Thursday, January 09, 2014

Parallam Scratch Awls

For Christmas I turned four scratch awls from a material called Parallam, which is a composite wood/resin material used in manufactured construction beams.  A good friend of mine who builds houses (and whose shop space I am sharing) gave me some of his scrap to play with.  I turned one awl for him (not pictured) and then the three shown below as presents for my brothers and brother-in-law.  The metal parts came in kit form from Rockler and are also available from other turning vendors.  The wooden parts are turned on a pen mandrel, to whatever shape you like, the only physical limitation being the length of the brass tube (part of the kit) that is glued into the center of the wooden blank.  The hardest part is actually the surface finishing, because the Parallam has frequent surface defects that must be filled with a sawdust/glue slurry so that the outside is smooth.  I also coated these with epoxy, sanded some more, and finished with wipe-on poly.  Next project is to do one for myself.  (Need to order more kits!)