Three Newish Pens

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Project by Nils posted 04-05-2009 11:57 PM 1567 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My last posting (a long time ago!) was about capless pens. I mentioned the use of a homemade mandrel for turning the capless pen, and that I was convinced I needed to buy a real one. So, $70 later (to Arizona Silhouette) and I had the capless pen mandrel, the lathe chuck, and oh by the way, a mandrel for bottle stoppers and some bottle stopper kits.

In any case, here’s a new capless Euro-style pen made of cocobolo and ebony, plus two regular capped pens – one in big leaf maple burl and the other in spalted maple. The spalted maple blank came in the 2nd pen swap, by the way! It’s my first pen made from one of the blanks from the giant box of wonder.

These are all made from Woodcraft “premium” kits. I wanted to see how they’d come out, and got a few when they were on sale a few months ago. I haven’t actually used any of these pens, since I hope to sell them or (depending on whether anyone deserves them) give them away as birthday or other presents.

I was not originally planning to include the ebony on the first two pens, but that came about due to – guess what? – a blowout on each blank as I was facing the brass tubes. It’s not that I hadn’t thought of using additional woods in this way, but that was going to be a future experiment. But necessity is the mother of invention, so I cut into my thirty-year old ebony turning blanks, that I got when I was a kid planning to make musical instruments – six 20×2x2 ebony blanks for about $30 at the time!

-- Nils Davis, Menlo Park, CA

7 comments so far

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3892 days

#1 posted 04-06-2009 01:56 AM

These look great. I like your presentation in the photos as well.

Thanks for sharing.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 3800 days

#2 posted 04-06-2009 02:03 AM

Nils, nice job with the pens. They look great. That spalted maple sure looks familiar!

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4397 days

#3 posted 04-06-2009 02:13 AM

Great job Niles. A nice trio of pens. Sorry about the ebony. But at least some pens got completed.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4322 days

#4 posted 04-06-2009 04:16 AM

I like the ebony accents, I’d say it was worth cutting the blanks!
nice photo layout as well.

oh, and if you think pens are addicting, wait till you start making those stoppers!

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#5 posted 04-07-2009 06:48 AM

Looks great

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View tooldad's profile


660 posts in 3711 days

#6 posted 06-04-2010 04:41 AM

sorry to hear aabout your blowouts, but I am saying, duh to myself, that is a good way to fix the blowouts and make it look cool

thanks for the obvious solution. this will save kids a lot of disappointment next year.

View Nils's profile


141 posts in 3860 days

#7 posted 06-04-2010 08:14 AM

Update on the spalted maple and ebony pen – this has been my daily writer for quite a while, like six months, meaning it rides around clipped into my jeans pocket. It’s made with the high quality Woodcraft Gold kit, and it’s holding up extremely well. I am very comfortable recommending this kit as being very durable. (Much better durability than the copper plating kits I got from Woodturningz, although I definitely love the way they look!).

-- Nils Davis, Menlo Park, CA

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