What Would You Do With This One

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Larryreitz

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Feb 8, 2015
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562
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Salem, CT USA
I was doing some experimenting on this one-namely using a credit card strip between the cedar and resin center. I encountered issue after issue related to glue up but kept on going.

  • Even though I sanded the raised letters off the credit card strip I didn’t take it down to a completely white facing. Either the epoxy didn’t hold or I put too much pressure on it while lining it up and there was not enough to keep it together. So, re-glue and wait.
  • Drilling on the lathe was good, until I got to the second segment when it came apart again. No problem, just inset tube with lots of epoxy and back to the clamp. I use a Harbor Freight drill vise (not sure that’s what it’s actually called). That’s when the upper tube split, cleanly.
  • More epoxy and clamp up. The blank looked decent on the outside.
  • Turning went well until I got to within about 1/8inch of the desired diameter when large gaps on each side revealed the brass tube.
  • So I filled with shavings and sanded with uncured CA until the gaps were filled. Turned it down, finished with GluBoost and assembled it on an Executive.
Now my question is what would you do with the final product?

  • Chalk it up to experience, disassemble and save the components for a better day.
  • Give the pen away.
  • Put it out for sale at a reduced price, if and when, shows ever open up.
  • other

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jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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NJ, USA.
Now Larry this is just my opinion and do not take offense. First off i do not sell second pens of any kind that I know of defects. Now occasional something I miss gets sold and i stand good later down the road but thankfully that has not happened with pens. I would not sell that pen. If the kit does not matter to you keep the pen as your own work pen and chalk it up to a learning experience.

Now a couple pointers, I never use credit cards because first thing is you need to sand down raised numbers and letters. That is a must. When you start sanding plastics you now have a chance of sanding areas more than others and this will show when you glue them in your design, the thickness is what I am referring to. If i use plastics like that I buy sheet goods. If I need other acrylics I make my own but have a drum sander that works well for things like that. Plus credit cards many times have a top and back layer in a different color than the card itself and this can show when glued in. This goes true with soda cans and beer cans. The colors and advertising can show on the edges. trust me.

I am a firm believer in using epoxy to glue segments. When I do many times I will tint the epoxy to match the segment. (sometimes I forget I am human) My go to epoxy is System3 T88. It has a dry and cure time of at least 24 hours. Now if I am in a bit of a hurry I will use JB Weld clear which is a 5 min dry time epoxy but still needs time to cure totally so I usually turn or drill 24 hours later. But that stuff does smell more and when it says 5 minutes that is about it. But also a good strong glue.

As you know heat is the enemy in whatever we do with pens. Drilling a segmented blank is no different. Good sharp bits and no heat make for a success. Learning how much to squeeze a blank together is a feel thing and over time you get a feel for a good joint glue up. Can not teach that one. Good luck.
 

Larryreitz

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Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
562
Location
Salem, CT USA
Now Larry this is just my opinion and do not take offense. First off i do not sell second pens of any kind that I know of defects. Now occasional something I miss gets sold and i stand good later down the road but thankfully that has not happened with pens. I would not sell that pen. If the kit does not matter to you keep the pen as your own work pen and chalk it up to a learning experience.

Now a couple pointers, I never use credit cards because first thing is you need to sand down raised numbers and letters. That is a must. When you start sanding plastics you now have a chance of sanding areas more than others and this will show when you glue them in your design, the thickness is what I am referring to. If i use plastics like that I buy sheet goods. If I need other acrylics I make my own but have a drum sander that works well for things like that. Plus credit cards many times have a top and back layer in a different color than the card itself and this can show when glued in. This goes true with soda cans and beer cans. The colors and advertising can show on the edges. trust me.

I am a firm believer in using epoxy to glue segments. When I do many times I will tint the epoxy to match the segment. (sometimes I forget I am human) My go to epoxy is System3 T88. It has a dry and cure time of at least 24 hours. Now if I am in a bit of a hurry I will use JB Weld clear which is a 5 min dry time epoxy but still needs time to cure totally so I usually turn or drill 24 hours later. But that stuff does smell more and when it says 5 minutes that is about it. But also a good strong glue.

As you know heat is the enemy in whatever we do with pens. Drilling a segmented blank is no different. Good sharp bits and no heat make for a success. Learning how much to squeeze a blank together is a feel thing and over time you get a feel for a good joint glue up. Can not teach that one. Good luck.
Thanks JT and certainly no offense taken. I very much value your's and other's opinion and was leaning to giving it away. Just wanting to see if anyone differs.
 

walshjp17

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Jul 29, 2012
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3,228
Location
Weddington, NC
I would keep it as it is as a reminder of the effort you went through to complete the pen. You've shown perseverence where others would have chucked the whole thing after the first, second or subsequent issue. It may not be beautiful but it is still functional as an everyday carry or a shop pen. Stay calm and build on!
 

leehljp

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Feb 6, 2005
Messages
8,355
Location
Tunica, MS,
  • Drilling on the lathe was good, until I got to the second segment when it came apart again. No problem, just inset tube with lots of epoxy and back to the clamp. I use a Harbor Freight drill vise (not sure that’s what it’s actually called). That’s when the upper tube split, cleanly.
I am going to deal with this one issue: When drilling blanks like you have, many of the pen turners here will drill them on the lathe, BUT - with gauze wrapped around the blank and the gauze CA'ed well. This is very strong and holds it together well while it is being drilled. Drill Vises do well in normal case, but with segments, drilling on the lathe with CA'ed gauze wraps do much better.
 

Charlie_W

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Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
5,863
Location
Sterling, VA USA
With the cost of pen kits these days, I would opt to reuse the components. You may to keep the blank for future reference but in my book, it is just something else to store....you can turn off the material and reuse the tube if the length is still usable ....meaning if it has been shortened when squaring the ends, would it become too short when trimmed a second time and not allow the pen to operate correctly. Sometimes a pen/tube has sufficient length to allow for this and other kits are close to tolerance with one squaring.
 
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