Cross Cut Creations Logo Label Cast Pen (Cast by John Pierce)

In the video I released yesterday, I made a Wall Street II pen.  Before you say, “He’s already made one of those, I don’t want to watch this.”, hear me out.  This pen blank I turned was specially cast by John Pierce.  The label had my Cross Cut Creations logo on it and it was cast in alumalite with a tube-in mold from Fred Wissen over at PTownSubbie.  Alumalite turns amazingly and I love to turn the material.

I barrel trimmed the ends of the blank slightly to get the blank flush so the bushings would seat correctly and I got to turning.  I took my time on this blank and spent a lot of time turning because I took light passes.  The last thing I wanted to do was chip out or blow the blank apart.  After I turned the blank down to the bushings, or close to the bushings, I sanded quite a bit with 220 grit dry sand paper to get the blank to the final diameter, then moved to 400 grit, 1,000, then 2,000 grit paper to smooth it out.

After I dry sanded, I moved to wet sanding with Micro Mesh, again going through the grits, 1,500-12,000 grit.  The blank looked good once I was done dry sanding, but after I spent some time with the Micro Mesh, this was the process that made the blank look GREAT!  It shined up the blank nicely and I was super pleased with the result.

Finally, I used HUT Ultra-gloss polish and applied that twice, buffing out the polish after each application.  This was the last step on the lathe.

Once I polished the blank and got it looking all shiny and amazing, I took the blank off the lathe and assembled the pen.  Assembling a Wall Street II pen is extremely simple!  That’s part of the reason I love these pens.  All you need to do is the following:

1. Line up the cap and clip where you want the clip to be on the blank.  When assembling a pen with a label-cast blank, typically the clip goes where the seam of the label is so the seam gets covered and the graphic can be prominently displayed.

2. Push the cap into the blank once lined up.

3. Put the spring onto the ink refill and put that ink cartridge into the nib of the pen.

4. Put the transmission of the pen over the ink and thread said transmission onto the nib.  At this point I twist the transmission to make sure everything is working as it should be.

5. Push the blank and nib together and you have a completed pen!

This pen was a super fun turn and a very special, personal blank.  I love how this pen turned out and I can’t thank John Pierce enough for the amazing blanks he sent me.  If you need something cast, I would definitely send John a message because he does a lot of amazing stuff!  Be sure to send John a DM on Instagram and let him know he does some amazing things and let him know what you need cast!

John Pierce on Instagram: jbob1178

Thanks for reading, and as always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me!


Cross Cut Sled – Earning My Channel Name

This week I uploaded a video about how to make a cross cut sled.  I wanted to do this for a couple reasons.

1. I wanted to at least earn my Cross Cut Creations name.

2. (More importantly) I wanted to be able to safely make cross cuts on my table saw for when I’m cutting pieces to their final lengths.

3. I want to start segmenting pen blanks to make new and unique pens.

These three main reasons were my motivation behind making this cross cut sled.  I channeled my inner reclaimed audio podcast listening-ness and used left over plywood and 2x material from another project to make this sled.  As I said in the video, the sled is huge and if I were to do it again, I would make the sled smaller and overall, less beefy.  I like the way it came out, but now I need to figure out where to store the sled when it isn’t in use.

I started this build by cutting the rounded edges off the boards that would make up the front and back fences.  After that, i milled up some hardwood runners that were about 3/4″ wide that the sled would sit upon.  In order to line up the runners and table of the sled, I put stacks of pennies into the runners so the runners could be tested and attached to the table portion of the sled.  Throughout this build, I used two different kinds of glue to assemble the different parts of the sled.  I used Titebond II for a long lasting bond, but I also used some Stick Fast medium CA glue with activator for instant adhesion.  This seemed to work really well for me.

