Cracked Hardwood Pen Blanks

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Forum topic by rossmatt06 posted 12-12-2013 07:39 PM 969 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1625 days

12-12-2013 07:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe turning


I’ve recently purchased my first lathe (2nd hand grizzly) and wanted to try turning pens. I buy all of my supplies from PSI and have done about 10 so far ranging from hardwood to stabilized wood, acrylic and tru-stone. After the first few I thought they were good enough to make some for Christmas gifts and purchased a 1.5×1.5×12 bloodwood blank and 5 bolt action bullet pens. Before this point I purchased all pen blanks but figured I would save money and rip my own. I ripped the blanks, drilled them and epoxied them on Saturday and turned them Sunday. Today I went to give one as an early gift and realized all of the bloodwood pens had cracked the whole length of the brass tube. I’m thinking it was because I cheaped out by buying a larger blank and then didn’t give it time to dry. I still want to give the pens as gifts and have ordered stabilized blanks and replacement tubes but would like to know how to correctly used the hardwood blanks so that this doesn’t happen again. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

-- Matt, Central PA

3 replies so far

View Bobmedic's profile


379 posts in 2800 days

#1 posted 12-12-2013 07:52 PM

The blank that you bought was most likely not dried. Probably had wax on it. I would recommend using dried wood for blanks. You can usually buy 4/4 stock and rip it down.

View bondogaposis's profile


4727 posts in 2349 days

#2 posted 12-12-2013 08:12 PM

Did you rip the pen blanks from a bowl blank?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View rossmatt06's profile


3 posts in 1625 days

#3 posted 12-12-2013 09:20 PM

Bobmedic, you are correct. I’ve purchased pen blanks up to this point that have been 3/4×3/4×5. I saw a spindle blank (1.5×1.5×12) for a few bucks more and thought it was a better deal. The spindle blank did come covered in wax which should have been my first warning. I ripped the blanks and glued them the same day, then turned and finished them the next day. I have ordered standard pen blanks to get through these next couple pens but still want to revisit the spindle blank on future projects.

-- Matt, Central PA

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