Dedicated Pen Blank Drilling Chuck Review...

Dec 28, 2013 by

So you’re considering a dedicated pen blank drilling chuck but still aren’t certain if it’s right for you or if it’s worth the money. I used a drill press for many years before the pen blank drilling chuck came out, but once I got my hands on this chuck I couldn’t imagine myself going back. I’ll do my best to highlight the pros and cons in this dedicated pen blank drilling chuck review.   Advantage #1: Perfectly Centered, Straight Holes Every Time I recognize that this is achievable with the proper accessories and clamps for a drill press, but it’s pretty impossible to screw up with a dedicated pen blank drilling chuck. You screw the chuck onto your headstock, drop the drill chuck in the tailstock, put your blank into the chuck and, just…...

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5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Pen Turning...

Dec 14, 2013 by

As I noted on my about me page, I started turning pens when I was 14 in seventh grade wood shop. The internet wasn’t remotely as it is today, and all of the best pen turners I would encounter at trade shows were coveting their secrets. So here are the top 5 things that I learned the hard way – a massive shortcut on your way to turning perfect pens.   Keeping Your Chisels Sharp is Priority #1 If you don’t own a bench grinder and a sharpening jig of some kind, you’re turning pens and other projects dramatically under your potential right now. Buy a grinder, bolt it to a table or very secure shelf, and buy or throw together a jig. We’re talking about $30-$50 and a couple of hours of work...

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What Paper Towels Should I Use for a CA Finish?...

Dec 1, 2013 by

The type of paper towels that you use when applying a CA finish can make a BIG difference in your final results. I didn’t know this when I attempted a CA finish for the first time, and boy did I pay the price. Here are a few of the issues you can encounter if you’re using the wrong type of paper towel: Hazing Uneven finish Flakes/lint embedded in finish Paper towels getting stuck while applying CA glue finish Don’t panic though, it’s easy to figure out if the paper towels you have in the house will cut it.   How to Test Paper Towels for CA Glue Finish So how do you know whether or not a certain brand of paper towel will do for applying a CA finish? Just take your paper towel,...

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Lathe Speed: Turning Pens

Nov 23, 2013 by

I wondered what the correct lathe speed was for turning pens for YEARS before I found all of the right answers. The optimal lathe speed for turning pens varies throughout the different stages of the process. No need for you to go digging – I’ll write out everything I’ve pulled together and tested over the past few years in this post.   Lathe Speed for Drilling Pen Blanks – Low Obviously this section ONLY APPLIES if you drill your pen blanks on your lathe. If you drill them using a drill press, feel free to skip over this section. If you drill your pen blanks using a chuck on your mini lathe, it’s best to use a pretty slow speed. For me, that’s the lowest speed on my 5-speed lathe – 750 RPM, but...

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How to Sharpen Lathe Tools

Nov 16, 2013 by

Knowing how to sharpen lathe tools is probably the single most important thing any pen turning or woodturning hobbyist should obsess over. Scarily sharp tools will result in less broken pens, fewer cracks, and overall pen perfection. Regardless of whether you’re pen turning or turning anything else, the process for sharpening woodturning tools remains the same. This is everything you’ll need: -Your lathe tools -Safety glasses -A sharpening jig (explained below) -Some thick gloves -A bench grinder   The Sharpening Jig It doesn’t need to be fancy or pretty, it just needs to be functional. This is extraordinarily important for sharpening your tools properly – DO NOT SKIMP HERE. I didn’t use one for years and always had very, very disappointing results. The day I started using one is the day disappointing results went away....

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