Blood, Sweat, Tears, and Stone Inlay

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Project by NaptownWood posted 09-06-2014 05:27 PM 1372 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the best pen I have made yet, by far. The blank is a dyed buckeye burl thing, and it was gnarly. For the first steps in the process, I was cussing and threatening to take it back and get a refund due to all of the voids. Thank god I stuck with it because it gave me an opportunity to try stone inlay in a pen, which was a first for me. I had tried it on bowls and stuff before with varying results. I ground the stone into small pieces and some dust and then ground down a decking screw into a very sharp pointed CA clue applicator. Dab the tip of the screw into a drop of CA, and then get it into the void and spread some stone dust. There was a fairly large area of the upper blank which was just bare all the way to the brass tube. There are probably 20 or so areas which have stone inlay on here, and you can’t see them in these pics. You have to wear 2x reading glasses to see them. I used a file with the pen on the mandrel with lathe off to grind down the stone to manageable levels, and then went through the grits of sandpaper and micro mesh between all coats of the CA finish to try to fill the voids up to the level of the finish. I’d say that 95% of them came flush with the finish at the end. The pic on the carpet when enlarged shows the small imperfections which didn’t come flush in the largest area of inlay. Still, I am extremely happy with this one.

This pen will be given to a “Chinese Dignitary” by an uncle who goes there on business twice a year. It is customary to give gifts when meeting, and he asked me to make a pen for that purpose. I spent too much time on getting this one as good as possible, and I am so happy I did. All of the joints are really good due to using an old set of bushings and then using digital calipers instead of the bushing size to determine the final diameter, and I won’t do it another way again. It is the only way to get it perfect.

-- Witty signature line still pending

5 comments so far

View trees2pens's profile


160 posts in 2430 days

#1 posted 09-06-2014 09:22 PM

Very nice and worth the work…love it.

-- When All Else Fails ... Hit Delete

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 3749 days

#2 posted 09-07-2014 06:28 PM

Nice work, the dignitary should be most happy!

-- Smitty

View NaptownWood's profile


293 posts in 2675 days

#3 posted 09-08-2014 11:52 PM

Thanks guys. I am proud of this one. It is truly one in a million.

-- Witty signature line still pending

View Colin's profile


174 posts in 2165 days

#4 posted 02-26-2015 09:45 AM

Shes a honey – what stone did you use plaese?

-- Live Forever...............or Die Trying

View NaptownWood's profile


293 posts in 2675 days

#5 posted 03-02-2015 05:19 AM

Likely a dyed quartz? I got a bunch of colors from one of those bins that you see places with 20 different stones, and you fill a small bag for $5. They work well and keep their color when smashed. Some stones look red or blue but when crushed, get a chalky white hue to them. Stick to the clearer cheap ones and you dont have that problem..even down to dust.

-- Witty signature line still pending

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