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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Wedding in the Family

My niece is getting married. Hard to believe. It was just a few months ago that she was 9 months old and we were baby sitting her. Now she is the bride to be. So I made them a set of wedding pens. It was a bit of a family affair since I had some help with the embroidery. Here is the finished set.

Here is how its done:
Step 1 - Select the kit to be used and cut the pen blanks to length. In this case the blanks are emerald green and amethyst to match the wedding colors. The brass tubes need to be set into the blank so the blank is cut to that length.

Step 2 - Get creative. I wanted to incorporate the wedding colors in both pens. The Bride's favorite color is purple so I put a green end on hers. The Groom's favorite color is green so I put a purple end on his. I cut a piece of brass plate and glued it between the colors. A little epoxy and a night spent in clamps produces the blank.

Step 3 - Drill the finished blank to accept the tube.

Step 4 - Mount the blanks on a pen mandrel, mount in the lathe and turn. This was nearly complete when my chisel caught and the blank blew out. That means the blank shattered and flew all over the place. Fortunately I was wearing a face shield so while I heard pieces hit the shield, none actually hit me. That would be nasty. The lathe is turning at nearly 3200rpm so when those pieces come off they come of with enough speed to cut. Its easy to recover from, I just used my chisel to clean the tube off and cut a new tube. I was glad it wasn't the piece with the brass in it. Those take longer to make.

Once the turning is done it is time to polish. I start on the lathe and then move to buffing wheels. They shine up really nice.

And I am happy to report that the Bride and Groom loved them!

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