Making & Turning My First Segmented Pen

I wanted to try my hand at segmenting, so I put a segmented blank on a simple Wall Street II kit. This process was a lot of fun, even though messy and nerve racking at times.

I started off camera cutting 1/4″ segments from scraps that were too short to do anything with otherwise. I took the segments and started to glue up each segment by using medium CA. I made sure to use plenty of glue which ensured that the segments bonded well to each other. Unfortunately I was foolish and didn’t put gloves on, so I ended up with CA all over my fingers. Lesson learned. After I glued up the segments and eyeballed that the segments were in some sort of alignment, I put the blank in a clamp and let it sit until it dried.

Once the glue dried, I took it to the drill press and drilled a 27/64″ hole through the middle. Because each segment was a different size, I was nervous that I didn’t glue up the blank straight enough, but once I drilled the hole, I realized I had plenty of meat on the blank and it was fine. I glued the tube into the blank, then trimmed the blank to size and flushed up the blank with the tube.  After I flushed up the blank to the tube, I stayed at the sander and rounded over the blank and tried to flush up the segments to each other. This helped to reduce the chance of blow out and this helped immensely.

After preparing the blank, I took the blank to the lathe and got to turning. I made sure to take light passes and this worked well because I didn’t have any catches or blow outs. It took a little longer to turn, but it was worth it in the end since the blank stayed in one piece and turning went smoothly.

To start the finishing process, I applied a thin coat of CA glue to the blank. This sealed each of the segments, so when I sanded, the different colors of the segments didn’t bleed into each other. This worked really well and I was pleased with the result. Once the CA was applied and cured (with activator), I sanded from 200 grit up to 2,000 grit (dry sanding), then I continued with my finishing process by applying some denatured alcohol to clean up the blank.

I started the finishing process by applying once coat of boiled linseed oil on the blank. When that dried, I put my CA finish on the blank, then wet sanded with micro mesh, going from 1,500 grit up to 12,000 grit. I applied two coats of HUT Ultra Gloss Plastic Polish. This allowed the blank to get a nice shine to it and I was pleased with how the bank looked.

I put this segmented blank on a Wall Street II kit because I wanted to show off the blank and not focus on the kit as much. Assembly of the Wall Street II is super simple, which I cover in the video.

Thanks for reading this article and if you’re interested in checking out the video for this article, be sure to go to the YouTube tab on my website here! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to either email me or comment on the video and I will respond to you!

-Robert

Purple Heart Cigar Pen

During today’s video, I turn a cigar pen out of a purple heart blank.  Turning cigar-style pens can be fun, but challenging if you aren’t paying attention to what you’re doing or aren’t organized.  Being organized is the theme of this article and supplemental video for a couple reasons.  If you aren’t organized, you could orient your bushings incorrectly, which will not allow the pen assembly to go as it should, or if you don’t have your pen components (kit) organized, that could be problematic as well.  However, if you’re organized and take your time, the turning and assembly of this pen shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

I started this pen project just like any other by measuring and marking the blank so I could cut the blank to size over at my band saw.  After cutting the blanks to length, I drilled out the 10mm hole that the tubes require for this specific kit.  After drilling, I used Starbond Medium CA to glue the tubes (that I scuffed up on some old sandpaper) into the blanks.  This Starbond CA worked really well as a bonding agent, but it did have an odor that caught me off guard.  Once I got used to the odor, it wasn’t a huge deal.  Once I let the CA dry, I took the blanks to the sander and squared them up so the blanks were flush with the tubes and the blanks were completely prepped and ready for the lathe at this point.

When taking the blanks to the lathe, maker sure that you have your bushings in the correct order.  At first glance, I thought there were two large bushings and two small bushings.  THIS IS NOT THE CASE.  Upon closer inspection and some research, there are actually four different size bushings that have to be in the correct order or this pen will not assemble correctly.  I number my bushings so I can keep track of the top and bottom portions of the pen.  The top portion of the pen is slightly shorter than the bottom portion, so the top is assigned to bushings 1 and 2, as shown in the video, and bushing 3 and 4 are assigned to the bottom portion of the pen.

BUSHING ORIENTATION (From Left to Right): Next to smallest bushing, Largest Bushing, 2nd Largest Bushing, Smallest Bushing.  This orientation puts your cap (top) on the left and the body on the right.

Turning the blank went smoothly and there were no real issues.  When turning this pen, just make sure you turn down to your bushings and there shouldn’t be any issues.  It might feel weird turning to four different size bushings, but it’s a relatively easy turn.  Once the blanks are turned round and to the bushings, break out the sand paper and sand your blanks.  After sanding, I clean my blanks with some denatured alcohol.

When finishing the pen, I used five coats of thin Starbond CA and three coats of meduim CA.  This is my typical procedure for applying a CA finish.  I applied the CA, then used activator after the last coat.  Once that set, I went through my MicroMesh wet sanding pads and sanded from 1,500 grit up to 12,000 grit.  When I was done with the MicroMesh, I noticed the finish was splotchy and I didn’t get a great finish on the pen.  This could be due to a number of things that I haven’t quite figured out yet.  To finish the pen, I put two coats of HUT Ultra Gloss polish on the blanks to buff the blanks and make them shine.  At this point, the blanks were ready to come off the lathe and get assembled into a cigar kit!

ASSEMBLING THE PEN: Make sure you organize and lay out your parts AND keep your blanks oriented correctly (because we have four different size bushings) so you don’t have to disassemble the pen.  If you stay organized and lay your parts out, this process goes pretty smoothly and with repetition, assembly gets easier.  This was only the second or third time I’ve assembled a cigar kit, so it did take me some time and I used a video from RJBWoodTurner to help me.

Along with the turning of this pen, Starbond sent me some CA glue to use during this pen series I started.  Overall, I like the glue for all applications except for finishing pens.  The CA was different from what I’ve used before and upon first impressions, it was just that, different.  It wasn’t necessarily better or worse.  I did like a number of features about the glue, so here is my list of pros and cons:

PROS: Great bonding glue, Different tips to control amount of glue being used

CONS: Smell, Finishing abilities, Thin CA appeared really thin

Overall, I give the Starbond CA a 3.75/5 stars upon first impressions.

Thanks for checking out the video and article!  If you have any questions, or comments, feel free to contact me!

-Robert