Turning My First Leveche Fountain Pen | Live Stream 7.14.2020

Last night I turned my first leveche fountain pen. This was a fun turn and the pen looks great! This was a two piece fountain pen consisting of a body and cap.  The blank I used came from Bennie Ray and Julee Watkins that I won in an auction.

Last Week’s Live Stream: Last week I cast some pen blanks and four ring blanks. All together, I ended up with three elm burl hybrid blanks, two resin only blanks, and four ring blanks, so all in all, it was a good casting session.

This Week: This week I turned my first leveche fountain pen. The kit is a Beaufort Ink kit that I purchased from Turner’s Warehouse. I had to make sure I oriented the bushings correctly, but that wasn’t too difficult because the body and cap have two different diameter tubes. If you turn a leveche, make sure the larger bushings are in the center and the smaller bushings go toward the outer ends of the pen.

Turning the blanks was fairly uneventful. The stabilized burl portion of the blank was a little difficult to turn, but that was because it was stabilized and a great blank. The alumilite portion of the blank turned just like a dream and it was a pleasure to turn the body and cap. I turned the blanks between centers. This means I turned one blank at a time. I turned the body and sanded to 400 grit, then did the same for the cap.  I used a combination of the TShadow NRS and one of my DIY carbide tipped tools to turn the blanks down to the bushings.

CA Finish & Finishing Process: I applied seven coats of Mercury Flex Thin CA, spraying activator between each coat. One tip I gave during the live stream was that to keep track of how many coats were applied, I apply the CA, then rip off the used section of shop cloth and set it next to me. If I lose track of how many coats I’ve applied, I can look down and count how many pieces of blue shop cloth I have and figure out how many more coats I need to apply.

After Applying the CA, I used Micro Mesh to wet sand the blanks, then applied the Novus polishing system to make the blanks look even better than they already did. The Micro Mesh does a great job of evening out the high spots in the CA finish, and Micro Mesh smooths out the blanks, but Novus 3, 2, and 1 really make the blank shine just a little bit more. Novus 3 is a heavy scratch remover. Novus 2 is a fine scratch remover. Novus 1 is the polish. I go through this regiment to make the blanks look really good.

Assembly: Since this was my first leveche, I printed out the parts diagram for the kit to help me organize my pen kit components. This really helped assembly go smoothly. When I went to press the finial into the cap, I couldn’t rotate the clip to where I wanted, so I used a punch to take out the finial and I repositioned the clip to where I wanted it. From there, The assembly took a little bit of time since it was my first leveche, but overall, it was a smooth assembly. I pressed one component of the kit in at a time and made sure that my presses were straight and I didn’t bend the pen, crack the finish, or ruin the work done during the turning on the live stream.

This leveche hybrid fountain pen was turned on a live stream from 7.14.2020.

Supporting The Channel: Huge shout out to my top tier patrons, Mark and Angi! If you are interested in becoming a patron at any level, you can simply click the link here:Become a Patron!

You can also support the Cross Cut Creations shop in other ways. Participating in live streams and commenting on videos are a great FREE way to support what I do. If a monthly subscription to Patreon isn’t for you, that’s not an issue. There is a donate button on the right hand side of this website if a one time donation is a better option. Another way to support what I do is to buy something from my online store, also found on this website. Finally, a last way to support what I do without spending anything extra is to use my Amazon affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link (found in the description of YouTube videos AND under the Tools I Use tab on this website), anything you purchase using that link will give me a small commission and add NOTHING to your total. All you pay for is the items you put in your cart and purchase. You don’t even have to buy the tool that you click on.

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:

Turning A Cigar Pencil | Live Stream 6.16.2020

On last night’s live stream, I started with some show and tell as well as announcements. Last night’s project was certainly a fun one and assembling a cigar-style pencil for the first time was an experience. I’ll definitely be doing more of them in the future.

Support: Patreon is one way to support the Cross Cut Creations shop. Your support allows the live streams and projects to continue. I want to give a huge shout out to my top tier Patrons, Mark & Angi! If you’re interested in becoming a patron, you can click the link here: Become a Patron! Another way to support the shop is to buy logo merchandise or hand-crafted items off my website. If you would like to make a one time donation, the donate button on the home page is a great way to do that. Finally, I have amazon affiliate links. This is the best way to support the shop without spending anything extra! Anything you purchase using my links to get to Amazon will kick back a small percentage to help support what I do.

Show & Tell: Last week I cast sweet gum pod handle/call blanks! These blanks were done in blue and pink. I also cast a couple pink pen blanks to reveal that my wife and I are having a GIRL! We are due in October and super excited! Finally, I turned a Tiny Giant from one of RJBWoodTurner’s chaos blanks. This pen will be a video and part of my 1,000 subscriber giveaway!

