375 Year Old Oak Pens

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Project by Eric M. Saperstein posted 12-29-2011 11:07 AM 1351 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
375 Year Old Oak Pens
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A really simple but amazingly unique project – mainly because of the material. We can say it is from a 375 year old white oak tree harvested from a very famous client. We just can’t reveal the client (Yet) ...

The Pens were made for us by Chuck Hill of “Pens from the Past.” – Chuck specializes in finding unique material with historic or local value. We figure on helping him find material in our scavenging efforts. Since we seem to have lots of scraps from our projects with this 375 year old white oak, we’re hoping to have a series of these pens run with different kits.

It should be interesting to see what we can turn otherwise scrap into! Pens seem like a logical idea. I’m half tempted to go pickup all the presses and toys to make them myself but among the few thousand other projects I have on the board right now I’d just never get to it.

I’m learning more and more that having an array of artists with different skills and dispersing out tasks to those who specialize or enjoy something specific ends up being far more efficient and the results are usually better.

One of these pens is the first of what I decided will be a collection including a pen made from every known tree, shrub, bush, or otherwise stick like plant material that can be turned into a pen. Of course in all forms including a strait normal wood, spalted, burl, curly, crotch, whatever else we can come up with that distinguishes a reason for another pen.

Off I go on yet ANOTHER expensive collecting quest … ugh … this obsessive personality gets annoying after a while. I’m planning to design a custom pen display rack shortly to show off this collection. Just have to figure out how many the first rack should hold.

Anyone know how many possible pens there are to be made under the above listed specs for materials?

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

6 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17575 posts in 3331 days

#1 posted 12-29-2011 12:03 PM

Great job, Looks real nice.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 2911 days

#2 posted 12-29-2011 01:27 PM

That sounds like it will be a very interesting collection and that’s going to be a lot of pens, “a pen made from every known tree, shrub, bush, or otherwise stick like plant material that can be turned into a pen.” I think that would be several hundred pens before you start getting into all forms of grain.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View rance's profile


4263 posts in 3303 days

#3 posted 12-29-2011 04:56 PM

Not spectacular, but I like them both. I’m a fan of catching the sap/heart wood together. And the tiny knot in the lower one catches my eye. I have some oak that came from the Crib Dam in Fredericksburg that I’ve turned pens from. It is nice having particularly odd wood to make projects from. And yes, no wood is too small for a project.

Consider the space it will take before you take up collecting anything. Pens are much more forgiving than steam engines. Go for it.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View smndrummer's profile


47 posts in 2488 days

#4 posted 12-29-2011 04:57 PM

You’re going to have over a thousand before you get into different grain types. If I were you, I would make it a quest to collect one from every tree family, then the first 100 most common species of trees. After that, I’d collect one from each bush family. Then I’d move on. – Rich

-- - Rich

View Woodbutcher3's profile


424 posts in 3029 days

#5 posted 12-29-2011 05:29 PM

Yes< Rance is a collector, too.

You do realize that the Rosewood family alone has 5000 species?

The Dam wood hrance has is great. He shared some with me ~ White Oak turned a dark grey after 150 years in the Rappahannock. No one ever guesses what it is when I show it to them in my pen making class.

Maybe we can send you a piece for your collection o’ famous trees.

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View a1Jim's profile


117232 posts in 3720 days

#6 posted 12-29-2011 06:17 PM

Nice looking pens

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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