Saturday, July 21, 2007

Coarse No. 2....

My first pen, an Extra-Large Twist (Cigar),
pen kit from Lee Valley (Berea Hardwoods).

The blank was a Rust & Black Acrylic Acetate,
from Lee Valley (not sure who their supplier is).

The second course I took from Lee Valley was a Pen Turning course. Always wanted to try, but didn't have everything required. I also didn't want to purchase everything required (bits, mandrels, bushings, etc.) only to find out that I now owned $100 of products I wasn't going to use again.

I called to sign up for the pen turning course, only to find out that the wooden pen turning course had been cancelled. The instructor had retired, and the person putting the course offering together had accidentally listed it.

They were able to sign me up for the Acrylic Pen Turning course that they had running. I chatted with someone knowledgeable from the staff to find out what the difference was - and he felt their was little difference. The plastic was probably tougher to work - more prone to damage, melting, more work to polish and put a gloss finish on.

I have yet to complete a wooden pen so I can't really comment. I have however completed 5 acrylic pens, and 2 from a bowling ball thermosetting material (which is really nasty to polish). My only experience with turning wooden pens was to test cut some blanks I had mis-drilled. I have 4 wooden blanks ready to turn - out of figured wood. So even when I do finish my first wooden pen, I'm not sure my experience will be 'typical'.

The best part? The association/union I'm a member of at work is allotted funds for staff to take courses that are professional or personal development. I received a full refund :)

Ok.... the best part was I got to spend a dedicated evening turning. The free pen was a nice bonus.

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