Those fine specimens really tempt me to get a midi-lathe to play with but as I've got a 6" jointer on next month's budget, it's going to be a bit before I can justify another big expense. Keep cranking out the fine work and you'll get me hooked yet!
PS - I've seen several posts recently about finishing so I thought I'd ask: For the record, what kind of finish did you put on those?
Yep Guys, all are CA finished, then HUT PPP wax after sanding the CA smooth with 600 grit wet or dry paper. Used dry.
It goes pretty fast, as you can tell.
These are from one of those assortments of blanks that Woodcraft sells. Except for #'s 1, 6, 14 in the picture. Those are from a piece of shop maple.
Woods I never would have ever been able to buy otherwise.
32 blanks, 16 different woods, and a whole lotta eye candy for me and Betty.
Left to right:
1. Shop Maple
3. Bolivian Rosewood
4. Birdseye Maple
6. Shop Maple
9. Honduran Rosewood
10.Mystery wood (it wasn't marked)
Not shown: Oak, Honduran Rosewood, and a shop Maple. Gave them away.
8, 12, & 13 I gave away as well. Friends and relitives.
And Betty liked the Kingwood, so that's hers.
My thoughts are thus: If I can sell 8 at $25 ea. I've recovered my costs thus far for the kit and cabooble. Sound fair? Too low?
One of my Nieces suggested $35 last night. I don't want to undercut the market, nor get stuck either.
I figure about $7-8 in materials, and an hour in time per.
I'd like your thoughts, you are my highly respected friends and several of you are Professional Woodworkers eeking out a living at it.
I'm looking to retire into woodworking in a few years ahead. Mostly because I love wood, and because I like the satisfaction I get from seeing the delight in the recipiant's face. And I might as well do something with my hobby equipment. :)
Maybe pens could offset some costs? And as a matter of fact, I don't mind repetitive work. Especially when each piece is so individually unique as wood is.
On using and doing CA finishes. I think I have a good method now. Always using the thin CA for penatration, so far.
First coat is done with the lathe off and wiped on by hand with a piece of waxed paper and the lathe turned by hand as needed.
That way it fills the pores. Maybe twice if warrented. Let the CA set up without accellerant on each coat. The accellerant causes the CA to get weird sometimes.
Then a coat or two at low speed. My 500 RPM minimum works OK (but wish I could go slower :( )
I let the lathe spin while it cures.
Then I crank it up fast and sand it smooth with 400 and 600 to get an even surface. (If I can't I take a step backwards and apply another coat of CA at 500 RPM.)
Once satisfied, then the HUT PPP for 2-3 coats. But use any finish wax you like and find works well for you. I only have HUT so far, and that is the only reason I reference to it.
The CA has a tendency to stick the bushings to the work, but it will break free with a tad of finess.
I bag them with the assemblies and press several at the next assembly stage. Wipe and bag and Finee~.
And I'm really getting the hang of "Let your bevel rub, Sonny." Good advice indeed my friend. :)
Actually, I don't.
When I glue in the inserts (or brass barrels), I coat both ends to "fill" them with CA.
I will usually shoot these with the accelerator as well.
When whatever number of blanks are readied, I go touch up the ends on a 1 x 30" belt sander just to flush the ends.
Then the tube ends get a lick with a deburring/champhering countersink by hand.
When these are set onto the bushings on the mandrel things snug up pretty well.
What little sticking that does occure with the blank and the bushing can be dealt with when removing the finished blank from the mandrel.
I found it easiest for me to slide it almost entirely off, work the blank sideways to break loose the stuck part and slide the headstock bushing back. Slip the blank up and repeat and the mid bushing. And remove the fore blank from the mandrel.
Slide the mid bushing onto the mandrel and snap loose the upper pen blank.
Then end for end the upper blank and put the tailstock bushing onto the mandrel and snap loose that blank.
With both finished blanks in one hand I replace the mandrel knurled nut and turn and put the blanks in a bag with the hardware for assembly later.
When I prep another set of barrels, I put them on the mandrel to rough them up for the glueing into the next blanks. At the same time I sand off the CA on the bushings a touch. Fresh and clean, zing, zing, zing.
Sanding in the next blank further reduces build up in the bushings of CA.
But I will as well, do one step at a time. It's even more efficent.
