Shorts drilled and turned round, would you buy them...?

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,434
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Hi Folks,

I'm trying to figure out if I prepare my shorts of all sorts into blanks/barrels that will be drilled and rounded, would you be interested...?

The idea came after I prepared a few hundred blanks for the vision-impaired people that will put some of my shorts large stock into some good use, I've done Slimline and Sierra barrels but I could do any other sizes you may use, including the slight longer barrels for the single tube pens but slightly longer than the Sierra.

The length is about 4mm over the brass tube size so that you have sufficient "meat" for trimming, the same goes for the barrel diameters that can vary depending of specific requests or what I think is sufficient to allow the turning of "fat" barrels or barrel design that require a certain diameter.

I know that the 2 kit types I mentioned above are the most used or at least they were, there are many new kits on sale that I have never worked with so I would have no idea of what ideal dimensions they will require but that can all be sorted, no problem

I'm considering a price of AU$1 or USD$0.68 per barrel for non-burl wood, burls will be probably AU$1.50 or USD$1.02 but I'm yet to lock on the burl prices, shipping not included.

One of the great aspects of this particularly for overseas folks is that the total weight of these semi-processed barrels/blanks compare with the unprocessed shorts is minimal therefore attracting a fairly low weight and shipping costs. As an example about 200 Slims and 100 Sierras total weight processed of 2.8kg when the 300 un-processed shorts would weigh over 10kg. (total weight depending on wood species).

As I said, this is only an idea and something that I could use the many boxes of shorts that I have been putting aside for many years, I gave hundreds as gifts with orders, also.

So, what do you think,...?

Let me know,

Cheers
George
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

PBorowick

Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2019
Messages
237
Location
Portland, Oregon
I would be very interested in that as an option. I like the idea of using blanks that are sized for no waste on my part. I hate lopping off a length of a blank and not having a good use for it. Besides putting it in the "I might use that sometime" bucket.........that bucket is getting to be quite full now....
 

Chief TomaToe

Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
261
Location
Bloomington, Indiana
Hey George, I really love your blanks and am intrigued by this idea. If I were to iterate this idea, what are your thoughts on simply roughing the blanks down to, say, 3/4" so it can be put in a chuck and drilled to the size I choose?
 

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
12,655
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
I would say that smoothly and uniformly rounded to 0.65" or so, but not drilled. . I like to do my own drilling.

As for length .... I don't think I would want them cut to length for specific pen kits. . I like to keep my options open.
There are so many new single barrel pen kits available now .... I don't think I would want to be constrained.

Doing the rounding would help cut down on weight for postage.

I will think more about the actual length issue.
 

SteveJ

Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
2,507
Location
Grand Junction, Colorado
Not sure if I would buy them since I've already got way too many blanks as it is (including quite a few of yours!). But I think you could drill a 7mm hole in them if that makes it easier for you - it would cut down the weight and can be enlarged easily enough. If you simply stated the length of the blanks we could decide if they were long enough for the kit we are planning on using. With a little research you could find which kits worked with which lengths and develop a page on your website which referenced them when listing the shorts. (Although that begins to sound like a bunch of work...)
 

robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,434
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Hi guys,

Well, the total weight was always one of my main considerations and the example I gave about is significant.

Drilling at 7mm with the option on you drilling bigger was also on my mind as an option.

The large portion of my shorts are long enough for most single-barrel kits, all the shorts I prepared for the Sierras have a bit cut on each end one to square and the other to size but if we are talking about saving on weight leaving them longer than necessary defeat that purpose but I understand about having options so, I need to find out what is the max length of the longer one single barrel and the average 1 single barrels so that I may work on 2 main lengths.

Not drilling the blanks could also be an option but for that, I need to differentiate ways to know who wants what...!

All the barrels I drilled for the visually impaired people are a lot thinner than the 3/4"- 19.05mm and with the average size of my blanks at 21mm I would never get a 19mm completely round, for that, I would need to have the blanks square at least 25mm or 1". Again, that could be an option if I get a request for 3/4 round blanks before I square and size them on the drum-sander.

Even though my intentions here are not starting to sell all my blanks rounded at a specific diameter, there are folks out there that prefer the square stuff, I have indeed sold in the past many rounded blanks such as the Vine, Truffel and others, but my interest at the moment is to find a possible interest for SHORTS semi-processed, I could off-course just list the shorts the same way I did with the long ones but that is not what I have in mind.

I have no doubt that many folks prefer to work the blanks themselves from beginning to end and for that the square regular blanks are ideal but I also know that there some folks that have problems with drilling or don't even have the right drilling gear, other don't like to remove the square edges and some of you have large orders and having blanks that are already drilled and half rounded to the size they require would save them considerable time but again, this is not suitable to everybody...!

