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WoodChick #2: My First Pen in 8+ Years

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Blog entry by sfhipchick posted 07-15-2017 12:18 AM 463 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Returning to Woodworking Part 2 of WoodChick series Part 3: Pen #2 Explodes on the Lathe! »

My favorite woodworking pastime is turning pens and I’ve turned about 25+ of them back when I was actively turning. That was over 8 years ago, and I was a bit nervous about working on a lathe again. Steve and I picked out a fairly boring piece of wood for me to practice on. Blond Acacia, nothing really going on, and if I killed the pen, no biggy.

I would be using one of my new carbide tools. They are quite the departure from usual turning chisels so I was feeling a bit anxious but excited too. Instead of using the square roughing chisel, I decided to work with the round finishing chisel because it seemed easier to use. I am always worried about catches and I didn’t need to have a bad experience right out of the gate so I chose a tool that seemed like more of a sure thing.

The pen ended up turning out really well and definitely made my day because it was my first in such a long time. I gained some confidence and felt really proud of myself for getting a new pen finished! :)

Here’s a picture. I apologize for the mysteriously floating pen. I hung it on a wire and then removed it in Photoshop and well, it looks pretty silly. However, you get the idea. :)

-- Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. ~ Brian Tracy



4 comments so far

View Cathie Zimmerman's profile

Cathie Zimmerman

101 posts in 563 days


#1 posted 07-17-2017 09:45 PM

The grain pattern in this is still pretty interesting! I haven’t seen acacia wood in person. Looks like a definite WIN on this one too! :)

Well done!

View sfhipchick's profile

sfhipchick

69 posts in 67 days


#2 posted 07-17-2017 10:25 PM



The grain pattern in this is still pretty interesting! I haven t seen acacia wood in person. Looks like a definite WIN on this one too! :)

Well done!

- Cathie Zimmerman

Thank you, Cathie! :) Yeah, I’d never even HEARD of Acacia to be honest. I mean, I know it’s a tree but had no idea it was used commercially. Turns out that it’s related to the often amazingly gorgeous Hawaiian Koa, and I see the resemblance in the pieces with figure and chatoyance.

-- Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. ~ Brian Tracy

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

2611 posts in 462 days


#3 posted 07-18-2017 03:24 AM

I would be very proud of that pen …if I made it ….GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View sfhipchick's profile

sfhipchick

69 posts in 67 days


#4 posted 07-18-2017 07:37 AM



I would be very proud of that pen …if I made it ….GREAT JOB :<))

- GR8HUNTER


WOW! Thank you very much!! :) I was extremely happy that it turned out well, and though you can’t see it, there is a bit of chatoyance and a small area that has some curly ripples in the wood.

When I picked out the wood I wanted for this pen, my husband cut off an entire slice of the board, and then cut it down to include 3 pen blanks. The most plain was this one. The next had a bit of figure and definite chatoyance going on, and the third blank looked to be a show-stopper. Well, I turned the show-stopper last night and it turned out fantastic! In fact, my husband won’t let me show it until he makes our little photo studio for pens, lol. It’s these amazing surprises in the wood that we turn which excite me so much. To have the ability to take a piece of non-descript wood and give it a new life and make it a piece of usable art…it makes me very happy. :) Anyway, ty for the compliment, I’m so happy you liked the pen…and soon I’ll show you the other end of the spectrum from 10” down the board. :)

-- Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. ~ Brian Tracy

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