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Forum topic by Craig Havran posted 11-09-2011 08:04 PM 939 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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Craig Havran

346 posts in 2639 days

11-09-2011 08:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pen turning wood

So a friend of mine had a walnut tree blow down this past summer that was very sentimental to several members of his family. I told him to score me some wood and I would make each of them a bowl. He then asked if I could make about 10 pens that he can give away for Christmas. I said I could, but I don’t know anything about turning pens with “green” wood. Here are my questions:

1.) Will this split as it dries due to the thin walls of a pen or will my sealing process (sanding sealer, EEE, Friction Polish, Renessance Wax) seal it enough to prevent?
2.) Would turning/sanding green wood so thin be difficult?

Any additional thoughts, feelings, views, and experiences would be greatly appreciated. I’d hate to screw up their walnut tree.

Thanks Jocks

-- "There's plenty of time to read the instruction manual when you're laying in the hospital bed". - Dad

1 reply so far

View jayman7's profile


218 posts in 3533 days

#1 posted 11-09-2011 08:57 PM

I had a bradford pear trunk fresh from the tree and I sliced it into pen blanks. Because the blanks are so small, they were easy to dry out. I stacked them loosely in the microwave and set it to defrost for about 6 minutes at a time and weighed them after each cycle. Careful, they get pretty hot! I stopped when the weight pretty much stabilized within a few ounces. I was amazed how much water green wood has. I forgot the percentage of weight they lose, but it’s a lot. There was a puddle of water in the microwave after a while. I might have given it a couple microwave cycles the next day too. Then I stacked them so that they get pretty good air circulation on all sides. I let them air dry for a couple weeks since they continue to lose weight during this time. After that, they turned like any other wood I have and didn’t crack at all.

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