I used to make these “in binder” pencil holders out of the cardboard from used paper towel rolls. Now that my son is entering 3rd grade I thought I’d send him off with a new twist to old gear.
Step 1: Prep the Body
First thing I did was measure the length against a pencil. After cutting with a pipe cutter I put it in my mini lathe. I then machined and sanded off the zinc coating. This is the area that will get covered in bluing.
Step 2: Grind the Ends
I smoothed the bottom with files so I would get a good joint while soldering. The top lip was rounded over on both sides so that, a) there'd be no sharp edges, b) the lid would fit snugly. I used a dremel to get it done.
Step 3: Cap the Bottom
I cut out a circle from 22 gage sheet metal and soldered it onto the bottom. I used a file to grind it flush while in my lathe.
Step 4: Make the Magnetic Lid
This lid is self-centering and kept in place with magnets. While in use the lid can just be stuck to the side which also prevents it from rolling. It has a rolled lip to make it look more seamless.
I machined two circles on my lathe one of which would be domed. I kept reducing one circle until it just barely fit into the pipe.
Next I placed the magnets in the lid and used epoxy putty to hold all the pieces together.
Step 5: Finish the Lid
After the epoxy putty set I clamped the lid in place and rolled the edge down with my trusty hammer.
A pass through a scouring wheel smoothed it out nice.
Step 6: Add the Flames
The flames are put on with the help of gun bluing (make sure to follow manufacture safety precautions when handling and using bluing). After taping off and painting the ends I found some flames through an image search.
I traced over the flames while a piece of aluminum tape was under paper. I then placed the embossed tape on the pencil holder and cut them out with a razor blade.
A little bluing and the flames stood out great.
Thanks for reading.
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