Once I put glue on the runners, I lined up the plywood with the fence of my table saw and put it on the runners as square as I could and then cleaned up and flushed up any protruding runner material.  Then, I made the first cut (Chris Cute!) into the sled to establish the kerf of the blade.  At this point, I backed the sled off the blade and attached the back fence to the plywood.  I also attached the fences with screws after predrilling the holes.  Getting this fence square to the blade isn’t super critical as I will not be referencing my materials against this fence.  The fence that was important to square up is the front fence and you can do that using the 5 cut method.  If you aren’t sure what the five cut method is, search on YouTube for “5 cut method” and a lot of incredibly talented people can explain it better than I can.  Essentially, it is a way to make sure your reference fence is as square as possible to the blade.  When making the front fence, I cut down the height of the fence so I could attach stop blocks and things like that if I needed to make repeatable cuts.  This will help immensely with efficiency in the shop.

To finish off this build, I added a scrap 2×4 to the front of the sled where the blade would be in theory, so I can keep my hands safe and away from the blade at all times.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to contact me!


Shop Update 2.22.18

In the shop update I talk about what’s been going on in the shop, a craft show and we have a mail call!

I was making items for the craft show.  When I was on the way down to the show, the rear driver side tire blew out and we ended up being late to the show.  As it turns out, we ended up sitting at the show for an extended period of time and unfortunately, didn’t make any sales.  Some time you win and some time you learn.

I recently changed the blade on my table saw.  This was exciting because I went from the 40 tooth factory blade and upgraded to a 50 tooth combination Diablo blade.  So far, it has cut like a hot knife through butter and I love the blade!  Along with replacing the blade, I cleaned the table of my table saw with WD-40 and waxed it down with some paste wax.  A clean saw is a good working saw!

Makers Rock is quickly approaching and I will be participating in the event with 30+ other makers!  You will have an opportunity to win the album I will be recreating, which is Brigade by Heart.  In order to have a chance to win the 12″x12″ piece of art, you need to subscribe to my YouTube channel and comment on the build video of the album when it get’s released.

I am now on Patreon!  You can check out the page here:  If you have an idea for support levels, contact me and let me know!

Mail Call!  I won a contest put on by Ken Moon at Moonpie Creations ( where I won a digital angle finder as well as a blade height measurement device.  I cant wait to use these tools in the shop!  The second package was from John Pierce.  He contacted me through Instagram and wanted to send me a some blanks since he had been casting.  If you want to see what he sent me, check out the shop update video which can be found on this website under the “YouTube Videos” tab or on my Cross Cut Creations channel.  make sure you go follow John on instagram.  His handle is @jbob1178.

Thanks for checking out the written article.  if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me!


Hybrid Wall Street II Pen from PTownSubbie

During this week’s video, I turned a hybrid blank (out of wormy sycamore and alumalite) and put it on a Wall Street II Pen kit.  I have personally come to love the Wall Street II/Monarch/Sierra kits as they look nice, but are also easy to assemble.

The video that goes with this article is a little more than 27 minutes.  You’re probably screaming right now, “ROBERT! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!”  I’m okay with that because I wanted to try out the long-form content.  If it goes over well, I will continue to do long-form.  If it completely flops, I will go back to just doing an overview of sorts.  I wanted to try the long-form for a couple reasons:

1. The new YouTube standards for monetization (which I have already addressed in previous posts and videos) favor watch time instead of views.

2. Even if this format flops for me, I wanted to produce a more in-depth video tutorial of sorts to show others all the steps that go into making a pen (Wall Street II kit to be more specific).

My goal in releasing this video was to be another resource for the pen turners and prospective pen turners to have a tutorial that walked them through each step and why we do each step.  If you look at how a pen is made, very little of the pen making process is turning the pen blank.  There is a lot more to it than that.  Once you get comfortable with the processes of making pens, it will become second nature, and while each kit is a little different, the general processes are the same.

If I failed to cover anything or you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact me at one of my various contacts.  I can be reached through my email, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and a few other methods.


Shop Tour 2018

In today’s video, I take you through my shop and talk about the different tools in my shop and layout.

