Woodturning - Making a Cocobolo Pen

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Blog entry by Chris McDowell posted 11-13-2015 06:32 PM 1211 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got a lathe in June 2015. It’s a Rikon mini lathe. For more on it, watch this video. Anyway, It sat unused until October 2015 when I was finally able to purchase some tools. To learn how to turn, I am starting with pens. I got everything I needed to make pens and have made 2 on this lathe. The first two pens I made were at a friend’s shop. He invited me to check out his shop and showed me how to turn pens. I knew then that I needed a lathe because it was just fun to turn out a completed project from scratch in such a small amount of time. I’d like to get into segmented turning at some point…

I found out after this video that cocobolo wood is toxic. It can be dangerous to get on your skin or breathe it in. Good thing to know now, but I’m glad that I must not have a sensitivity to it since I’m okay. Although, I did develop a cough the next week after making the pen. Not sure if that was from the cough my daughter had, or from this pen. Hmmm…

Carl Jacobson, a great wood turner over on YouTube, commented on the video and told me that Rosewood is the same way, so I guess I’ll be a little more careful if I ever use it or cocobolo again.

Watch the video here:

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

2 comments so far

View NormG's profile


6501 posts in 3613 days

#1 posted 11-15-2015 06:59 AM

Great first time pen project, there are several woods that it is best to wear a mask of some sort, some turners are allergic to some woods also. Great video. Pens are addicting.

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3413 days

#2 posted 11-19-2015 12:54 PM

I think you’ll be hooked. Writing instruments make gr8 gifts for any occasion

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

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