A number of blanks are cut. All the shorts. Then all the longs. I mark the blanks with a pencil to keep the grain orientated.
Then drill them all. (I drill mine on the lathe.)
Then mount the insert barrels and rough them on the lathe.
Then glue in the barrels.
Then sand the ends as needed.
Then turn and finish each one. The finished blanks get put in a bag of parts for assembly.
Then go to my assembly press. Assemble, wipe clean, and final polish, and bag them in the bag the kit was in.
I save the cut offs of the blanks with the number indexing them to a list of the wood's name.
It's a kadence. And it works out better than it reads. :)
I don't worry much about the CA getting on the bushings because it gets sanded off sooner or later. :) Make sense?
Ok, I've had pens on the brain all day thanks to you, Sonny, and I'm actually thinking of putting off my jointer purchase in favor of a Jet Mini-lathe.
I've got a Woodcraft store locally that's selling it for their usual price of $325. So the question is: What else would I need to get started that isn't included w/ the lathe and roughly how much cost am I looking at for those items?
Also, I noticed at the store that there's a bed extension available for the Jet. I'd thought that Delta was the only company who'd made a bed extension and after a little checking around, I *did* find the Jet extension but it seems that there aren't too many mentions of it. Is the Jet extension a fairly new product or already out of production or something?
This is really all your fault Sonny, for posting those pics and if I start turning out nice pens, I'm going to blame it all on you. :)
I can take it, I've got broad shoulders. If the wife gets pieved at you, tell her I said to come straddle them. :o
No, better not tell her that on second thought. Betty's small, but she packs a wallop. LOL! :7
Well, lessee. Just pens? You could get into that for 100 dollars. Of course that leads to a second 100 dollars because 10 pens just isn't enough.
And unless your happy drilling blanks on your drill press, you'll want a scroll chuck. That will cost about as much as the lathe.
Then you'll get frustrated with trying to sharpen your tools and get a Tormak. There goes as much as the lathe AND the chuck together.
Of course you'll need to drop around 200 into chisels for the lathe.
So you'll start off with a 325 dollar lathe.
And when you finally get comfortable you'll be at around 1500 or so.
Then you'll be so soft hearted you'll give away half the pens you made.
But you'll be happy. Poor, but Happy.
And your Family and friends will be sportin some cool lookin pens. And they'll Ooooo and Ahhhhh over the pens you made.
And you'll realize trees are round, not box shaped. And the things coming off the lathe are round.
And there will be harmony. Poor harmony.... but harmony none the less.
You'll realize you can make stuff out of scraps around the shop. And you'll have super glue as a perminent coating where your fingerprints used to be.
And you'll realize it is really your own damn fault. Not mine, not Limey's, not Dicks, but your own damn fault because now you'll still need a jointer anyway.
It ain't easy bein easy Ya know. :)
Fortunately, I'm not married so I can spend my money with impunity. :)
In all likelyhood, I'll get the lathe and pen stuff in July and get the jointer in Aug. I'm supposed to be building my sister a bed frame which is what the jointer is for but the pens sound like more fun right now. I'll tell her the jointer is back-ordered. ;)
As far as pen equipment is concerned, would you mind giving me some more details? I'm just trying to figure out what I need to buy to start with. I figure that I'm better off asking here than walking into the Woodcraft store and saying, "Hi, I want to start making pens. Sell me everything I'll need." Kind of an open invitation to run up a big bill.
I know that I'll need blanks and pen kits for each pen. I'll probably do without the scroll chuck for now although I can easily see why it speeds up the process.
Other things I know (or think) I'll need to buy:
- Mandrel (#1, #2...?)
- Bushings (there are *lots* of different bushings, apparently)
- Brad point or "pen maker's" bit to bore the blanks
- CA glue for the shafts
- Hut PPP
- Turning tools - what should I be looking at just to learn with?
Anyway, that's my laundry list for now. Anything else I should be thinking about to start off with?
BTW, I intend to take a class at the local Woodcraft store in about two weeks before I buy any of this but I know myself and if I have fun in the class I'm likely to leave the store with all kinds of goodies. That in mind, I want a decent idea of what I should consider buying.
Thanks for the input and yes, I realize that it's really all *my* fault. :)
Just yesterday, we used clamps after glue simply to take the bow out of the wood we were using, and it straightened everything out for us. Usually though, any time you lay up a project the clamps are...