Turning: I turned a cigar style pencil from a Divine Island Design Buckeye Nation pen blank. If you would like to purchase a Buckeye Nation blank, you can do that using this URL: https://divineislanddesign.com/collections/divine-blanks/products/buckeye-nation-7-8-x-7-8-x-5. When turning the blank, because it’s a cigar pencil, I take extra time to make sure the bushings are oriented correctly. The four bushings all have slightly different diameters, so it’s crucial that they get put in the right place when turning, or the pen/pencil won’t press together correctly.

When I started turning the blanks, I turned one at a time since I was turning between centers (TBC). Turning between centers means that I turned one blank at a time. I started with the cap portion of the blank and turned and polished the cap (top portion) from start to finish. I turned this pen at about 3,600 RPMs and used the TShadow NRS to turn the blanks. If you would like to purchase the NRS, you can use the URL here: https://tshadow.com/turning-tools/99-80-nrs-negative-rake-scraper.html#/30-package-deluxe_package_short_handle.

I turned the cap down to the bushings, then sanded the blank with Abranet from 120-400 grit. After sanding, I used Micro Mesh to wet sand the blanks (1,500-12,000 grit). Then I applied Novus 3, 2, and 1 to the blank. This is a scratch remover and polishing system that makes the blanks really shine! Once that process was complete, I moved to turning the body and it was rinse and repeat. The body got the same procedures done to it as the cap. Once both blanks were turned and polished, I was able to move to assembly.

Assembly: The assembly of this pencil was slightly different than it’s pen counterpart. The overall assembly went well once I realized my small mistake. Being organized and laying out the parts to this pencil was critical to a correct assembly. I started the assembly by pressing in the top piece and clip. From there, I pressed in the center band into the lower portion of the cap. Then, I moved to the body of the pen. When I assembled the body, I learned that the nib of the pencil doesn’t actually get pressed into the end of the pen. I pressed the grommet into the middle portion of the body and the pencil mechanism threaded onto the nib, which keeps the pencil together. This is different from the cigar pen in the sense that the nib of the pen gets pressed into the blank and the pencil is held together by the threaded lead housing as mentioned previously.

Here’s a picture of the completed pencil:

Buckeye Nation Cigar Pencil (Blank from Divine Island Design)

If you have any questions or comments about the live stream, or anything I did during the live stream, feel free to send me an email or message on the various social media platforms and I’ll be glad to get back to you. Thank you for checking out this blog post and the live stream. If you want to watch the replay, you can check it out here:

Casting With Alumilite Clear Slow | Live Stream 6.9.2020

On last night’s live stream, I decided to cast some Alumilite clear slow. Going into the live stream, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to cast, so with the help of the audience, I decided to cast some sweet gum pod call/handle blanks. Five* different colors and were used for this cast.

Show and tell: I showed off last week’s casting results. Four bottle stopper blanks with walnut shells and three Alumilite clear slow pen blanks for a total of seven blanks were cast. Additionally, I bought a chaos blank and a box of chaos cutoffs from Bob over at RJBWoodTurner. The chaos blank that I bought will become a pen that will be a giveaway for reaching 1,000 subscribers on YouTube! That video will be out as soon as I can make the pen and edit the video. If you want a chance to win the pen, you must be a subscriber, so if you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel, be sure to do that. Here’s a link to do that: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC54fkSR_LBTnG69wcy8G3Gg

Breaking News: The colors used in this live stream were based on baby colors because my wife and I are expecting our first child in October! We are super thrilled and couldn’t be happier. SPOILER ALERT: We can’t wait to meet our DAUGHTER!

I used five colors, but mixed two of them to create a “custom color”, so it ended up being four colors. The four colors were mixes of blues and pinks. I poured 90 grams of A and 90 grams of B since Alumilite clear slow is mixed in a 1:1 ratio. There was a few other partial blanks, but here is a picture of the result of last night’s cast:

These sweet gum pod blanks were cast on a live stream on YouTube. They measure 1.5″ square and 6″ long.

Patreon Support: Thank you to my patrons, Mark & Angi! I really appreciate the support! If you would like to support what I do on YouTube, here is a link to Patreon, but as always, no pressure: Become a Patron!

If Patreon isn’t the way you’d like to show support, there are other ways to do that. First, if you’d like to make a one time donation, there is a link on the right hand column to donate. The next option, in my store on my website, making a purchase of any kind (logo gear or handmade products/projects) are a good way to support what I do, but an even better way to support what I do without spending anything extra, is to use the Amazon affiliate links I have. I get a small percentage of whatever you buy using those links, even if you don’t buy the linked tool/product. You can find the affiliate links in two places. Either use the Amazon links under the “Tools I Use” section on my website, or use the links in the description of my YouTube videos. Finally, an awesome FREE option to support me is to subscribe to my YouTube channel and participate in the chat during the live streams I do.

If you want to check out the replay of the live stream, you  can check it out here:

Thank you for checking out this post and taking the time to read this. It means the world to me that you chose to spend some of your time reading my recap of last night’s live stream. I really do appreciate the support you give me at any level. If all I ever saw was some community engagement, that’s what makes me happy. Until next week, I’ll see you on the next live stream.