Some small wins

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Ilyssa

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Jun 21, 2020
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I have been attempting this slimline modification through a few iterations. Here are the first few successes!

The last one is what happens when you look up and away from your pen press for a second :p
  1. Wenge - Holly - Leopardwood
  2. Zebrawood - Holly - Bubinga
  3. Red Heart - Holly - Marble Wood
  4. Purple Heart (Apollo Infinity Ballpoint)
  5. East Indian Rosewood - Walnut - Purple Heart
3 & 4 are my favorites. I found Wenge very hard to work with and finish - that particular pen took me 3 tries (hence the weird shape).

I used GluBoost (completely gave up on StickFast). I’m going through the blue label (medium?) and accelerator pretty quickly. The blue shop towels did get stuck in some of the open grain on the first layers or so. I lightly sanded it off with 1000 grit, move onto the next layer, until finally dry micro mesh on all of these.
Seems like plastic polish + buffing wheels gives a smudgier finish. Alone, plastic polish seems a bit more matte on top and the buffing wheel obviously gave a nice shine line. Also playing with BSI Supergold thin - btw, does anyone use this product with the BSI accelerator?

Thanks for looking! Happy turning to you all.. and thanks for sharing your beautiful pens, you all inspire me to keep trying! (Despite many failures already - ha)

- The Penderella
 

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magpens

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Feb 2, 2011
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Nice to see, and hear about, the progress you are making !! :D

I DO like your center bands !!!

Since you asked, I have used BSI thin CA glue and accelerator for finishing for 10 yrs .... not sure if it is Supergold or not .
I definitely went through a protracted learning curve.
 

mark james

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Very nice slim modifications. Once you get the hang of the process (and you certainly have) these are a lot of fun to make.

Enjoy the journey for a finish process acceptable to you. I use a CA finish about 50% of the time, but when I do I have also switched to Glu-Boost, and yes the accelerator goes quickly.

Very nice set of pens. 👍
 

sorcerertd

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Sep 30, 2019
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North Carolina, USA
Nice mods! Slimlines and euros can be very versatile. The only reason I don't do many of them is because the cross cartridges just don't write as well as the parker style ones do.

I agree with you about the Wenge, too. You need very sharp tools and a gentle touch for it. Also, I think it looks better before you apply finish with the contrast of the grain still visible. If you haven't tried it yet, Bocote is a great wood to work with. It cuts and polishes up very nicely.
 

Ilyssa

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Jun 21, 2020
Messages
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Location
Central Valley, California
Nice to see, and hear about, the progress you are making !! :D

I DO like your center bands !!!

Since you asked, I have used BSI thin CA glue and accelerator for finishing for 10 yrs .... not sure if it is Supergold or not .
I definitely went through a protracted learning curve.
Thank you!! Yes, I have been quietly practicing and perfecting over here... and also for the update about BSI, I haven't had any luck with super gold thin just yet - some white spotting, but not losing hope as I have only given it a spin on a couple of pens without the accelerator (and I tend to be impatient). I am glad I am not alone... Based on current predictions, I think my learning curve may last indefinitely 😅

I share your healthy respect for Wenge,like your overall finishing work and the majority of your pens.

Peter.
Glad they made it to majority 😅 thank you! The Wenge is stunning but definitely issue prone - I kept getting massive tear out and on one occasion the wood broke off from the tube. I will revisit Wenge after a short hiatus.. and more sharpening.

Very nice slim modifications. Once you get the hang of the process (and you certainly have) these are a lot of fun to make.

Enjoy the journey for a finish process acceptable to you. I use a CA finish about 50% of the time, but when I do I have also switched to Glu-Boost, and yes the accelerator goes quickly.

Very nice set of pens. 👍
Thank you Mark! They really were fun to make - I am hoping to do some more combos in the future. I think doing the mini glue ups made me feel pretty official, and using a more reliable finish system like GluBoost. That's encouraging to hear that its ~50% of the time for you, I am really looking forward to experimenting with more natural finishes! I think I am going to try some oil next.

Those are very nice. I especially like 2,3, and 4.
Thanks so much! I totally agree on 2,3, and 4. I wanted to narrow it down for the post.. but number 2 was the original concept and I shouldn't have left it out hah

I really like the center bands. I am going to try this.

Sent from my iPhone using Penturners.org mobile app
Thank you! Ah that is so exciting - I really enjoyed planning these out and making them. Kind of like putting an outfit together. Please post pictures when you do!

