New Pen - Desert Holly

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Project by Karson posted 11-09-2010 07:44 PM 1383 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


639 posts in 2062 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


1220 posts in 2227 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


2686 posts in 2351 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


2432 posts in 1793 days

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

Beautiful !!

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

View Dez's profile


1125 posts in 2830 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


15088 posts in 2428 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!!

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

View jack1's profile


1953 posts in 2780 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 1675 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

6704 posts in 2732 days

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

Great job buddy.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Grumpy's profile


19711 posts in 2603 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

13270 posts in 2735 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 1897 days

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

Nice pen Karson.

-- Ray , Florence Alabama

View dustyal's profile


1220 posts in 2227 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


34916 posts in 3153 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 †

View thiswoodshop's profile


140 posts in 1309 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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