I hate to waste things. One of the things I make a lot of is pens. I had some custom pen blanks made for me to help celebrate the Marine Corps Birthday (November 10th), the pens turned out really well but I couldn't throw away such great looking cut-offs. I decided to make something useful out of them cuff-links!
You don't have to use cut offs any small pieces of wood, acrylic, or other materials will work for this project.
- Small cut offs of pen blanks
- Saw - I used a bandsaw, but you could use a handsaw and get the same results.
- Cuff-link hardware - available on amazon
- CA Glue - Thick
- Random Orbital Sander - 150 grit paper
- Sandpaper - up to 600 grit
- MicroMesh - up to 12,000 grit
- Plastic polish - I used my lathe to apply, but can be done by hand or in a drill.
Step 1: Attach the Hardware to Cut Off Material
This is step is pretty straight forward.
You want to apply a small amount of CA glue to the hardware and center it on the material.
Apply pressure for a few seconds and then let it cure.
You can use activator to speed up this process but I just let if cure naturally; defer to the instructions on your glue.
Step 2: Rough Shape Your Cufflinks
In this step, I used a Random Orbital Sander* with 150 grit sand paper to rough shape the cufflinks to my desired shape.
*Ensure you are comfortable with your tools; this can be done with just sandpaper it would just take longer.
I held the back of the cufflink and sanded in a circular motion at a slight angle to create a slope.
When you get to the second cufflink be sure to check it often and compare it to the first, so that they have a uniform shape.
Step 3: More Sanding!
Everyone's favorite past time, sanding. While sanding do not forget to sand the back side so that it is not rough.
In this step I used traditional sandpaper moving up through the grits, from 150 up to 600 grit.
After that I used MicroMesh pads to wet sand up to 12,000 grit.
This should take care of any scratches that the rough shaping may have left.
Step 4: Finishing
I chose to finish these cufflinks with plastic polish which really brings out the shine on an acrylic material.
I wrapped the hardware in a paper towel to protect it before inserting it into the jacob's chuck on my lathe.
Once attached I applied about a dime sized amount of polish to the cufflink and let it sit for a few seconds
then turn on the lathe and apply pressure with a clean cloth for 30-45 seconds. I used an old shirt and that seems to do fine.
From there your cufflinks should be good to go. I'm happy to answer any questions, just leave a comment below.
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