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Sharpening A Barrel Trimmer and a New Pen Style

10 years ago

The charity auction I have mentioned in my podcast is this weekend and I needed to get a pen done to go with the Sushi box I already made. (post for that coming soon) As this auction is sponsored by a church I decided to break out some of the Olive wood I have from Bethlehem. At the same time I have two customers who want pens from this same wood. So tonight since I got home from the day job a little early, I set to work on the pens. I changed into my new Wood Whisperer t-shirt, donned the shop apron and started cutting blanks on the bandsaw. Boy do I love the smell of Olive wood when you cut it!

After drilling the blanks and glueing in the brass tubes it was time to square the ends with the brass using my barrel trimmer. With all of the talk of sharpening lately I have been paying more attention to my tools and sure enough this barrel trimmer is in a sad state of affairs. Can you blame it? All it does is cut end grain and mostly hard exotics at that!

Out comes my handy dandy DMT diamond file.

This is a very simple operation and the trimmer doesn’t have to be razor sharp. Like most things though you won’t realize how dull it was until your sharpen it again. I take light swipes on the bevel like this.

I use both sides of the file to refine the scratch pattern. In this particular instance there was some crud build up on the flats so I touched up those faces too. Once I loaded it back into the cordless drill and put it to the wood the difference was phenomenal. With these barrel trimmers gravity should do all the work for you. If you force it too much you risk tearing out the end grain around the brass tube and that is no fun to fix with CA glue.

Don’t forget to sharpen those little tools you have around your shop. These DMT files are excellent for all around sharpening including router bits!

Anyway, once I had that done I went to work on the pens and here is the result. Man, that newly sharpened roughing gouge made a big difference too! This kit is a typical Euro style pen but it has the screw off cap. Not a new kit to the market, but a new one to me. I really like the slightly beefier profile and the screw cap is an added touch of elegance.

I also have these certificates of authenticity to add the the holy land Olive wood mystique.

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