Pen Photography: A Pro Setup for Less than $30...

Jul 18, 2014 by

Pen photography is absolutely essential to learn for any pen turner that wants to sell their pens or just show them off to friends or family members. It’s NOT super hard or expensive, contrary to popular belief. In this post I’ll outline exactly how you can take professional, awesome photographs of your pens for less than $30, assuming you already own a camera (even a pretty basic one).   My Complete Pen Photography Setup Would you believe that I’m able to take beautiful, professional pictures of my pens like this:   Using the raggedy, amateur, piecemeal setup below? Well that’s it! It’s shoved off in a corner of my garage on a storage shelf in above the chemicals/car care equipment and below the dog kennels we use for travel. It’s humble, but it produces incredible results....

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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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