Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Easy Wood Tool Review Part 4 - The Pen Project

If you thought the walking cane project and the goblet project were nice, wait till you see this one! 

This week's challenge for the  Easy Wood Tools was a little tougher. I had already established that the carbide tips and stainless steel shafts on the EWTs were terrific for wood.  But what about acrylic or even a stone composite, like they use for making exotic pens out of?  Well, only one way to find out.......

Let's make some pens!

I went down to Woodcraft to buy some pen blanks and hardware kits.  I chose a nice pink blank they call Cotton Candy, plus a couple others.  Seeing that the blog is just a little on the pink side, I thought Cotton Candy would fit right in.  Here is part of the blank before I turned it on the lathe....

I really loved the pink and gray mottled looking mix of colors.

Here is a picture of the blank mounted on the lathe after I had used an EWT lathe tool to give it some shape.

For this project I used only 1 basic Easy Wood Tool, the Ci3m Mini Finisher.

It has a round replaceable tip that cut through the acrylic pen blank like soft butter. 

I was amazed at how little pressure I had to use in order to make this tool do it's job on acrylic.  An extremely light touch of the cutting tip is all I needed. 

Here is the end result, boxed and ready to go!

I also tried out the Easy Wood Tool Mini Finisher on a product called Tru-Stone.  Tru-Stone is a composite made up of about 85% natural stone.  I thought that an EWT lathe tool might get slowed down a little trying to cut through this product.  I could not have been more wrong.  The tip cut through the stone easily.  Did I mention that I am still using the same replaceable tip that I started with 3 weeks ago?  Yep!, the same tip that shaped the goblet, made the cane, made the acrylic cotton candy pen, and now made this one.  It still seems to be as sharp as ever, with no noticable difference in how it cuts.  If you are doing production lathe work, you need a tool like this.  It will save you a ton of money, by not having down time due to stopping for sharpening.

After I easily conquered Tru-Stone, I was feeling pretty addicted to the Mini Finisher.  I was just having way too much fun to put it down.  So what did I do?  I chose another pen blank, of course.  See if you like the end results of this one.

This blank is simply called "Tiger".  It has a wonderful swirling of blacks, golds, and browns that are very suggestive of an animal print or tortoise shell. I kinda like this one.  I am not sure which one is my favorite though.  What do you think?

I hope you have all enjoyed my Easy Wood Tools Review over the past few weeks.  It has been great fun.  One of my goals in doing this review was to see if a beginner could use these tools easily, safely, and get great results.  After several weeks of trying them out, the answer is yes, yes, and yes.  Without a doubt, the EWTs are the easiest lathe tools I have ever had the pleasure of using.  Their design makes them many times safer than traditional tools, and the results are amazing.  They performed flawlessly in every task they were given.  I give them (once again), 5 pink hardhats out of a possible 5.

For those of you who are considering making pens as a way of earning extra cash, the EWT line of lathe tools makes all the sense in the world.

For those of you who just want to have fun and maybe make some Christmas presents, they work really well for that too.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Many thanks to Craig Jackson, founder of Easy Wood Tools, who goes out of his way to support women, kids, and families with their woodworking projects.


Suzanne said...

Another great project. Beautiful results.

Doris Sturm said...

I just wanted to stop by to thank you for all the interesting "how to" articles and fun link parties you give on your blog and to wish you a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!