One thing that I main consider is to offer to round only, I wouldn't want to have to drill the full 5"+ and have to invest in long bits and a drill press that allows more travelling than the 3" I have on mine and she is a big drill press.

In the end, I'm open for any suggestions you may have, even if you are not interested, you may have an idea that I could utilise, the shorts won't last forever and I have been avoiding to cut shorts for quite some time, the lengths of the logs I try to cut range from 12" to 15" but there are always logs/pieces that are shorter than these lengths in that case, I only process shorts if the wood has something very interesting otherwise I cut the logs/pieces back to 6" before I slice them giving me better firewood size pieces.

I hope that I have answered or touched on all the "issues" that were raised so far, thank you.

Cheers
George
 
Last edited:

robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,434
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
I like the rounding and the 7mm idea - savess me 2 steps: knocking off corners and center drilling (for larger hole diameters).
Hi Tony,

Are you referring to full-size length pen blanks or shorts and one barrel kits...?

I would like also to request if you guys could give the lengths of the brass tubes of the single barrel kits, I'm referring to the barrels that are used on many of these more modern kits similar to the Sierras, how much longer are they to the Sierras tubes...?

The other length I require is of the longer single barrel kits, I know they are much longer than the Sierras but by how much...?


What I'm trying to do is to drill at 7mm the 2 main sizes of shorts that will fit on any of the single barrel kits available out there at the moment, blanks will be cut about 4mm longer than the tubes, I'm trying to address the idea mentioned in a previous post of not being restricted to the Simlines or Sierras, opening the holes when necessary above 7mm is then your job...!

I have a bunch of Shiraz Red vine shorts that all have been stabilised to salvage them from the small borer the vines were attacked while in stock and in raw form 2 years after collected (this have been extensively explained/demonstrated of a thread some years back. These were stabilised clear but I have a couple of boxes full of full size blanks that were stabilised with either red or green dye, a large percentage have tiny borer holes and a few may not have any, they all look very ugly reason I put them aside but now I want to get them moving so I'm drilling and rounding the shorts and rounding only the 5" ones.

These are all beautiful blanks as most of you that bought these Vine blanks from me know but I need to make them more presentable before I offer them for sale.

Cheers
George
 
Last edited:

penicillin

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
331
I used to drill my cutoffs before cutting them off the pen blanks. That way, I could mount them on a pen mandrel with spacer bushings and turn them into beads for my little nieces. The problem with that idea is that I have a large bag of small squares with holes in them, ready to make into beads, but rarely the time or inclination to do it. I have done it a few times. They love it when I have beads for them.

Our local woodturners club meeting always has a "Show and Tell" where you can bring items you made and tell others about it, how you made it, etc.

Two nights ago, one of the members stood up and showed a collection of tiny tops that he made from pen turning offcuts. They were very very very small, ranging in size from less than 1/8 inch to around 1/2 inch or so for the biggest ones. I didn't count them, but there were at least 20.

He said that his wife sends the tiny tops to her family and friends in Japan, where they carry them in their purses for good luck charms. He can't keep up with demand.

I wish I had taken a photo. Sorry.
I wish I had asked him how he makes them. Really really sorry.
 

TonyL

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
7,791
Location
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Hi Tony,

Are you referring to full-size length pen blanks or shorts and one barrel kits...?

I would like also to request if you guys could give the lengths of the brass tubes of the single barrel kits, I'm referring to the barrels that are used on many of these more modern kits similar to the Sierras, how much longer are they to the Sierras tubes...?

The other length I require is of the longer single barrel kits, I know they are much longer than the Sierras but by how much...?


What I'm trying to do is to drill at 7mm the 2 main sizes of shorts that will fit on any of the single barrel kits available out there at the moment, blanks will be cut about 4mm longer than the tubes, I'm trying to address the idea mentioned in a previous post of not being restricted to the Simlines or Sierras, opening the holes when necessary above 7mm is then your job...!

I have a bunch of Shiraz Red vine shorts that all have been stabilised to salvage them from the small borer the vines were attacked while in stock and in raw form 2 years after collected (this have been extensively explained/demonstrated of a thread some years back. These were stabilised clear but I have a couple of boxes full of full size blanks that were stabilised with either red or green dye, a large percentage have tiny borer holes and a few may not have any, they all look very ugly reason I put them aside but now I want to get them moving so I'm drilling and rounding the shorts and rounding only the 5" ones.

These are all beautiful blanks as most of you that bought these Vine blanks from me know but I need to make them more presentable before I offer them for sale.

