Checkered Pen

Checkered Pattern Pen

While waiting on the CNC X-Carve to carve out a project. I thought I would play with a pen pattern I have been thinking of. I didn’t record any of the blank process, but I’m including the blank instruction here today. Over all the pen turned out great and I’m very pleased with how it looks. Although it’s not what I was expecting it still the best pen I’ve done to date.

Lets start at the blank
The first thing is to glue up several layers of two contrasting wood species. I used Alder and Paduak. I also used eight layers total. In the second picture you can see the cut lines on top. I ripped the blank using the band saw at 1/8″ strips. you should have strips like in picture three.
Now glue the strips in Picture 3 in an alternating pattern as shown in picture 4. Be very careful and try to line up the pattern as closely as possible. As you see in picture 4 there are ribs hanging over those need to be ripped off. Once the ribs are ripped off your result should look like picture 5.
 Now we have created the checkered board pattern through the blank. If you turned it at this stage it will still only be stripes. Cut the blank again 1/8″ on the width refer to picture 6. You should have a lot of little squares as shown in picture 7.
Your going to take all those little squares and stack them in alternating pattern as shown in picture 8. Once all the pieces are glued back together your pattern should look like picture 9.
Here’s a few pictures of my process. It helps gluing a few small squares together then gluing those small assemblies together.

Now the fun and easiest part, turning the pen.

You will need: 10mm brad point drill bit, cigar bushing kit (147161), and cigar pen kit (148779) many different colors to chose from.
I’m assuming at this stage you know how to prep your pen for the lathe. If not leave me a comment and I will provide you with some great resources for this process.
Very lite cuts to rough the blank round. No need to hurry, you just put a lot of time in the pen blank. At this stage leave the blank just proud of the bushings.
Sand the blank down to the bushings working your way up to 600 grit. I tried something new with this blank, at least new to me. I used medium CA glue to protect and finish of the pen. I used three light coats let dry about 30 min between coats.
After the glue dried I ran through the micro mesh. Wet sand with each pad all the way to 12,000 grit. Then put on a last coat of finish. Now I’m ready for assembly. What I noticed with using the CA glue I glued the bushing on the blank. This can be avoided by using Hold fast non-stick bushing.
If you have a pen press this will be a lot easier here and here you can find information on how to build one. Here you can buy one.