New Pen - Desert Holly

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Project by Karson posted 11-09-2010 07:44 PM 1481 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 soon moving to Virginia †

15 comments so far

View rustfever's profile


669 posts in 2348 days

#1 posted 11-09-2010 07:52 PM

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


1260 posts in 2513 days

#2 posted 11-09-2010 08:16 PM

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

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

View sedcokid's profile


2702 posts in 2637 days

#3 posted 11-09-2010 10:35 PM


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


2472 posts in 2079 days

#4 posted 11-09-2010 10:36 PM

Beautiful !!

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

View Dez's profile


1149 posts in 3116 days

#5 posted 11-09-2010 11:29 PM

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 (online now)


16444 posts in 2714 days

#6 posted 11-09-2010 11:57 PM

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!!

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

View jack1's profile


2008 posts in 3066 days

#7 posted 11-10-2010 03:23 AM

nice looking wood and work.

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

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 1961 days

#8 posted 11-10-2010 03:31 AM

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

6791 posts in 3018 days

#9 posted 11-10-2010 01:33 PM

Great job buddy.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Grumpy's profile


20617 posts in 2889 days

#10 posted 11-18-2010 09:49 AM

Interesting wood Karson.

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

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

13996 posts in 3021 days

#11 posted 11-20-2010 04:04 AM

good one Buddy

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

View yarydoc's profile


417 posts in 2183 days

#12 posted 11-20-2010 07:31 AM

Nice pen Karson.

-- Ray , Florence Alabama

View dustyal's profile


1260 posts in 2513 days

#13 posted 11-22-2010 06:29 AM

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


34987 posts in 3439 days

#14 posted 11-22-2010 04:16 PM

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 soon moving to Virginia †

View thiswoodshop's profile


140 posts in 1595 days

#15 posted 05-30-2011 08:00 PM

Nice pens

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

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