This morning I inspected the 391 challenge cherry burl blanks. After taking the duct tape off of the piece that had gnarly voids it appeared that the turquoise inlace material had filled all the gaps and was hard as a rock.
I am going to turn a modified slimline pen and had to drill 7 mm holes for the brass tubes. My pen vise will not work on these blanks as they are odd shaped and I want to get a hole that is close to center. A home made jig worked perfect to drill both blanks – no blow outs!
I used a pen mill to clean out the tubes and square off all the ends of the blanks. I will plug up the tubes and soak the blanks in medium CA glue to insure that everything is stable. In the mean time I have another 100 pens to blank up and prepare to turn.
The biggest challenge to this project is how to take a beautiful piece of cherry burl with some deep voids and utilize it to its potential. The inlace was the perfect material to help stabilize the voids, and I added the spalted willow from Steve to create what I hope to be a very unique pen. I will post more photos and details when I get ready to turn the challenge391 pen.
-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.