Adding Value to Pen Making – Colin Wise

Club Meeting: 24th Feb 2021
Report by: Bill Alden

Colin started off by suggesting ways to select wood in order to add value to the usual along the grain orientation. He showed some prepared blanks with barrels inserted of cross grain and long grain, it was also suggested that the grain could be orientated at 45 degrees.

He showed us his jig setup for sanding the ends of the blanks square prior to turning. A file was used to de burr the inside of the brass tube, he then demonstrated the turning of the two blanks he had one long grain and one cross grain. Although he did not finish the surface he showed us the use of a block of P.P.P. (perfect pen polish).

He then passed around different pens that were made of different woods and grain orientation.

He then went on to talk about the use of Aluminium for pens and demonstrated drilling techniques He used a 6.2 mm drill and then finished the hole with a 6.3 mm one. An Aluminium pen does not require the brass inserts so the 6.3 diameter is equivalent to the inside of a brass tube. He then showed the turning of the Aluminium blank on another mandrel. He suggested the use of a squirt of Ondina oil, which we normally use for sanding, would assist in this process. He demonstrated the use of the Timberley Textura to embellish the aluminium. There is a specialised aluminium polish that can be used for finishing.

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