Charring a pen blank.

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Bubba57

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I'm making one of PSIs Nautical pens to add to an 'Old Spice" themed bathroom. I'm using Bali wood which looks nice but (for reasons unknown to me) I'd like to char/burn the wood. What's the best procedure for getting it sanded and finished without smearing the charred parts all over the whole pen?


Thanks in advance.
 
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Timber Ripper

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Do you have some scrap you can experiment with?
If so, char it and then try saturating or spraying a few coats with a sanding sealer. or CA. Light sand when dry.
I'm thinking that by sealing it first, it may prevent the char from smearing.
I haven't tried this.. Just an Idea
 

Charlie_W

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I would go with Timber Rippers advice....spray some sort of sealer first. You may try brushing with a toothbrush or nylon brush while blowing air across the piece to remove some of the loose soot but not smear it all over.
Are you going for a charred finish like a Shou Sugi Ban effect, lightly scorched, or somewhere in between? This could change the process.
Is this wood a tight grained wood or open?
 

Charlie_W

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This pen was created by torching some red oak, wire brushing, repeat in the process and burnished with a nylon brush. Sprayed with satin Lacquer....just enough to seal the burnt smell and give some finish but not build up and be noticeable.
Again, not sure what look you are going for but an option.
 

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Bubba57

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Actually, that should be Beli wood, I think. It seems pretty porous / open grained. As to the kind of 'char' I want...I don't have a clue. This is total whim and I'm pretty much making it up as I go along but I like Timber Rippers advice about the sanding sealer (and also about experimenting on a scrape), and the toothbrush, I think, is a good idea. Maybe try to brush from the center towards the ends. If nothing works...well...I have more brass tubing and more wood.
Thanks, folks!
 

Talltim

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I'm making one of PSIs Nautical pens to add to an 'Old Spice" themed bathroom.
I never thought about making themed pens for a bathroom. Do you have a pen stand in the bathroom? Explain the concept a little further. (Not jesting, a serious question.)
 

Bubba57

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This pen was created by torching some red oak, wire brushing, repeat in the process and burnished with a nylon brush. Sprayed with satin Lacquer....just enough to seal the burnt smell and give some finish but not build up and be noticeable.
Again, not sure what look you are going for but an option.

Now, that's a pen worth looking at! I love that effect...especially the distressing, but that is further than I was going to take this one. As it turns out, though, I just got back from the shop and after playing with the scrap end decided I didn't like the effect. So, I turned it and then sanded to 320 finishing up with horizontal sanding. It had the 'rustic' look I was after so I threw a coat of BLO on it. I'll check it tomorrow and see what I think. May take a wire brush to it...may not. Definitely not going to go the CA (or Glu Boost) route. I want about the same finish look as is on yours. Thanks for sharing your work!
 

magpens

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Charlie,

That pen you show is very attractive and I want to try similar.

It is clearly a closed end, but I am just wondering what kit you used ?

It looks somewhat like it might be a Zen rollerball, but the section seems different than what I have seen/used before.

Thanks.
 
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Charlie_W

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Charlie,

That pen you show is very attractive and I want to try similar.

It is clearly a closed end, but I am just wondering what kit you used ?

It looks somewhat like it might be a Zen rollerball, but the section seems different than what I have seen/used before.

Thanks.
Hey Mal,
I’m not wanting to hijack Bubba’s thread but the short answer is yes, it is a Zen Kit. The cap has the clip and corners ground off and is buried deep in the wood cap. The magnetic cap still seats as it normally would. The cap covers the section completely. The section is black ebonite.
I wanted the texture of the torched wood to be counter balanced by the smooth sleek surface of the ebonite. Sort of a fountain pen look with the grip section. It ended up with a disproportionate appearance (according to some) as the cap is longer than what is considered “normal proportions” for a pen.....but I still like it!
 

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Bubba57

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Mar 11, 2014
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Lake City, Florida
I'm making one of PSIs Nautical pens to add to an 'Old Spice" themed bathroom.
I never thought about making themed pens for a bathroom. Do you have a pen stand in the bathroom? Explain the concept a little further. (Not jesting, a serious question.)

Just a whim for my own bathroom. I've got a fledgling collection of DE razors and Old Spice stuff that I'm going to decorate my bathroom with so I thought I'd go the nautical route. (BTW...my wife and I have separate bathrooms...secret to a great marriage.)
 

Timber Ripper

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I'm making one of PSIs Nautical pens to add to an 'Old Spice" themed bathroom.
I never thought about making themed pens for a bathroom. Do you have a pen stand in the bathroom? Explain the concept a little further. (Not jesting, a serious question.)
(BTW...my wife and I have separate bathrooms...secret to a great marriage.)
AMEN Brother!
Besides. You never know when you may need a pen to write a John Deere letter :biggrin:
 
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