Ugh. Need help with my LeRoi Royale.

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deeceedub

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Mar 24, 2018
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So, I'm a rookie learning the 4-H way ("learn by doing"). That also means I'm learning things the hard way. This week has been an expensive attempt at turning my first resin/acrylic blank.

Lesson 1: Resin is hard to drill. Destroyed two blanks trying to drill. Won't be attempting resin again in the near future.

Lesson 2: Always check tube size before drilling. I bought 4 LeRoi Royale kits, which did not come with printed instructions. (You guys don't need 'em, of course, but I still do.) When requested, I was sent the one attached. It says drill 27/64, so I did. Hole is much too big for the tube...third blank wasted. 3/8 hole was the right size, and I finally got an AA blank drilled successfully.

Lesson 3: Carbide tools can catch. I switched from my skew to the Pen Genie as I neared final turning and it caught the edge and did some serious damage. I was able to salvage the blank, but had to alter my original planned shape for the barrel. I thought I was being really careful, but I wasn't careful enough.

And after all that, now I can't assemble the pen. The instruction sheet seems to be for a different version of the pen, maybe? There is nothing for the top to screw into. The inside of the twist part of the cap is threaded, but there are no corresponding threads in the pen body to screw it on to. I don't know if I assembled it wrong or if there is something missing from my kit. If so, it's missing from all four kits- see pic attached where I've laid out the pieces included in one of my other LeRoi Royale kits.

Ugh. Please help. I probably can't disassemble this pen but I want to be able to at least use the other three kits.

Overall I enjoyed turning the acrylic. Until now I've only turned wood and antler. But I need to have some success out in my shop. This has been a train wreck and I'm getting discouraged. :frown:
 

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Edgar

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So, I'm a rookie learning the 4-H way ("learn by doing"). That also means I'm learning things the hard way. This week has been an expensive attempt at turning my first resin/acrylic blank.

Lesson 1: Resin is hard to drill. Destroyed two blanks trying to drill. Won't be attempting resin again in the near future.

Lesson 2: Always check tube size before drilling. I bought 4 LeRoi Royale kits, which did not come with printed instructions. (You guys don't need 'em, of course, but I still do.) When requested, I was sent the one attached. It says drill 27/64, so I did. Hole is much too big for the tube...third blank wasted. 3/8 hole was the right size, and I finally got an AA blank drilled successfully.

Lesson 3: Carbide tools can catch. I switched from my skew to the Pen Genie as I neared final turning and it caught the edge and did some serious damage. I was able to salvage the blank, but had to alter my original planned shape for the barrel. I thought I was being really careful, but I wasn't careful enough.

And after all that, now I can't assemble the pen. The instruction sheet seems to be for a different version of the pen, maybe? There is nothing for the top to screw into. The inside of the twist part of the cap is threaded, but there are no corresponding threads in the pen body to screw it on to. I don't know if I assembled it wrong or if there is something missing from my kit. If so, it's missing from all four kits- see pic attached where I've laid out the pieces included in one of my other LeRoi Royale kits.

Ugh. Please help. I probably can't disassemble this pen but I want to be able to at least use the other three kits.

Overall I enjoyed turning the acrylic. Until now I've only turned wood and antler. But I need to have some success out in my shop. This has been a train wreck and I'm getting discouraged. :frown:

It looks like you have a LeRoi Royale kit (3/8" hole) but the instructions for the original LeRoi kit which uses a 27/64" hole. I have attached the instructions for the LeRoi Royale.
 

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Edgar

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A couple of other suggestions to address the drilling & turning problems you described.

Drilling: drill at slow speed, sharp bit, and go very slowly. I use a drill press, but many like to drill on the lathe - either one works if you do it correctly. I don't cut blanks before drilling - I drill them to the depth I need, then cut the blank afterward. That avoids blowouts as the bit exits the blank.

For acrylics (actually any type of plastics), I only drill about 1/4" at a time, then back the bit out to clear the hole. After about an inch or so, I stop the drill and go do something else for a few minutes while the bit & blank cool. Some folks spritz water on the blank to keep it cool. I'm a low volume turner, so I'm in no big hurry to drill the hole.

Carbide tools - I use an R2 carbide tool for almost all my pen turning. Use high speed with the tool rest as close as possible to the blank. I turn at 2200-2500 RPM, some turn even higher. For acrylics, I cant the tool about 30˚ so I'm cutting at an angle rather than presenting the tool straight on. This makes a shearing cut, more like a skew, rather than a scraping cut. It reduces the chance of catches & makes a smoother cut. When I get close to final diameter, I make several very light passes with the tool to finish my turning. I can usually start sanding at 600 or 1500 grit after doing that. It's important to adjust the tool rest so you are presenting the carbide tool to the center of the blank with the tool held horizontally, or with the handle just slightly below horizontal. You don't want the handle higher than horizontal - that will invite catches.

