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Turning Pens - Ideas For Creating A Durable High Gloss Finish

Turning Pens - Ideas For Creating A Durable High Gloss Finish

One of the more enduring quests by woodturners, is the pursuit of an ideal pen finish. A perfect finish would provide exceptional durability and visible readability, with a deep, rich "wet" look. Although this is a tall order for any pen end to deliver, cautious collection of the pen clean materials, coupled with advanced finishing protocols, can deliver a close to excellent pen finish. Plastic and stabilized wooden blanks offer a wonderful option for pen turners in search of to create durable high gloss finishes for their hand turned writing pens.

Primary Challenges

Some of the difficult aspects of making a durable and glossy pen finish, is the everyday setting pens are subjected to in use. Moving out and in of pockets, purses and desk drawers, coupled with the pure oils and sweat from our fingers, makes it tough for many finishes to retain their glossy finish. In addition, some hardwoods are considerably less dense than others, permitting the barrels on softer hardwoods to be simply damaged.

Denser native woods and most exotics are a better option in many cases for a highly durable pen barrel. Nonetheless, softer hardwoods can be utilized with equal success if the blank has been stabilized with thin acrylics, or penetranking epoxies previous to turning on the lathe. These "stabilized" pen blanks are a superb choice for wooden writing pens. Stabilized pen blanks offer better hardness and durability of the barrel surface vs. utilizing natural timbers.

Alternative Material Pen Blanks

Different supplies like plastics, acrylics, stabilized exotic and native woods, horn, antler, fossilised Ivory, solid acrylics and comparable supplies, can simply produce a glossy lustre when used for pen barrels. Some materials, each natural and man made will be polished to a higher lustre than others. For example, plastics will be simply polished to 12000-grit, producing a visually gorgeous, deep moist look within the barrel surface.

However, pure timbers don't produce the identical degree of lustre as plastics, even when sanded to the identical abrasive level. Stabilized pen blanks typically produce a higher lustre than the same timber with out stabilization. This is because the acrylics and epoxies used in the stabilization process, enable the barrels to be polished to a higher degree than untreated wood blanks.

Advanced Abrasive and Finishing Protocols

In addition to the cautious collection of the barrel material, the appliance of advanced abrasive and finishing protocols can go a long method toward providing durable and shiny pen finishes. Correct surface preparation, including sanding and polishing of the barrel surface prior to making use of the desired end, will enable the finish to magnify the underlying perfected surface. This will produce a much higher perceived gloss level on the barrel surface.

High performance material backed abrasives are available that may produce a 12000-grit surface. At this extremely high stage, the human eye can't see the surface scratch pattern, leading to an exceptionally high gloss degree on the surface. Careful number of the barrel finish may also have an effect on the overall lustre and longevity of the finish.

Types of Finishes for Stabilized Pen Blanks

Waxes are among the best of all finishes to apply, however may not last lengthy in normal use on a writing pen. Shellac friction polishes supply better overall sturdiness than waxes and are additionally straightforward to apply. Lacquers supply still larger durability, however require multiple coats and extended drying instances between coats. Cyanoacrylate Esters (CA or Super Glue) and binary Epoxies supply excessive durability, but require advanced utility protocols. For this reason and others plastics are gaining in popularity, particularly when an ultra-high gloss lustre is desired.
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