Keeping your writing sharp

As sharp as a laser that is!

As part of giving the new lathe a run, it was a good opportunity to assemble and turn a couple of the laser pen kits from Kallenshaan Pens.

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The kits come with the main body, and all the tiny parts that are glued into the pen body. Each are cut out of timber which has also been turned round, so the parts are then both the right shape and size to fit the opening well, and also be reasonably flush. Kallenshaan use a combination of different timbers and wood dyes so the result is picture perfect.

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Each piece clips together like a mniature 3D jigsaw, and for some kits it is particularly useful to use rubber bands (supplied) to hold it all together until the glue is applied.

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The glue of choice is a thin CA (superglue), which penetrates right down into the pattern. There is no need to remove the rubber bands- they can be glued as well- they will get turned away very easily when the time comes.

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With the brass core glued in place, and the body mounted on the pen mandrel, it is time to turn the body to the right dimensions. With such a small diameter, I typically turn at 2000-3000 RPM.

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Once the correct shape is achieved, sanding then finishing to complete. For this pen I used Ubeaut EEE followed by Shellawax Cream, effectively french polishing the pen.

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The pen is then assembled- using a standard Sierra kit in this case.

Some feel that these laser cut pen kits detract from a wood turner’s skill, but there is no different in technique from producing a more standard wooden pen. Actually, I take more care with these- a normal wooden blank doesn’t risk $20 or more if you get carried away/distracted and get a blank-destroying catch.

They are certainly eye catching, and Kallenshaan has a large number of designs available.

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