#391 Cherry Burl, fraternal twins

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Project by scottb posted 06-28-2009 03:26 AM 2689 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few months back, Karson gave several of us in the Pen Turners Swap a piece of cherry burl that showed up on his doorstep and challenged us to make a pen with it.

I managed to squeak two out of that blank!.. The Wall street click pen on top (I’d previously blogged having some technical difficulties with – see previous picture), and it’s sister pen, a Eurostyle double twist. Both pens have platinum hardware.

I had a hunch I’d have problems turning this burl, but with a little CA on the cracks, (and sanding down the corners on the disk sander prior to turning, I had no trouble turning this at all. (save for one chunk that came out whilst squaring up the blank.) It came out to a nice glass smooth finish with the skew. As previously blogged, I did have an issue with the pen tube length, having previously drilled out, and prepped four Wall Street style pens (two #II’s and two click versions) and didn’t realize until after assembly that the click tubes were just a bit longer. ARGHHHHH.

Anyhow, there was a small chip out (small in size, but loomed large on the blank) on the upper end, that I thought I’d have to turn down to the tube, and drill out and patch in another piece. Cherry made sense to me, but the CA and sawdust filled in the void just fine (and the pen clip would have helped hide it as well)… with this new development of length I fell back to the backup plan, just with a little bit more tube inside. I drilled a long piece of cherry, glued in the tube, cut it a hair oversize on the mitresaw, and used a combination of the barrel trimmer and disc sander to get it to just the right length.

A little bit more time on the disc sander to knock off the corners, and about 30 seconds of turning, a bit more sanding, and re-finishing brings this project to a very happy outcome. – pretty burl with cherry on top!


The Eurostyle, is the same burl Karsons #391 on top, and the same (exact same) cherry on the bottom. I’d thought about using a piece of cherry from Karson’s collection, seemed like the right thing to do, but I thought that the fancier grain of the crotch cherry I snagged from the pen turners swap might compete with the burl, so I opted for a simpler, straighter grained piece. The color seems just about a perfect match to boot.

Sanded to 1000, MM to 12000 (shiny!) then finished with BLO and friction polish. – shellac and carauba wax. I picked up a bottle of the HUT High Gloss with the nozzle applicator (I’d been using a bigger bottle of Mylands before, applying it to the pen, myself and the floor) with a rag, and I like the HUT much better. Seems glossier, dries and builds quicker.

These are the 24th and 25th projects in my 30 projects in 30 days challenge

cross posted on Facebook: B C Woodworking
this? and other projects, for sale on Etsy: B C Woodworking

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

8 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35149 posts in 4606 days

#1 posted 06-28-2009 03:38 AM

Great use of the 391 blank. Nice pens Scott.

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

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3501 days

#2 posted 06-28-2009 04:36 AM

Nice job ! Even with all the problems you had, you were still able to produce a great looking pen. That’s rewarding.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View a1Jim's profile


117342 posts in 3783 days

#3 posted 06-28-2009 04:39 AM

nice job

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4283 days

#4 posted 06-28-2009 04:57 AM

great result…I hope to get to mine this week…


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4505 days

#5 posted 06-28-2009 12:40 PM

Very nice!!

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View woodworm's profile


14470 posts in 3796 days

#6 posted 06-28-2009 01:01 PM

Really very very beautiful!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 4010 days

#7 posted 06-28-2009 08:45 PM

Nice save on the pens, sound like you worked through all the issues and came up with a couple of great solutions and some very nice pens.

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

View itsme_timd's profile


690 posts in 4037 days

#8 posted 06-29-2009 03:42 PM

What a great set of pens!

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

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