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Seam Rippers For My Sister And Mom



My Mom is 91 (this past Monday) and she still sews and makes clothes. I noticed she had an the same seam ripper for years so I thought I'd make her a new one for Christmas- but it turned out to be a birthday gift. However when making one it's just as easy to make two so the other one will be for my sister for Christmas. 


I bought the kits from Craft Supplies because I needed some other stuff that I can only find at their site. Making the rippers is pretty straight forward, especially if you turn pens.  I had some walnut pen blanks I found in a box of scraps. Drilled them with the proper sized bit using the lathe. One trick when drilling pen blanks is to not drill the hole completely thru the blank. Using a brad point bit will have the point punch thru before the bit actually exits the blank. This process keeps the blank from being blown out when the bit would exit. 




Once the brass tube is glued into place, the end of the blank can be trimmed near the tube- I trimmed mine on the band saw. Then used the sanding center to bring the wooden blank flush with the brass tube on each end.





I planned on doing a CA finish on these. To keep the CA from gluing the bushings to the blank/tubing I apply a coating of bumble bee butter to the bushings.



Then mounted the blank and bushing to the pen mandrel.




Then the assembly on to the lathe



Rounded the blank with a roughing gouge



Shaped with the skew




Sanded the blank to 400 with Abranet mesh to 400 and finished off with Abralon pads to 4000. Applied some sanding sealer.



Then about 40 layers of thin CA-



Assembled the parts with my shop made pen press





One gold and one silver





I still have a bunch of wooden scoops to turn for the nurses at my doctor's office and a few other people.


Recommended Comments

11 hours ago, p_toad said:

Those are nice.   I found a stone (in white arkansas) years ago in this shape and found it to be perfect for sharpening the little cutting edge on a ripper....

sharpening stone.jpg

Thanks!, I may need to get one of these!

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Lew, I just today started looking through the blogs, and I started with your seam ripper.  Those turned out really nice.  I do have a couple of questions though.  I googled bumble bee butter and got a page of listings talking about snakes.  So what is bumble bee butter?  Also, I was really interested in your shop made pen press, so would it be appropriate to ask about the plans for it?  If you consider something like that to be your personal intellectual property and don't wish to share it, I totally understand that and I  won't be offended at all. 

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3 hours ago, PostalTom said:

So what is bumble bee butter?

:lol: It was just a made up name for a mixture of beeswax and mineral oil (4:1 oil/wax). Heated in the microwave until the wax melts. Stir, let cool and use it as a finish or to lub screws or to wax tools.


As far as the pen press, I stole the idea from a YouTube video and made some adaptations. In the video the press is around 4:58 minutes. I can take more pix and measurement if you want.



Edited by lew
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