As The Lathe Turns #72: Pens

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Blog entry by William posted 03-09-2014 11:33 PM 2810 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 71: Suggestions Part 72 of As The Lathe Turns series Part 73: More Pens »

I’ve been back to doing a lot of pens at once lately. This will be the first of two posts just showing a lot of what I’ve been up to.
I am going to separate the ones in this post according to style.


This is a bolt action tec-pen. I’ve been wanting to do some of these. I’ve had several people who loved the bolt action click mechanism in the regular bolt action pens. However, due to their jobs and such, they did not want to have a pen with a bullet for a tip or a rifle clip. So these pens have the same mechanism, but without the otherwise unwanted accessories.
This one is done in blood wood.

This bolt action tec-pen is done in black palm.

This one is box elder burl.

The last one is done in hedge apple.
I purposely picked a piece of wood though with a void so I could fill it with coffee grounds. I find myself doing that more and more lately. I love the inlaid look of different materials and experimenting with it all.


Executive Pens

These pens are called executive pens. I seen them in the catalogue and thought they were nice looking pens. So I ordered a starter set of six pens.
This first one is done in something called canxon negro burl.

Spalted pecan.
I love working with burls and other woods with unusual characteristics that set them apart. This spalted pecan starts out with almost the consistency of a sponge. You have to keep soaking it in glue as you turn it down to keep it from tearing apart. It makes a nice pen in my opinion though.

This one is spalted maple.

Walnut burl.

Box elder burl.
The void on this one is inlaid with black pepper.

Buckeye burl.
The void is inlaid with grits.


Celtic Pen

These pens I’ve been wanting to do for some time. Every time I wish to order them though, they have been out of stock. They were finally available.
This first one is hedge apple with a Celtic cross inlaid with walnut.
It left my shop so quick that I wasn’t able to even show it to the one person I had in mind when I made it. So I would have to make another one just like it.

This is a different pen, just the same material.

I like the look of the Celtic cross on these pens, but didn’t think the yellow went well with the pewter finish, so I went with different materials on this one.
This is walnut with box elder inlay.

The last one I decided to do in live oak burl.
The crack void is inlaid with salt.
I have never met a burl I didn’t like, but I must admit that oak burl has by far been may favorite to date.
Too bad I am down to my last few pieces of it. I will have to try to find more of this wonderful material one day.

That’s it for this post.
I will be typing up the second part of this after dinner.


21 comments so far

View PASs's profile


603 posts in 4174 days

#1 posted 03-10-2014 12:13 AM

I like the Celtic knots.
I have filled voids in some of my work with shavings from key machines.
It’s usually a mix of brass and aluminum.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4379 days

#2 posted 03-10-2014 12:14 AM

you sure have been busy, i love them all…i would guess your scroll saw is covered with dust, and your skills might be a bit rusty as well….lol..all of the pens turned out great…i dont know if i told you i cut down a big walnut a few weeks ago, its still at the sawyers, but i should be getting it back soon, but you can expect several packages of walnut in the future…for sure…be well wiliam..grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View JL7's profile


8786 posts in 4041 days

#3 posted 03-10-2014 12:25 AM

These are all really cool William. Good to see you busy is the shop…..Funny because I was just thinking the same thing as Griz, you’re old scroll saws are feeling a bit rejected…....

The spalted pecan really is extra cool and of course those Celtic knots look perfect…......

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View lightcs1776's profile


4266 posts in 2730 days

#4 posted 03-10-2014 12:35 AM

Very impressive, William, as always. The spalted pecan is particularly interesting.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3766 days

#5 posted 03-10-2014 01:17 AM

A great collection of cool pens. I like the plainer ones with the focus on the wood rather than the fancy hardware personally. The spalted pecan is extra special. Your inlays are very unique. Love the grits!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3751 days

#6 posted 03-10-2014 02:02 AM

Great lookin’ pens, William!

I can’t say that any particular one is my favorite….
I love them ALL!!!

As much as you are into the inlays….
I have a feeling, that soon, you will….
Make a pen of just inlay material, sans wood!!!

Looking forward to the next installment….

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3690 days

#7 posted 03-10-2014 02:05 AM

William great looking pens ,love the Celtic ones with the inlay in the middle

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3918 days

#8 posted 03-10-2014 02:11 AM

Thanks you all.

Grizz, don’t put yourself out too bad on postage sending wood.
The last time I sent a heavy package, I had to check my blood pressure.
I do love walnut though.

Chris, I love the spalted pecan, but it is tedious to work with. You have to take EXTREMELY light passes while steadily soaking in thin CA glue. If you try to go just a little too fast or hard, it all goes up in dust, literally, it’ll fly away in tiny tiny pieces like dust.
You know I love a challenge though.

Andy, I agree with you.
If I could get away with it, all I’d turn would be slimline pens in various burls.
I have to make what people are willing to buy though.
You may notice that I’m getting more into filling voids and such instead of gluing up crazy blanks.
I find it more interesting, both while working it, and the looks afterwards.

Grizz and Jeff, as for the scroll saws, I do miss it sometimes.
Now if people would just buy more of my scroll work, I would be busy back at the scroll saw tomorrow.
Don’t worry though, I dust it off from time to time just to demonstrate to someone how one works, and I promise, it’s like riding a bicycle, you never forget completely how.
So if the occasion arises, I’ll be happily scrolling away again.

Pete, I have thought of metal shavings, but just haven’t gotten aorund to trying it yet.


View William's profile


9950 posts in 3918 days

#9 posted 03-10-2014 02:11 AM

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3880 days

#10 posted 03-10-2014 12:14 PM

All super nice William. The knot on the Celtic ones are very nice.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3918 days

#11 posted 03-10-2014 12:50 PM

View Doe's profile


1437 posts in 3906 days

#12 posted 03-11-2014 12:41 AM

The double Celtic knots are amazing. Just in time for St. Patrick’s day :)

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3918 days

#13 posted 03-11-2014 03:09 PM

Thank you doe.
I think those look nice myself.
I was worried that the Celtic design in the wood would be overboard. Studying the hardware though, I figured I couldn’t go overboard on hardware that is already overboard.


View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4410 days

#14 posted 03-14-2014 08:39 AM

I liked every one of these pens William. Great wood on all of them. The Celtic patterned ones were very nicely done too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3918 days

#15 posted 03-14-2014 12:48 PM

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