green pens

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Doug Jones

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I was also wondering, can you (me) turn pens from green wood? All the bowls and such always develope a crack. If I was to section a log out and use more of the sap wood for the pen, would it crack later on? What I have is some apple and would like to make a pen from it but its only been down about 6 months.
 
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Scott

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I would not make pens from green or wet wood. But I would cut the wood into pen blank-sized pieces, which would speed the drying process. I have successfully boiled green pen blanks, then dried them out in a paper bag for a couple of weeks. I would also try microwaving them. I even bought a food dehydrator at a yard sale for the purpose of drying pen blanks, but I haven't tried it yet.
 

Daniel

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In my experience the wood for pens needs to be well on the dry side. even moisture content that woudl be fine for other projects will crack in alot of the pens. I would think this is due to how thin the wood gets. think of paper being wrapped around a brass tube. the damper it is the more likely it is to tear. this picture helps me alot when desiding how dry to get a blank. I was reading the other day about bowl turners Boiling their rough turned bowls and then letting them dry for 3 months (wood being 1 inch thick). I've gotten advice from Bill Baumbeck that a pen blank may need to dry for as much as a year. Boiling or microwaving will speed this up, as well as freezing.
HMMM anouther article idea.
the idea behing boiling and freezing (seperate methods) is that the wood cells have sap, juices and other moisture causing stuff in them. both freezing and boiling rupture these cells and the moisture is able to escape more readily.
Boiling is done for 1 hour for every 1inch of wood thickness. this means 1 hour of full boil per inch. then pulled out and covered with a cloth tarp or towels while it enitially dries. (3 days) then treated as you would any other drying wood. Paper bags or whatever you prefer.
Sorry added the info about boiling for those that read this and go
!!!Boiling!!!
Just think, Snakewood Soup mmmmmmmm delicious.
Maybe we should start a recipe book:)
 

Scott

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A recipe book, huh?

Makes me think of combining the process of drying some corncobs and popping some popcorn into the same microwave process! [:eek:)]

Seriously though, an article on drying pen blanks is a great idea! Do you feel like writing an article?

Scott.
 

Daniel

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Just make sure you don't turn the popcorn and eat the cob.

I could guve the drying thing a whirl. I have downloaded alot on it. I will read through it again and try to put it all into just one article.
what do I need to do with it when it is ready? I know I have seen a linkto send articles to around here before. but for the life of me can't remember where. this sight is really starting to come together.
I did notice that the home page may have a few broken links. the photos along the right hand side are not loading for me. and the bottom one on the left hand side is not.
 
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