Senior Sawdust Sweeper
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Marietta, Ga. USA
I decided I would try to do a Flat Top pen in pinecone, a decidedly ambitious project considering the precision the kit calls for in the squaring and cutting of the blank. I got past the first problem of the extended tube setup by drilling an acrylic cutoff the exact depth needed for the tube and used that instead of trying to cut the blank precisely the right size and slipping the tube in. Stick the tube in the cutoff hole add CA to the remaining tube and seat it against the acrylic leaving the tube out.
I finally got the blanks on the mandrel after a fight with the bushings getting a good fit over the tube and started turning. Found the material quite punky and had to stop often to wet it down with CA to firm it up. After I finally got it to size and sanded with a CA coat and polish I was surprised to find spalting on the pinecone blank. Have a look...