stored on a "tablet", IPad, phone notes, etc)

And, I agree that a stain for a very nice, but plain blank (maple, ash, oak, sycamore, elm, etc) will result in a superb turning. Sadly, very few follow this finishing technique.

Mark James, I don't know where to begin. The pen profile is described by my wife as "Comfortable Writing." I simply copied - to some extent - the profile of a fountain pen section, more specifically that found on nice high end fountain pens. And yes I too find it quite comfortable, and enjoyable. And yes, both my wife and I are older; 2 days ago she celebrated for the 3rd time her 10 year iteration of becoming 40.

Mark, we are the last generation for many things, unfortunate as it may be. My 3rd son is some big-wig in Artificial Intelligence and while he writes with some type of keyboard, he collects fine fountain pens. My youngest son, another techno-geek, but with a more practical , read industrial, application not only collects pens, but uses them daily. I have a son who is an MD and he refuses to give in to the iPad, and instead goes through click pens like salt through a goose. So maybe there is hope yet for the future of fine writing instruments, inferring that there are most likely many other of their generation who do the same.

Lastly, stains - I love stains and am feverishly working on a combination of stains, sections, etc to be employed in very affordable ball point pens. I learned with this pen, that stains, sanding sealers and oil polishes can all play nicely together in the same sand box.

Mark, thanks for the kind comments!

Don
 

magpens

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Mal, Mal, Mal, and I'm not even a Tom Hanks fan - I have a vivid rememberance and disgust for "Joe and the Volcano' - one of his earlier movies.

Don
Don, Don, Don ..... I am a REALLY OLD GUY ..... FAR older than you .... I'll soon by 77 .... that should tell you everything about me.
AND ... I, throughout my VERY long existence, have had absolutly no interest in the likes of Tom Hanks or any of his ilk (whatever that is) ..... so I have no idea about the meaning of your reply .... and as for "Joe and the Volcano" ............ DUH, DUH, DUH, DUUUUUUUUUH !!!

So please try again, Don ..... give it one more shot ...... PLEASE !!!! ...... I've gotta know ........ Give it to me STRAIGHT !!!

"Pen Turning is Like a Box of Chocolates" ... What the heck does that mean ?
 
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DrD

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Mal, I'm so sorry for my insolence! I meant no offence. Ok, there are a gazillion interpretations of the phrase "life is like a box of chocolates." My simplistic, approach is that every day is different from the last, and we wont know what it brings until we experience it, think Schrödinger's cat. Some days are good, some, not so much, and we don't know what it will be until it is - until the box is opened, or until the blank is turned and finished.. The piece of chocolate may be something we like or it may not and the only way to tell is to bite it - open the box. I took some license and substituted pen turning for life or the cat. Each time we - I - pick up a blank, we - I - don't know what we have until we bite - figuratively or literally - into it - the chocolate or the blank. Just a play on an old phrase. Sorry for the confusion and my misinterpretation of your original post.

Hopes this helps!?!
 

1080Wayne

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Mal , maybe you don`t like chocolates, or have never been exposed to good chocolate , but a common reaction to it is to have another , and another , and another , until the box is empty or stomach ache begins . As you well know , pen turning is addictive . Now , probably as I type this , Don is back to his box of figured maple , choosing the most obviously figured one of the bunch to try the next staining iteration and compare it to his plain vanilla one . And so it will continue , until the box is empty , the chocolates are gone , and several replacement boxes are purchased .
 
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DrD

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Wayne, you almost nailed it, almost. I went back to the box of figured maple - there are bigger boxes of African Rosewood, African Blackwood and Macassar Ebony, but that's another thing. Out of the box I pulled another plain one for my new design experiment. After some turning, there doesn't appear much to get all excited about, but I am excited about the idea that came to me as a result of the exchanges with Mark James. Maybe I'll have something to show later this evening.

Don
 
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