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Old 09-05-2017, 09:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Favorite light colored woods other than maple

So after jumping into the deep end and starting this journey by turning 100 pens for our clients at my full-time job and then turning a few more for friends, I've come to realize that I rather like doing this .

I'm looking for other woods to try out and wanted to know what your favorite light colored wood is. Which offer the most visual interest for you?

I've done quite a few maple (curly, birds eye, and spalted varieties), so I'd like to hear what other species you like.

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Old 09-05-2017, 09:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I have some curly white oak that makes a nice pen. You could also try Holly.

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Old 09-05-2017, 09:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sycamore - especially quarter sawn
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I like Burl's, but they can be a little more challenging. Some need to be stabilized, others can be turned without. Brown and red mallee burl can be done without stabilizing, also thuya burl. My personal favorite so far is Honduran Rosewood Burl, a little pricey, but makes a gorgeous pen - I turned mine without stabilizing. Try whatever you can get your hands on. There are only two wood blanks I've turned that I didn't like - jatoba and plain white oak. The jatoba looked a little like a turd, and the plain white oak was just that --- plain.
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Old 09-05-2017, 10:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Just noticed you specified "light colored wood", whoops, lol. Still some burls you can try, maple or box elder. Curly mango is pretty light and looks nice. I got some stuff called Capa Blanco from Puerto Rico that was pretty light and super curly, loved it.
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Old 09-05-2017, 10:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I really like Mappa burl. I think it is my favorite light colored wood.
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Old 09-05-2017, 10:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Try yellow heart, Osage orange, olive wood, apricot wood ( my new best friend ), red heart ( maybe too dark).
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Old 09-05-2017, 10:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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In addition to Olive, I like Bocote, Zebrawood, and Elm.
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Ash would be another choice. Depending on where you live, it can be easy to get a lot of it for free. The wood borer has taken it's toll here in the Midwest. A friend had 13 trees cut down in their yard. (BIG ones!) I looked through the piles of logs and picked out some pieces that I think will have some interesting features. I'll find out once it's completely dried out.

I have my eye on one that has lots of burl on it. Working on getting permission to cut it down to help the landowner out. Of course I'll go one further and take the wood away as well! :-)

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Old 09-11-2017, 08:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Pecan. Hard wood and turns good. Doesn't have a spectacular grain but lends to staining or dyeing. I goofed with one pecan pen blank. I used a black Sharpie to color it but it didn't fill in some voids in the wood. I got a bit upset and wet a paper towel with DNA to wipe it off. Well, the DNA dissolved the black ink enough to allow it to flow into the voids and give it a dark charcoal gray. Looked decent, actually.
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