Once I enter my shop, I turn left and the miter saw is the first tool I see.  From there, I have my Harbor Freight Dust collector.  next to my dust collector, I have a table with a number of bench top tools.  Moving from my table with bench top tools, I have my workbench where I do a lot of assembly.  Next to the bench is the table saw.  From the table saw, I keep moving along and my planer and lumber storage is in the next corner.  At the far end, I have my lathe.

If you want to check out the tools I use in my shop, check out the “Tools I Use” tab to see more.  The full shop tour is in the “YouTube Videos” tab to check out the space I work in.

I also mentioned the projects I wanted to get accomplished in the shop.  they include a clamp rack, air compressor cart, better lumber storage, and lathe storage organization.

If you have any questions about my tools or shop, be sure to contact me!


Makers Rock 2018 Promo!

Today I released a promo for Makers Rock 2018!  This explains what Makers Rock is, what I’ll be doing, and others involved.  This is a great opportunity for collaboration and I can’t wait to see how the other albums come out!  If you want to watch the promo video, head over to the “YouTube Videos” tab of my website and you can find it there.

This year’s theme is ’90s albums, so I will be remaking a cover of the album “Brigade” by Heart!  This will be made on a 12″x12″ piece of wood and YOU could win this album replica!  The first thing you need to do is SUBSCRIBE to my Cross Cut Creations channel in order to have a chance to win.  Make sure you subscribe and hit the bell so you don’t miss any future videos that I release!  Additional details of how to enter to win this piece of art will be released at a later date.


Honduran Mahogany Rolling Pin

Today I released a video where I turned a rolling pin on the lathe.  (You can find the video under the “YouTube Videos” tab on my website, or go to my Cross Cut Creations channel and find it there.)  This project was a lot of fun and also wasn’t too difficult.  This project did test my patience though.

I decided to turn a piece of Honduran mahogany (I might have accidentally said African mahogany in the video.) into a rolling pin for my wife.  This was a hand-made Christmas gift that I knew I could be proud of and know that I made something that she would use in the kitchen.  She loves to cook!  She sets cooking goals each new year and sets out to accomplish them.  Last year it was my wife’s goal to try 52 new recipes.  This year, her goal is to try 52 new ingredients.  (For those of you keeping score at home, that averages out to a new recipe and ingredient per week.)  As a creature of habit and a picky eater myself, I struggle with NEW anything, so this has been an adventure that has been a lot of fun and my horizons have definitely been broadened… somewhat.

When I set out to make a rolling pin, I went to my local Woodcraft and I purchased a 12/4 piece of Honduran mahogany.  I partially picked this species of wood because I like Honduran mahogany, but I also picked it because the selection was limited, as was my time because I procrastinate.

I took the 12/4 mahogany home and cut it to size, marked center on either end, and mounted it to the lathe.  I forgot to cut the corners off on the table saw, so I spent a LOT of time getting the piece of wood round (commence patience testing).  Once I got the piece round, I wasn’t too worried about the diameter of the body of the rolling pin or the handles as long as they were consistent.  Once I got the piece round, I made that the diameter of the body.  I marked for my handles and started turning the handles for the rolling pin.  Again, I turned my handles down to an unknown diameter.  The diameter was something that just felt right in the hand.  I’m sure there could be some specific diameters that rolling pins are supposed to be, but I don’t know these dimensions and I was happy that I got the project round.

The length of the rolling pin was 18″ total.  I made each handle 4″ (x2 handles = 8″) and the body of the rolling pin was approximately 10″.  Once I got a shape I was happy with, I sanded through the grits: 60, 120, 220, 400, 1,000, and 2,000.  This might have been a little excessive, but this project was incredibly smooth when finished.  I opted to not put a finish on the rolling pin as I wasn’t sure which way I wanted to go, but could potentially finish the project with a food-safe finish such as mineral oil in the future.

If you have any questions, comments, or advice, please feel free to contact me!


