New Pen - Desert Holly

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Project by Karson posted 1389 days ago 1349 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got this piece of wood from a person who visited a friend of his that lives in the desert of California. They scrounge up wood ever so often. He send me a piece of Desert Holly . It had a split in it and I broke it apart at the split.

I was able to cut two pen blanks from the one slice. It looks like I’ll be able to get two additional blanks from this piece.

It was quite hard but easy to turn and sand. I used EEE Pen Polish after sanding to 2000 grit. I used Shellwax finish and then Renaissance wax.

This pen will be one of the door prizes for our annual Mason Dixon Woodworkers club holiday banquet. So someone will get one of the few Desert Holly pens in the world.

In the interest of being truthful under the pen clip is a small defect where the dark wood from the split is just at the surface of the pen. I didn’t want to turn it any smaller to get rid of the dark spot. But that’s what wood is, It’s a natural product, every piece is not flawless. But, every piece has character.

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

15 comments so far

View rustfever's profile


621 posts in 1944 days

#1 posted 1389 days ago

Beati-Mus! Fran-Tas-Tix!
I am impressed with your ability to bring out the fine grain. However, I thought that chunk had some ‘Birds-Eye’ or burl. I have a little bit more of that wood. I will check it out and see what is inside.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View dustyal's profile


1196 posts in 2109 days

#2 posted 1389 days ago

Draw my number! Draw my number! Really nice, Karson.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View sedcokid's profile


2672 posts in 2232 days

#3 posted 1389 days ago


Nice work!! I like the wood and finish a bunch…. I never thought about asking some of my buddies that live in the southwest in the winter to bring back some native (to that area) wood.

Thanks for sharing…

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View DaddyZ's profile


2382 posts in 1674 days

#4 posted 1389 days ago

Beautiful !!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Dez's profile


1113 posts in 2711 days

#5 posted 1389 days ago

It seems that most of these hardwood trees and bushes are hard and dense with tight grain and beautiful color and character. Nice looking pen!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14726 posts in 2310 days

#6 posted 1389 days ago

Nice work Karson. As always, for a good cause. You and my wife must have more community service hours than anybody else in the world!!

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View jack1's profile


1919 posts in 2661 days

#7 posted 1389 days ago

nice looking wood and work.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 1557 days

#8 posted 1389 days ago

Cannot say as I have ever heard of that particular wood but it looks nice. Good job.

-- Life is good.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6647 posts in 2613 days

#9 posted 1388 days ago

Great job buddy.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Grumpy's profile


19393 posts in 2485 days

#10 posted 1381 days ago

Interesting wood Karson.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12927 posts in 2617 days

#11 posted 1379 days ago

good one Buddy

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View yarydoc's profile


417 posts in 1778 days

#12 posted 1379 days ago

Nice pen Karson.

-- Ray , Florence Alabama

View dustyal's profile


1196 posts in 2109 days

#13 posted 1377 days ago

He did it… he actually drew my ticket stub and I am now the new proud owner of a desert holly pen created by Karson. It is in deed is a work of art.

I won’t be returning it under warranty due to that minor defect as reported by Karson—I’m still looking for it. I think I found it neatly camouflaged under the pen clip.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View Karson's profile


34870 posts in 3034 days

#14 posted 1376 days ago

Al Congratulations, Enjoy it. We had a great banquet.

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

View thiswoodshop's profile


140 posts in 1190 days

#15 posted 1187 days ago

Nice pens

-- Mo... For safety is not a gadget but a state of mind. ~ "Eleanor Everet" -

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