Cracks

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Kcimdrib

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Today when looking for some Pens discovered these two badly cracked. They are made from Australian Burl glued to the tube with CA. Made about 3 weeks ago. Any ideas ?
 

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RKB

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Wow, sorry that those beautiful pen blanks cracked like that. Appears to me that the blanks were not dry.

Rod
 

1080Wayne

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Dense burls burls can take a long time to reach moisture equilibrium with your local environment . If they were waxed when you got them , that can take months after the wax has been removed . I never touch a burl until it is at 5-6 % MC , although my standards may have to be a bit tougher than yours because of my semi-desert environment .
 

Kcimdrib

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Wow, sorry that those beautiful pen blanks cracked like that. Appears to me that the blanks were not dry.

Rod
The wood looks dry but I have no method to check thank you for your comment
 

Kcimdrib

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Dense burls burls can take a long time to reach moisture equilibrium with your local environment . If they were waxed when you got them , that can take months after the wax has been removed . I never touch a burl until it is at 5-6 % MC , although my standards may have to be a bit tougher than yours because of my semi-desert environment .
Very interesting but I can't check moisture content . I purchased the Burl and cut the blanks myself.
 

PatrickR

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Definitely not dry when turned.
The best way to determine without a meter (and probably even better) is to weigh the stock when you get it and store it in a paper bag, (not in a climate controlled area). Monitor the weight weekly and once it stops going down and starts to go up and down with the weather it has come to equilibrium. Depending on the size this can take awhile. This is my practice with all new stock, buy it now and use it later. If you get any that is waxed consider it to be green. Cut the waxed ends off and follow the above, don’t be surprised if it end checks.
 

Kcimdrib

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Definitely not dry when turned.
The best way to determine without a meter (and probably even better) is to weigh the stock when you get it and store it in a paper bag, (not in a climate controlled area). Monitor the weight weekly and once it stops going down and starts to go up and down with the weather it has come to equilibrium. Depending on the size this can take awhile. This is my practice with all new stock, buy it now and use it later. If you get any that is waxed consider it to be green. Cut the waxed ends off and follow the above, don’t be surprised if it end checks.
Thank you for your input I have never purchased a Burl before and whilst it looked spectacular I am rather disappointed. Fortunately I had not sold either pens so no harm done. I have a small piece left and taken it from the workshop into the house to see if I get any movement..
 

leehljp

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By any chance were they near a window that allowed direct sunlight?

Do you have any young children around? I have not seen cracks like that in all my years here except for those in direct sunlight or caused by rough use - children, pockets and tight pants/purse, dropped from a height, etc.
 

Kcimdrib

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By any chance were they near a window that allowed direct sunlight?

Do you have any young children around? I have not seen cracks like that in all my years here except for those in direct sunlight or caused by rough use - children, pockets and tight pants/purse, dropped from a height, etc.
No young children I made the Pens at different times over the last few weeks I bought the Burl also within the same period. See photo attached. Having made the Pens they have been stored in a Pen storage case. Yesterday a friend ask to see some of my pens it was then that I noticed these two with cracks. I have turned many pens out of all sorts of wood never seen this before.
 

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leehljp

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OK, The only conclusions left are green or high moisture wood and a temp/humidity difference between your shop and home. One other possibility is for the picture on the right in which the ends are cracked - glue inside the tube or forced assembly over done. Following your reputation in making great works of pens, I would say that glue inside the tube or forced assembly is not the problem. Therefore the only conclusions are wet/green wood when made and or in a higher than normal heat environment (near 100°F or 40°C ) when stored over the past few weeks.
 

Kcimdrib

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OK, The only conclusions left are green or high moisture wood and a temp/humidity difference between your shop and home. One other possibility is for the picture on the right in which the ends are cracked - glue inside the tube or forced assembly over done. Following your reputation in making great works of pens, I would say that glue inside the tube or forced assembly is not the problem. Therefore the only conclusions are wet/green wood when made and or in a higher than normal heat environment (near 100°F or 40°C ) when stored over the past few weeks.
Hank thanks for your reply and recommendations its a bit of a mystery lm afraid my work shop is around 15 deg when I'm working otherwise it drops to ambient. The house during winter and spring is always between 20/25 deg.
But over the years this as never changed and this problem as never occurred before. What's left of the Burl is now in the house.
I think you are correct in saying moisture in the wood could be the problem it was purchased from a company I have dealt with for years with no problems.
Thank you again for your interest its good to belong to the IAP community.
 
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