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:

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:

Refinishing Pens | CA Finish | Live Stream 6.30.2020

During last night’s live stream, I showed off last week’s project, which was a tiny giant that was dressed in a DiamondCast blank. After that, I did an unboxing/mail call that included items from TShadow & Co. Some of the items came in handy right away as  I used the smock and disassembly vice jaws on the live stream. Other items will come in handy later, like the magnifying glasses, braid, CA non-stick bushings, and Zona Paper.

Patreon: Thank you to my top tier patrons, Mark & Angi! If you’re interested in becoming a patron at any level, check out the link here: Become a Patron!

Supporting Cross Cut Creations:

If you’re interested in supporting the Cross Cut Creations shop, there are a number of different ways to do that. Here are a few:

  1. Watch (and participate in) Youtube live streams and videos on my channel (to help with watch time). This is a completely FREE way to show support for the channel.
  2. Patreon is a way to support me monthly. There are four different tiers and support at any level is appreciated. Use the link above to check out patreon.
  3. My online store has hand crafted items as well as logo apparel. Buying something from the online store is a great way to show support.
  4. Amazon affiliate links are another awesome option for showing support. When using an affiliate link, as soon as one of the links is clicked (on my YouTube videos (in the description) or on my website under the “Tools I Use” tab), anything bought using that link will give me a small percentage back no matter what is bought. If a link for a tool is clicked, but that tool isn’t purchased, that’s okay. If shopping is done, no matter what the item(s), as long as the link is used, I get credit. The great thing about this option is that it costs NOTHING EXTRA! There is no additional fee for using affiliate links.
  5. The donate button on the right hand side of my home page allows for a one time donation if a monthly patreon pledge isn’t of any interest. This is also a great option in lieu of a super chat on YouTube live streams. I can’t do super chats on live streams since I don’t have monetization enabled (because I don’t have the required watch time yet).

Refinishing Two Pens:

I started by using a set of punches and the pen disassembly jaws from TShadow & Co. to take apart the pens. Once I had the blanks by themselves, I was ready to put them on the lathe and get to work.

Sometimes a CA finish cracks or spiderwebs over time and the pen needs to be sanded down and refinished, so I did that with two pens, a zen and a mini bolt action. I refinished the pens on a mandrel, so I was able to refinish two pens at the same time, which was efficient.

The first thing I did was take some 120 grit sandpaper and sanded down the blanks to take off the existing, cracked finish. Once I was down to the raw resin and wood, I dry sanded with Abranet from 120 grit up to 400 grit. Since these pen blanks were hybrids, I wiped some denatured alcohol on the blanks to clean the dust off in preparation of putting on a CA finish. To put a CA finish on pens, I use Mercury Flex Thin CA glue. I apply seven coats and I spray activator between each coat. Once the final coat of CA was applied, I used Micro Mesh (1,500 grit – 12,000 grit) to wet sand the high spots in the CA finish. After Micro Mesh, I used Novus 3, 2, and 1 to polish the blanks. Finally, once the Novus was applied to the blanks, I took the pens over to the assembly table for final assembly and they were ready to go again.

Pressing the mini bolt action pen was pretty straight forward. I did loosen the set screw in the cap so I could adjust the bolt and reposition the clip, but then pressing the cap and nib into the blank went smoothly. After assembling the mini bolt action, I assembled the zen. The zen was super easy to assemble as all that’s required is to press the cap into the one end and a threaded grommet into the other end. I put the ink in the pen, threaded the nib onto the pen, and our assembly of our fixed pens was complete! Seeing the difference between the old, cracked finish, and the refinished pens was amazing! Here’s how the pens look after being rejuvenated with a new CA finish:

These pens were refinished on the live stream from 6.30.2020 and given new life.

If you’d like to watch a replay of the live stream, you can catch it here:

 

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