Turn a Dennis Rollerball Pen!

Dennis Rollerball Pen

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:

This Dennis was turned during a live stream on 8.18.2020.

Supporting The Channel: A huge shout out goes 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 here: http://cross-cut-creations.com/

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:

Block Mold Resin Casting | Alumilite Clear Slow | Live Stream 7.28.2020

Last night, I decided to cast using a PTownSubbie block mold. I demonstrated how I do my flip cup resin pours and was able to get five pen blanks out of this resin pour. I used Alumilite clear slow resin, Divine Pigments to give the resin color, and a touch of Caster’s Choice Macro Pearl to make the blanks shine! It was a fun cast and I will definitely be doing more flip cup pours in the future as I personally like the appearance of those type of blanks. Let me know what colors you’d like to see in upcoming live streams.

Last Week’s Project: Last week, I did another casting. I used cutoffs from RJBWoodTurner’s chaos blanks. I bought a box of the cutoffs and decided to cast them into hybrid pen blanks. I showed off what I had left, which was two of the chaos hybrid blanks and an additional resin-only blank. The other three blanks sold and went to new homes. I have more chaos cutoffs, so I plan to cast more of those as well, coincidentally into my block mold. Going forward, I will use hot glue to keep the chaos cutoffs from floating. I addressed this issue in last night’s live stream, which you can watch at the end of this post.

Mail Call: Bob from RJBWoodTurner was kind enough to send an additional chaos blank since my wife liked the Tiny Giant I turned for my 1,000 subscriber giveaway. He took it upon himself, out of the goodness of his heart to send a chaos blank (and some UHMW) and told me to have my wife pick out a kit and turn a pen for her. Thanks Bob!

This Week: The process for casting Alumilite clear slow is to pour the A and B sides in a 1:1 ratio. I first started by using three cups (for three colors) and I poured 90 grams of the A side into each cup. Then, I added my colors to each cup (Divine Pigments Berry Red, Key Lime Green, and Sunny Yellow). I then stirred in the color. Once the color was stirred into the A side of the resin, I zeroed out my scale and added 90 grams of the B side (hardener), since Alumilite clear slow is a 1:1 ratio as mentioned above. Once I got the B side added to each of the three cups, I stirred them until they reached about 95 degrees Fahrenheit. (Just before I poured the resin into the cup to be flipped, I added Caster’s Choice Macro Pearl to make the blanks shimmer some. The amount of color added to the resin is completely up to the caster depending on the desired effect of the blank.) This is when good color separation happens, so once the resin got up to temperature, I poured the resin into my old sports drink cup. I put the HDPE block mold from PTownSubbie on top of the resin-filled cup and flipped it into the block mold. Then, I let the rest of the resin pour into the mold to reduce the amount of wasted Alumilite clear slow. When I finished pouring the resin into the mold, I put it in the pressure pot and let them sit under pressure. I forgot to pull the block out of the mold before I went to bed, so they sat under pressure all night. This doesn’t hurt the blanks as more time is good and the four hour time the blanks should be in the pressure pot is a minimum, not a maximum requirement for best results. The pressure pot allows the bubbles to get shrunk down to a size that the naked eye can’t see and makes for a blank that cures properly.

Here are a couple pictures of the block and what it look like cut up into pen blanks.

This is the result of the block that I cast on the Live stream from 7.28.2020.
Here is what the block looks like cut up into individual pen blanks.

Supporting The Channel: A huge shout out goes 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:

Casting With Alumilite Clear Slow | Live Stream 7.7.2020

Last night I cast a few blanks with Alumilite clear slow using Caster’s Choice Mica Powders. In total, I was able to cast three dye-stabilized elm burl blanks, four ring blanks, and a few other resin only blanks. It was a productive casting session and I am pretty excited about the results. If you see any blanks on my website, or social media platforms, feel free to reach out to claim the blanks.

Last Week’s Live Stream: Last week I refinished two pens. One pen was a mini bolt action pen and the other pen was a Zen rollerball. These pens were refinished and look like a million bucks now that they have a proper CA finish on them. I’m proud of how they turned out and am very pleased with the result.

New Tool: I was able to acquire the Ryobi AC 4 volt quick turn screwdriver. This will make screwdriver applications just a bit faster. I can’t wait to put this tool to use. An amazon affiliate link is on this website under the “Tools I Use” tab.

This Week: This week I cast three dye-stabilized elm burl pen blanks and the extra resin went toward other pen blanks and ring blanks. To prep the burls, I put a dab of hot glue on the bottom of each burl piece so they wouldn’t float in the mold. The three colors I used were from Caster’s Choice and they were gold, lime green, and white pearl.

I mixed 90 grams of A and 90 grams of B into each of the three colors. Once the resin got up to about 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit, I poured the three colors into an old sports drink container to give the colors a chance to mix and form a fun pattern. When I got all of the colors poured into one cup, I then poured the resin from the single cup into each of the molds I had ready to go. Because I used Alumilite clear slow, I left the blanks in the pressure pot for four hours so they could properly cure.

These pen and ring blanks were cast during a live stream on 7.7.2020. Caster’s Choice colors were used and the hybrids are made from dye-stabilized elm burl.

