Cutting Pen Blank HELP! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-01-2012, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Cutting Pen Blank HELP!

So im 15 and have wanted to get back into wood turning. I went to a class for it a few years ago. I bought a lathe and drill press and all the materials I need. Im in it about $300 plus my mom has put in $300. I was just about to turn my first pen. So I have my pen blank right, and I have to cut it in half so I can make the two parts of the pen right. Well I don't really have the right tools to cut it in half. I tried a "dremel" kinda saw thing... and I tried a hacksaw. Both aren't in the slightest helpful... I have a circular saw but thats seems like it would be difficult and I also have a jigsaw but that also seems difficult. Please don't tell me to buy another tool because if I have to my mom will freak out at me... Any advice, please?
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-01-2012, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by NNJG_Matt View Post
So im 15 and have wanted to get back into wood turning. I went to a class for it a few years ago. I bought a lathe and drill press and all the materials I need. Im in it about $300 plus my mom has put in $300. I was just about to turn my first pen. So I have my pen blank right, and I have to cut it in half so I can make the two parts of the pen right. Well I don't really have the right tools to cut it in half. I tried a "dremel" kinda saw thing... and I tried a hacksaw. Both aren't in the slightest helpful... I have a circular saw but thats seems like it would be difficult and I also have a jigsaw but that also seems difficult. Please don't tell me to buy another tool because if I have to my mom will freak out at me... Any advice, please?
This would be the least expensive way to go
http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-20-600-Clamping-Mitre-Box/dp/B00002X232/ref=sr_1_26?s=power-hand-tools&ie=UTF8&qid=1325459968&sr=1-26
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-01-2012, 06:30 PM
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-01-2012, 06:54 PM
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I just had another thought. You said that you have a jigsaw so here is a way to use it but be careful.
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-01-2012, 09:00 PM
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Hello, I just went to harbor freight they have a small hobby chop saw that would be perfect and safe its less then $40 dollars. http://www.harborfreight.com/power-t...saw-42307.html
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-01-2012, 09:28 PM
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Also at harbor freight if you sign up at their web site you can get coupons. I just received One for 25 percent off
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-02-2012, 05:43 AM
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Folks that HF bench top cut off saw okay for cutting brass pen tubes nothing else.
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-02-2012, 07:54 AM
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Hello Matt

Sit back this is going to be long.

First welcome to the world where things go round and round. Pen making is an enjoyable hobby but can get very costly very quickly. One thing you have to remember is when buying tools it is hopefully a one time buy. So try to buy the best you can afford. Now unless you are going to sell your pens you will lose money and lose big money. People that say they do this to give away to friends and charities are people that can afford to throw away money or as they say in the business have disposable income. This is reality and trueth.

So you have to decide how you want to approach this hobby. Yes you can limit your buying needs by the materials you use and the kits you buy. Most beginners start out with the simple slimline pen kits and for the life of me I do not know why except that you can get these kits very very cheap. But cheap is the key word. The better quality plating is going to cost more. If you plan on selling pens you have to sell a product that will stand up to abuse and is reliable and you need to stand behind the product. There are many books written by many pen turners and most say basically the same things so don't be picky as to how you learn. The cheapest way is Utube. Many good videos how to turn pens on there. With all pens there are certain tools needed and you have run into one of those needs.

You got some good advice already. You will have to decide how much room you have available for this hobby and like I said how serious you want to be involved. My suggestion is to get yourself either a cheap scrollsaw or bandsaw. (EBAY or Craigslist is a good place to start looking)The thing with these tools is you can do so much more than just cut a piece of wood in half. Remember you may want to use acrylics or even metals and may want to expand to doing inlays and segmenting and that is where you don't have to buy another tool to expand your hobby because you have the tool already. Get where I am going with this??? Yes the cheapest way is to get a handheld miter box as mentioned and yes it can be used for other things but power is the answer.

Now I mentioned people start with slimlines. The reason I do not believe that is the best starting kit is because if you start with a Sierra kit and they are a ton of them under many names, you have one blank to cut per pen which you save money there and you take out alot of other problems that you will encounter when turning 2 blanks at a time such as out of round blanks and blanks coming up short because of one reason or other. Something to consider.

Anyway you will need to trim the end of the blanks after you glued your tubes in so you can use a disc sander or a barrel trimmer. The reason I bring this up is when deciding on the tool you need to cut the blanks, the blanks do not need to be that accuretly cut because you will trim later.

Oh there is so much more to talk about to newbies but all I can say is good luck and look forward to seeing some of your work.

John T.
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-02-2012, 11:46 PM
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I feel your pain NNJG_Matt. I got a lathe and some cheap turning tools from HF and want to start pen turning. The lathe and cutting tools are just the beginning. I've wasted a couple of pen blanks from improper drilling. Finally broke down and got a drill chuck. From the week or so I've been doing turning, I can say this. While you're waiting to save up for all of your supplies and tools (toys as my wife calls them), turn as much as you can on scraps. I've been turning up everything I've got in the garage while I wait to save up for a Nova 3G chuck. I plan on getting a refurbished one straight from the Teknatool website, same quality as new, cheaper price. Like I said earlier, I'm planning on turning pens, just need the to build up my tool collection and in the mean time I'm honing my turning technique on scrap.
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-03-2012, 02:22 PM
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put it in the lathe and use a parting tool to cut it... or go to lowes and get a smaller "pull back " hand saw... cuts lik butter and quick too. i think they are like $12.00 each.
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