Pen Making update 36: Oops! I did it again.

* Pen Making

It would have been so pretty too. It was my first one of these types of blank and well. There is a little story behind how I broke it. It’s all my fault. I was making the pen and I had cut the thread for the barrel to feed into the cap and I wanted to check it out to ensure it was straight. Something I do as a matter of course because well, wobbly threads are a pain in the butt. Guess what, the threads were wobbly as, as, a really, really, wobbly thing. So, I threaded it into the cap and tried to see if there was anything I could do to at least reduce the wobble in relation to the cap, that way it wouldn’t be as bad. The cap broke, which was kind of predicable. I made a bigger cap with thicker walls that I could turn down later and tried again, this time the barrel broke, it was just too wobbly. I didn’t give up though. I shortened the barrel, rethreaded it and tried again, guess what wobbly thread again. I nearly lost my rag at that point.

Maybe I should explain something? You see the die I was using was too big for a standard tap and die set so I don’t have the correct holder. I have been using some self gripping pliers (mole grips) and holding the die to the blank as it spun in the lathe. The problem being a correct tool would have handled either side of the die, the mole grips have the grip on one side leading to it being a bit unstable. Not the best but at the moment it was the best I could do. I used to hold the die by hand and turn it out of the lathe.

Anyway the barrel broke once more so I tried to turn off the broken part. I had the blank spinning slowly and I move the parting tool up close, unfortunately it was a little too close and it got caught on the broken part then voila shattered blank. DOH! Luckily it wasn’t too expensive and I still have the part that I can make into a cap so I only need to replace 1.

So how did I solve this problem?

It’s simple now I think of it and when I thought of it I couldn’t believe how I had missed it. I held the die in the lathe and I turned down the end of the blank so it would fit in the drill chuck on the tail stock (about a 10mm diameter). Then I fed that into the chuck and tightened it up. This held the blank in a straight plane to the lathe and I fed it into the [spinning die]( Problem solved, no more expense needed. Plus the end that I needed to turn down is the same diameter I will need for part of the section. Woop Woop!

So the other thing that happened. I got myself a new finishing regime. Speaking to the guy from Worcester Pen Company he told me that I would get a much better finish on my pens using a set of polishing wheels and polish rather than using the micromesh. What is the benefit of this? A much shinier finish, it’s quicker, it’s more cost effective. To those that are interested


(×1-mops-with-menzerna-compounds-three-stage-750135) is the link to the wheels and polish I got. Just need to remember, dust mask and glasses.

* Kitless Guide

New section this week as the workshop is mostly done. So, I am writing a guide to make kitless pens. Thought it may be useful to people. It’s going to be written from a beginners perspective because let’s face it, I am still a beginner. I have done the part which involves preparing the blank and I have done the writing of the part dealing with creating the barrel I am just gathering photos to go with them now. Hoping to get it done this weekend. I will keep you all informed.

That is it for this week. Have a good weekend.

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