This week my plan was to turn a Dennis rollerball pen. This was a new kit for me that I purchased from Turner’s Warehouse. Overall, it was different, but a fun kit to turn, nonetheless. It isn’t my first choice for a personal pen, but it does have a lot of good things going for it. My biggest complaint with the kit is that it isn’t postable, meaning it can’t be screwed onto the end of the body of the pen, but that is a personal preference. The kit itself is a good, solid kit.
There was no recap article about last week’s live stream as it was a Q&A session and I thought it might be a bit difficult to recap that, but we did have some good conversation. Thank you to all that hung out and participated in last week’s live stream. I will definitely have to do that again in the future.
Last Week’s Project: This week’s live stream got started a bit late because of some technical issues, but I worked through them and was able to have a successful live stream. I started by showing off a couple resin pours I did in the past couple weeks and reminded the audience that my 1K giveaway was still going on. I turned a chaos blank from Bob at RJBWoodTurner and dressed put it on a tiny giant. If you comment on that video, you’ll be eligible to win the pen (as long as you live in the US).
This Week: This week, my computer decided to start updating right before the live stream, so I needed to use a work around and it ended up working out. I decided to turn a Dennis rollerball pen on last night’s live stream. This was a kit that I had never turned before, so it was fun to turn and put together a new (to me) pen kit. The Dennis is similar to a junior, but the cap doesn’t get turned as it is machined instead. It’s similar to a junior since it does use the bushings from the body of the Junior. I turned the blank between centers and the blank I used was an off cut of a Classic Castings blank called Solar Flare from Classic Nib. I turned the blank at +/- 4,000 RPMs with the Negative Rake Scraper from T Shadow & Co.
To turn a Dennis rollerball pen, I finished the turning portion then moved onto sanding. I finished getting the blank down to the bushings with 120 grit sandpaper. Once the blank was flush with the bushings, I dry sanded with Abranet from 120-400 grits. When I sand, I sand around 400-500 RPMs with the lathe in reverse. After each grit, I turn the lathe off and sand the circular scratches out and make a horizontal scratch pattern. This makes for a flawless pen with no scratches as I progress through the grits of sandpaper.
As I finish dry sanding ends, I transition to wet sanding with Micro Mesh. Micro Mesh is a wet sanding system that goes from 1,500 grit – 12,000 grit across nine pads. I also adjust my lathe to run in the forward orientation and turn up the RPMs to somewhere in the 1,200-1,400 range. This seems to work well for me. When I Micro Mesh, I spend the most time on the first few pads as it takes the most scratches out the blank. The last few pads polish more than take out scratches.
To finish the lathe portion of the pen, I keep my lathe settings the same as when I Micro Mesh and use the Novus system to take out any remaining scratches and polish the blank. I use Novus 3, 2, and 1 as they are a heavy scratch remover, light scratch remover, and polish.
Upon finishing the Novus regiment, I took the blank off the lathe and was able to assemble the pen. Assembling the Dennis was super easy as if only required two presses. I pressed in the cap to the body of the pen, and on the other side, I pressed in the section. I loaded up the ink, and the pen was completely assembled. It was a simple kit to put together. Putting the kit together reminded me of a Zen in the sense that it was two easy presses and the pen was assembled. It was fun to turn a Dennis rollerball pen and I can’t wait to turn the next one!
Here is a picture of the final result of the live stream:
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Thank you to all those who interacted during the live stream. I appreciate all of you and appreciate everyone who watches the replay as well. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll get back to you. If you want to check out the replay of the live stream, you can watch it below: