Back in episode 2 I showed you how I turn an acrylic pen blank and finish it. I also promised on a later episode I would show you how I finish a wooden pen blank. I have used several methods and developed this one based off what I liked about the other methods I tried out.
Using Easy Wood Tools Easy Rougher makes it easy to bring the blank to round. Using plunge cuts makes quick work of getting the blank round. Once the blank is round then you can use sliding cuts to bring the blank down to your desired thickness. I like to stop just shy of my desired thickness and switch to the Easy Wood Tools Easy Finisher to taper my ends to the bushings. Then I switch back to the Easy Rougher to smooth out any high or low spots created by the Easy Finisher.
**I have the Full Size tools, but you might find it easy to control the smaller tools like the Easy Start Tools or the Mini Tools. They are not quite as long and are easy to move around smaller projects.**
After the blank is turned down to its final shape it is time to sand and prep for finish. I go through 5 different grits for my wood blanks. I progression is 150, 240, 320, 400, 600. I sand with each grit while the blank is spinning, then I stop the blank and sand side to side to remove any swirl marks. I do this for each of the 5 grits.
The finish I use is a 3 part process. You have to seal the wood, micro polish the wood, then apply a top coat. I seal the wood with Thin CA (cyanoacrylate) Glue, aka super glue. More specifically my goto thin CA Glue is the Hot Stuff Thin Instant CA Glue. I apply a small amount to a blue paper towel. As the blank is spinning I quickly run the paper towel side to side on the blank to coat it. I apply about 3 coats of this to make sure the wood is sealed. It has to be thin CA Glue as the thicker stuff does not soak into the wood and is not easily spread, which creates high spots on the blank.
After the wood is sealed you need to micro sand the CA glue to make sure it is smooth for the top coat. I use a wax with really fine abrasives mixed in with it. EEE-Ultra Shine from U Beaut Polishes. I apply a small amount to a blue paper towel and apply it by hand while the blank is not spinning. I then turn on the lathe and sand until it is smooth. I switch to a clean piece of paper towel and polish the blank until it no longer feels waxy.
Once the blank is all smooth, it is time to add the top coat. The protective layer. I use a high build friction polish. The Mylands High Build Friction Polish is some of the best I have used. The more coats you apply the higher the sheen and the tougher the finish is. I apply 5 coats to my pens. You want to shake the bottle very well as the contents separate while the sit. I apply a nickel size drop to a blue paper towel and while the blank is spinning I rub the polish on. You will need to apply pressure to create the friction to cure the polish. If your finger is not getting warm then the polish is not curing. I repeat the above step 4 more times. On my final coat I make sure I let it run long enough that the finish is dry and cure.
I follow the instructions that come with each pen kit. If your chosen pen kit does not come with paper instructions then you can find them online at Penn State Ind. Website.