Nice mods! Slimlines and euros can be very versatile. The only reason I don't do many of them is because the cross cartridges just don't write as well as the parker style ones do.

I agree with you about the Wenge, too. You need very sharp tools and a gentle touch for it. Also, I think it looks better before you apply finish with the contrast of the grain still visible. If you haven't tried it yet, Bocote is a great wood to work with. It cuts and polishes up very nicely.
Thanks and that's a good tip! I still haven't gotten to try a Parker style yet, at least to my knowledge (since I have started pen turning and paying more attention).

Yes! I definitely think those first mistakes (tear-outs, Wenge coming off tube, etc) were because I was taking harsh, fast cuts when I shouldn't have been. Also, the dullness of the tool made a huge difference. For these pieces, even my carbide was making a mess of it all for a second there... Finally I honed my skew and tried to make the best of it. Excellent point about the finish - do you recommend any process for keeping the grain visible? I was disappointed how much detail got lost after the first coat of CA 😭
 

sorcerertd

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Thanks and that's a good tip! I still haven't gotten to try a Parker style yet, at least to my knowledge (since I have started pen turning and paying more attention).

Yes! I definitely think those first mistakes (tear-outs, Wenge coming off tube, etc) were because I was taking harsh, fast cuts when I shouldn't have been. Also, the dullness of the tool made a huge difference. For these pieces, even my carbide was making a mess of it all for a second there... Finally I honed my skew and tried to make the best of it. Excellent point about the finish - do you recommend any process for keeping the grain visible? I was disappointed how much detail got lost after the first coat of CA 😭

So apparently you, just like me, started with a higher difficulty pen. I mean, geez, the 7mm starter bundle seemed like a good, um... "starter" bundle? Who knew? I was making pens for over a year before I tried the Sierra style kits. I've made a couple of these zodiac sierra pens and everyone that saw them really liked them.

Sharpening has been the bane of my turning thus far. I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. I honestly like my HSS skew much better than the carbide as long as it's sharp. I do like the carbide for scraping CA finish to even it out before sanding.

As for a way to finish Wenge that will keep the contrast of the grain, I got nothin'. I suspect we need something that the wood won't soak up like a sponge, but don't know if that product exists. At this point I expect it's just going to be dark, but hope someone else will chime in and give us both some pointers on that. If it's always going to look that dark when finished, I'd rather just use Katalox as it is easier to work with (IMO).
 

howsitwork

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Jul 9, 2016
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Thirsk
Well firstly like the modified pens , nice work. Brave to put the last one in but , I certainly have been there and I guess most other too ...

I found melamine lacquer worked for wenge and you can see the grain still . It doesnt really grain fill though so you still have the lovely grip despite it being properly protected. Made m6 fountain pen with it . Critical tools are very sharp wit( wenge , Hank Lee and I are keen on honing your skew before final ( dare I say that ?? ) finishing cuts. He has some stunning examples on here .

Im still struggling with CA as a finish to be honest. Don’t really like using accelerator and have sanded through even with micro mesh ( over enthusiasm probably ! ). I find thinned melamine lacquer (to slow the drying ) works well givin* two coats then a full strength coat. Having talked to a fellow aero modeller I am going to try air brushing it on, when I find the time.

Todays experiment was pressure casting resin and wood, curing as I type.🤞
 

sorcerertd

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I found melamine lacquer worked for wenge and you can see the grain still . It doesnt really grain fill though so you still have the lovely grip despite it being properly protected.

I apparently need to try this. Sounds like it would be good for bottle stoppers, too. I would guess it applies like wipe-on poly. Do you use a sealer first?

Sorry Ilyssa, not trying to hijack your thread here. Hope this helps us both with the wenge.
 

howsitwork

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I generally apply diluted 50:50: with cellulose thinners first no other sealer used. Food safe when cured so bottle stoppers should be fine. Nicer smelling than CA too !
 

Ilyssa

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Jun 21, 2020
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Location
Central Valley, California
I apparently need to try this. Sounds like it would be good for bottle stoppers, too. I would guess it applies like wipe-on poly. Do you use a sealer first?

Sorry Ilyssa, not trying to hijack your thread here. Hope this helps us both with the wenge.
Don’t mind at all - this is helpful! Thank you both. Will give this a go next round
 
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