raw barrels, no pen

I'll try again but this forum seems pretty dead.

Here are some silver barrels I made for a client and he'll use them to make his own silver pen. The pattern came from a pair of opposing bars I had made by mistake but at least they've almost paid for themselves.

These are pretty simple but any discussion this time round?



That looks like a nice pattern. What is going on with the wave part? Does it change in period or amplitude? It's tough to tell from that photo.
Thanks for engaging.

Starts out straight (infinite period ... 0 frequency) then about a third of the way along it immediately changes to about a 2mm period with gradually increasing amplitude over about a cm then stays constant. I think you can see all that around halfway off center but here's the magnified layout just in case ...



They are very beautiful, I really enjoy seeing your work. I do the wood, but straight line pens has been a long time dream. Only time will tell,but I'd love to keep seeing your projects. Chadm
additional notes

Thanks for the kind comments.

Here's another note on process executed for these barrels:

Many times on blank barrels I'll do the straight line work and then cut nice grooves around the circumference to terminate the straight line cuts. This time I cut the grooves first, and rather wide grooves at that, because the surface I was going to engrave was to be recessed about .010 from the nominal OD of the barrel. The way I cut grooves in the past was on the rose engine to get a nice shiny cut. Using the rose engine was going to be a problem because the guide was going to get in the way so I cut the grooves on the lathe with a sharp radiused cutter and didn't have to worry about an ET guide. Anyway, so the next problem to solve was how to get the engraving cut started from the groove while below nominal diameter. Nominal diameter for the smaller barrel was .500" , the groove was .016 deep (radially) and the recessed engraved surface was .010 recessed radially.

The guide I had been using on the straight line machine was way too big to get into the groove and let the cutter engage the material without bumping into the nominal diameter raised ends of the barrel so I made a new guide with a very short "height" to get in there and with the same polished radius. My worry in that was whether or not the much smaller guide would engage and follow previously cut lines and give me some unexpected results. This would be the case with the last one or two lines as the pattern closes around the barrel. Also, I wasn't quite sure how the start of the cut would perform with the short guide riding up on the surface at the get go. It turned out none of these problems occurred as evidenced by the result. All the starts (the starts were all straight) came out just fine, very regular, and with proper depth and I experience no jumping around in the cuts of previous lines when I closed the pattern with the final cut.

What also came out well were the ends of the cuts as they traversed barely into the groove at the other end of the barrel. I really didn't think at the outset that I'd have to deal with any problem there but the guide still had to be short enough (in height) so as to not bump into the unrecessed ridge at the other end of the barrel.

The picture tries to depict the geometry of the situation - hope it's understandable. The lesson I learned was that this little guide had a big enough radius to not be affected by other lines and that I could start a cut right at or slightly below an edge. The proof was in the pudding. This kind of thing may be written up somewhere or old hat to some but in any case I had to try it - and it worked! So, just some notes and personal experience for the next try.




This is quite helpful. Do you ever cut the barrels not using a guide? We've taken to dialing the pen barrel in and setting a micrometer stop which seems to work well. Do you have experience in both? We had a bit of trouble with the guide, but seeing your results I'm quite convinced that we missed something.

Also, would you be willing to share some pictures of your workholding devices?

David Lindow
Lot's to say in response to your fairly simple question but, in short, I have not explored doing it with the stop in any extensive sense. I tried it at the outset but gravitated toward the guide because it was relatively foolproof and I could use it on curved surfaces.

Tell you what ... why don't I write something up for your newsletter? Would that be a good idea? :)

When I am cutting the barrels for my enamel pens, I don't use a guide, opting instead for a stop. This helps me avoid the issue that Rich dealt with in trying to get a guide in the recess (my enamel barrels have a recess of 0.015" for the enamel to sit in). But my enamel pens also have straight barrels similar to what you're doing David. For most pens I use a guide. All of my non-enamel pens have barrel profiles that are curved and a stop obviously won't work.

What kind of issues are you having with the guide?

Rich, thanks for sharing how you dealt with using a guide in a recess. That will probably come in handy some day...