Keep on Turnin’

Once again in the shed late at night, feeling productive and not wanting to make an excess of noise, so another couple of pens got churned out.

Top one is a Sierra with a brown acrylic blank, lower one an Elegant Beauty with a new purple acrylic I found in Carbatec.

Don’t forget, this Saturday is the last of the month, so it is Demo day at Carbatec, Melbourne, and I will be demonstrating how easy pen turning is, even if you are a beginner.  I am certainly not an expert turner, so don’t expect some amazing technique with a skew or something – it will be basic, yet comprehensive, and if you have never made one before you may go away from the demo wanting to give it a try for yourself.

Warning: Pen Turning is an Addictive Hobby

Pink Pen

Used a quick turning practice session to get my eye in for a new pen I was about to try by turning a blank I’d purchased for my daughter.

She’s 3, and unsurprisingly, her favourite colour is pink.

Pink Pen

It is an EB (elegant beauty), with rose gold components, and pink acrylic body.

Giving it a try-out

Happy Camper

Addicted to Pens

At the Melbourne Wood Show I bought a couple of specialised pen blanks from Addictive Pens: an electronic one (with a circuit board) and a prairie rattlesnake skin. Both were encased in transparent acrylic, ready for turning and after a day of feeling under the weather yesterday, I finally felt up to achieving something around 10pm last night.

I started with a more traditional turning – acrylic is notoriously fussy, and as I don’t turn that often I need to practice a little to get the feel. I did one pen using an unusual timber – avocado, from Lazy Larry. It went really well (and looked rather good, including the CA finish) until I had a brain lapse during assembly. Oh well – at least I had the practice!

Next, I turned up a couple of purple heart sierras, before deciding to tackle the acrylic ones.

Acrylic can be rather tempermental, prone to chipping if approached too aggressively, and can easily overheat, again damaging the surface.

Example of acrylic blanks

On the other hand, acrylics can produce some pretty spectacular pens, especially with items embedded in it, as with the two I worked on here.

When approached with a bit of finess, you can get ribbons of acrylic peeling off the blank. Even so, I stopped each pass to clear it away- when thin it would be easy to cause them to melt and attempt to weld back to the blank. Also, they are rather hard to see the work through!

Pen Stand

This is the acrylic pen stand I picked up at the Melb Wood Show, getting loaded up with a reasonable collection.

From left to right, there is a slimline pencil and pen, both in Osage Orange, an Elegant Beauty (EB) with an unknown timber, then a Sierra Camphor, a couple of Sierra purplehearts, and the acrylics.

New Pens

Closeup of Circuitboard Pen

I really like the circuit board, but I guess it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Same with the snakeskin (which I think makes this pen illegal in NZ)

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