Shop Update 1.25.18 Follow-Up

In my shop update for January 25, 2018, I discussed a number of topics.  You can click on the “YouTube Videos” tab on this website and watch the video, or see the video on YouTube here:

I talked about:

  • Current Projects
  • Bottle Stoppers
  • Essential Oils Displays
  • Website Launch
  • Patreon
  • Tool Unboxing
  • Shout-Out (Ken Moon – Moonpie Creations)

I have been working on projects for craft shows!  I’ve been turning pens, seam rippers, and other items in hopes that the new year will be prosperous.

Recently, I contacted Ruth Niles and ordered a starter kit for bottle stoppers.  I have heard that Niles bottle stoppers are top quality and second to none.  While I haven’t turned a bottle stopper yet, upon receiving the starter pack, the bottle stoppers seem like they are very high quality and I can’t wait to turn a bottle stopper or two… or ten.

Recently, I was contacted about making an essential oils display that would hold nine bottles.  I used my (new since Christmas) PiranhaXL CNC machine to help me with this.  I had a rough design that was laid out in Vetric Desktop and Mark Lindsay was kind enough to hop on a Google hangout and help me with the finer details to make the design just right.  Thanks, Mark!  Now I have this display that can hold bottles up to the 15mL size available in three different shades (dark stain, light stain, or natural wood).

Also in my shop update, I talked about the launch of this website, and since you’re hear, you know about my website too!  Welcome!  I’m excited to see what kind of growth I can make in 2018 and I believe a website is a great way to promote yourself.  Being persistent and promoting your brand and company is just part of becoming successful when it comes to small business.

Patreon:  I realize that as I write this post near the end of January 2018, my YouTube channel is just shy of 300 subscribers and with YouTube’s new monetization standards, I don’t have the 1,000 subscribers or the 4,000 hours of required view time.  I also realize that even if I could monetize at this point, I would be doubling the change in my desk at work, which amounts to about 31 cents.  I’m not here to talk about the new monetization standards and about how I think they are fair or unfair, so I digress.  What I want to talk about is if launching a Patreon page is worth it or not.  I’ve had opinions from individuals on both sides of the fence.  Some say no, some say yes, but don’t expect it to take off right away (which I understand going into this).  Here is my dilemma:  Assuming I set up a Patreon account, what should my levels or tiers be?  Should they be $1, $5, $10+… more or less?  The even bigger question I have is this:  What should the rewards be?  Stickers, T-Shirts, monthly hangouts?  What tiers and incentives have you used and what has worked for you?  I’m curious to hear your responses and I would love to have a conversation about Patreon.

This week I unboxed two tools.  One tool really helps me organize my pen making supplies and one tool allows me more freedom.  I “unboxed” a small parts organizer where I put my pen making bushings and small cutoffs from other blanks.  This allows me to see what I have and organize the disaster that is my lathe station a little better.  The second tool I unboxed was a Ryobi cordless jig saw.  I purchased this tool so when I have larger sheet goods (plywood) to break down or cut profiles out, I can do this without having to be tethered to a cord or worry about actually cutting the cord (literally!) if I go to make a curved cut and the cord were to get in the way.  I can’t wait to put this tool to use!

Shout-Out:  This shop update shout-out goes to Ken Moon over at Moonpie Creations.  He is currently on the back half of a 30 for 30 where he is putting out 30 videos in 30 days.  These videos are short and to the point.  He has made a number of shop projects to help organize his shop as well as put out some pretty awesome quick tip videos to help take our skills to the next level.  He is doing a great job over on his channel, so you should go check out his channel, 30 for 30, and other videos!

Thank you for reading this Shop Update follow up article.  If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions please don’t hesitate to send me a message!


Welcome to Cross Cut Creations!

I recently launched this website in order to get my brand out there more and connect with the maker community. My hope for this website is to share what’s going on in my shop and have items available for purchase. I’m also active on Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook! Be sure to subscribe, follow, and like my social media pages! I’m most active on Instagram and I generally post videos each Thursday on my YouTube channel. This website will be developed gradually as I am not a full time maker, so if you’re patient with me, we can take the journey together to see what this website becomes as it develops into a full and complete site.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out the content I currently have available!  If you like what you see and feel inclined, you can make a donation to help keep the lights on in the shop via PayPal!