When gluing up, I set myself up over a rubbish bin – that way all the surplus glue drips into the bin rather than all over the floor. I use thick CA to glue my brass tubes into the pen blanks. Mitre Fix is the actual glue I use.
I prepare the tubes by sanding the brass tube with 80 grit sandpaper so there is a mechanical key for the glue to hold onto. I use the thick CA and squeeze a generous amount of it into the blank, and then I use a cotton bud to spread it evenly around the blank. Then I get the brass tube and insert it into the blank in a circular motion, in and out of the blank. I push the brass tube in 2mm underneath the surface of the centre of the blank. That way we trying to reduce the wastage we loose from the centre of the blank.
After gluing, I generally leave the blanks to cure for 5 – 7 days. The 5 – 7 days allow the glue to go hard brittle. If the glue is still soft and not fully dry, the glue will clog up the sand paper in the disc sander.
Before hitting the sand paper, I go back to the band-saw to cut of the 5 – 10mm on the back of the tube.
To clean and square the cheeks, I use a disc sander. Using a disc sander is much less work that using a pen mill. I push the blank onto the sander then keep rotating the blank until I hit the brass tube.
Once this process is complete, the blank is almost ready to go onto the lathe.