Hope this helps. Feel free to send me a PM if you have any questions on my methods.

Please note, this is just what works for me. There are as many drilling & turning techniques as there are turners. It's important to experiment and find out how you like to do things.

Edgar
 

deeceedub

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Mar 24, 2018
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Location
Brownfield, TX
Thank you, Edgar. You are my hero for today. :)

I'm pretty embarrassed that I couldn't figure out that I needed to pull the twist mech out of the cap and press it into the body. I thought since it came already inserted in the cap and in a little bag it was supposed to stay like that and I was afraid to pull it apart. :embarrassed:

Pen is successfully assembled now, thanks to you.

I will use your advice for drilling blanks. I want to move to drilling on the lathe and TBC, but I figured I needed to wait until after my woodturning course (starts in June).

Again, you've been a tremendous help. Thank you!
 

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Rounder

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Don't be embarrassed about not knowing how something works or by mistakes. We were all dummies in the adventure when we first started. We learn by trial and error. And the only stupid question is the one unasked. Do not be afraid to ask anyone on this site for help as this is the best and kindest place in the world to learn and enjoy pen-turning. Frustration happens to us all. But you did the right thing and came for information and Edgar showed you how to proceed and it worked. You have grown already. Welcome to the addiction and ENJOY!!!
 

deeceedub

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Brownfield, TX
Yes, the IAP is fantastic. So much knowledge and experience and everyone is willing to help. :)

Thanks, Randy, for encouraging words. I used to drive through Marlin quite frequently on my way to and from school in College Station, back in the day. Pretty little town with some beautiful old homes.
 

MDWine

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Manassas Park, Virginia, USA.
Learning is an interesting adventure, isn't it? Don't fret, you're doing fine really. (don't tell anyone you had troubles with the pen you posted, it's a winner!)

I haven't turned regularly for some time, and want to get back in. My first valuable lesson and one that I will employ for my "re-education"...

CHECK IAP FIRST!

lol... The talent and willingness here cannot be matched, so lean on it.

Yer doin' alright! We all learn from each others successes and failures... and I have produced my fair share of the latter!

Above all, have fun!
 

Dehn0045

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Houston, Texas
You mention disassembly, I recommend getting a transfer punch set from Harbor freight: https://www.harborfreight.com/28-piece-transfer-punch-set-3577.html . You can use drill bits, but this is rather dangerous, $10 at HF is cheaper than an ER visit to stitch up your hand. Then just by holding the pen in your hand (take off your rings to prevent denting the blank) you can tap the ends out with a hammer. Some kits are easier than others to disassemble depending on what can be unscrewed. An alternative to holding the pen in your hand is using a golf club vice "thingy": https://www.ebay.com/itm/HEAVY-DUTY...jIAAOSw4CFY6VGm:sc:USPSFirstClass!77573!US!-1 . I cut one in half and it works pretty good for safely holding the blank during disassembly.
 

Edgar

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Good ideas from both Sam & Mike on holding the pen while disassembling. I use those grippy jar lid openers for this purpose & also for removing stoppers from mandrels & many other things. I buy them 3 for $1.00 at our local $ store.
 

deeceedub

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Mar 24, 2018
Messages
87
Location
Brownfield, TX
Oh, good tips. I wouldn't have thought of the bucket. My poor husband was crawling around on hands and knees last night trying to find a refill spring in the carpet (he did!). I'd like to take that first pen apart and move the clip to a different spot.

Today was a MUCH better day. I successfully drilled three more acrylic blanks (even figured out how to drill one on my lathe :bananen_smilies051:) and got my second pen turned and assembled with no major drama.


Thank you ALL for your input and for talking me down off the ledge. :wink:

Donna
 

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Edgar

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Here’s another little tip - slide a piece of plastic soda straw over the clip before assembling it. That will help protect the finish on your blanks from getting scratched during assembly.

I don’t see any clip scratches on these pens - it’s just a good way to prevent them, particularly if you try to reposition the clip a little as you are pressing the cap in.
 

ed4copies

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Mar 25, 2005
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Racine, WI, USA.
I find I get a better grip taking a pen apart using one of those rubber dipped grippy gloves to hold the pen while driving the internals out with the hammer in the other.


Sent from my iPhone using Penturners.org mobile app

Another approach is to purchase a bag of kid's long balloons. Put one over the end of the pen (the part you will knock off will stay in the balloon) and use the rubber part to get a better grip on the pen.

Has "worked for me"!!
 
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