Friday, 26 December 2014

Pre-Christmas Pen Turning Binge

Pen turning is the crack cocaine of woodworking.  You think you can just do one, but then one thing leads to another and that one gives you an idea and soon you have way more pens than you can give away.  And you just keep going until the staff at Lee Valley tell you  you're cut off because your wife has gotten to them.  Okay, that last part didn't really happen, not quite, but I am so sick of pens right now I probably won't turn any more until next year.  Of course, next year starts Jan. 1.

This year is the first time that I tried using Alumalite Pearlescent Powder in my acrylic pens to give them some sparkle.  You can really see it in this pen & pencil set.

There is lots of it in the black parts of the set as well, but it is hard to see because there is a little too much black dye in them as well.

Getting the right amount of dye proved to be a challenge in most of the acrylic pens I made.  I knew that it was powerful stuff, but it turned out to be easy to overdo it, as was the case in this pen.

It was supposed to be red and green, but the green is almost blue and the red a dark purple.  The next pen was more successful.

I wish I could have gotten a better picture but this one went in a Christmas gift exchange before I realized how bad the picture was.

I also attempted to use metallic powders to make an aluminum looking pen.  I mixed white dye with gunmetal powder to darken it and some silver powder to make it sparkle, but although it did make it grey I didn't get the sparkle that I was looking for.  The metallic powders are meant to be used as a surface treatment and don't have the same effect when mixed into the plastic.

And now, how about some pens featuring some actual wood.  This one is made from kingwood.


And last but not least padauk, finished with CA glue.

I tried using CA glue as a finish on the other wooden pens I made but I had difficulty getting an even sheen.  I wound up sanding them all down and using a wax finish instead.

If you noticed the date on this post you would have seen that as I write this it is after Christmas. Would you be surprised to learn that I got a book on pen turning from Santa?

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