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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pens And Tools

I wanted to make my son's karate teacher a nice pen. I was thinking about what to make it out of to set it apart. He seems like the type of guy, to me, who would appreciate something simple, yet different.
I remembered that I had been wanting to turn a piece of bamboo that was given to me and thought it was quite fitting for a karate instructor.
I presented him with this pen Wednesday night before the class started, and he really liked it.
This one I done because it was a special request. It is a .45-70 shell casing done with deer antler.
Since getting it, I have been cleaning tubes out with my nifty little tool I got from Penn State. It usually does a great job. However, every now and again, I have a pen tube that simply turns out to be a mess. I can't really explain why. I think it's just that while working with CA glue, I opt to leave a mess in the tubes if I have the choice of that or getting it all over my fingers. Then it dries and has to be cleaned out. On really messy clean outs, the tools doesn't do so great. The single flute design just doesn't do the trick and I start missing my old quarter inch drill bit that I used to use before acquiring this tool.
That old drill bit I had taken a sander to and had it so it just slipped into a seven millimeter tube. It done the job good.
So I started thinking. Why couldn't I use my old drill bit on these extra messy situations? All I had to do was go pull it out of the drawer I had thrown it in and go back to using it. However, I'd also gotten a little spoiled having a comfortable handle on this tool. It is so much better than grabbing the drill bit with a pair of channel locks like I used to.
So there was only one answer to this problem.
As much as I liked the oak burl handle on my other tool, I did not have another piece that was not too good, in my opinion, to be used as a tool handle. So while looking for a good piece of wood for a handle, I remembered a left over piece I had from butchering up a block of rose wood for bowls. It was a short piece with the grain running across it instead of the length of it. This tool will not be subjected to a lot of prying force though, so it would work well for this application and look nice too.
So now I have more options when it comes to cleaning out those tubes.
Untill next time, happy turning!

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