18 October 2011

Bois D'Arc Cigar Pens

Dad is leading a Woodbadge course (a leadership training course for scout leaders) and wanted to present his staff with a memorable gift. He decided pens made from wood collected at the scout camp where the course will be held. After talking to the park ranger, they found some Bois D'Arc that had been cut and added to a brush pile. We were going to need 20-25 pens for the group.

We started the project with three 3.5" diameter logs 24-30" long. Our first order of business was to cut logs down to the proper size and allow them to dry. We cut the blanks using the band saw and a magnetic fence. The squared billets of bois d'arc were about 3/4"x3/4", we painted the ends with Anchor Seal and stacked them to dry in the shop.

While we waited for the billets to dry, we began trying to decide on the perfect pen kit for this project. We looked through Craft Supplies and Penn State Industries catalogs cover to cover. Pop had to make the final decision..... Cigar Pen in black titanium from Craft Supplies. He also ordered EEE polish and Shellawax to finish the pens.

Pop came down on Friday afternoon and we started working on the pens after the girls went to bed. That night we cut, drilled out and glued up enough blanks for 25 pens. The next morning we began turning pens. I had only turned one cigar pen prior to this weekend and royally fouled it up. The first few pens went slow as we tried to make sure we were getting everything right. Then we had to take a break from the shop to watch the Aggies beat baylor Whoop! That evening we started turning again and each pen offered a new surprise. As the pen count grew we began to notice that the pens went together much better if the blank was trimmed down very close to the brass tubes. By the end of the night we had close to 16 or 18 pens ( I lost count). Sunday Amy was on call and Pop, Charley, AnnMarie and I continued the pen making journey. We finished up around lunch. The EEE polish and Shellawax produces an impressive finish for how fast it can be applied.

After lunch Pop wanted to try his hand at the lathe on some key ring kits. The key rings will be given to a group of Venture Scouts that will be visiting the Woodbadge group during the week. It didn't take long and he was producing some very nice bois d'arc key chains in a variety of shapes and designs. I only got a picture on the first of the horse apple key chains, but the rest are equally impressive. I also think he might have gotten bitten by the woodturning bug. :)

I had a blast working on all these pens with Dad. That's what turning is all about, having fun.

Now for the Pictures!!

I am not sure what the shadow is in some of the pictures. Please excuse the poor photography.

20 June 2011

Finished Baby Bed

Alright so still not much turning goin on but I did finally finish the baby bed.... almost. I am waiting on the delivery of some drawer pulls, then it will b e completely finished. However we moved it into the baby's room and replaced the old white crib.

Lessons learned from this project:
Don't buy big box store wood. It is warped.
Don't take the measurements in the plans as Gospel, make measurements from the actual projects when fitting things together. The cuts probably do not match exactly to what the plans state.
Be flexible and maintain the ability to redesign if something does not work out just right.
That being said, you also need to recognize when it would be better to start over.
Be wary of "stainable" wood filler. They lie.

Now time for some pictures.

Just moved it in.

 A picture of me and AnnMarie as she tries out her new bed for the first time.

A new angle.

For my first real honest to goodness flat woodworking/furniture project it turned out better than I expected.