I want to thank Rockler Woodworking again for selecting me as the winner in their recent inlay pen kit contest. As a result I was given the choice of any of their new inlay pen kits. I chose the Kokopelli kit.
I went on vacation and when I returned the kit was waiting for me. The kit was shipped in a bubble pack and the container was slightly dented. I opened up the package and wondered what I had gotten myself into.
I have to say that this kit is not for the faint of heart. If you like jigsaw puzzles then you will like this kit.
I pulled out an Elegant Beauty Sierra kit from my stock and started with a dry fit. There are sixteen pieces and matching them up to the printed directions can be a challenge. With some trial and error, though, I was able to figure out which part went where.
I was a little disappointed that in a kit of this price some of the pieces were not cleanly cut. I did have to clean up the edges of a couple in order for them to seat properly. There was one piece that had a small chip in it and another had a 1/4″ piece that broke off. These are small and narrow pieces and extreme care needs to be taken.
I also noticed that there were some gaps that allowed the tube to show through when I was doing the dry fit. The directions said to use “black” CA. Haven’t heard of that before, but as it turns out, regular CA seems to work fine. And any gaps that do show tend to enhance the image.
For the parts that were chipped, I filled the gaps with some fine maple sawdust that was already at my lathe and applied thin CA. These areas turned out fine.
I used the small rubber bands supplied with the kit to hold the pieces in place and put pressure with my fingers on the ends to try to get the tightest fit possible. While holding the blank in one hand, I flooded the pieces with thin CA and hit it with a little activator.
Once that was done, trimming the barrel, turning and finishing was just like any other pen. I finished this with 4 coats of Mylands High Gloss Friction Polish and two coats of Renaissance Wax
My photographic skills need work, but here is my finished product:
I also like the Elegant Beauty Sierra with this kit. I think the center band enhances the Kokopelli design.
All in all, this was a fun kit to build. I would recommend a kit that isn’t quite as complex as this one for your first time. Give them a try, the results are worth the effort.