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pen tube insertion - where do I go wrong?

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Shay Vings

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Having probs with the brass tubes getting stuck when only partially inserted in the blank. I drill with the closest drill so the tubes are a nice sliding fit - no slop. Then I use thin CA distributed with a cotton bud. However fast I push the tube, the glue has stuck almost immediately.

I understand metal activates CA very quickly, but I do need a bit more time for this stage. I could use araldite or polyurethane, but thin CA seems to minimise the chances of adhesive getting inside the tubes in so I'd rather stay with that.

I note penmakers recommend abrading the tubes with wirewool or 400 grit and cleaning them with alcohol to ensure a good fix, but that seems to be the least of my problems!

Where am I going wrong?
 

Blister

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You need to let the drilled wood cool down

Best to not do it as soon as you have drilled the blank as the heat in the wood makes the glue go off instantly :wink:
 

thomvic

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Only a relative beginner in pen-making myself but I reckon that you are either inserting the tubes too slowly or your CA is very old. I abraid the tubes but have not needed to clean them with alcohol - what a waste that would be!

Richard
 

TEP

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Thin cyno glue is designed to go off very quickly. I always use this stuff for my pen work.
 

jumps

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if using CA then use the thickest for this; from time to time I have to turn a failed fit off and start again and know I should use epoxy really (as I don't have any real time issues)
 

CHJ

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I use the slow CA as linked above or Zpoxy epoxy, which is very good if the fits are not perfect with the odd .1 of a mm clearance.

To stop adhesive, whichever type you use, getting into the tubes, cut some 6mm slices out of a raw potato and punch out a core with the tube just before glueing and inserting.
 

dickm

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CHJ":2mbw8n0m said:
To stop adhesive, whichever type you use, getting into the tubes, cut some 6mm slices out of a raw potato and punch out a core with the tube just before glueing and inserting.
Give that man a medal! That's genius.
But why only 6mm? Wouldn't a thicker slice be more reliable, and tatties aren't that expensive?
 

thomvic

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Why would you get adhesive on the inside of the tubes? You should be protecting one end with whatever holding device you use and just keep the adhesive away from the other end. Save the potato for chips, or better still, for stuffing up the exhaust of the neighbour's very noisy car!

Richard
 

CHJ

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If you don't work the tube a little along the axis of the tube/blank then you risk stripping the adhesive off the tube at the leading edge and not having enough for a good bond at the far end.
A lot depends upon the blank material and the need to spread epoxy in the blank in some instances. Using the trim tool to clean it out is all very well but avoiding it getting in there in the first place is better.
 

nev

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CHJ":2nqmfs58 said:
I use the slow CA as linked above or Zpoxy epoxy, which is very good if the fits are not perfect with the odd .1 of a mm clearance.

To stop adhesive, whichever type you use, getting into the tubes, cut some 6mm slices out of a raw potato and punch out a core with the tube just before glueing and inserting.
+1 for the potato :) (you could also use plasticine or similar but the tatty comes out nice and easy) much easier just to push out the bit of tatty when its dry than scrape glue from inside a tube, esp. if using a thicker glue. ive been using ever build gator glue recently, which foams a bit on drying so is good if your tubes a bit loose, but bought some epoxy today so will give that a go next time.
 

Jonzjob

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I have always used Z-Poxy and rolled up a small bit of paper towel and stuffed it in the end of the tube. I use a thin bamboo spatular to put the glue into the blank, work the tube around until it's amost home and put a small amount of epoxy onto the final end of the tube before pushing it home. Another thin bit of bamboo to push the paper out of the end and you have a good glue fit and a nice clean, glue free tube!! You don't have to wait till it's dry either..

Must make some more pens 8)
 

John. B

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For me, I use Medium CA if the wood is sound and the fit is good, and Urethane (Gorilla) if the wood is porous,

or is a burr, or if the fit is not quite perfect.

I use thin CA in the hole before inserting the brass tube if the wood is porous, this seals any gaps caused by the drill and hardens any soft bits inside.

Oh, and I use an insertion tool to put in the tube.

John. B
 

CHJ

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John. B":phrr1syr said:
For me, I use Medium CA if the wood is sound and the fit is good, and Urethane (Gorilla) if the wood is porous,

or is a burr, or if the fit is not quite perfect.

I use thin CA in the hole before inserting the brass tube if the wood is porous, this seals any gaps caused by the drill and hardens any soft bits inside.

Oh, and I use an insertion tool to put in the tube.

John. B
Like most things wood turning, there are no hard and fast rules, only personal experience comes up with solutions that work with your own particular set of tools and working methods.
Dread to think how many bottles of thin CA I have got through over the years, I know I have at least 3 starlock standards at every engineering show I attend.
( the grumpy side of me tends to shun the hard to manage stuff on the wood front though these days)
A home made insertion tool came early on in my efforts when attempting to manage without failed a couple of times and/or I got glue everywhere.
 

Richard Findley

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Hi

I don't make a lot of pens, in fact I'd go so far as to say pens are one of my least favourate things to make :roll: , but when I do make them, I stick the tubes in the PU glue, this expands and so you get glue contact all along the tube, not just sticking where it touches, like you do with CA.

As for glue in the tubes, let it go where it likes, as long as you've got one of those end cleaning tools you're ok.

HTH

Richard
 

chill

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I use titebond, and a bit of potato in the tube , as said the p.u. foams up and fills any voids and contacts all around the tube, if it gets in the tube I clean it out with my tube cleaning tool TM, a piece of 6mm threaded rod mounted in an old file handle
 

CHJ

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Jonzjob":3jzq0bfx said:
Insersion tool? ... What does one of those look like?
This one I made when i first started with slimlines only, I have another somewhere with stepped ridges for differing tube diameters.
DSCN3038M.JPG


Forgot to include it in my early Basic Tool Kit which I still use.
 

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Jonzjob

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Thanks for the WIP Chas! The way that I use to ensure the grain alignment is to use a permanent marker and put a mark om the inside of the tube after it's glued in. Then all that's needed is to line up the marks and Bob's yer Aunt (funny old world init?) I mark the outside of the blanks as I cut them too, but that, of course, turns off dunit :mrgreen:
 

mikec

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I use a home-made tapered insertion tool so the tube grips it. I run medium CA (Starloc) along the tube and work it in and out so there is a good coverage. It doesnt take long to go off then I pull the insertion tool out. My end trimmer has a guide that acts as a glue remover in the tube. I have noticed that some exotic woods seem to accelerate the action of the CA.

Hope this helps,

mikec
 
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