Pen Making Update 17: Timelines and Workshops

Well… erm… This is going to be a big one and for that I apologise, I will do a tldr at the end for you on this one. A lot of nothing has happened this week and I will inform you of it all. I will also show you some pictures too.

The beginning of the week was spend looking after my eldest daughter because she was off school so I didn’t get onto the lathe until Wednesday. I didn’t have much time and I needed to finish off one pen to sell on the website and one for a customer. Next week I have one more for a customer and I will start discussions with another client to finalise what they want their pen to be like. Once that is done I can start working through the blanks I have to make pens to sell (or if I am feeling greedy pens for myself), that way I can begin to either learn more skills or refine what I have already learned.

That brings me nicely on to this, my progress in pictures. Let me know which ones you like, which ones you really don’t like or which ones you think could do with something extra. There are two missing which is at the request of someone as they do not wish to see them before he receives them to keep the surprise. These are in chronological order.

Big Green

Big Red

Orange Desk

Red Sister


Green me

Blue Mum

Pink Daughter

Pink Client

Red and Black

Bullet This one is for sale on my website.

Dragonscale This one is for sale on my website.

FYI I suck at names, when I game I usually use a baby naming book for my character names.

So let me tell you a little story. When I started making two pens for a client I had no idea what I was getting myself in for. Making those two pens has lead me to buying new tools, breaking blanks and all sorts. It was a tad stressful to be honest. Two materials I had never used before I did my usual thing and leapt in head first, I do this a lot, luckily I learn from my mistakes. So I used a Conway Stewart ebonite blank to make the barrel and then went searching to find a matching blank as I couldn’t get another conway one. Luckily the guys over at Beaufort inks sent me some samples of their ebonite to try and match the colours. I found an almost perfect match and I ended up using blunt tools to attempt to turn some it into a cap and ended up shattering it. At the time I didn’t know the tools were blunt I thought it was the material that was causing me the problems. When I asked on here people pointed out it was most likely the tools as it happened again with another blank of a different material. When I broke that second blank I got angry and made a cap for it, I had an idea of making one edge of the cap flat and turning it so it was a bit thicker than the barrel so the flat edge worked as a sort of roll stop, well in theory it worked, in practise it does work kind of it certainly stop it from rolling away if it is just put down on a desk. So after that I ended up breaking the blank I was using for the second cap as I was trying to make it so that it had a clip, something I had only done once before, guess what, it broke. This is when I posted what had happened on here and that lead me to the path of new tools. Since then I have managed to get some more of the same blank and successfully made a cap with a clip with very little fuss.

Earlier on in the week I suggested adding info on the work I am going to be doing to make my workshop. Well I have started to clear out the shed I will be using and I thought I should take a before picture 1 picture 2. There is a lot of work to do, I need to make a door or get one from work. I need to make a work bench and tool storage areas. I need to rig up some sort of shelving or drawer system for blanks and pen bits. I need to buy a lathe and set that up, I have one in mind but it will need a lot of saving for it. Anyway I think that is it for now. Have a good weekend.

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