Pen from my Bradford Pear tree

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Project by jayman7 posted 05-30-2011 12:29 AM 3604 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Pen from my Bradford Pear tree
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Yes, it’s just a pen. But this is the first time I cut out blanks from a fresh wet log, dried it, and make a pen out of it. It’s from my bradford pear tree that I recently got topped off. The wood is kinda boring to look at without any well defined grain lines, but I can at least say this pen came out my tree that I see everyday!!

I cut out 0.75”-1.00” blanks and dried them in the microwave on defrost for a while. Then I let them air dry for a couple weeks, weighing them everyday until the weight stabilized.

10 comments so far

View Jack Barnhill's profile

Jack Barnhill

366 posts in 3900 days

#1 posted 05-30-2011 01:07 AM

I’ve been staying with my Dad in the KCMO area for the past several weeks while he recovers from back surgery. There are a lot of Bradford pears around here. I can see by your pen that it has a very nice looking wood.

Sometimes that lack of grain is just what you want. It lets the shape of the object speak for itself without the added distraction of fancy grain. I like the shape of your pen. Nice design. Nice work.

-- Best regards, Jack -- I may not be good, but I'm slow --

View rance's profile


4271 posts in 3695 days

#2 posted 05-30-2011 01:18 AM

Jay, more things you can do with plain wood like that is to experiment with dyes and stains. Try used coffee grounds, that always sparks a nice conversation to new prospective clients. Despite what you call plain grain, I think you did good with it. Not to mention that you have enough wood for, say, another couple of pens.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View HorstPeter's profile


121 posts in 3364 days

#3 posted 05-30-2011 03:05 AM

Plain wood can be fantastic. First off this one seems to have a great color (although I wonder how much it’ll darken over time, looking at the log in the back) and secondly it’d be a great wood to couple with another one for a very nice classy contrast. Being so plain you might not even need a wild grained wood, but a “regular” one will probably look very interesting and complex next to this pear already.

Could also be great for carvings that need a wood without much grain to not destroy forms and readability of shapes and such. How hard/easy is it to work with?


View jayman7's profile


218 posts in 4040 days

#4 posted 05-30-2011 04:48 AM

Thanks for all the insightful comments! I have plenty of pen blanks so I might try staining them with coffee since that sounds like fun. Bradford pear turns very easily and feels softer than the average hardwood, it sands easily too. I didn’t know what to expect since there doesn’t seem to be a lot of bradford pear projects around here.

View Sodabowski's profile


2388 posts in 3367 days

#5 posted 05-30-2011 11:01 AM

Okay the guys above already said it all :)

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View clieb91's profile


3667 posts in 4469 days

#6 posted 05-31-2011 03:09 AM

Jay, the pen looks pretty good. Thanks for posting it as I have some bradford pear froma tree we took down last summer and have been wondering how it would turn out. How long did you let this piece dry before slicing it into blanks?


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View jayman7's profile


218 posts in 4040 days

#7 posted 05-31-2011 03:57 AM

I cut the log into blanks less than an hour after it was cut from the tree. I don’t have a band saw, so it took some elbow grease with a chisel and hand planes. (planing green wood sure is fun!) I figured the smaller blanks will dry much quicker than if I let the log dry first.

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3575 days

#8 posted 05-31-2011 05:19 PM

I Too made a pen from a bradford pear tree. The log I cut had some wavy(Curley) grain though.

Check it out in my Pictures

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

796 posts in 4367 days

#9 posted 06-01-2011 07:07 PM

I have some Bradford Pear wood from when a windstorm took ours down. Still haven’t gotten around to using it but a pen is on the list.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View NormG's profile


6493 posts in 3538 days

#10 posted 08-13-2011 04:21 AM

The pen does look wonderful. I had heard of the coffee grounds before and had forgotten about them. I will have to try it before I forget again. Again, the pen is great. Maybe you can miss with another species

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

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