Pen making update Y2 week 41

* pen making

So I have not had a great day today, so much so that I had to put my tools down and come up to the house to vent some anger in an overly violent game (Doom Eternal if you were curious). Now that I am a little calmer and I have a cat on my lap I can sit here and I can start to put things together and see where things went wrong.

First of all though, I made [two pens]( which actually turned out well. Two of my cigar like designs, the first is a copper and teal Aphrodite (you can tell as both ends are nicely rounded. And the other a green and white Gaea (very similar but these have flattened ends). I like making these pens if I am honest, they look nice, the curves are pleasing to the eye and you get a good cross section of the patterns in the material. Nice simple designs with a [classic look]( about them and there are no flat edges to sand and polish, yay!

Now the two [cockups](, one of these was messed up because I was trying to be clever (note to self: never try to be clever), the other one was just a cascade of mistakes and each fix just making things worse. So at first glance they look fine, the green one has some nice big facets on it which should polish up well and the red one looks ok. Lets start with the red one.

So this is a Zeus I have made for another pen maker as a gift. Well this is the one where I was trying to be clever. So I turned the blank down to the correct diameter and then notices that the opposite ends were the ones that I wanted the taper on instead of the middle. I did my usual thing and eyed the angle and made the cuts. First thing was the angle was way too long for the look I wanted. Then when I drilled out the cap I thought it was all good but correcting the misaligned angled brought something to my attention. [I had drilled too far]( there is a light patch near the base of the angle, this is the drill hole getting close to the skin of the material, if any ink leaks into the cap the ink colour will show through to the outside of the pen and it will look awful. I could remake the cap but that would involve matching the colour etc. I am popping that one on the reject bin and starting again with a newly made blank.

Now the big [cockup](, with this one however I can get a new blank and hopefully remake the cap. So how did this go wrong and if you are making something akin to this how can you avoid making the same mistakes that I made, simple, don’t do it, it’s a pain in the arse. So I posted up a quick video of the pen after I had sanded the tool marks away and the feedback I got was that the step was too big on the pen, fair enough, I thought, and I went back to sort that out. I then noticed that the cap join wasn’t level, there was a gap. How on earth to get rid of that. I tried filing by hand but that made it worse. I tried putting it in the lathe but the jaws wouldn’t close on the uneven surface. I ended up threading it back onto the tap and holding that in the tail stock then winding that into the jaws using it to hold it steady before closing the jaws on the cap and filing it flat, but now the facets didn’t line up. No problem I thought I took some more material away until the cap turned around enough to line the facets up once more. I then had to take some of the material away inside the cap to thread on properly but it didn’t line up again. This time I went back and did it again finally getting it to line up. However I forgot about something, more on that later. Anyway, I thought that it would need more room for the nib as I had taken away the material and ended up with the [same problem]( I have with the Zeus above. So now I have to get another blank and attempt to make a cap getting the facets right on that to match the barrel. Hopefully that will then be it and I will be able to sell the pen, if not I will have to make a complete new pen, which will be a pain.

The final cockup and the one which sent me over the edge was a simple misdrilling of some sections. I measured twice, three times, still got it wrong. It was at that point where I put the tools down and went to hunt demons in doom.

That is is for this week, as usual feel free to give suggestions for where these updates go in the comments. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones and stay safe.

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