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 Tiny Giant | Live Stream 6.23.2020

On the live stream, I turned a DiamondCast pen blank. It was one of the blanks from a cutoff box that I purchased from the Mid-Ohio Pen Turner’s Gathering back in September 2019.

Recap of last week: Last week I turned a cigar pencil and dressed it in a Buckeye Nation blank from Divine Island Design. This pencil was a fun turn once I got the bushings oriented correctly. I mentioned that I didn’t like turning cigar-style pens/pencils. This was because it takes me a little bit to make sure I have the bushings oriented correctly, but that is a small issue in the grand scheme of things. Other than that, I love how large the pen/pencil is and the style looks great, too.

This Week: DiamondCast is available at Tim McKenzie’s website, https://www.mckenziepenworks.com. They are also available at Turner’s Warehouse, Classic Nib, a couple other retailer’s over seas, and possibly a couple others I’m unaware of at this point.

TBC Bushings: Turning between centers is how I turned the blank in the live stream. I started by explaining that I was nervous about changing over to TBC bushings because of the cost, but one way to get into TBC bushings is to buy the adapters for mandrel bushings and those will turn mandrel bushings into TBC bushings. My recommendation would be to slowly change over to TBC by buying one or two sets of bushings at a time and switch over gradually. The adapters will go a long way, but start by purchasing the TBC bushings of the pen you turn most, and continue to build your TBC bushing collection one set at a time as funds allow. While bushings don’t cost a lot, they do add up over 15-20+ sets of bushings.

I turned this DiamondCast pen blank between centers at approximately 3,500 RPMs with the TShadow NRS. This tool is becoming one of my favorite tools to turn with in the shop. The turning was pretty uneventful as there were no major catches that impacted the overall appearance of the blank. I did get a small, minor catch at one point, but I was well above the bushings and the catch was able to be turned and sanded away without issue.

After turning, I sanded down to the bushings, then ran through my dry sanding regiment (120 grit through 400 grit) (approximately 500 RPMs). From there, I wet sanded with Micro Mesh (1,500 grit-12,000 grit) (approximately 1,400 RPMs) and finished up the blank with the Novus polishing system. Novus 3 is a heavy scratch remover. Novus 2 is a fine scratch remover, and Novus 1 is a polish.

Assembling the tiny giant was super simple. All that is required for assembly is two presses. The closed end gets pressed into the blank, then the nib/section gets pressed into the other end. Once those two pieces get pressed into the blank, the nib/section gets unscrewed so the ink refill can get put into place and the pen is done as soon as the nib/section gets screwed back onto the pen.

Here is a picture of the finished Tiny Giant:

This tiny giant is dressed in a DiamondCast blank I got in a cutoff box from the Mid-Ohio Pen Turner’s Gathering.

During this week’s live stream, I got a lot of good interaction with those that tuned in. For that, I wanted to say thank you. It’s a lot of fun to do a live stream when interaction happens naturally and the conversation takes place on a two-way street and isn’t so one-sided.

Patreon: A huge shot out goes to my top tier patrons, Mark and Angi! Thank you for your support. If you’d like to become a patron (at any level), you can check it out here:Become a Patron!

Another way to support the channel and Cross Cut Creations shop is to use the Amazon affiliate links on my website or in the description of YouTube videos (costs nothing extra). You can also buy merchandise or if you don’t want to make a monthly donation via Patreon, you can donate one time using the Donate button located on the right handed side of home page on this website. I appreciate your support and even the viewership on the live streams and interaction is amazing and appreciated. There is absolutely no pressure to donate, but any support is appreciated, even if that comes in the form of commenting on a video.

Here is the video of the live stream I did last night:

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.

Casting Alumilite Clear Slow Pen Blanks | Live Stream 5.26.2020 Recap

On last night’s live stream, I cast Alumilite clear slow resin with Caster’s Choice Mica Powders (Blood Red, Lime Green, & Cobalt Blue). I was able to produce 2 ring blank blocks, 2 regular pen blanks, and 4 bespoke blanks. This resin pour was a lot of fun and I’d like to share the results here:

When pouring resin and doing a color cast, I like to add my color after I pour the A side of the resin. After the resin (A & B mixed) gets up to temperature, that’s when I like to pour into the mold from PTownSubbie. With Alumilite clear slow, for good color separation, I like to pour my resin between 95-100 degrees. Additionally, I like a solid color pen blank (not translucent), so the way I check for that is by using the popsicle stick. If I can see the grain of the popsicle stick, I get a translucent look. If the color completely covers the grain, I know my blank will be have more of a solid color.

I still have to cut up and trim the ring blanks and regular pen blanks, but I’m pretty happy with the outcome. If there’s any interest in these, or any of my blanks, feel free to contact me and let me know what you’d like.

Here’s the live stream video here if you’re interested:

Finally, I forgot to mention that I got my VERY FIRST patron! I want to give a special shout out to Mark for being my very first patron. If you’re interested in becoming a patron at any level, here’s the link, but no pressure.

Become a Patron!

Thanks for checking out my live stream. Feel free to email me with any question, comments, or suggestions!