Pen #17

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Project by Mark Wilson posted 03-23-2019 06:38 AM 353 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is Cocobolo. In photos 3 & 4, check out the detail in the metal work. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could convince people that I did that?

Cocobolo is a very oily wood. Uhhh. I don’t recall having so much trouble, when I’ve used it in boxes, getting a good finish on it. But then, I don’t guess I’ve ever tried to finish it with CA. I’ve finished it with Shellac. Of course, Shellac is alcohol-based. So, I reckon the alcohol in Shellac may have an evaporative effect on the oil in the wood. I suppose I must have remembered that, because, from the get-go on this pen – that is, from the gluing in of the tubes, to the application of the finish – I felt the need to swab the wood with alcohol. While the tubes held up just fine in the barrel, the CA on the outside simply would not take the shine I was after. I settled for satin on it. It is, however, smooth as silk.

Lesson learnt: No more Cocobolo pens.

Thank you. And, I apologize.

-- Mark

11 comments so far

View BobWemm's profile


2662 posts in 2253 days

#1 posted 03-23-2019 11:14 AM

Very nice pen Mark. I agree, the metal part is stunning, as is the Cocobolo.
Great job on all your pens.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22311 posts in 3432 days

#2 posted 03-23-2019 12:06 PM

Excellent pen, Mark!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View bushmaster's profile


3598 posts in 2609 days

#3 posted 03-23-2019 12:40 PM

Your pens are great. Interesting about the shellac. For finishing cocobola

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View leafherder's profile


1715 posts in 2279 days

#4 posted 03-23-2019 03:38 PM

Another lovely pen, I’m sure with time and practice you could learn to make the metal parts, but price-wise you could never compete with the mass production method. (I have tried my hand at various metal crafts – casting molten aluminum, soldering silver, sculpting bronze, enameling copper, and wire wrapping – all very interesting but time consuming to learn and expensive hobbies to practice.)

Keep up the good work,


-- Leafherder

View lew's profile


12660 posts in 4082 days

#5 posted 03-23-2019 04:45 PM

You mean you didn’t!! You just poked a hole in my net of wonder!

Nice pen. Love the grain in the Cocobolo.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Tooch's profile


1929 posts in 2203 days

#6 posted 03-23-2019 04:54 PM

very great looking pen, Mark. I love the gear shift kit, it make it such a unique piece.

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View luv2learn's profile


2924 posts in 2630 days

#7 posted 03-23-2019 06:19 PM

Another pen well done. Nice work Mark!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View ZAGREB's profile


1164 posts in 1977 days

#8 posted 03-23-2019 09:33 PM

another beauty,Mark

-- bambi

View Andre's profile


2545 posts in 2133 days

#9 posted 03-23-2019 11:54 PM

Never noticed that problem but then after final sand I always clean with a Shellac rub? Plus I really like the finish from Hard Carnauba wax! Pen looks real good!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2471 posts in 1390 days

#10 posted 03-24-2019 07:22 AM

You mean you didn t!! You just poked a hole in my net of wonder!

Nice pen. Love the grain in the Cocobolo.

- lew

Didn’t what, Lew?

-- Mark

View Grumpy's profile


25093 posts in 4178 days

#11 posted 03-31-2019 11:05 PM

Good one.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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