Thursday, May 16, 2013

INDN 211: Secondary Production Phase

Now that the main parts of the pens are done, it's time to be looking forward to the next sections of the project. Since the project itself is really about the learning to hold the pen and then painting while doing that, it makes sense to a have a little paint pot to go with the project. Fun! Actually, the paint pot was the cutest little thing I got to make on the wood lathe. I did take a bit of a chunk out of it, but that didn't really bother me too much, since it was on the inside and once the things were stained, that would be okay since it would be less visible.

After creating the paint pot to my satisfaction, I really started thinking about stains in earnest. The actual stains themselves would be quite a defining feature of my project. Since I am targeting an older market, one of my first thoughts of an ideal of value drifted to the idea of antiques. Now pine is not a long-lasting and strong wood, so I decided to make the wood look like something that could be quite antique.

Walnut. That's a beautiful wood that however would take far too long to lathe and sculpt, but could certainly be imitated with some good stains.

I first tried my hand at some staining on my first attempt at the stem, and I attempted that with some cedar decking stain. Honestly, it looks pretty darn shoddy. That wood looks orange and pretty cheap. So I went out and got some decent stains. I went for the "Sikkers HLS" and "Sikkers Filter 7", both of which came in perfectly sized little pots. The trick with these two is that they work together, one as a base stain, and then one as a top coat.

I went back to the wood workshop first after talking to my tutor and made another grip, which would bring the set total up to five. My tutor believes that that's a better number to have, as it has a midpoint. I must say after thinking about it, it does make sense.

Another element that I built it was a small pattern done on the thumb of the grips, so as to make it clear to the user where the fingers go. I also expanded on the actual sunken parts of the grips, giving all the grips indents, however, from the large grip down, they rapidly diminish in size as the overall perimeter of the cylinder decreases.

The first layer of the walnut stain that I put on my work is looking really good, but at the moment it's still far too red to look the way I want it to. But that will come. I also, as you can see, attached the threaded rod to my stem, as it makes for more sense to have the rod attached to that that all 5 of the grips individually.

I'm going to have to stain these pieces before I can attach the vacuum formed sections, as the stain would make a bit of a mess on the plastic.

The next section is where I turned to some technology. We fortunately have a CNC lathe downstairs which we're allowed to have stuff made on. Making the paintbrush nibs on the manual lathe would be a bit of a trouble, so I'm really glad I don't have to worry about these sections. Our workshop technician also told me he can easily put a thread on the end for me, which is fantastic.

I'm going to have three of these bad boys made up, since there will be three different sizes of paintbrush tip.

These discs I'll make on the lathe myself, as they're very easy to make. I'll make them out of the steel as well. These discs will eventually be glued to each one of the grips, so as to act as a sort of washer, as well as an aesthetic element, so as to break up the two segments of wood that are the stem and the grip.

Finally, the last piece will also be done via CNC magic. These little things will be the weights that sit at the back of the pens. This will allow the user to customise the balance of the pen in the hand. Ideally, with the maximum weight on the pen, the pen should actually pull up from the page, pushing the grip into the users hand more, while the small one will not. Our workshop technician should also be able to put a thread on these little things too.

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