This is the first pen I made using a plastic blank. I chose an Urban Camo plastic blank for this pen.
On the Lathe
I drilled the 3/8" hole using a standard drill with gold coating. I forgot to buy the 3/8" size barrel trimmer, so I sanded the ends as perpendicular as I could using the disk sander.......and sanded up to the end of the brass cartridge. I used the same super-glue I have been using on the previous pens.
The plastic turned about like wood, except for the stringy chips that I had to remove once in a while. I used medium speed and the gouge to rough out, then the skew chisel to finish size. I used the 3 steps of sandpaper, then the EEE polish and Shellawax finish. The finish really came out nice......
I really like the look and the feel of this 30 caliber pen........with the sliding bolt action. I will be making Christmas gifts for several male family members using this design.
I also now know I can turn the plastic blanks fine, so I will be exploring using plastic on other pen designs versus wood.
I went to make 2 more pens using the fall camo blanks, and both of them failed on the lathe. The one lost a chunk on the end, the other had a big divet in the center of the blank.
you can't see the divet in the bottom one in this photo. I tried to fill the divet with super glue, then sand it off........that did not work. The super glue did not set up enough in 2 hours.
I was able to hack-saw vertically on the bad blanks, the use a very sharp 1/4" chisel to break the plastic off in chunks........from the brass barrels. I glued new blanks onto the re-used brass tubes. I also sharpened my skew chisel on the hand stone with oil again. Then I was able make the pen successfully.............
The size compared to a 50 cal pen...........
I ordered a carbide skew chisel to see how that works on plastic. The plastic blanks wear out the skew chisel edge much faster than on wood.