Are you intrigued by Paul’s creations? Have you said to yourself “how’d he do that?” You are not alone!
In this blog I will show you step by step on how the process works. Basically, there is ten steps on creating a product whether it is a pen, keychain, or even a crochet handle.
First, Paul must make a blank. A blank is either a piece of resin or hardwood that is cut to a certain size depending on the project. Sizing this blank is important so he does not have a lot of waste.
Sometimes the blank must be cut in half. He does this when he needs two pieces for like a wine topper or a Slimline pen.
Then, Paul drills a hole through the blank using his drill press.
Since all products that we offer have a brass tube inserted the hole needs to fit the tube. If a tube was not used, then there would not be anything for the mechanism to adhere to.
If Paul is making a resin product, he needs to paint the tube first. If he did not paint it, you would be able to see the brass tube through the resin. Generally, he uses a white spray paint, so the colors of the resin really stand out.
Next, he glues the painted tube into the blank. The type of glue he uses is like a heavy-duty super glue that expands. He lets this sit overnight to make sure the bond is secure.
The next day Paul takes the prepared blank and puts it back on his drill press. He needs to use a barrel trimmer to square up the blank for turning. This also ensures that any excess glue is taken off so that the mechanism will fit properly and will not interfere with the assembly process.
And now the fun begins…. turning! I love watching Paul turn and really it is a lot harder than he makes it look. I have made a pen and only one, because it is extremely messy. You also need to have a steady hand as the lathe is spinning extremely fast. Paul uses chisels and gouges to get the shape he is looking for, and on occasion he will use his Grandfather’s tools that were passed down to him.
All the turning needs to be precise or you will end up with a product that is uneven. On certain items he must make over four hundred passes to get it to look exactly right!
Folks have asked how long does it take to turn a pen? Well, that depends on the style of pen and type of material. So, it could take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.
The last step before he can assemble the product is sanding and polishing. Depending on what material Paul is turning will depend on the method he uses.
For resin products he uses a water mist with his special sanding and polishing pads. Since the resin is very warm and still spinning amazingly fast if he did not use a water mist with his pads it would melt the resin.
For wood he uses various grits of sandpaper and then polishes with six coats of a shellac and wax finish. The first two coats boil into the wood so the oil from your hands will not stain the wood.
Assembly is the last step in the process. Paul uses a press to secure all the parts and mechanism into the finished blank, and then he tests it out to make sure the product works properly.
Now you know how he did that!