Pen Making Update 51: Happy Birthday to Me

This is going to be a quite short update as not a lot has happened. Also, it’s my birthday on Sunday, so there is that. Yay!

  • Pen making

I have finished making pens for the pen show making this red one and this black and white one. They are the extra ones I have done, this will hopefully mean that people will have more choice. Unfortunately I don’t think the pale blue one I did last week will be ready for the show as I made a mistake on the cap and realised today I forgot to buy the extra blank when I bought some for another pen job.

With these updates I have started to talk about the methods behind my making so this week I thought I would tackle sections. These things are fiddly and tricky. At the moment I make pens that fit bock #6 nibs. I start by turning about 35mm of material down to a 12mm diameter (or there abouts). I put a centre dimple on each end so that I can ensure when I still them out the drill bits won’t skip out and ruin the job. I pick which side I want to be hidden in the barrel and which I want to be visible and then turn down the first 7-10mm to a diameter of 9.8mm, this is to accept the threading from a 10 x 0.75 die to thread into the barrel. I thread this while it is solid because if I thread it after I drill it out then the acrylics usually break.

Using a threaded collar I screw this onto the part I have just threaded then drill it out with a 7mm drill bit until I have drilled into the main part of the section. This is where the converter will sit and the 7mm hole means the converter will be nice and snug with very little wobble. Anyway I take off the collar and turn the section round to drill out the other side. Around 14mm at 8.5mm and then the part for the actual threads only needs to be about 5-7mm further, using a file I scrape a very shallow dent around the edge of the hole for the collar of the nib unit to sit in. Then I thread the inside with the relevant thread for the nib unit and check to see if the nib unit fits and the converter sits well.

With everything working I take off the nib and converter then thread it into a brass attachment then fit my live centre at the other end. This is where things get a bit dangerous and the face guard comes out. Making sure I am all protected I get a file and I shape the section to the shape that I need, why do I wear the face mask? I don’t want the file getting caught by the spinning chuck and flinging back into me, that would hurt, I have the guard still in place on my lathe which covers the spinning chuck but you can never be too careful, lathes are dangerous.

  • Pen show

So only a few weeks remaining and I have worked out I have overspent to the sum of about £100. Oops, way to pile on the pressure when selling things, huh? Other than that preparation is going well. I have prepped some of the display stuff and I have written my snagging list. What is a snagging list? Its basically a quality control method. You look over everything you have made and make a note on any scratches, or production marks, any dirt in the threads etc then you have a starting point to work when finishing things off. It’s something I learned from working a duct erector, when a job was finished I would have to co around and make sure there was no sharp edges and any cut ends were painted with an anti corrosion paint, however I am getting off topic with that but you get the idea.

Anyway that is it for this week, take care everyone and have a good weekend.

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