salvaged pencil

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Project by scottb posted 03-18-2008 12:30 AM 1962 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve got quite the pen turning bug going on right now… Have a bunch of prepped blanks, a few turned blanks waiting for assembly (or me to choose if gold or platinum looks better).

In the midst of all this pen turning (Tim, you're really re-ignited a spark here), I found a few extra 7mm euro pen tubes, and those starter pencil kits from PSI that I didn’t use yet. I thought I’d take a stab at making a pencil or two for work, using some wood salvaged from work – specifically the bottom portion of the hardwood spindles I’d been saving (and included in the Pen swap).

This is my first attempt at making a pencil. I had a kit, but the wrong length blanks, was able to make it work just fine though. If I have another “blow out” I’ll salvage the tubes to make another one, or I’ll just get some more tubes with my next order of pen supplies.

This was harder to turn (being softer than the blackwood, bamboo and bocote I’d previously turned today, and having much more to remove before ending up with a slighly beefy slimline. Nothing like a nice beefy, thickly primed, finger jointed 1 1/2” blank, right? (or perhaps I needed to head back to the grinder to re-sharpen my gouge?

Anyhow, I was able to get a nice finish with the skew, and didn’t need much sanding, rather than go to 2000 like with my other pens, I just went to 220, and then used the “extra-fine” sanding sponge, before building up layers of walnut oil and friction polish. I’m interested to see how this finishing technique will hold up to almost daily use, and banging around in my tool belt/ tool box. That’ll be a test for my other pens, that are otherwise held with kid gloves.

The photo shows the before and after. Still don’t know what the wood really is, I was beginning to suspect pine, but it’s not – finished too easily with the skew, and with no catches! I don’t even mind the detail of the finger jointing (which changes with the light) – If only I knew where it was going to be, I could better incorporate it into the design

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

9 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4385 days

#1 posted 03-18-2008 12:51 AM


I hate to tell you this but it looks to me like you are becoming addicted to turning. I am sure that your lathe carried this warning on the box and you chose to ignore it so I am afraid you are probably beyond help at this stage. :)

Seriously, this is a nice post and it is always good to try something new.

Keep on turnin’

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4889 days

#2 posted 03-18-2008 01:54 AM

I like the finger jointing detail you have in there, that’s pretty cool.

View matter's profile


210 posts in 4332 days

#3 posted 03-18-2008 03:32 AM

Nice pencil. The wood looks like lauan. If I’m right about that, you deserve ten times credit for a beautiful turning. Great job.

-- The only easy wood project is a fire

View itsme_timd's profile


690 posts in 4394 days

#4 posted 03-18-2008 04:43 AM

Neat looking pencil Scott, I think I’ve got a handful of those PSI kits in my stash as well! Glad to see the swap is serving its purpose!

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

71 posts in 4305 days

#5 posted 03-18-2008 05:27 AM

I love the jointing detail as well. It’s a nice contrast without being too stark. The finish you have on it is really light which is also nice. Some times finishes people use give such a shine or plastic look that it’s hard to admire the wood itself.

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4629 days

#6 posted 03-18-2008 05:57 AM

Nice pencil Scott.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4890 days

#7 posted 03-18-2008 06:00 AM

Thanks! – ahh, what lurks beneath the surface. I could make several more and never know what wood/woods/grain lies under that gloss primer. If this didn’t turn out so well, I’d have made the next out of oak salvaged from the stair treads of the same job (which historically, I haven’t liked turning)

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4051 posts in 4627 days

#8 posted 03-18-2008 06:41 AM

Really like the way that finger jointing turned. Great pencil and idea, Scott

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4437 days

#9 posted 03-18-2008 12:42 PM

Hey Scott, nice pencil. Isn’t it fun to see what emerges when you turn a pen or pencil?

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