Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pens and other small projects

Small projects are great, you can finish them quickly, have less time to get distracted, have less invested if things go wrong, and in the case of the small turning projects that I am talking about in particular here, are relatively safe and quiet and child-in-the-vicinity friendly compared to my normal hobbies.

As you may have noticed, I've been posting more not-knives than knives lately. Not because I don't enjoy working on knives anymore, but because I actually like to finish projects every once and a while.

It is amazingly satisfying to finish things, all day most days I work on projects that may take years or longer to finish. I am still finishing up projects that my predecessor started, and I've been at my job for about two years now. Coming home and adding an hour to a project that will take quite a few hour or multi-hour blocks is not very appealing most nights.

The inspiration for my small projects is the result of my friendship with Rocketpants and Bill.

Somehow I convinced them to let me teach them how to shave with a straight razor, and despite me spraying blood all over the bathroom (never wave a razor in one hand and wine glass in the other), they were game and now each has a razor and brush. Since I'm not ready (wrong set of tools) to try making the razors themselves, I decided to try shaving brushes, as seen in an earlier post (Bench and Brush).

Now Bill commented a couple times that I should try pens, since he likes fountain pens, so, because I needed more hobbies I started with some basic pens and a wine stopper (As the wood turns).

I thought they were pretty basic and realized that I preferred other types of pen, so I bought more.

I tried the POLARIS (like the rocket?) They look small but fit well in the hand, and take Parker style ink - which means that you can use gel refills - which I prefer to rollerballs. These are black titanium.

In Redwood Burl

In Maple Burl

I tried a heavy duty sketch pencil (5.6mm lead)

This is desert ironwood and chrome- the picture doesn't do the wood justice;

I tried a bullet pen (.30 caliber in this case) in black titanium...

This is the same block of desert iron wood - and doesn't do the wood justice either.

I tried a seam ripper...

In bloodwood, with copper powder inlay;

And finally I tried the fountain pen - first I tried Manzanita with turquoise inlay... and the wood tore off the barrel, then I tried Ancient Kauri, and the wood tore off the barrel, then I tried gabon ebony, and caught it and glued it before it tore off.

And I think it looks better than the other woods would have. I hadn't realized how much of the fittings were black. The shiny stuff is rhodium plated, and the tip is iridium.

Looks fancy! Writes well too.

Now all I have left to try from this batch is a walking stick - but I might need to buy some longer pieces of wood to pull this one off :)

And in closing, a gratuitous picture of Autumn:

Bye now!

1 comment:

  1. The short versions on the pens are cool! The seam ripper has an awesome finish on it!

    And look at the beautiful Autumn.. The fresh vegetables weren't enough to keep her awake!