As The Lathe Turns #30: The Lumberjock Pens

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Blog entry by William posted 05-06-2013 12:15 PM 2199 reads 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 29: Sidetracked Part 30 of As The Lathe Turns series Part 31: Turning Something Besides Wood »

Most of you know of my health issues. Since we’ve been getting winter in May lately, I have been having some bad days. On top of that, I’m going through just a “blah” spell. I have only done one small project since finishing the modular marble machine. I built Matthius Wandell’s wooden ir engine. It turned into something I call the DODGE, Dad’s Old Dead Garage Expiriment. It didn’t work. I haven’t given up on it. It is something I will rebuild in the future. In the meantime though, I needed some kind of inspiration to get my butt in gear.
I started doing some much needed shop cleanup. While doing so, I was thinking on something to work on next that would inspire me enough to push through this bad spell.

Since starting on the wood turning adventures, several people have sent me wood. Also I had small pieces of wood from before beginning turning that I have now cut into pen blanks. While straightening all this, I got a bit of inspiration. I gathered up what woods came from what different people and decided to make some pens.
First I am going to go through the building of these pens. Towards the end, I will list each recipient of these pens and each of their contricutions towards this and, hopefully, it will all make sense.

After arranging woods in different ideas until I found something I was happy with, this is what I came up with. It is six different woods. They are cut on a sixty degree angle. The two ends are just what I thought looked proportional. The rest of the pieces came out to about three quarters of an inch thick to be able to fit all the pieces in the pens.

Glueup started to become messy by the time I was through. I think I learned something from this. Next time, I would only glue two or three pieces at a time on each pen, and let that set, before adding one more piece at a time. Doing this many indiviual cut pieces at a time, things seemed to want to move more than I wanted.
On two of the pens, all the pieces moved a equally large amount, leaving a staggered look to the pen. By the time I cut away the saw tooth looking pieces to make the pen blank in a usable shape for drilling and mounting, there was barely enough material left.

I got these after trimming the pieces up so I could start preparing them.

I decided I wanted to keep with the same colored harware throughout all the pens. This turned out to be gold plated since that what I first rounded up enough of. Throughout the project, it turned out to be three different style kits, but all similar in design and the same finish.
As I prepared the blanks and drilled them, I put each set of blanks in the bag with the hardware to keep from mixing things up.

Here is one of the seven pens. All of them, after turning, got a CA glue finish. On top of the CA glue, I always prefer to also put a coat of paste wax and buff them.

So I like to call these the Lumberjock pens. Starting sat the top, near the cap, the woods are ziricote, walnut, mahogany, maple, sweetgum, and box elder. Now I’d like to tell you the recipent of these pens and why. You see, one of the things I love about making pens is that it gives me the opportunity to make projects from woods that I would otherwise never get to work with, because I only need small pieces to make pens. With that being said, explaining the recipients will, I hope, make all this make more sense.

Seven pens.
Kreegan gave me the ziricote.
Chips gave me the walnut.
Grizzman gave me the mahogany.
JL7 gave me the maple.
Dave gave me the sweetgum.
Boxcarmarty gave me the box elder.
Eddie gave me the lathe that all this was turned on.
Now each of these guys will have a pen that they each know they made a contribution to, and that the other woods and the tool it was all done on came from another Lumberjock.
I’d also like to note one more person again. I did not make this person because they told me they didn’t want one. It did send something else a while back. However, Doe donated the gift card that bought the hardware that is on these pens.

I will be giving Eddie, Dave, and Chips their pens when I see them. The other four pens (it may be June with my current finances) I will be shipping to the recipients. I hope each of you enjoy your pens. Thank you for your support you have given me. Without you all I would never get to work with so many different species of woods. Until I joined and met some people here on Lumberjocks, all my adventures had been limited to about four different species of woods. You all opened up a whole new world to me. Thank you.


23 comments so far

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2141 days

#1 posted 05-06-2013 12:25 PM

Those look amazing, William! You’ve put that wood to much better use than I would have. Hopefully you’ll feel better soon.

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2837 days

#2 posted 05-06-2013 12:31 PM

Thanks Rich. It may be next month now. My available funds to bills needing paid ratio wasn’t too pretty this month. I will try to get your’s and the other’s out in the mail first chance I get though.


View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2798 days

#3 posted 05-06-2013 01:07 PM

Very kool story William. The pens look awesome. Kool idea to cut n glue em that way. Those woods really go super together. You do more when you feel bad, than I do when I feel good… Carry on, hope you do get to feelin better. Always look forward to seein your creations. Work/Play safe. Keep makin dust

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3335 days

#4 posted 05-06-2013 01:13 PM

nice work william
a great way to honor and include your friends

the pens all look special
like the bud’s that inspired you


blessings brother

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8029 posts in 2323 days

#5 posted 05-06-2013 01:42 PM

Nice job William….

looks like you had fun doing it…

Hang in there, spring with spring eventually.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3298 days

#6 posted 05-06-2013 02:11 PM

dont feel bad william, im in the same boat right now, dont ever think your alone in your pain…its going to get better, the pens turned out beautiful, what a great idea..i look forward to when they come, whenever that will be dont worry, just know you have made me another wonderful gift has made me smile, and good to know you have more friends..grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3328 days

#7 posted 05-06-2013 02:18 PM

Very nice pens William and a wonderful way to thank your contributors.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2069 days

#8 posted 05-06-2013 02:49 PM

Nicely done William. Keep on doing what you’re doing.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3429 days

#9 posted 05-06-2013 03:23 PM

Super job William, now looking forward to seeing a marble pen. :-)

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2608 days

#10 posted 05-06-2013 03:59 PM

William those are some beautiful pens , hope one day to see yall soon .ill be putting mine on a plack on the shop wall to remember a good friend when i see it ,thanks , it good to see that old lathe making so many beautiful things ,i know what you mean about the friends here on LJ and the wood working community they are a blessing

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2834 days

#11 posted 05-06-2013 04:36 PM

You will do absolutely anything to get me to come over and drink coffee with you. Make sure Eddie is there and will will swap south Louisiana stories. I’ll tell you about the time the ole Cajun thought I was making his cows radioactive when we were looking for oil.
Nice work William and that does mean all the world to me.
I will get over as soon as I can. I have to work around the baby.
And I think you are fixing to get the same.
Thank you my friend.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Mip's profile


453 posts in 2072 days

#12 posted 05-06-2013 05:12 PM

These are cool pens, especially when the wood turns dark to light, like a sunrise, or sunset. It’s also cool that you are giving these to the people who donated the wood and the lathe to make them.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2851 days

#13 posted 05-06-2013 06:58 PM

William, you’re a good man
Those pens look really great, you have a gift for woodturning
and your colour mix just flows very nice

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View StumpyNubs's profile


7588 posts in 2795 days

#14 posted 05-06-2013 07:42 PM

Those are beautiful! And your generosity is great too, but not unexpected!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

29218 posts in 2332 days

#15 posted 05-06-2013 08:14 PM

You’re a true inspiration to us all. Keeps us humble. Through it all you show kindness and generosity. You are their gift sir.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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