Cheers
George
My singles barrels are mainly Executives, Professor/Exemplar, and Patriots (2 and 7/8th +). I do make a lot of Dayacom Aeros from shorts...the ladies love then and they sell fast (and profitably) . I do not know what Shiraz Red vine looks like, but I will look it up. I an not much of a Sierra-guy which puts me in the minority of many turners - so don't go by me.
 

robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,434
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
My singles barrels are mainly Executives, Professor/Exemplar, and Patriots (2 and 7/8th +). I do make a lot of Dayacom Aeros from shorts...the ladies love then and they sell fast (and profitably) . I do not know what Shiraz Red vine looks like, but I will look it up. I an not much of a Sierra-guy which puts me in the minority of many turners - so don't go by me.
Are you kidding me..?

Have you never seen this..? https://www.penturners.org/threads/...-red-vine-pen-blanks-closing-31-8-2010.65501/

After that, I have posted some pens I made and some other issues related to this vine material and off-course folks started to make pens out of the many hundreds of blanks I sold in the very beginning, I also posted sometime later when I found out that all the vine I had stored unprocessed has been attached by a tinny borer that had already laid the eggs on the vines when they were still planted on the ground, there were what I found out to be a common pest that requires regular sprays to kill them and the eggs, lost so much vine that my hear still hurts, I managed to salvage a small amount that was still uninfected and selected a bunch of pieces that had a few tiny holes but had still lots of good "wood".

To salvage the selected vine I had to process it into mainly pen blanks and them stabilise it to kill any eggs or possible borer still in the vine, the stabilisation process is a great way to kill any creatures inside the wood but most of the vine did not require stabilising if wasn't for the damn borers.

Interestingly, while mentioning this vine issue and rounding blanks, I decided to go look for the boxes I had stored all that stabilised vine, half is casting pieces, some are full size blanks and some shorts. They are stabilised in clear, some blue, green and red dyes, I already started to round some of the full size blanks, they didn't look nice to sell as is but turned round they will be decently presentable so, I will open a sale thread as soon as I have at least a bunch done.

You mentioned some of the one barrel kits that you normally use what are their tubes lengths...?
When I mention Sierras, I don't mean exactly that kit name (even though there are many people using those) but identical type single barrel kits, they all seem to me to use identical barrel sizes in and out, right..?

What is the length of the tubes on the longer single barrel pens...?
Mainly for the shorts, I'm trying to make them so that different kits can use them.

Cheers
George
 
Last edited:

Rob_Mc

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2016
Messages
56
Location
Too close to Toronto!
One of the longest single barrel kits on the market would be the "Dog" pen kit. The barrel is around 3 3/8" in length. If you were to pre-prep a bunch of short blanks then my personal opinion would be to do them somewhere around 3 1/2" - it's easy enough for the end user to trim them to their required length. I would also think a 7mm hole would be very handy - again, the end user could drill them out to their required specs. So 3 1/2" long with a 7mm hole should be good for a majority of the single barrel kits out there. It would also simplify things on your end - one size blank with one size hole will cut down on your processing time. Pre-rounding them would be nice but I don't think it would really be necessary. Just my thoughts!
 

robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,434
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
One of the longest single barrel kits on the market would be the "Dog" pen kit. The barrel is around 3 3/8" in length. If you were to pre-prep a bunch of short blanks then my personal opinion would be to do them somewhere around 3 1/2" - it's easy enough for the end user to trim them to their required length. I would also think a 7mm hole would be very handy - again, the end user could drill them out to their required specs. So 3 1/2" long with a 7mm hole should be good for a majority of the single barrel kits out there. It would also simplify things on your end - one size blank with one size hole will cut down on your processing time. Pre-rounding them would be nice but I don't think it would really be necessary. Just my thoughts!
Thanks mate, that helps.

Cheers
George
 

drise

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
91
Location
Aurora, CO
Hi George. The longest single barrel pen I make would be the Zen. Just measured and the tube is just shy of 85mm or 3.35 in.

Dave
 

Curly

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2010
Messages
3,893
Location
Saskatoon SK., Canada.
Hi George. I wouldn't be a player for pre-rounded/drilled blanks but that's just me. One reason being if the wood were to dry or pick up moisture, admitedly not likely with stabilized wood, they could warp.

The prize for the longest pen tubes goes to the Longwood Click (Dayacom) with a length of 4.11"/104.39mm. It isn't a common pen but does illustrate why a one size doesn't fit all. You'll just have to browse the bushing and tube tables to find the average.
 

greenacres2

Member
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
1,234
Location
Northwest IN
George--when i purchase from you (not often enough!!), i've committed to buying great timber with uniqueness that makes it stand out from "normal". While shipping is a noticeable additional cost--it has not stopped any of my purchases. I still have a nice supply of hybrid shorts from you that i need to muster the courage to tackle. I'd buy shorts (3.5" to 4.0" would cover the vast majority of single tube pens), but rounding them and running a 7mm hole down the center would (i think) cost more in your labor than me paying a tick more in shipping. I'd rather see you spend your time sourcing more of that Aussie Gold!!
earl
 
Top Bottom