Pen & Pencil Holder

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Project by Jeff posted 10-18-2007 07:47 AM 3127 views 8 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the other project I made as a gift to take to a co-worker when I was at the Portland office last week. The last photo shows it next to the box I made at the same time.

I had something completely different in my mind’s eye but was winging it… I like the way this came out though. I think I will play around with this lap joint variation I have going. The pins/dowels are 1/8” brass that I cut to 1” lengths and tapped in. The are intentionally left proud and the edges were deburred and left unpolished. The goal was for this to be less refined than the desk organizer but still illustrate some craftsmanship. I think I met that goal.

There is a 1/8” piece of hardboard as the bottom of the actual cavity about an 1” or so from the table top. This is so pens don’t disappear. It seats in dados cut on the router with a spiral bit. Shaping of the rounded corners was on the drill press with a small sanding drum. They were then touched up with 220 and I broke all the edges just a little at the same time too. The coolest part is that I used no glue and it is quite solid. Another reason to explore this joint in different types of boxes.

Approx. 3×3 x 5 1/2
Two coats Watco Danish Oil

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

25 comments so far

View Kerux's profile


812 posts in 2924 days

#1 posted 10-18-2007 07:49 AM

That’s a neat little idea. The Brass really pulls off the whole look.


View cajunpen's profile


14531 posts in 3106 days

#2 posted 10-18-2007 10:15 AM

Looks great Jeff. I see that you used the splined miters on the box that you made. Well done, the brass pins were a good touch.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3201 days

#3 posted 10-18-2007 11:07 AM

well now.. isn’t that a lovely piece of art !!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View WayneC's profile


12635 posts in 3137 days

#4 posted 10-18-2007 12:28 PM

Very pretty Jeff. I like it.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4440 posts in 3003 days

#5 posted 10-18-2007 12:37 PM

Arts and Crafts and very nifty. I too, like the brass. It really works with the Padauk. To me it kind of has a Green and Green feel. Good work

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 3367 days

#6 posted 10-18-2007 01:28 PM

very nice contrast with the brass pins. I’ve had a similar design in my minds eye for a future puzzle box.

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

View shaun's profile


360 posts in 2946 days

#7 posted 10-18-2007 02:07 PM

This came out really nice. I didn’t know a pencil holder could look that good.

-- I've cut that board three times and it's still too short!

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2915 days

#8 posted 10-18-2007 03:09 PM

What a great idea! It looks like a wood puzzle. With tight joints and crossed dowels it wouldn’t need glue to be solid as a … um … board?

-- -- --

View CharlieM1958's profile


16098 posts in 3259 days

#9 posted 10-18-2007 03:46 PM

Very nice design!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Jeff's profile


1011 posts in 3134 days

#10 posted 10-18-2007 04:23 PM

Thanks everybody! Such kind comments for my little ol’ box.

Shaun – LOL. me either!

Peter and Scott – Others have made the puzzle comment. We may be on to something…

Thos. – I’m glad you said this looks G&G to you. That was why I made the ‘mind’s eye’ comment above. I envisioned G&G but the Padauk just isn’t the right wood for it since it’s so porous. I guess I could do a more pronounced roundover with the router and then more hand shaping.

Bill, what is the link to your store again? Is it just

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Jon3's profile


494 posts in 3145 days

#11 posted 10-18-2007 05:24 PM

Very Greene and Greene!

View David's profile


1970 posts in 3179 days

#12 posted 10-18-2007 06:43 PM

Jeff -

I really like this project – very nice design. The brass is a great contrast with the wood. I agree with the Greene & Greene look!


View schroeder's profile


695 posts in 3166 days

#13 posted 10-19-2007 12:26 AM

I love it!, Great idea! Great craftsmanship! (adding to the “steal it” file!) Thanks!

-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

View Davesfunwoodworking's profile


272 posts in 2915 days

#14 posted 10-19-2007 03:37 AM

Very nice. I like the brass rods. Great job.

-- Davesfunwoodworking

View Jeff's profile


1011 posts in 3134 days

#15 posted 10-19-2007 04:49 AM

Thank you, Jon, David, Schoeder, and Dave. The positive feedback inspires me to use the approach more! I’ll design a new challenge for myself that requires more thought and round the edges to get the Greene & Greene look.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

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