Saturday, 22 February 2014

A Plethora of Pens

Wow.  I can't believe it has been three four five(!) months since my last post.  I blame work.  While it is not our busiest time of year, we brought in a new computer system and all of the preparation, learning, and implementation have been mentally draining.  Between that and a couple of other things going on I have not been feeling very inspired.  The really cold weather we have been having lately hasn't helped either.  Until recently the only thing I have done in the shop is fit some doors for the house.  Don't ask why, it just tick's me off.  Then, it was just too cold  to be out in the shop for a while.

Finally though I have been forced into the shop to make some pens.  Really I only had to make one, but it is so darn addictive that I couldn't stop.  I have to keep going until until I'm absolutely sick of making them.  I keep having these ideas and then I have to try to make them.  Some are more successful than others.

This one is a success.  It was made with Amazing Casting Resin (48 hour cure) swirled with blue and green ink.

Another one made with Amazing Casting Resin, this time with the 10 minute version, which dries opaque white, again with blue and green swirl.  While the pen looks good from this side it is a different story when you turn it over.

This stuff pours like water when you put it in the mold, so bubbles are not usually a problem.  Never have I seen a line of them turn up like this before.  It figures that they would wind up right at the surface of the pen.  Verdict: Fail

This pen turned out pretty good, although some of the fibers didn't stay down after the wax finish was applied.  Some of the wax built up in the pores, so the wood doesn't look as smooth as it is. I believe the wood is cocobolo.

I'm not sure that chrome hardware was the right choice to go with the mystery wood on this pen, but all the gold hardware was the right choice for other pens.

More mystery woods.  The one on the left may be walnut burl, but the color is a little light.  I have no idea what the one on the right is, but it is definitely not birds eye maple.  It has a very strong aroma when it is worked, not like any maple I have ever smelled.

This pen was trouble from the very start.  This is made with more of the 48 hour resin, which is quite a bit thicker than the 10 minute stuff.  I managed to get a lot of bubbles in the resin when I mixed it up.  I have run into this before so I have a solution to the problem, a home-built shaker that vibrates the bubbles out.  Unfortunately it also caused most of the glitter to sink to the bottom, so the glitter isn't as thick as I had hoped it would be.  What really killed this pen though was that the drill bit wandered while drilling the blanks, resulting in the cloudy areas at the top and bottom.

This is the pen that started this binge.  It was the only one I had to make, and it was the best of the bunch.  The Brazilian rosewood goes perfectly with the chrome and black trim.

I hope to be back a lot sooner next time.  I have already started another project and need to finish it soon.